Thursday, July 17, 2014

iPhone App Updated

A newly updated version of our Admissions iPhone App has been released, available for download on any iPhone or iPod Touch for free from iTunes.  This updated version has many updated features including:

At a Glance: Browse the high points of the University, its students, faculty, alumnus and athletics.

Campus Tour: Explore the University of Georgia's historic North Campus on campus or right from your couch!  On campus, your GPS enabled iPhone will detect your location on North Campus giving you information regarding your location.  Get to know UGA's beautiful North Campus before you visit!

Majors: Still deciding on a major?  The Majors tool provides an easy to use reference to all majors available at UGA.

Info Request: Want information about the University and Admissions?  Provide us with your contact details and we'll keep you in the loop on Admissions news and events.

Timelines: A quick reference on important dates regarding your application.

Traditions: Learn about UGA traditions such as the ringing of the Chapel bell, the Arch and our tenacious sports fans with the Traditions feature.

Orientation: Headed to Orientation?  Have access to an updated orientation app for a full schedule, learn UGA Lingo and meet the OL's.  You can even make sure you've done everything needed prior to arriving with the to-do list!

Status Check: While this feature isn't new, it is a very important tool that can help you make sure you have submitted everything we need.  As well, we have now been able to tie it into our new student system. This is also the first place you will see your admissions decision.

Download the Admissions App today!

Go Dawgs!

Friday, July 11, 2014

FAQ for Freshman Applicants

It’s mid summer, and questions are beginning to flood in about UGA’s First Year admission process. Here are answers to some of our more frequently asked ones.

  • I plan to apply Early Action.  What is the last ACT/SAT exam date you will accept for Early Action (EA)?  We will only be able to use SAT/ACT scores for tests taken by the October 15 EA deadline.  For us to receive your scores in time, you must designate UGA as an automatic recipient when you register for the exam. We are fine with the SAT or ACT or both scores, and we superscore the individual exams, and use whichever test is strongest (see our post on UGA and test scores).
  • Do I have to complete the essays if I am applying for Fall 2014 as a First Year student?  It depends.  Are you applying Early Action or Regular Decision? Early Action applicants do not have to complete the short essays, but Regular Decision and deferred Early Action applications will need to complete the short essays for admission. Click here to see this year’s essay topics.  Regular Decision/Deferred Early Action also requires a teacher recommendation and allows you to submit your first term senior grades. 
  • When can I apply?  There is early, and then there is late.  The 2015 First Year application first becomes available on September 2.  Please know that, while there is a HUGE penalty for missing our application and document deadlines, we give no admission benefit or prize for being among the first to submit the application.  Take your time.  (Just don’t wait until the week before the deadline when most mistakes are made!). All EA decisions will be released in late November or early December.  The file completion deadlines for EA and RD will be one week after the application deadlines.
  • How long does it take to fill out the application?  Most students say it takes longer than they thought it would, so be encouraged by the fact that you don’t have to complete the application in one sitting.  Once you create your UGA “ApplicantID”, you can save your work and come back later to complete the application and make any corrections.  Warning: Once you agree to the UGA Honor Code and choose "submit" at the bottom of that final page, you cannot return to make changes or corrections to your application. As well, you need to complete a payment option (check/waiver or credit card) to finalize the submission of the application.
  • What will I need when I sit at my computer to I apply?  Great question!  We suggest you put four documents in your UGA folder:  (1) SSN card, (2) resume, (3) copy of your latest HS transcript, and (4) fee payment information. You absolutely must give us your correct Social Security Number (please proofread it). We ask you to list your honors, activities, leadership, and work experiences which you may have already collected for a resume.  You need to accurately report the college prep curriculum you’re taking and the grades you've earned.  And finally, to complete the application you must give us payment information, ideally for a credit card.    
  • Should I apply Early Action or Regular Decision?  We can’t tell you which decision plan is right for you.  That decision should be made by you with the help of your family and high school counselor.  Read our Regular Decision vs. Early Action page here.
  • Do my AP/IB grades count towards my GPA? When UGA recalculates your GPA from the self-reported grades on the application and a review of your transcript, we will add .5 to each AP grade, unless your school already adds points to your actual teacher grade (for instance, an 85 becomes a 95 on the transcript). We do not look at the GPA calculated on the HS transcript, but instead focus on the actual grades. We calculate the GPA based on grades in the areas of English, Math, Science, Social Sciences and Foreign Languages, and as well any AP/IB courses that are non-core (such as AP Computer Science or IB Theory of Knowledge).
  • What if I am from Out-of-State and am not taking a fourth year of science in HS? The state of Georgia, and therefore UGA, are flexible for out-of-state students when it comes to the fourth science requirement. We will use a science course from the 8th grade if is a HS course, and as well there are a number of HS courses that can be used aside from the standard science courses (please see the state's Staying on Course document). You also do not need to get us documentation of the 8th grade science course until you decide that you will enroll at UGA, and you would have it sent with a final HS transcript showing senior grades and a graduation date.
  • I have heard a number of rumors about UGA admissions. What is true and what is not? The best way to learn about the myths that surround UGA, and as well the actual truth, is to go to our Top 10 Admissions Urban Legends page.

