Monday, August 3, 2009

UGA Early Action vs. Regular Decision


WARNING!!! This is a long post (sorry, but it all needs to be said!).

From now until October 15, one of the most common questions for the admission office will be "Should I apply for Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD)"? There is the perceived notion that one option is better than the other (NOT TRUE!). If a student applies EA and is deferred, they will be shifted to the next stage of review and will be looked at the same way as an RD applicant. If a student applies RD and meets the EA criteria for admission, they will receive an acceptance in late February. In reality, the only person that can answer the question of how they should apply is the student who is applying.

First, the EA Vs. RD difference is really about timing. If a student submits an application for EA, they will know something by mid-December. This "something" could be an acceptance, a denial, or a deferral (which means we need more information before we can make a decision). Early Action accepts are applicants that are extremely strong academically, and that our office determines we would admit no matter what that year. EA denials are students that we determine we would not admit for EA or RD based upon the information we have at that time. Deferred applicants are seen as very competitive academically, and we want to review the file after we have receive more detailed information about the student. RD applicants who apply will receive a decision in late February (if they meet EA requirements), or they will hear in late March, when all RD or deferred EA applicants will know final decisions.

Here are my two suggestions when looking at EA vs RD: First, look at the First-Year Profile for previous years, and determine where the applicant would fall within grades, curriculum and test scores. Since Early Action (EA) admitted students are at the top end of the group, if an applicant is not in the mid-50% or higher in at least two of the areas, they should rethink applying EA. Secondly, the applicant should ask if they would like to have first semester grades or SAT/ACT scores from after October in their file before a decision is made. If you want UGA admissions to see more about you, apply RD.

And for those of you who apply EA just because you do not have to complete part II of the application (with the short essays), even though you are not near the mid ranges in the profile, I would suggest you think again. Give yourself time to get your application together, and do not rush to complete it in the end just because you "knew" you would be deferred but did not want to do part II of the application yet. This is like pushing off writing a 10 page report until the last day, and wondering why it did not turn out as well as you thought it would.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought this would help everyone as we get close to opening the application.

21 comments:

  1. I will be applying EA. I'm taking the ACT and SAT again in hopes of higher scores for scholarship consideration. I currently have a 31 on the ACT. The test dates are in September. Do I need to wait until after these tests to apply or will they be sent to UGA and be used instead of the current ones?

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  2. Will: We will match up new test scores with your application, and Sept. scores will easily be in to UGA in time for EA and scholarship consideration. We are able to use the October SAT and ACT for EA, and the January SAT for RD.

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  3. EA deadlines are October 15. If I send in a RD application during that time, will my application be viewed as if it were an EA application?

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  4. Brian: You can send in a RD application at any time prior to the Jan. 15 deadline, but we will not make a decision on the application during the EA time line. RD applicants generally want to have UGA look at their file after they have had more time to get in new grades, new scores, or they just want to let us see everything about them. I you met EA criteria, you would be admitted in late Feb., and if not, you would hear a decision in late March.

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  5. Ok, sounds good. Thank you very much.

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  6. Do all early action applicants find out if they are accepted, deferred or denied ON Dec. 15th or do you find out any time BETWEEN Oct. 15th and Dec 15th?

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  7. Anonymous: UGA has three dates where we release decisions, as we do not have a rolling decision process. Early Action applicants will hear a decision in mid-December. For Regular Decision applicants (or deferred EA applicants with academic improvement) who meet EA admission requirements, they will hear a decision in late February. Final decisions on all students will be in late March after we have had time to read a large number of files and look at the applicant class as a whole. I hope this helps!

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  8. My GPA is 3.00 but my SAT scores are 2,200. Would I get denied in EA?
    Also, is I was DENIED in EA, can I apply for regular admission?
    Thank you.

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  9. Anonymous: As you have probably heard many times before, I can not predict if you would be admitted, deferred or denied EA. One thing I can say is that one of the things UGA states as most important, your grades, are on the low side compared to the average applicant. I would suggest you ask yourself if you want UGA to look at your academics based upon what you have now, or if you want another semester's worth of work in before a review of your file, along with your short essays, activities, etc.

    Any denial decision for EA is a final decision, so that means you would not be able to then apply RD. Look at the third to last paragraph of my post and then make your decision on whether to apply EA or RD. I am guessing you would want us to take a closer look at why there is such a big gap between your grades and your SAT scores, and that generally does not come through in EA review. But remember, this is your decision, and it should be based upon what your overall situation is at this time. Good luck!

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  10. If I just sent in my ACT scores today (Oct 12th), will I still be able to be considered for EA? In other words, will UGA have any way of knowing that I sent the scores in even if they have not been received?

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  11. Anonymous: For test scores (either the SAT or ACT), you will be fine if you just had them sent. This is a little different that most other items, as there is no real "postmark" date, but we are very flexible with test scores, as we are going to be accepting the October SAT and ACT, and these will not arrive until late October/mid November.

    Since these come in electronically and are automatically pushed into a student's file, it is much easier to deal with test scores that paper documents. This is why we are a little more flexible with test scores.

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  12. I applied early action and they said I wasn't offered Admission at this time does that mean I got denied or deffered?

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  13. xodaniellexo100: I could not say exactly based only upon the limited wording, but I am guessing that this was a denial. The deferral letter states that a student has been deferred, and tells a student how to take the next step in completing part II, sending in a teacher rec., etc. I would suggest you re-review the letter to make sure of the decision.

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  14. How does UGA calculate GPA? Does UGA consider honors points for Honors and AP Classes? Even though you can't give an answer for "will I be accepted", based on your knowledge, what is the rough gpa, and SAT score for Early apps? I don't know whether I should do EA or wait because I'm not in either ends of the scale. My grades and SAT score isn't overly qualifying, and yet at the same time I have taken challenging courses and have a decent gpa and SAT score.

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  15. Juno: Go to my post http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2009/07/gpas-grades-and-reality.html for more details on how we look at grades in calculating a GPA. As for EA vs RD, I could not advise you about the choice. You would need to ask yourself if you feel comfortable with UGA making a decision with the information we will have in hand by Oct. 15. Since it is no easier or harder to be admitted EA vs. RD, you would want to determine the balance of comfort against an earlier decision time. I also suggest you review all the posts about EA vs RD.

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  16. Just looking at the sat score, would UGA consider an 1850 a decent SAT score?

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  17. Anon: I have no idea if this is a decent score or not, as we look at a student's three sections individually, not as a whole, and we look at test scores in comparison to a variety of other factors (grades, rigor, RD essays, activities, etc.) An 1850 could be solid or not when looked at in conjunction with the other factors.

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  18. For early action, does SAT scores have to be received by UGA by October 15 or just sent by October 15? I sent my scores already through College Board, but they are still pending and I don't know if UGA will receive them in time. If my test scores don't arrive by Oct. 15, will I be automatically deferred?

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  19. Anon: The October 15 submission/postmark deadline means materials, from the SAT/ACT scores to transcripts and evaluations, need to be submitted by then, not in our office by then.

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  20. Do you know the day that early applicants will know if they were accepted/deferred/denied this year? By this I mean the earliest notification which I assume would be posted online. Thanks in advance.

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  21. Anon: Go to http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2010/11/we-anticipate-that-ea-decisions-will-be.html for more details on the Early Action release date.

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