Thursday, December 23, 2010

Common Questions (and Answers) While UGA is Closed

UGA will be closed from late afternoon on December 24 through January 3, and as such, we will not be available to answer many questions. Like many of you, I will also be unavailable at times during the break, so here are a few common questions and answers to hold you over during the time we are closed. Please be patient with me if you post any comments!

Deadlines and Materials
I have had several questions about when application materials need to be in, what happens if they are not in, etc. UGA Admissions works hard to complete a student's file, and we will work with students if things come in a little late. For paper documents, our deadlines are postmark deadlines, and we will keep the online school forms open after the deadline. This does not mean that a student should do things after the deadline though! Make sure you speak with your counselor and teacher early about getting in materials, and give them time to do their work! And if you choose to apply on the deadline, please understand that we will take you application, but you are setting yourself up to possibly have problems by not giving yourself any leeway with required materials. Do yourself a favor and take care of things before the deadline!

Mailed materials
My estimate is that from a person mailing out documents to it showing up in the system takes at least 6-8 business days, give or take (if your application is already in the system). If a counselor or teacher sent documents off on a Monday let's say, then 8 business days means Wednesday of the following week. Please also remember that UGA will be closed down from late afternoon on Friday, 12/24, until the morning of Jan. 4, so be patient with us during that span, as we will not be in the office or updating the myStatus page during that gap. Please remember that our deadlines are postmarked deadlines, so there is no reason to send something FedEx, UPS rush, two day postal delivery, etc., and at times these special deliveries can slow things down as they get held up due to non-delivery on weekends, routing things a non-traditional way, etc. Stick with online delivery (still the best by far!) or standard post office mailing.

January SAT exam
The last test score date UGA will be able to use is the Jan. 22 SAT. The Feb. ACT is too late, especially since it takes longer for ACT to get the scores back than SAT (which usually gets us scores in under three weeks).

First Semester Grades
Applicants are not required to send in first semester grades, but we do like to see them when reviewing a student’s file, so I would suggest having an updated transcript sent in to UGA. We will be accepting first semester grades through Feb. 1, but I would suggest having your school send them in as soon as possible after they are ready. Accepted EA applicants do not need to send in first semester grades unless requested to by Honors or the Foundation Fellows/Ramsey Scholarship Program.

UGA will be making scholarship decisions (along with out-of-state waivers) from mid-December through mid-April as we review files and finish receiving applications. In December, we will have awarded a small number of scholarships, but we are a long way from completing the process.

Honors needs time to review the admitted students, so please be patient with them during their review of admitted students. Only Honors would know when they will be releasing decisions, the criteria they use for review, etc.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Suggestions over the Holiday Break

Happy Holidays everyone, and I hope you are enjoying (or about to start enjoying) your holiday break. Our office is still open this week, but we will be shutting down late Friday, and we do not return until January 4. As such, our office will not be opening mail, responding to email, available on the phone, etc. during this time. This means that any material that comes into our office, whether online or by the mail, will not generally be updated until January 4 and beyond. So do not sit by your computer, checking your myStatus to see if that teacher recommendation has arrived, and please be patient with us during early January, as life gets very busy about that time. We have about 1,000 new students who will start in the Spring term, and we need to make sure they are prepared for orientation, signing up for classes, etc.

As well, we will be receiving a huge volume of materials over the next four weeks or so, as the January 15 deadline is quickly approaching. Please remember, treat a deadline not something to shoot for, but as a date by which you should have everything in to UGA. We will accept applications at midnight on the deadline, but if you choose to do this, you are putting yourself in a bad position about being able to make sure everything is in at UGA. In the same thought process, do not wait until the end to ask your counselor or teacher to submit their materials, as they will not be happy you procrastinated, their letters may be rushed, etc. Talk to them early, and give them time to get things in to UGA.

As for materials showing up at UGA, please make sure that your teacher/school uses your official name (so far today I have seen a school use a nickname on their transcript, and another teacher accidentally put in her own name as the student name in the form. In addition, please be patient as we match up materials, especially if your items were sent in the mail. If you do not see an item indicated as received by UGA, make sure to give us about 8-10 business days to process it (holiday days do not count), and then check with the counselor/teacher to make sure it was sent. Please note that when we receive a packet of materials for a student, we separate it into the type of material (transcript, counselor evaluation, etc., to more quickly scan and classify the documents. In other words, we can quickly scan in 500 high school transcripts and name them all "High School Transcript" very quickly, but this sometimes means that there may be a day or two difference when one item appears on myStatus vs. another.

Lastly, please remind your school NOT to fax any materials, and that staples are the bane of any scanning/imaging system.

Have a great holiday break, cheer on the UGA football team as they play in the Liberty Bowl, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Early Action Facts and Reality

In reviewing the chart to the left , which shows Early Action admitted freshman and their zodiac signs, some people would say "I knew it, they did not admit me because I was a Capricorn" or "I knew that they Libra's the best!", while others would just understand that the zodiac signs (of which I am not a believer) had nothing to do with admissions, and it was just randomness that made the admitted students fall into these groups.

Yet every year after Early Action decisions are released, our office is hit with a swarm of emails, phone calls, and posts to this blog stating that the student/parent knows someone whose GPA/SAT/ACT/Rigor was not as strong as their own, yet the other student was admitted over themselves, and we hear about X GPA or X SAT/ACT. The believe is that somehow an applicants high school, gender, zip code, height or hair color has negatively impacted their students chances. As you may have guessed, this leads to our reply that you cannot really compare students, as you would not know everything about them, from core grades to individual test subscores to how UGA views a student's rigor, and that the rumors they hear are generally false. For fun, though, here are few odd facts that put a little different spin on our Early Action admits and facts that are just facts, nothing more.

The most popular name for admitted males was John, followed by William, Andrew, Michael and Matthew. For females, the most popular name was Sarah, followed by Emily, Elizabeth, Katherine and Mary. For last names, the most common one was Smith, followed by Patel, Williams, Lee and Davis. The most popular major was Biology, and the and the most common hometown was Atlanta. We received the most applications from Northview HS in Alpharetta, and as you can probably guess, we had the most admits, defers and denies from Northview HS. We admitted students from 38 different states in Early Action, with the most popular states (behind the big leader of GA) being NC, TX and FL.

Now, if your name is Sarah Smith, and you live in Atlanta and attend Northview HS and want to major in Biology (and you are a Libra), does this mean you are going to be admitted? I have no idea, as these are just random facts about the class, but have no bearing on the actual decision.

I hope you enjoyed this (hopefully) humorous post, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Summer/Fall 2011 Transfer Applicants

At this point in time, we have received approximately 100 Summer and 300 Fall transfer applications. The next two months or so will be tied up with several issues, from the update of Spring freshman and transfer files as Fall 2010 work comes in, to the review of the estimated 5,000-6,000 freshman applications that we still expect to apply by the Regular Decision application deadline of January 15. As you can guess, December and January are busy clean-up months, and there is not a great deal of down time.

I expect that by the end of January, our office will begin to review the transfer applications. We will begin with Summer transfers, as they are the first to enroll and need to have their decisions before the Fall applicants. As well, though, these go a little quicker as there are not as many Summer transfer applicants as compared to Fall (last year it was about 300 vs. 1,500), so these should go quickly. When that process is done, we should go straight into Fall transfers starting in mid-February, and go forward from there.

My suggestion to all transfer applicants is to make sure UGA has all transcripts from all colleges you have ever attended. If you did joint-enrollment work, get the transcript in! If you attended four colleges, get all four transcripts in! If you sent in a transcript in September, but have now completed the Fall semester, send in an updated transcript! As well, if a transcript has a different last name on it as compared to the application, send an email to about 2 weeks after it has been requested to be sent to UGA so we can match it easier. And please remember to review the transfer web page and the transfer equivalency site (and read the equivalency instructions!) to make sure you are on the right track as far as admissions consideration.

