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!


  1. I have a concern concerning my transcript. I requested my transcript be sent over a month ago and as of yet it is still not seen as having been recieved. (I think it was sent by mail). I completed all other portions before the deadline, however this matter greatly concerns me. I spoke with my counselor about it and she says that she thought she had sent it. To be safe I watched her send it electronically and she gave me a copy to mail in. It was postmarked today, Oct. 22. Will this make my application void?

    Thank you for your time.

  2. Anonymous: Since your school made a "good faith attempt" to get in the transcript on time, and you are taking care of the problem shortly after the deadline (and not waiting until mid-Nov. or later), you should be just fine. As I have said before, we want to work with students so we can review their file.

    We are sending out the first round of Incomplete Application emails tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 23), so you may receive one of these, but know that this is just a standard heads-up email to alert people to their situation, and it is based upon what their file completion situation was today.

    If by tomorrow or early next week you are able to see the transcript on the status check, then you know that you are fine. The status check is the most accurate and up-to-date notification concerning your application. Hold off on mailing your copy, though, as sending multiple copies at the same time gives us headaches.

    Bear with us, though, as we are still getting through the last of the mail (especially things like fee waivers that take more time), and double checking to make sure we did not miss anything.

  3. Oh, I'm so sorry. You hadn't responded by the time I dropped it in the mailbox. I apologize!

    But thank you for your very timely reply. You've just relieved a lot of stress for me.

  4. It is no big deal, trust me. Post a comment when the transcript shows up on the status check so we will know all is well.

  5. Will do.

    Thanks again!

  6. It's there!

    Thank you for your help!