Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Admission Plans - Forrest Gump style


In one scene in the movie Forrest Gump, the character Bubba Blue is sitting next to Forrest on a transport bus talking about shrimp. "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That - That's about it."

Sometimes, the different college admissions plans sound just like that. You've got your Early Action, your Early Decision, your Restrictive Early Action, your Single Choice Early Decision, your Rolling Decision, your Multiple Choice Early Rolling Action (okay, I made that one up), etc. While I can not say what plans other colleges have for their admission process or why they choose these plans, I can tell you how UGA does it.

UGA has two decision plans, Early Action(EA) and Regular Decision(RD). UGA's Early Action program is non-restrictive and non-binding, meaning that we will not limit an applicant from applying in any way to another college, and if admitted, you do not need to let us know if you are coming or not until May 1. No matter how you apply, we want you to take as much time as you need (up to May 1!) to research your options and make a good decision on where to go to college. Our EA deadline is October 15, and we generally will have EA decisions out by mid-December. Please remember, it is not easier or harder to be admitted EA, it is just a different time line for applicants who want to hear something earlier. You may hear a yes (admit), a no (deny) or a defer (deferral to get more information on the applicant). If by mid-October, a prospective applicant feels comfortable with UGA making a decision on their current grades, curriculum, and test scores, then EA might be right for that individual. Just so you know, there are not any specific cut points for EA admissions, but more it is a combination of an applicants grades, curriculum and test scores.

If, on the other hand, a prospective applicant wants UGA to look at senior year first semester grades, new test scores, or the student's co-curricular activities and essays, then they should apply Regular Decision(RD). The RD deadline is January 15, and there are two decision dates for this option. If an RD applicant meets the EA criteria for admission, we will send out a decision in late February (this also applies for any EA deferred student who, for instance sends in new and improved test scores which put them at or above the EA criteria). For all applicants who are not admitted based upon the EA criteria, a decision will go out in late March. This gives the office time to read, and read, and read, and read. As for which plan a student should choose, RD versus EA, it is generally based upon the applicant taking an honest look at their academic record and then comparing it to our First-Year Class Profile. Look at the academic mid-ranges for our freshman class and see how you compare, especially when looking at grades and curriculum (on average, UGA freshman took 3-5 AP or IB classes along with a broad range of Honors/Accelerated courses). Don't be intimidated by the numbers, but be realistic, and know that during the read process, we look at everything about an applicant.

Just remember, Early Action at UGA is non-binding, it is neither easier or harder to be admitted EA or RD (it is just a response time issue), and the applicant needs to look the profile to see how they compare, at least in determining EA vs RD. And as Forrest says, "That's all I have to say about that."

21 comments:

  1. Can we call the admission office if we made a mistake on our application but already sent it in? And will they allow us to fix the mistake?

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  2. What do you really mean by "a broad range of honors/accelerated courses?" Is there a minimum number of honors & AP course that you require?

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  3. Sarah: If it is a minor mistake, such as entering in a senior class wrong or the self-reported SAT in error, then it will not affect your application at all (we will also use the transcript for senior classes and we need an official test score from the testing agency). You will also receive an email in the next few days which will direct you to a website where you can make some online changes, such as your email, address, etc. For any others, send an email to admproc@uga.edu and write out the error and the correct information. This email will then be added to your file.

    Anonymous: There are no minimum number of AP or honors courses, as every high school is different and have different course offerings. If a school offers 4 AP classes, this is very different from one offering 25 AP classes. What we look at is how a student has taken advantage of his or her opportunities. As well, we look at the whole picture (Honors, AP, IB, dual enrollment, summer programs, etc) in understanding how a student has challenged themselves. Look at what is offered in your school/community, and challenge yourself to the level that you can handle. But as well, understand that we will look at your overall application in comparison to the other applicants. I hope this helps!

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  4. Based on past years, what percentage of EA applications are admitted, denied and deferred?

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  5. Anonymous: I varies year by year, as each applicant pool is different, both in size and in quality. Recently, we averaged about 45% admitted, 45% deferred, and 10% denied, with the admitted and deferred percentages varying by 5% at times. But the admissions office does not go into the process looking at admitting a certain percentage or exact number. We more look at how many students we predict we will admit overall, and then what the applicant pool looks like.

    As well, after this step in December, we will then look at the deferred students who then complete part II in a more detailed process, and a fair number are admitted in March. The March decisions are based upon a review of the overall class, how many we project we can admit, and our overall review of the students who are EA deferred and RD still waiting on a decision.

    Remember, each year is different, both in who applies and in how many we admit.

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  6. I see that the information in the First-Year Class Profile refers to "enrolled" students. Are the same statistics available for "admitted" students?