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Part II/The Essays

I am guessing that for a number of the deferred students, they are looking at part II of the application and wondering what they should write about in their essays. I am also guessing that most of you do not want a long post about how to write essays, so I will make this quick. First, do not rush the essays, as just like the application, you do not get a gold star for getting part II in first.

Second, I would suggest you look at my Suggestions for Writing Admissions Essays page, as it gives you some details about what we look for, and also what to avoid.

Third, here are links to posts from last year with real essays from students who applied (and were admitted) last Fall. These are extremely strong essays, so do not feel like your essays need to be this impressive. Just do your best, write what you think and feel, and do not write based on what you think I want to read.

Essay Sample 1

Essay Sample 2

Good luck, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Admissions - After the EA Decisions are Out

Now that Early Action decisions have been made, here are a few items of note of what will be going on over the next few weeks in Admissions:

Starting today (Monday, 12/6), we will begin to enter in the materials that came in late for EA applicants, and the materials that we could not load in late last week for RD applicants due to the volume of decisions that had to go out. Please be patient as we enter in this data, and know that we will get materials in ASAP.

On Wednesday (12/8), we will begin to load in SAT and ACT scores that we have been holding since just after the third week in Nov., when we had to halt the import of test scores in order to make EA admission decisions. Please be patient, as it takes a little while to get these into the system (there are a number score uploads with only a handful of scores each, so it takes more time to do it).

Later this week, we will also get back to looking at RD applicants and double checking their transcripts against their self-reported grades, and making sure everything is okay with their files.

Next week and the week folllowing, our office will begin to get in Fall semester college grades for students, both for Spring enrolling freshmen and transfers, and as well Summer/Fall transfers. Please bear with us on this, as they all seem to come at once and it takes a while to wade through them.

And for the freshman who have or will apply to UGA through GA411, then you would have received (or will receive) an email (sent to the email on the GA411 app) the day after we pushed your application into our system. It would have given you a method to gain access to our myStatus page, and it would have given you a link to confirm your situation. If your email client pushed this email to Spam, or if you did not confirm the myStatus connection, then you would not have been able to then connect to your myStatus account. Please make sure that you have emails on your email white list (allowable emails), and review the email account you gave us on your application. Hopefully our tech dept. has taken care of the few GA411 applicants who had trouble accessing their myStatus page, and that this will not be a problem in the future.

Thank you for all your comments, and I hope I was able to answer a majority of your questions.

Go Dawgs!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Half Baked Reactions

Last night, my son wanted his favorite meal for dinner, fettucini alfredo with chicken. We pulled together to boil the noodles, cook the chicken and blend the sauce, along with making a salad, garlic bread and dessert. We had to put some time and effort into it, making sure not to burn anything while having every part come together to be ready at the same time. We all finally able to sit down together for a great meal that everyone had a part in, and it was great.

When we judged how good the food was, we based it on the finished product. We did not taste the pasta after only four minutes of boiling and decide to throw it out. In addition, we did not look at the chicken half way through cooking and throw it out because it was still pink inside. We based our decision on how the meal was after is was all prepared and sitting on the table.

In the same way, UGA is not done with freshman admissions decisions. We are done with the Early Action part of the process, but we are still a long way from being done with final decisions! We will still be receiving a great deal of RD applications, reviewing transcripts, reading essays, doing holistic reviews, etc. So if you were deferred, please know that we still have a lot of admission decisions to make! We will still be admitting 3,500-4,000 more freshman, but you can only be considered if you complete part II.

So please do not judge the UGA admission decisions half way through the process when only EA decisions have been released. Right now, UGA is still in that middle period of the cooking process, and the overall meal is still not fully done. It will not be until late March when decisions are made that we can look at the overall class and see what it is like. Again, please be patient, know that there is still a lot to be done in the review process, and put your best foot forward in the next stage of the process.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Deferred Applicants

I wrote this a short while ago as a comment to my latest post, but I thought I would also make it a new post, so here you go:

 I think I have responded to all your questions as of right now, but I will continue to do so as we move forward. Remember to read the FAQ's, read the blog, and do not compare yourself against another applicant unless you know everything about them (and I mean everything!). In addition, please remember that if you contact our office, conduct yourself in a manner that shows why you (or your child) should be considered as a strong candidate for admission.

In the past, I have handled calls from people who screamed, cursed, threatened, and lied. As you can guess, these are not the best steps to take. I am sure you will conduct yourself  in the appropriate fashion if you do contact us, but I thought I would alert you to these issues. As well, review the Urban Legends/Myths web page, as I would not want you to bring up an issue that is not true only to have us tell you the real situation.

Remember not to pay attention to rumors, as rumors are not reality. I have tried to give you insight into the UGA admissions process, and this is coming from 20 years of admissions and a great deal of experience in this process. Rumors are generally the product of an individual who is unhappy with a decision an lacks the correct data, but who is trying to guess about the reason for a non-admission decision. These rumors are generally the product of a lack of knowledge.

Lastly, know that a deferral decision is not the final decision (unless you do not complete part II), as we still have a long way to go before all decisions are made. EA decisions look at the academic side of a student as compared to the entire EA applicant pool, while the holistic read process looks at everything about a student in comparison with the overall pool. So keep hope (even though I know that deferral is not what you desired), stay strong, and finish up the Fall term well!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Early Action Decisions are Available!

Early Action decisions are now available online, and the applicant pool was very strong! Approximately 6,100 students were admitted, and here is the link to the 2011 EA admitted student press release with some statistics included. We are thrilled to have such a strong group of admitted students, but please also know that we will still be admitting a substantial number of students over the next 3-4 months.

For those of you who were deferred, please understand that this is not a denial decision, but just a situation where we wanted to look more in-depth at you as student and a person, and we want to be able to take the time to review everything in detail about you, from your short essays to activities to recommendations. Also, make sure you read the deferred student FAQ, especially before commenting on here please.

If you have questions about your specific decision, I ask that you not post them on this blog, as I truly cannot answer specific questions about individual students here (both because I generally do not have the actual student's information, and because I cannot disclose individual student information in a comment). My best suggestion is to talk with both your family and your HS counselor, review my suggestions about how to react to EA decisions, review the FAQ's that are available off your myStatus page, and if you still think you need to communicate with our office, either call or email.

Also, please be aware that I will be helping my daughter out tonight with a volunteer program, my son has a tennis tournament this weekend, I am teaching Sunday School on Sunday morning, and we have a Christmas Party on Sunday night, so I might not be able to answer every comment right away. Please be patient, as I am only one person!

Have a great weekend, and Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Early Action Decisions and Reactions

Early Action decisions will be going out at the end of the week, so here are a few suggestions on how to react to the three different decisions:

Admit: Celebrate with family, buy a lot of UGA gear to wear for the holiday season, but remember that not everyone has received a decision of admission, and so be a little more low key with friends and classmates. In other words, do not run up to you best friend during English class and scream "I got into Georgia" while 10-15 of your classmates are mentally throwing daggers into your back.

Defer: This is the most challenging one, as these are applicants who are truly strong students, but we want to see more about them (as well as the rest of the applicant pool) before making a final decision.  Please remember, this is not a denial at all, but instead a way for us to be able to review you in full, from your co-curricular activities, your essays, and your recommendations. This is your chance to let us know what you are like as an overall applicant. While this is probably not the answer you would like, I would suggest you treat it as a call-back for a second audition. Some roles have already been cast (or admitted), and we now want to look at you in more detail to see how you compare to the rest of the people auditioning (or applying). One of the worst things you can do is give up and not do the essays. The second worst thing is to call us up and berate us for not admitting you. We will be happy to talk to people, but make sure to communicate in a positive tone, understand that we cannot talk about other applicants, and please remember that defer does not mean denial. At the end of last year (after all decisions, both during March and Wait List offers in May), just  about half of the deferred applicants who completed part II were later admitted. About 1000 deferred students did not complete part II, so we never even had a chance to even review them! If you are serious about UGA, take the time to complete your application, and then be patient as we review all of these files throughout Jan., Feb. and March. When completing part II (the essays), you do NOT need to do an entirely new application, and there is no new/additional application fee. You just need to go to your myStatus page after decisions are out, complete part II (the essays), and hit submit. As well, get a teacher from an academic area to write your teacher recommendation.