We hope this FAQ helps.  Please post any questions you have, and I will try to answer them as best as possible and update this page if needed.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2015 Essay Questions

Every Spring, our office reviews the freshman application for changes that we would like to see for the next year. During this review, we also look at the short essay questions that are required for First Year applicants who apply Regular Decision or are deferred Early Action.  For 2015, we have made a slight change in our short essays. Instead of requiring four short essay responses, we now will have one short essay that all RD or deferred EA applicants must complete, and three additional short essay topics with the applicant selecting to respond to two of these. Essay 1 should be between 200-300 words, while essays 2-4 should be between 150 to 200 words, but remember to focus on substance and not word count.  Before submitting your application and essays in the Fall, always remember to proofread and edit!  The First Year application will be available on September 2, but we thought that some people would want to know the essays earlier than that date.

Here are the four essay questions as we now have them, with Essay 1 being required (200-300 words) and Essays 2-4 being three options from which the applicant can select two (150-200 words).
  1. (Required) The UGA faculty has defined the qualities that the student body should demonstrate in the Admissions Philosophy Statement.  After reviewing this, help us understand which of your qualities will add value to our community of scholars. (200-300 words)
  2. Share a story about someone in your life (not a family member) who is significantly different than you.  How are you different and what have you learned from your relationship with this person? (150-200 words)
  3. Tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself that you have not already shared in your application. (150-200 words)
  4. UGA’s First Year Odyssey Program offers more than 300 seminar courses for new freshmen. Some examples include “The History of Horseracing”, “Einstein and the Theories of Relativity” and “The Zombie Plague”. If you could create your own seminar course at UGA in any subject area that interested you, what would it be? What would the course be named and what would you hope to learn? (150-200 words) 
In addition, here is an example of a strong essay that we received this year for Essay 3, and the applicant (and UGA class of 2014 freshman) has given us permission to share with everyone.

"I am an accidental criminal. My school counselor asserts that I am exactly the kind of criminal every college desires. In fact, since I was about 12-years-old, I have been developing my criminal record and have been flaunting it since. As a result, BET (Black Entertainment Television) gave me the opportunity to speak to millions of viewers this past August. I can only imagine how people's mouths dropped when I told them how cavalier I am about the rules of legal consent. You see I am 18 years old now, but before then, I ignored my age and indulged in "adult" activities. Despite being a minor, I signed a renter's agreement for the Greening Forward office headquarters and rented trucks for volunteer events. These companies only wanted my money; they did not care that a minor's signature is invalid. I illegally acquired goods and services and used them for the greater good. I was the Robin Hood of environmentalism."       Charles O. - UGA Class of 2018

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Away from the Office

Starting tomorrow, I will be away from the UGA admissions office for almost two weeks, as I will be volunteering on a mission trip to Slovakia. During this time away, I will not be able to answer any questions on the blog, as I will be without internet access for a majority of my trip. After my return to the states and at least a day to decompress, I will try to answer any questions that have come up during my time away.

Go Dawgs!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Changing your Major

As everyone most likely knows, UGA implemented a new student system this year, and one of the things we have been waiting on is the method for enrolling students (and current students) to be able to change their major. This process has now been thoroughly tested, and the first few freshman orientation sessions have been a great example of how this works. While this will give you details on how to change your major, I will not go into adding/removing a minor or certificate, as that should wait until after you have worked with an advisor Here are the steps you need to take to change your major:

To add a major:
  1. Log into Athena
  2. Select Student
  3. Select "My Programs"
  4. Select "Add Major"
  5. Select your new major from the dropdown menu. (You should select the intended major where possible because you have not met the requirements for the actual major at this time.)
  6. Select "Next", and then "Confirm". The new major will now appear under My Majors.
To remove a major (You cannot remove a major until you add another major first.):
  1. Select "Remove Major"
  2. Select the major you wish to remove from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select "next" and then "Confirm". The major will no longer appear under My Majors.
Additional Information:

If the major you wish to add requires approval, you can click a link to the Bulletin to see the requirements for the major.  New UGA students should select the intended major where possible because you have not met the requirements for the actual major at this time. If you choose to add the major, the change will be pending until the request is approved or denied. If an intended major exists and you select the actual major by mistake, your request will most likely be denied.  You may cancel the request at any time, and only your original major will appear under My Majors.

