Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October SAT and ACT scores

As the minor panic of the Early Action deadline hits, I just wanted to let everyone know that UGA will accept the October SAT and ACT score reports, as long as you requested the scores be sent when you signed up for the test. As well, make sure that when you sign up for the test, you have the correct name, birth date, and SSN so that the scores can match up with your file. I just worked with a student that misspelled his last name and put in the entirely wrong birth date, which caused our test score system to lock up on his scores. We were able to get them in today, but it will cause you problems if these items do not match up with what you give UGA (or any college).

I expect that the October SAT scores will reach us by either this Thursday or the following Monday (Friday is a UGA furlough day, so we will not be in the office), so look for the scores to drop into our system shortly.

Remember, be patient, and have a great fall semester!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Myth of the HS/County/City/Address Admissions Limit

We are just about a week out from our EA deadline (or as I say, 4 business days), and we are almost finished with getting all of the mail opened, scanned and into the applicant's files. This morning I personally scanned in about 1,000 sheets of paper, all from Counselor Evaluations, and after every sheet I thought about how much better life would be if all schools used our online forms. The online forms get into a student's file generally overnight, do not have to be handled, scanned, or keyed in, and they even save your schools in postage! But enough griping, onto the real reason for my post.

I want to thank all of you who responded to our survey about the most popular myths (and to tell all of you who did not respond to answer our future surveys!), as this helps us understand the mindsets in the schools and communities with which we work. The most popular myth was "Only a certain number of students can be admitted from my school/county/city, etc.", with 41% of the vote! I always laugh when I hear this myth, because if you could see our office before decisions are sent out (both EA and RD), you would see a lot of last-minute file reading, number-crunching, and controlled chaos. Truthfully, we have no time, energy or manpower to figure out how many students from X location we should admit. We make decisions based upon an individual review of the applicant in comparison with the rest of the applicant pool. Even if we wanted to (and we do not!), we would not be able to actually make the kind of decisions this myth suggests.

Patrick Winter, a co-worker of mine and numbers-junkie, has done some amusing and unusual analysis of our freshman class from last year, with a look at all of the odd data that can be pulled out from this groups information. For instance, in the group of admitted students from last year, the most popular name for females was Sarah, and the the most popular for males was William. In addition, The astrological signs of Taurus, Gemini, Leo and Virgo were each 9% of the freshman class this year, while Capricorns were only 7% of the class. Does this mean that we dislike people not named Sarah or William? Do parents talk at ballgames and say "Well you know, the reason UGA did not admit my son was because they already had their limit of Capricorns". Of course not! But every year, we hear the wild stories about how we did not admit a student because of their city/county/zip code/school/blood type.

Just remember, ignore unsolicited admissions advice, work hard, read, and do your best (okay, the last three were just thrown in there because I couldn't think of anything else). Have a great day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Early Action Deadline

The EA deadline is now in the past, and the Admissions Office is now focusing on pulling all the materials together for each student, reviewing their files, looking at the EA applicants in an overall view, and moving forward with getting ready for sending out EA decisions in mid-December. It looks like we will have about 10,800 EA applicants this year, so please be patient as we go through these files!

It will take about another week or two to match all of the materials to the applications, and the the best advice for parents and students is to just have patience. I just responded to an email where a student applied on Monday, requested his SAT scores and materials on Monday, and was freaking out because by late Thursday, the status check was still not showing everything as in. Now amazingly, I was able to let him know that we received the test scores late Thursday, loaded in his transcript the same day, and if he had just been patient for a few more hours, he would have seen them in our system today (Friday).

We know it is a stressful time (for us as well as you!), but be assured, everyone will get through the deadline panic just fine. Now go have a great weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The EA deadline is approaching!

In three days, the EA deadline will be upon us. For our office, this means that between now and the 15th, we will receive between 2,000-3,000 applications, bins upon bins of mail, and lots of phone calls saying "Where  is my ...(you fill in the blank). The best thing that any applicant can do right now is be patient. This week is kind of like rush hour in Atlanta traffic, where you just have to be patient and wait out the gridlock. No amount of horn blowing (or calling us) will get the materials to our office and into our system any quicker.

The best solution, as I have said before, is to have your school submit materials online through our website, and if your school is in GA, submit the transcripts through GACollege411. We will opening mail, scanning documents, and matching up materials as fast as we can! So, relax, be patient with us, and know that if you have submitted everything on time, we will post it in our system and on the status check shortly!

Monday, October 5, 2009

This One Is For The Parents!

Dear Parents: We know that this is a tough time for you, as colleges seem to focus most of their attention on your child, while leaving you a little bit out of the conversation. The dynamic has shifted, and instead hearing "Oh, you must be Richard and Sharon's son!", it is now "Oh, you must be Jeffrey's parents!" (Yes, these are real names of a great student and his family last week, and I hope you don't mind Jeffrey).

Colleges have a tough balancing act, where we want to work with the student/applicant and get an understanding about their level of responsibility, yet still work with the parents, as you play a major part in the college process. Yes, through all the stories about Helicopter Parents and "Meet the Parents" images, the truth is, colleges value their interaction with an applicant's parents (and not just because you pay the bills!). Many colleges will have special mailings, send out targeted emails, or have special programs or break out sessions during programs for parents. We really do want to connect with you!

So here is your chance, parents. What questions do you have that you are dying to ask? You can post as Anonymous, ask whatever questions you would like through the comment option, and I will try to respond as quickly as possible. Fire Away!