Deny: While this is not a fun situation at all, the reality is that if you have been denied Early Action, you are truly not competitive for admission at UGA. It is not easy to write that, and it is very difficult to tell this to a student or parent, but when we look at this student's application in comparison with the other 10,600 EA applicants (and remember, we expect to get over 7,000 RD applicants as well), they do not match up academically with the others. It is better to tell you now instead of waiting until late March, as this gives you time to make other plans. Unless there seems to be a serious error (you are in the top of your class, take a very challenging course load, and have a strong test score), my suggestion is to not contact us about the decision, but instead move forward with plan B. While we do not mind talking with you at all, the reality is that an Early Action denial means that the admission to UGA is not possible as a freshman.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Summer/Fall 2011 Transfers

At this point in time, UGA has received approximately 100 summer transfer applications and 200 fall transfer applications. While our principle focus is on freshman at this time, especially on Early Action decisions, we have been able to review a few transfer applicants. When I say a few, I mean that less than 30 students have received a decision as of today. We hope to be able to review a few more before the December holidays, but for the most part we will be tied up with more freshman files, updated college transcripts for Spring students, file reading, etc.

I expect that we will begin reviewing transfer files in depth in late January, and we will continue through late April/early May. The main thing that transfer students need to do now is to move forward with applying and in getting all your transcripts in to UGA. As well, if you have already sent in a transcript from your current college, you now need to send an updated transcript with Fall 2010 work when it is available.

The application process for transfer students is a lot less complicated than for freshman, but we still have students who are incomplete. Apply (and submit your application fee) and list every college attended on the application, and send in transcripts from every college ever attended (even if it is from your high school days and dual enrollment). If we do not have a transcript from every college you have attended, we cannot review your file.

So transfers, make sure we have all your transcripts in, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Congratulations Tracy Yang, UGA Rhodes Scholar!

Tracy Yang, a senior at UGA (and Westside HS of Macon graduate), has been named a Rhodes Scholar, the 22nd in UGA's history. Tracy is an Anthropology major, and has done research in the health disparities within the lower socio-economic populations within the United States and Nicaragua. She was named as a Truman Scholar last Spring, and has served in several leadership roles in the UGA chapter of  Roosevelt Institute, a national student-run think tank. In addition, Tracy is a Foundation Fellow at UGA, and is a member of the Honors Program.

Congratulations to Tracy and all of the other 2011 Rhodes Scholars, and we wish you all well during your time at Oxford!

Friday, November 19, 2010

We Anticipate That EA Decisions Will Be Released on Dec. 3

In the late afternoon of December 3, UGA anticipates that we will make the Early Action decisions available on the myStatus page. We say anticipate in case something unforeseen causes a delay (power outage, the Board of Regents making a change, office closing due to a blowout win by UGA over GA Tech in football, etc.). In addition, we expect that we will begin mailing out the decision letters on December 3, although these will take a few days to get out as, we have over 10,600 letters to send out. We are thrilled that we will most likely get decisions out earlier than normal, and we hope this is good news for you as well!

(Since the newest Harry Potter movie is being released today in theaters, I thought the Owl Post image was appropriate, but sorry, no owls or bulldogs will be delivering your decision letters!).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet the Parents II

A little over a year ago, I did a post specifically to answer questions from parents, and I thought I would revisit this theme. While I love working with and answering questions from students, parents seem to be put in the background at times during the college admissions process. You hear the term "helicopter parent" and hear horror stories about over-zealous moms and dads, but for the most part they are just trying to help their children navigate the often confusing process of college admissions.

A number of colleges try to connect with parents, through email blasts, mailings or other connections, trying to give the family more information. In fact, I am going to have an email go out today, right before I upload this post, sent to all the parents of the students who have applied so far. Please know that since we have over 11,000 applicants, this could lead to a large number of questions, so please be patient with me as I respond.

So here is your chance, parents. What questions do you have that you are dying to ask? If possible, please do not post as Anonymous (just make up a name so you can see my reply specifically to your question), ask whatever questions you would like through the comment option, and I will try to respond as quickly as possible. Fire Away!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship Application Deadline

The post mark application deadline is Monday, November 15 for the Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship application. We realize that many students will be starting, completing and submitting the application over the weekend and may be in a bit of a panic over the submission of supporting documents.

Please do not panic!

We will continue to take supporting documents during the next few days after the deadline. Please be aware that we do not accept any faxed documents and all mailed documents should be sent to the address below.

Undergraduate Admissions
Attn: Cindy Boyles Crawford
Terrell Hall
Athens, GA 30602

Remember that if you already sent in a transcript for your admissions application there is no need to send an additional copy.

Thanks to DGraves for allowing me to guest post again. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Changing Application Information

You have submitted your admission application to UGA, when suddenly you come to the realization that your email,, might not be the most appropriate email address to use. You want to change it, but you are not sure what to do. Well at UGA, it is fairly easy to change certain key items on your application.

After students apply to UGA, they are still able to make some changes to their personal application information by going to their myStatus page, found at From there, log into your account, and select the Settings option on the left hand menu. You will be able to select the Information Change option for students who have already applied, and this will show you the fields that you have the option to change. This will allow you to change such things as your address, email, major (for freshman applicants), and phone number. You are not able to change everything in your file, such as your name or your SSN, as those changes need more detailed documentation, such as a copy of your SSN card, and you would send these changes to This is not a place where you can change every small part of your application, such as what you did in the summer of 2007, but instead is focused on the important data elements of your application file that may need to be changed due to a change in your situation (address, email, etc.).

These changes will then flow into your application and will show up in our system on the next business day.

We hope that this helps you in the overall application and enrollment process at UGA!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Application Overload!

There is an interesting article out today that is a collaboration between The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education titled Application Inflation: When is Enough Enough?. It is a very good read, and it deals with an important issue in College Admissions. The main focus of the story is about the balance of recruiting  and getting a large number of students applying to a college in order to either  have a stronger freshman class or to make your college look more selective by having a smaller admit rate (or both). This is a serious issue in college admissions these days, and one that does not have an easy answer.

While I cannot speak for other college admissions offices, I will say that UGA does not want students to apply to us just to inflate the application numbers. If UGA is not a good fit for you as a college, I will not take is personally if you do not apply here. My belief has always been that a student should find a small number of colleges that fit their criteria, and they should not blanket the nation with admissions applications. While UGA wants to have a great pool of applicants to make our freshman class great, we do not want to mislead students about their chances, or use them as a pawn in the admissions guidebook ratings game. I am guessing that a majority of colleges feel the same way.

One of my earliest posts on this blog was about the comparison between admissions and dating, with a focus on finding the right match. When my daughter reaches high school in three years and hits that scary world of dating, I am not going to suggest that she try to get as many date requests as possible just so she can reject a lot of boys and seem more "selective". (On a side note though, I do hope that having a dad who works in UGA's admission office might make any potential boyfriends think twice about how they act!). Admissions decisions should not be about how either the college or the applicant is perceived by the outside world, but instead should be about how good a fit there is between student and university. The process should not be a contest about how many applicants a college denied, or about how many institutions a student was admitted to, but about what seems the best fit for both sides.