Are you currently at Orientation or plan to attend a future Orientation Session?
  • You will be advised for your new major during orientation.
Have you already attended Orientation?
  • You should contact your advisor to find out if any changes should be made to your schedule.
To see a list of all of the undergraduate majors offered at UGA, go to the Bulletin website and select the “Majors” tab, or refer to the Admissions Majors page. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Curriculum Systems at 706-542-6358. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Random Admission Thoughts June 2014

We have successfully made it through Year 1 of our new student system, and we have a great class of freshman coming in for orientation, and our Fall transfer decisions are at the end of the process. We just finished a meeting to discuss the changes for next year's freshman application, and orientation seems to be moving along well. As such, here are a few thoughts as we transition from the end of the cycle for the Fall 2014 students and move forward with Spring/Summer/Fall 2015 applicants.

  • At this point, approximately 60% of our enrolling freshman have sent in their final HS transcripts. Please make sure to do this ASAP, but know that this will not impact orientation. If we have not received a final transcript by August 1, we will not allow you to register for future terms until this issue is cleared up.
  • In the same vein, transfers (and freshman with dual enrollment credit) need to send in updated college transcripts with Spring work. We are reviewing these daily, and we are also focused on checking orientation rosters to make sure we enter in updated credit prior to a student attending an upcoming session.
  • Fall 2014 students, make sure you pay attention to your email, as we will be sending out information to students who may be missing items, from VLP to final transcripts, Immunization forms to completing Emergency Contact information.
  • While the Spring 2015 applications are open and the deadline is 9/1, we will not begin any review of files until August at the earliest. We still have a large number of things to review for Fall 2014 students (final transcripts, orientation, etc.), so we need to focus on taking care of these issues first.
  • Spring 2015 transfers, make sure to send in all required materials. If you attended 3 colleges, we need transcripts from all 3 colleges, even if one was dual enrollment work from HS.
  • Fall 2015 freshman applicants: The Freshman application will open up on September 2. Do not apply for Spring 2015, as we need you to apply for the term you actually wish to enroll. In addition, no matter what you have heard, there is no benefit to applying for Summer vs Fall. Only apply for Summer if you actually want to attend for Summer term. We treat these applicants the same, but there are data challenges to shifting a student from one term to another.
  • We hope to have information on our updated short essays sometime over the next few weeks. I will post our essays and any changes when things are finalized.
  • To prepare for applying as a freshman, here are three things you should do; Get a copy of your transcript so you will be ready to enter in self-reported grades, create or update your resume so you will be ready to enter in your activities/sports/work/etc., and go ahead and have your SAT/ACT (with Writing) scores sent to us. We only use the highest scores, so there is no harm in sending in all scores to us.
  • It is easy to match up test scores sent prior to applying, but for any documents, please wait until after you apply to send these in. We can still match documents sent in prior to a student applying, but it takes longer and has to be matched by hand.
  • This summer, READ. Even if you hate reading, read. It will help with the SAT/ACT, it will prepare you for writing essays, and it will help get you ready for college courses.
  • Please remember that if you hear a rumor about UGA Admissions, ignore it. Nothing good comes from urban legends, especially in admissions.
  • Be patient during the admissions process. UGA is a selective college, so our admission process takes longer that some other colleges.
  • Enjoy your summer, stay out of trouble, and get ready for an exciting and crazy year of college admissions.
Go Dawgs!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fall 2014 Transfer Update

At this time, we have made decisions on roughly 80% of the Fall transfer applications that are complete and ready for review. This leaves us with about 400 or so files to still review for admissions, along with the checking of incomplete files for any missing documents/unusual circumstances.

Starting today, we will be taking a slightly different approach to the remaining transfer applications that are fairly complex and time consuming, generally with multiple college transcripts and/or from colleges that we do not see very often. Usually, if we admit a student, the next step would be to enter their work into our articulation form in our student system, and we would then post the equivalent coursework into the system as well. As you can guess, this is the complex and time consuming part of the process. For these remaining applications, we will postpone this time consuming step, and make a decision without posting the credit. The student will generally be able to see what transfers into UGA and how it transfers through our transfer equivalency system, and this will mean that we will be able to make a vast majority of these decisions over the next few days.

While we will still have a few applications where we are not able to make a decision yet, due to either an academic office at UGA wanting to review the file as well or some oddity with the file, we should be able get through almost all files within 2-3 days this week. In addition, we will continue to work on entering in work for articulation purposes, both for these applicants and for any updated spring courses for our admitted Summer and Fall applicants. We will also be tracking these applications daily, and if any of the accepted students with non-articulated work submit a deposit, we will then articulate the work ASAP.

While this is not a perfect solution, we hope that this will move things forward for almost all transfer applicants who are still waiting on a decision.