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  7. I am guessing that the statistics for admitted students will be up shortly, but we are creating some tables to show this information better. From my best estimates, the middle 50% numbers for admitted students are a 3.70-4.03 GPA, 1200-1370 SAT, and 27-31 ACT. These are the quick numbers I ran, so the numbers we post on the Profile in the near future might be slightly different (but only slightly!).

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  8. If we choose to take the SAT on Oct 10 this year, can we still use those scores from the 10th for Early Action applications?
    Thanks so much.

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  9. Anonymous: Here is a good link to the freshman applicant calendar, http://www.admissions.uga.edu/article/first_year_application_step_one.html. This gives you the dates that we use for admissions. As you can see, we will accept all October scores for EA, although a student would need to request that the scores be sent to UGA before he/she takes the test.

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  10. I've already sent in my EA application, however I forgot to put that I plan to take the October ACT and would like those scores to be considered in my application. Do I need to indicate that and email them or can I just plan to send in my scores?

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  11. Anonymous: you do not need to put any information about future SAT/ACT/AP/IB tests, as you will not have any information on the results yet, and any testing information on the application is just for informational purposes and is not official. We will need the official test results to be sent to us in order to use them.

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  12. If I just took the ACT on Sept 11th, can I finish my application for EA before the results come back for the ACT test? I have selected UGA to receive a copy when they are ready.

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  13. Anon: You can submit the application before you take an ACT or SAT exam, as the test score is needed for file completion (like a transcript or school evaluation), not for actually applying. Make sure that you are taking the ACT Writing portion, as that is a requirement for UGA.

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  14. If a school gives honors points already to AP's and Honors classes, does UGA take those points out? Does UGA consider the honors points for the honors classes or only for AP courses.

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  15. I am applying for early action and I'm taking my ACT and SAT again this october-should I say anything on the testing history part of the application?

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  16. Anon: We do not take any points added to any teacher grades off the transcript, so you should not do this on the self-reported grade section. Just give us the grades as listed on the transcript. We know which schools add weight to their grades, and we then do not add the .5 weight to the AP/IB grades.

    Anon: The test history section is just to give us an idea of what test scores we should be expecting when you send us the actual scores from the testing center, so you do not need to put anything for future test dates. Just make sure that you send us your official scores from the testing agency.

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  17. I'm trying to calculate my GPA the way UGA would before deciding whether I should do early or regular. So UGA just takes the scores on the transcript and does not add or take out any points. It only adds .5 back to AP scores if the school already doesn't do that. Also, does UGA use the dean scale where an A- is less than a 4.0?
    Lastly, if we take the final SAT in October, and the scores won't come until after the early app due date, how should we send you the scores?

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  18. If our GPA falls slightly shorter than the average GPA and we didn't utilize the AP's offered at school our junior year, but are increasing as the year goes by (I took one sophomore year, one junior year and taking 4 this year) and my school actually offers a ton of AP's, am I looked at as a student who isn't taking advantage of the AP's because I didn't pace myself the way majority of the students paced themselves?

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  19. My GPA is a 3.5 just based on the transcript of core classes. I'm not sure how UGA calculates it and my SAT score is an 1820. I'm planning on reataking the SAT for the third time in October. I'm involved in extracurriculars and hold leadership positions. What are the chances of getting rejected for EA or should I wait for regular decision. I know you can't give a definite answer, but I'm asking to the best of your knowledge. I see that the average GPA is for the mid percentile and there are kids that fall on either spectrums. I just want to know if I'll be straight up rejected. Also, if you get deferred in EA, and you plan on continuing part II of the application, is there a second application fee?

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  20. I see that there's a section for the history of your SAT scores. If we're retaking it, how would we send in the score. Also do we need to send you all of SAT test scores so that you can superscore it (assuming UGA does take the highest in each section).

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  21. Anon I: I would suggest reading a few more posts on the blog, then asking questions that are not answered or are confusing. For instance, there are a number of places on the blog where I state that we use the class grades that are on the transcript, and if your school does not add weight to individual grades, we would then add .5 to the AP/IB grades (so a B in an AP class would be a 3.0 + .5 which equals 3.5). I have never heard of the dean scale, but an A is a 4.0 whether it is the highest or lowest A grade.

    Anon II: I could not guess about your rigor, as we do not base it solely on what AP courses you have taken. It is based on an overall review of your curriculum from 9-12 grades, and then compared to what is offered at your school.

    Anon III: Review the topics GPA and grades to find out more about how UGA calculates grades. Since I have no idea of your recalculated GPA, the breakdown of the SAT, the rigor of your coursework, or what the other applicants will be like, I have no idea what would happen if you applied. If a student is deferred, they would then complete part II of the application process. Your application fee would already be taken care of when you applied EA.

    Anon IV: The section if for test history, not future tests, so do not put anything for future SAT or ACT scores. Since all test scores must come officially from the testing agency, that is how you need to send the score. I would suggest sending all SAT/ACT scores, as we will only use the subscores that are the strongest (so yes, we superscore).

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