And just so you know, if UGA were to have a 43% increase in applications from last year like the U. of Chicago did last year (I do not expect this!), this would mean almost 26,000 applicants, which would scare me to death! In my area in operations and selection, we are running a fine line in how many applicants we can handle, so adding another 8,000 or so applicants to the pool would overwhelm our office.

UGA does want to continue to have great students consider us as a possible college match, and we would love to see our student body grow even stronger academically and personally. We communicate with prospective students, visit high schools, attend college fairs, etc., all to both help the prospective student know more about UGA and to recruit a strong class. But we do not want applications just for numbers sake. We want a good match, and so should you, and we wish you well in your college search!

Friday, October 29, 2010

October SAT Scores Are In!

We received the October SAT scores late yesterday, and we were able to download them into our system this morning. We just updated the myStatus page about an hour ago to show any updated/new scores. We will be running checks next week for any applicants who submitted October SAT's but there are differences between their application information and their test score information that causes a matching problem (no SSN on the SAT, different name such as Bill instead of William, birthdate error, etc.).

We are also caught up with the mail, so anything that is not showing up as received on the myStatus page should be checked on with the person that is suppose to be sending it, such as your counselor or high school registrar.

Have a great weekend, enjoy some  Halloween candy, and Go Dawgs down in Jacksonville!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shout out to High School Counselors!

Over the last 3 years, our office has made it so that high school counselors and teachers can submit their evaluation/recommendation forms online. As you would probably guess, it started off slow the first year, but it has been gaining traction ever since, with great growth this year! Having these forms come into our office online helps in matching up the materials to the students (it happens overnight in a large batch job), eliminates the delay of the mail, means fewer issues with illegible writing, and lessens the items we must open, scan and match up with applicants. In addition, it allows schools to save general academic information for the school in the UGA database (and not write it out again and again), cuts down on postage, and lessens the phone calls from panicked families. So far this year, we have received over 10,000 online school evaluations (this includes Early Action and Regular Decision applicants, along with a few who have not applied yet but the form is in)! If you get a chance and your counselor (or teacher) did their recommendation online, give them a big thank you from UGA. Here is a list of the top 15 high schools based upon the number of online school evaluations submitted.

  1. Northview HS - 246
  2. Milton HS - 166
  3. G. Walton Comp. HS - 148
  4. Brookwood HS - 141
  5. Alpharetta HS - 135
  6. Collins Hill HS - 121
  7. Roswell HS - 110
  8. Chattahoochee HS - 109
  9. Lassiter HS - 107
  10. The Westminster Schools - 104
  11. Alan C. Pope HS - 96
  12. Peachtree Ridge HS - 94
  13. North Gwinnett HS - 94
  14. Starr's Mill HS - 92
  15. Marist School - 84
Just so you know, there are already 50 schools with 40 or more online school evaluations! Way to go high school counselors!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Test Scores and Early Action

As of today, we have 10,621 Early Action applicants, and just under 2,300 of them are still missing SAT/ACT (with writing) test scores. What this is telling me is that a number of you have waited to send in your test scores for the October SAT/ACT exams, even though UGA uses only the strongest subscores. But good news, as the College Board's website states that the October SAT results will be sent to the colleges on Friday, October 29. As such, I expect that we will be loading these scores into our system on either Friday (depending on the time we get the scores) or Monday. While you may be able to view your scores online on the College Board website on Thursday, please be patient with colleges as we load them into our systems.

As for the October ACT, I do not have an exact date for receiving these scores, as their website does not give reporting dates, and they give variations of 3-6 weeks after the test for scores to be received by colleges. The ACT has been getting better about sending us the scores in a timely fashion, so I hope that we will have the scores by mid-November, but we will just have to wait and see.

Please remember to keep up with your myStatus page to make sure that all your information is in to UGA, and I will keep you updated about the timeline for Early Action as we get closer to the decision date.

Go Dawgs!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Early Action, The Day After

The Early Action deadline has come and gone, and we will spend the next two weeks matching up transcripts, test scores, recommendations, etc. Please be patient while we go through the mail, as we had five full bins this morning, and the postman said that he could not fit the rest in his truck so he will be bringing more this afternoon.

As of now, we have just over 10,500 Early Action applications, which is slightly above last year. Now the important thing is to make sure your file is complete. We will be taking the October SAT and ACT scores if they were requested when you signed up for the exam, and we will be receiving a large number of other test scores as we know there is always a high volume of requests just before the deadline.

I have no idea at this time any exact timelines, what the applicant pool looks like right now, etc., so please do not ask what it looks like for admissions for EA this year. And as always, I do not guess about decisions, and whether you will be admitted, deferred or denied.

So sit back, read a good book (I just finished Pay it Forward, a great read), watch some good football now the UGA is back on the winning side of things, and have a great fall term!

Go Dawgs!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Deadline Day is Here!

Yes, today is the deadline for Early Action Freshman applicants, and that means a huge volume of applications, mail, phone calls, and emails will be generated surrounding this date. As I have said before, do not panic is something is not showing up on your myStatus page yet, as we have thousands of documents that come in right at the deadline. Please give us time to open the mail, scan the documents in, and match them up with your file. As well, please remember that our office is closed on the weekend, so if you send something to us on a Thursday, do not expect it to be in on Monday just because it has been 5 days. Please allow for time for items to go from your school or home, through the postal service, and into our office.

As for test scores, be patient as well, as there is not an instantaneous download once you request the scores to be sent to UGA. Give the testing agency time to send them to us, and then give us time to download them into our system. Patience is key during this time of year for everyone.

Patience is the companion of wisdom.  ~St. Augustine

Go Dawgs (no, St. Augustine did not say this)!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Early Action Suggestions

We are coming up on the Early Action deadline, so here are a few suggestions as we approach this timeline:

  • Even though the deadline is October 15, I do not suggest waiting until the last minute to submit your application. We do not hold it against you if you submit the application at 11:59 pm on 10/15, but if you do this, you will most likely be praying that everything goes smoothly, and that you do not have a computer issue, spill your Mt. Dew on the keyboard, or accidentally fall asleep while thinking about what to write. In other words, while the deadline is the deadline, always shoot for an earlier time.
  • After you submit an application, be patient. If you take nothing else away from this blog, take away the idea that you need to be a little patient with admission offices. I expect we will have approximately 10,000 Early Action applicants, and a majority of the materials will be sent in over the next two weeks. We will be matching up materials fast and furiously, but please give things time to get here before contacting us. Items will not be matched quicker if you call or email. If an item is mailed, allow time for the postal service to deliver it. If a test score is sent, allow time for it to be both uploaded by the testing agency and downloaded by UGA. If is not an "in your file" deadline, but a "postmarked/submitted" deadline.
  • If you or your school faxes something in, I will shred it. As I have said before, we place the shredder next to the fax machine for a reason, as we cannot accept official documents by fax. Tell your counselor, tell your friends, tell your fourth cousin twice removed, UGA does NOT accept official documents by fax.
  • Please remember that while the application is available 24/7, the credit card payment option is only available from 7:00 am to 9:30 pm EST. You can still select the check/fee waiver option after 9:30 pm and submit this document though. And just so you know, debit and check cards cannot be used to pay the application fee.
  • Take time to review your application before you submit it. Again, take time to review it, make sure you have followed the word/character count areas, and that you are comfortable with the finished product.
  •  Test scores must be sent to UGA by the testing agency. If you send it by mail or if it is on a transcript, it will not be used. It has to come to UGA from the testing agency! And remember, if you want to use an ACT score, we must have an ACT Writing score as well.
Good luck, and Go Dawgs!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spring Applicant Update part II

As I promised last week, here is the update on Spring admissions:

All freshman decisions have been made, and the decisions have been mailed out. Spring freshman application numbers are always small, so I will not go into details about the exact information.

Transfers: Of the 1,460 or so Spring transfer applicants, here is the rundown of the decisions.

  • 956 transfer applicants have been admitted.
  • 305 transfer applicants have been denied.
  • 156 transfer applicants are incomplete (missing application fee, no transcript, incomplete transcripts, etc.).
  • 41 transfer applicants are still being reviewed, and the delay many times is due to either  very complicated transcripts, a faculty member wanting to review the file, or some other oddity.
  • 1 student canceled their application (just thought I would throw that one in here).

Decision letters have been sent to all accepted or denied applicants, while emails were sent out earlier this week to the incomplete applicants. This list does not include study abroad applicants or students applying to the Griffin or Tifton campuses. These students should work with the contact people within those programs.

I hope this has helped everyone with their application process, and now accepted Spring students should start signing up for orientation (477 transfers have already signed up, and 72 freshman have as well).

Go Dawgs (and beat Tennessee)!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Admissions Application Video

 In order to help out with the freshman application process, Morgan in our office has created this video to walk students through the steps to apply to UGA. I hope you enjoy this, and thanks to Morgan and Milly (the voice behind it all!).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spring 2011 Orientation

The Spring 2011 Orientation site is now open for admitted students, and I advise that you read the introduction carefully to make sure you take the proper steps in signing up. Orientation is mandatory for all incoming freshman and transfer students, as this is where students will meet with an advisor, register for classes, etc. There will be three available dates for transfer students (one in December and two in January), and two for freshman (two January dates), and you will both see the dates and select the one that is best for you when you sign up for orientation. Freshman must submit a commitment deposit before signing up for orientation, while for transfers, there is no deposit but orientation is how you let UGA know that you will be attending the University in the Spring. If you are not sure if you will be attending UGA, do not sign up for orientation until you do know your future plans, as you are making a reservation (and paying for it!) and taking up an orientation slot.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UGA-Atlanta Office

Many of you might not know this, but the UGA Admissions Office has two people based in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. Jackie Pearson, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, and Lindsey Dean, Assistant Director of Admissions, both work out of the One Live Oak Center near Lennox Mall in the Terry College of Business Executive Education Center, where they work specifically with a a majority of the Metro Atlanta schools and students.

Both Jackie and Lindsey will be on the road a great deal over the next month or so (Lindsey also works with students from TN), but they are happy to meet with students when they are in town. If you are from Atlanta and are looking for a convenient way to interact with a UGA admissions officer, I would suggest you go to the Meet the Staff page and contact Jackie and/or Lindsey. They will be more than happy to set up some time to speak with you about the opportunities at UGA.

Go Dawgs!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

College Program Etiquette

Like many of you, my two children had to go through a year of "Etiquette" classes. They learned about table manners, dinner table rules, proper introductions, social graces, etc. It is interesting that one of our most recent Admission Counselor hires, Sarah Peters, taught etiquette for an Athens-based company for a number of years (and she lists her favorite book as "anything by Emily Post" in her UGA Admissions Profile).

Over the next two months or so, there will be hundreds of college fairs, visits to high schools, and admissions programs across the country. After having done well over a thousand programs of some sort during my admissions tenure, here are a few hints about how to handle yourself during a college admissions event and show off some college admissions program etiquette.

  1. When you go to a college fair, make sure to introduce yourself to the person behind the table. Feel free to ask them questions about admissions, academics, etc., but understand that if it is a large program, they may have to speak to a number of people besides you, so treat this more as gaining information and less like a 15 minute interview. As well, an admissions counselor would not be able to guess if you would be admissible or not (similar to what I always say about guessing on this blog). On the other end of the spectrum, don't race around the event like a 400 meter track event, grabbing whatever you can and stuffing it into a bag.
  2. If you fill out an information card, make sure that you do it at that colleges table, and not on the table of the college next to them. It is a small thing, but it will make sure that no neighboring college gets mad at the person with which you are interacting. As well, make sure you write neatly so we do not butcher your name or address, and know that it may take several weeks to get your information into a colleges database. In other words, do not expect something to be mailed out by the next morning.
  3. If you are among a group of people waiting to talk to the admissions person at a college fair, it may help to slide up beside them and listen to what the representative is saying. Generally, about 70% of the questions are very similar from student to student, and this may save both you and the representative time and effort.
  4.  If you attend a college program during your school day, make sure that you actually want to hear what is said, and are not going just to get out of class. This is as much for allowing your fellow classmates to have more of a chance to speak to the college representative as it is to let the admission counselor focus on the truly interested students.
  5. Make sure to turn off your cell phone during the college visit (if cell phones are allowed at your school), and understand that this is not a time for texting friends. Give the representative your attention, and while we want you to feel free to ask questions, make sure you do not dominate the program (let others ask questions too!).
  6. When the visit is over and everyone is leaving, say thank you and, if you are really interested in this college, get a business card from the representative. If you really want to be polite (and if you thought the presentation was insightful!), write a quick thank you note. While this will not have an impact on a decision, it will probably make that representative's day when they get the card. You would be amazed at the number of admissions counselors who keep thank you notes tacked to their walls!
So go out there, enjoy the college fairs, college nights, high school visits, college workshops, and whatever else admissions offices are calling their events. Learn a great deal, and show off your college admissions etiquette!

Go Dawgs!

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Freshman Application Data

    Now that we are a little over a month into the Freshman application cycle, I thought I would let you know how things are going so far in the process.

    • As of today (9.21.2010), we have received approximately 3,000 Early Action applications. 
    • Of those 3,000 or so applicants, just under 2,000 of them have submitted SAT/ACT scores. Remember, UGA needs official scores sent in from the testing agency in order to use the scores. We do not use the test scores off a transcript or off the application as official. We will be accepting the October SAT/ACT scores for EA as long as you requested they be sent to UGA when you signed up for the exam.
    • Roughly 800 of those 3,000 applicants have a school/counselor evaluation form in their file. We must receive a school evaluation form for your application to be complete, and the easiest way is for your counselor to submit this online at through our HS Counselor Portal.
    • Approximately 1,100 applicants have submitted an official transcript, which is still a required document even with the self-reported grades.
    • 24 of the EA applicants have submitted an ACT score without any ACT Writing score. UGA requires an ACT Writing section in order to use your ACT scores (the writing section for the SAT is mandatory, so this is not an issue with SAT scores).
    Even with the two additional fields (self-reported grades and moving the activities section to part I), we are still running on par with past years as far as applications. I expect that we will have 10,000 to 12,000 EA applicants this year, but we will have to wait and see. Please remember that we must  have all the required documents in order to review your file. The myStatus page is the best place to get the most up-to-date information on your application, as it indicates what UGA has received.

    Please let me know if you have any questions about this process.

    Go Dawgs!!

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Foundation Fellowship & Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship Application

    Happy Friday!  My name is Cindy and I work in the UGA Admissions Office as well.  I manage the Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship application process.  Many thanks to DGraves for allowing me to guest post today.

    The 2011 Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship application is now available on the admissions web site. This year there are a few changes and things to keep in mind with this application process.

    1. Students may only apply online for these scholarships. There will be an opportunity to print a pdf of your application once it is submitted.
    2. Please submit your admissions application prior to submitting the scholarship application. Since we use many of the same components for both applications, it makes things easier to match up.
    3. The deadline to submit and complete the scholarship application is November 15. Your admissions application must also be completed by this date.
    4. Applicants must be current high school seniors with an unweighted high school GPA of at least 3.75 and a minimum combined SAT score of 1400 (Critical Reading and Math only) or ACT score of 31.
    5. If you are planning to apply for the Fellowship and Ramsey Honors Scholarships, then you must communicate this with your counselor and teacher. We will use the same forms they send in support of your admissions application. Since the letter is not required for the school evaluation form, be sure your counselor knows so she/he may include a thorough and detailed letter.
    6. We are now requiring a Peer Recommendation to complete the scholarship application. This is not required for the admissions application. Make sure you select a classmate that knows you well enough to write a great recommendation. Students will list the name of the peer, along with the peer's email, in the scholarship application. The peer will then receive an email with further instructions to complete the recommendation online. Remember to communicate with your selected peer!
    7. We will use the same transcript, school evaluation and teacher recommendation that is sent in support of your admissions application. There is no need to send two copies of each. Be sure your counselor knows to include a thorough and detailed letter with the school evaluation.

    We look forward to reading your applications! Feel free to email me if you have questions at

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Spring Admissions Update

    Since we are about a week out from the Spring admissions deadline, I thought that I would give everyone a heads up on where we are at this point in time for both Spring freshman and transfers. I expect that in about 2 weeks, we will release decisions on all Spring freshman, so I heavily suggest that all Spring freshman applicants check their myStatus page and make sure that all required materials are here! We cannot move forward with a decision if all materials are not in. As for Spring transfers, we received just under 1,500 applications, and we have made decisions on roughly half of those files so far. In looking at the day-to-day progress, we have been averaging around 40 transfer decisions per work day, so I expect that we will have most decisions out by late September. We still have a number of Spring transfer applicants with incomplete files, so hopefully the transcripts are in the mail. Please double check your myStatus, make sure we have up-to-date transcripts, and remember that we need transcripts from every college you have attended.

    Go Dawgs!

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Fall Travel Time!

    September brings about cooler weather, college football (Go Dawgs!), and in the land of college admissions, it is the start of Travel Season. From early September (actually late August this year) until early November, the UGA Admissions team will travel across the nation visiting different high schools, attending college fairs, hosting counselor and student workshops, and generally just spreading the word about the University of Georgia. In order to track where UGA is visiting, I suggest you search our "Meet UGA Near You" site, as it will give you an idea as to where we will be traveling. You can sort the list of travel events by state, or by clicking on the column headings.

    Last year, our counselors visited 345 high schools, attended 319 college fairs, and met more than 58,000 students while touring the country. Travel season is a great time for our office to meet prospective students, but by the end it can be somewhat exhausting. So if you see a UGA admissions counselor out on the road this fall, let them know you appreciate their time and effort. We hope to see you out there!

    Go Dawgs!

    Spring 2011 deadline extended to Sept. 3, 4 p.m.

    In order to work with students who may have been impacted by the application being down for a short period of time in early August, we have extended the Spring 2011 Freshman and Transfer deadline to Friday, September 3 at 4 p.m. Please make sure that all the required materials have been submitted by the deadline. For transfers, this means that all transcripts from all colleges ever attended need to be submitted to our office. For freshman, we will need all forms, transcripts and test scores to be postmarked by this date. I expect that almost all decisions for Spring 2011 freshman and transfer applicants will be made by late September.

    Go Dawgs!

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    UGA Admissions Amazing Race

    Yesterday, the majority of the Admissions staff participated in a 4 hour campus adventure we called "The UGA Admissions Amazing Race", modeled after the TV show The Amazing Race. Four of us (me included) mapped out eight locations around the campus that were important to Admissions, either because of the offices located there (Visitors Center, Brumby Residence Hall, GA Center/Hotel, Tate Center and parking deck), or because of a unique item within the building (Peabody Awards in Journalism, Dinosaur Sloth bones in Boyd Hall, "Green" roof at the new Lamar Dodd Art building, Alumni House bulldog).

    There were seven teams, and they were given progressive clues to the various places on campus, and many times were asked to perform a task. Whether calling the dawgs at the VC or posing with the sloth bones, the teams raced across campus and learn more about UGA and each other.

    Along the way, we also wanted to teach our Admissions team about how we communicate, and if the information we give out seems like mysterious clues that sometimes leave prospective students confused or lost (like one Amazing Race team that took photos of 4 roofs before finding the environmentally "green" roof at Dodd). There were a number of puzzled faces, a few "But you didn't tell me I couldn't do that" phrases, and some tired admissions people by the end of the day, but overall it was a great success!

    So hopefully when you consider applying to UGA, our office will give you clear and accurate information, and I am guessing that we will be looking at how we communicate so as to give prospective students the best service possible.

    Go Dawgs!

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Self-Reported Grades, HS Transcripts, and the Law of Unintended Consequences

    I was recently at a fast food restaurant , and they had new, larger cups for their sweet tea (the greatest beverage ever invented!), with a new logo on the side and a cool new dispenser. Life was great, as nothing is better than a big cup of sweet tea on a hot summer day in GA, that is until I arrived at the lid section. Unfortunately, no one had checked to see if the old lids fit the new cups. So there I was, still happy about this big old cup of nectar, but a little miffed about not having a lid that fit it. They quickly purchased some new lids, and everyone is now happy with the larger cups and the wonderful tea. I guess you would say that this situation is an example Law of Unexpected Consequences.

    The same thing, on a very minor scale, has happened with our new self-reported grade chart and high school transcripts. When our team of Evaluators had to analyze each HS transcript as it came in, determine the number of academic grades, and enter in the grades in our system, we occasionally missed logging in a HS transcript that we had. A back-end program was written so that if any HS grades were entered into the system, the HS transcript received field would then get a Yes to fix this human error. This program was just a part of the background script that occasionally fixed an error, and so it did it's job and was forgotten.

    Now we transition to the 2011 Freshman application, when the applicants began entering in their self-reported grades. These wonderful self-reported grades are flowing into our system like clockwork, allowing for an earlier decision timeline down the road. But everyone forgot about that little back-end program. As you can guess, when the self-reported grades started coming in, this caused the system to automatically indicate that the HS transcript was here.

    Luckily, we caught this situation early and only have a limited number of phantom transcripts, and we are now working to correct this problem! I expect that it will be fixed shortly, any phantom HS transcripts will be wiped out of the system (but the real ones will still show as being here), and we will once again have a status check with the correct information.

    We are sorry for any confusion, but we know that the great positives of the new self-reported grades will far outweigh any minor issues.

    Go Dawgs!

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Status Check on myStatus back up

    The Status Check part of the myStatus page is now back up. We will be working hard over the next few days to link up materials with the application files that have just come in, so please be patient. When we import files into our system, we are then able to start matching up materials with the files the next day, and myStatus is then updated the day after that. In other words, do not panic if you see your application in our system but the materials you sent in (transcripts, recommendations, etc.) have not been matched up yet. Again, we will be working hard over the next few days to match things up and I expect that we will  be caught up with the initial application group using the new system shortly.

    Go Dawgs!

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    The Status part of myStatus Page Down

    Quick update for everyone. The UGA myStatus page will be down until Tuesday due to some issues with the importing of data from the recent applications. The applications are downloading into our system, but there are at times some minor glitches that we want to iron out before the information is displayed on myStatus. We thought it would be prudent to make the corrections and then open up myStatus, rather than have someone panic if some data was incorrect concerning an applicant's information.

    This does not impact student who is applying to UGA, as you can log in to either start an application or continue with a current application with no problems. We have only taken down the Check your status part of the myStatus page.

    Sorry for the inconvenience, but we want to make sure everything is working correctly before opening it back up!

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Don't Rush the Application!

    In an article in the NY Times last week, there was a story about a Texas high school senior who was the first person to complete the "Common Application" that is used by a number of colleges (although not UGA). He started just after midnight, right after the site was open, and finished up his application at about 3:30 a.m.

    The next section of the story is the response from the college admissions office where he applied. In essence, they stated that his application would not have an initial review until October, and that the application process was not a "horse race" where the first one in is the best. A number of other admissions officers at other colleges reaffirmed the idea that applying first does not boost a student's file.

    In the same vein, I would suggest that applicants not rush through the application for admission just to get it in. Take your time, make sure that all information is correct, then come back and double check things to make sure there are no errors. I already have one student who has made errors on five different sections of the application!

    When my two children were little, they would at times race to the car to see who could reach it first. Whoever was second would quickly chant "First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the treasure chest!" I have no idea where they picked up this phrase, and if you google it you will get a number of different versions for third place.

    I am not saying that the first applications that come in are considered the worst (please no worried emails!), but I am saying that it is much more important to get your application information in correctly that quickly. Make sure to read the instructions, complete all the sections, and then submit it.

    Go Dawgs!

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    First-Year Application is now available!

    The UGA First-Year application is now open! As is our history, we normally open our First-Year application in mid-August, and it is generally on a Monday to make sure we are available if any minor issues arise. Please remember that there are a few changes to this year's application:

    • UGA is only accepting online applications for admission. Any print-outs of the application are for your records or to view the application questions, but are not to be mailed in. 
    • The Activities/Athletics/Employment (Extra-Curricular Areas) section has been shifted to Part I of the application. We will not be evaluating Early Action applications any differently than in the past, but having this information in part I will help with scholarship review, completion of part II for deferred students, etc.
    • There is a new section on the application called Self-Reported Grades, and this is required for all applicants. You will need to have a copy of your high school transcript for this section, and you will enter in the academic grades you received from 9th through 12th grade (or 11th grade if applying before you have completed the first term of your 12th grade). You will only include actual course grades (do not enter any final/overall grades that are averages of your year), and this section will list the courses that should be included in the grade chart. Here is an FAQ for the self-reported grades chart.
    Please remember, you do not have to rush to complete the application, but try to make sure you do not wait until 11 p.m. on the deadline date to submit it either!

    Go Dawgs!

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Spring 2011 Transfer Application Is Now Back!

    Thanks to to hard work of the UGA Admissions technology team, the Spring 2011 Transfer Application is now up and working again! For those applicants who had started an application earlier in the week in the new system, we have pushed almost all of these over to the new system (there were a few with issues). As well, for the students who applied prior to the change over in systems (generally prior to August 1), you should also be able to move forward with accessing your myStatus Page. Both groups can go to the Create ApplicantID Account, login with your email address, and it will send you a temporary password. From there, you will then be able to take the next steps of accessing the myStatus page. We will also be sending out emails to the applicants impacted by this to give them instructions.

    In addition, for everyone who is going in as a new transfer applicant, you will also go to the Create ApplicantID Account, and you will then create your ApplicantID profile and you will be on your way to applying!

    As always, I stress patience as we jump into a new system, and we are happy to have this up and rolling after only a limited period of downtime. As well, since we have been focusing on speed and getting this up quickly, please excuse any minor typographical errors and let us know if you have any issues.

    As an added note, Spring Freshman will be able to apply early next week when we bring up the Freshman application for next year.

    Go Dawgs!

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Nickels and Dimes!

    Shel Silverstein was a great poet and philosopher (at least I think so!), and one of his best poems is entitled Smart:


    My dad gave me one dollar bill
    'Cause I'm his smartest son,
    And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
    'Cause two is more than one!

    And then i took the quarters
    And traded them to Lou
    For three dimes-i guess he don't know
    that three is more than two!

    Just then, along came old blind Bates
    And just 'cause he can't see
    He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
    And four is more than three!

    And i took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
    Down at the seed-feed store,
    and the fool gave me five pennies for them,
    And five is more than four!

    And then i went and showed my dad,
    and he got red in the cheeks
    And closed his eyes and shook his head-
    Too proud of me to speak!

    Why am I referencing this poem? To talk about grades and our self-reported grade form of course!

    When you are comparing something, whether it is coins or grades, you have to make sure you are looking at things the right way. Just as one coin does not automatically equal another coin, one grade does not automatically equal another. When you look at a coin's worth, you need to look at the overall equivalency of it as compared to other coins. In the same way, you need to (at times) look at grades in regards to value.

    At some high schools, grades on a transcript are given in multiple format types (semester and block grades are the most common). If you have one nickel and one dime, that 1 to 1 ratio does not mean equality. You are better off looking at it as 1 nickel and a coin worth 2 nickels (the dime). In the same thought, if you have 1 semester grade of an A, and 1 year-long full credit block grade of a B, that does not mean these two grades are equal. A year-long block grade is worth 2 semester grades. As such, you would have 1 semester grade of an A, and 2 B's in semester worth grades (1 full credit block grade converts to 2 semester .5 credit grades). So your grades would be 1 A and 2 B's worth of semester grades. If you want, grab a nickel and a dime, and mark the nickel with an A, and the dime with a B to better grasp this issue. As my accountant father would say in math terms, you want to work from a common denominator.

    So when looking at your grades (and your money), make sure you are dealing with things in an equivalent way. In addition, when you enter your grades into the self-reported grade report (and this is explained there as well along with pictures), make sure you are using the lowest common denominator. We usually only see this with semester and block grades, so if you are at a school with only one grading type, you will not need to worry about this.

    I hope this was educational and not too confusing!

    Go Dawgs!

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Thomas Edison and the Contact ID

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  
                                                         Thomas Edison

    In our testing of the Contact ID system and the application, we have found that while it works well in production, at this time the system is not able to handle the amount of traffic we project will occur over the application timeline. We have tried to make adjustments to the server load (tech talk if you are not sure of this term), as well as other features of the system, but we did not feel comfortable that you, the applicants, would be able to go through the application process without possibly having some connectivity issues.

    As such, we will be using an updated version of our system from last year's application process (along with an in-office created contact page), and we will look at instituting the campus based Contact ID system in a future application cycle. Our goal is to always make the application process run smoothly for you, the applicant. The application process will move forward as before, and the Status page will include some new features this year.

    We apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused, but we hope to have our application process up and running shortly, and we hope you will be happy with the new features that will roll out in this year's status page.

    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless. 
                                                           Thomas Edison

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    New Step in the Admission Application

    Sometime tomorrow, the Spring applications will be back up and running. In addition, I expect that on Monday, 8/16, the freshman application will be open and available to the public. While I have already mentioned a few changes to the freshman application (self-reported grades where you will need a copy of your transcript, the activities section moving to part I, etc), one small update will happen for everyone. The Admissions Office is teaming up with the technology group on campus to add a small step in the application called "Contact ID".

    A student's Contact ID will allow for more security in the admissions process, and is designed to allow a user to create their own password and security questions when applying and using the status check. While it is an additional first step in the application process, it will populate some information in a student's application (name, address, etc.), and it will help in the overall process for admissions. An applicant will begin the creation of a Contact ID, and finish it after receipt of an email and completion of the rest of their contact information. You will then be able to complete an application and access the status check using the Contact ID login you created.

    For students who have already submitted a Spring application, we will be working with you to give you access to the status check through the Contact ID program. Please be patient with us as we do this, as we have to take it step by step.

    The Contact ID system will make for an easier, more accurate and more secure application process, which we think is a pretty good goal!

    Go Dawgs!

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    Revisiting the EA vs RD question

    I am re-posting a blog post from last August, as it is the time of year when all the questions start coming up concerning the Early Action (EA) vs Regular Decision (RD) process. So without further delay, here is an updated version of last year's post!

    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 at least mid-December. This "something" could be an acceptance, a denial, or a deferral (which means we want 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 without even reviewing the non-academic information. 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 (now it is just 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.

    Remember that there are a few changes to the 2010 application, with the two biggest items being that each student needs to enter in their self-reported academic grades (so go ahead and get a copy of your transcript!), and that the activities section has been shifted to part I. EA applications will still be reviewed in the same way as in the past, but these two changes will help both our office and the applicant pool in regards to the timing of decisions and the overall admission process.

    Go Dawgs!

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Application/Status Check sites down this week

    Due to testing of a new ID system for applicants, our admission applications, along with the status check, will be down during this week. We are working on a new system that will allow for applicants to enter in their initial data in a Contact ID site, which will allow for more usability for the applicant and an easier interaction for other parts of campus with the applicant. When the new system opens up, an applicant will create a Contact ID, and after approximately an hour, they will receive an email directing them to the next steps for moving forward with an application. This new system also allows for additional security features and creates a unique ID number for each applicant.

    Thank you for your patience as we move forward with our progress.

    Go Dawgs!

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Get Organized!

    In a few weeks, most freshman applications will go live around the country (UGA's application will go live in mid-August). As such, Here are a few suggestions to get prepared and organized as you begin this process.
    • Go out and by a large bin, crate, or accordion style file holder to keep all of your college materials . In addition, create a section for each college where you will be applying, purchase enough folders for different sections for each college (admission, financial aid, housing, scholarships, etc.), and label each folder with the college's name ans section.
    • Create a checklist for each college, which should include a section for both the deadline date and the date submitted for each item. Your list should include all the required materials, from the application, application fee, transcript, test scores, recommendations, etc. The checklist should also have a place to list any user name and password that you have for the college's application or status check.
    • Purchase or print out a master calendar where you can list the important dates for each college. This could include the deadline dates, the notification dates, May 1 commitment deposit date, etc. You can use different colors for the different schools (red for UGA, orange for Clemson, etc.). Post this calendar in a prominent place in your house.
    • Have a section in the file holder where you can print out and keep copies of your essays along with a flash drive containing the essays. You never know when you might need them, and it is good to keep them on hand.
    • UGA suggests that you print out a copy of your application and keep it in your file holder, as you may want to check it for accuracy and to see what you wrote.
    • You should have a folder for each college where you can store important mailings from the college. This would include any reminders, invitations, decision letters, financial aid offers, etc. You do not need to keep every piece of mail sent to you (that would need too much space!), but keep the important ones!
    Go Dawgs!!

      Tuesday, July 20, 2010

      Suggestions for What to Ask (and Not to Ask)

      Greetings Everyone!

      I will be out of the office for a few days, so please be patient as I will not be able to answer your questions for a short while.

      In preparation for this, here are a few suggestions for what type of questions to ask or not ask on this blog (and if you speak to an admissions counselor) in order to best help you in the admissions process.

      1) Do not ask me to guess if you will be admitted or not. My standard answer will be to let you know that I will not guess about decisions, as it is too complicated, I do not have enough information on you and the overall applicant pool, and I just cannot do it.

      2) Ask questions about the process, especially if you are confused about something. It is not bad to ask questions, and I will be happy to tell you more about our process, what we look at in an applicant, etc.

      3) Do not spread an admissions myth or rumor when asking a question. I am happy to answer any question you have, but it always starts things on a bad note when I have to shoot down an admissions myth to start my response (see Top 10 Urban Legends).

      4) Feel free to ask about timelines, deadlines, and what is happening in Admissions during the year. Also feel free to offer up suggestions for what you would like to read more about concerning admissions.

      5) Avoid phrases such as "I heard", try the search field before asking some questions, be patient, and try not to use Anonymous when commenting.

      6) Remember that this is a public forum, so make sure your comments are suitable for the public. As well, remember that this is a blog where you can learn about UGA and interact with someone from Admissions. This is not a UGA discussion chat room where you are asking other viewers of their guesses, opinions, etc. There are other forums for this type of chat, but not here.

      7) Go Dawgs!!! (I had to say it!).

      Friday, July 16, 2010

      Spring 2011 Transfer Decisions

      Starting today, the UGA Admssions office will begin reviewing Spring 2011 transfer applications and making admission decisions on files that are complete. This will start off slow, as we are still working with incoming freshman concerning final HS transcripts, and we are still posting updated transfer work for Fall transfers and freshman with dual enrollment credit.

      We will be reviewing files based upon when an applicant has both applied and submitted all the necessary transcripts. My biggest suggestion is to make sure that all transcripts from all colleges you have attended have been both submitted and RECEIVED by the UGA admissions office. If you attended a local college for a few classes while in high school, send in the transcript. If you attended, a technical school and don't know if the work will transfer, send in the transcript. In other words, if you attended a college, send in the transcript.

      The status check will show you if the transcript has been received by UGA, and it will also show a date of when we were able to match it with your file. Make sure that you have sent in any and all updated transcripts, as we cannot review a file for Spring 2011 if the last transcript you submitted does not include your most recent college work (for instance, if you sent in a transcript in March 2010, it will not include your Spring 2010 term grades). It is up to you to make sure you get everything in to our office, as we cannot request transcripts on your behalf. As well, do not fax in materials, as they will go straight to the shredder.

      Please be patient as we review the files, as our team has a number of jobs to complete during the late summer.

      Wednesday, July 14, 2010

      Booker T. Washington HS Valedictorian Speech

      Just a quick post to share a video that has been circulating through our office for the last few weeks.

      Deonte Bridges, the Valedictorian at Booker T. Washington HS in Atlanta, GA, gives a powerful speech at graduation. We are excited that Deonte will be a member of the UGA Class of 2014!!

      Deonte Bridges Valedictorian Speech

      Go Dawgs, and Go Deonte!

      Friday, July 9, 2010

      Hard Work

      As you might have guessed, I am a big fan of fables, and the following one applies directly to the idea of students challenging themselves and working hard.

      Aesop's Fable, "The Ant and the Grasshopper"

      Once there lived an ant and a grasshopper in a grassy meadow. 

      All day long the ant would work hard, collecting grains of wheat from the farmer's field far away. She would hurry to the field every morning, as soon as it was light enough to see by, and toil back with a heavy grain of wheat balanced on her head. She would put the grain of wheat carefully away in her larder, and then hurry back to the field for another one. All day long she would work, without stop or rest, scurrying back and forth from the field, collecting the grains of wheat and storing them carefully in her larder.
      The grasshopper would look at her and laugh. 'Why do you work so hard, dear ant?' he would say. 'Come, rest awhile, listen to my song. Summer is here, the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?' 

      The ant would ignore him, and head bent, would just hurry to the field a little faster. This would make the grasshopper laugh even louder. 'What a silly little ant you are!' he would call after her. 'Come, come and dance with me! Forget about work! Enjoy the summer! Live a little!' And the grasshopper would hop away across the meadow, singing and dancing merrily. 

      Summer faded into autumn, and autumn turned into winter. The sun was hardly seen, and the days were short and grey, the nights long and dark. It became freezing cold, and snow began to fall. 

      The grasshopper didn't feel like singing any more. He was cold and hungry. He had nowhere to shelter from the snow, and nothing to eat. The meadow and the farmer's field were covered in snow, and there was no food to be had. 'Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?' wailed the grasshopper. Suddenly he remembered the ant. 'Ah - I shall go to the ant and ask her for food and shelter!' declared the grasshopper, perking up. So off he went to the ant's house and knocked at her door. 'Hello ant!' he cried cheerfully. 'Here I am, to sing for you, as I warm myself by your fire, while you get me some food from that larder of yours!'
      The ant looked at the grasshopper and said, 'All summer long I worked hard while you made fun of me, and sang and danced. You should have thought of winter then! Find somewhere else to sing, grasshopper! There is no warmth or food for you here!' And the ant shut the door in the grasshopper's face. 

      It is wise to worry about tomorrow today. 

      When UGA talks about working hard in the classroom and a challenging yourself in the courses you take, we are repeating the same idea that has been told for years and years.  If you are planning on attending UGA, put forth the effort to make it a reality! I know that challenging yourself with Honors classes, taking dual enrollment or AP/IB courses, and working on research papers are not always fun, but if it prepares you for the future, then it is worth it! Don't get caught at the beginning of senior year looking back at three years of just getting by, and wondering if the doors to UGA are going to close in your face.

      Prepare for your future now, and remember, Go Dawgs!