Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Magic Eight Ball of Admissions

Every once in a while, I will receive an email or a response to this blog asking "I have X GPA, X SAT's, ..., so what are my chances for admission at UGA?" While it may sound like an easy question, unless the student is at the very top or very bottom on everything from last year's averages, there is no way an admissions counselor could even begin to answer this question.

There is no magic admissions eight ball that, when shaken the right way, will tell us whether you will be admitted or not. We can't twist it to the left just the right way for test scores, then lean it to the side for GPA, and hope that it will magically say "Outlook Good" or "My Sources Say No". The process in much more detailed than this, as we take in your activities, your rigor of curriculum, your essays, etc. And we can not just go by what the class was like last year (or years before), as the applicant will be reviewed in the context of the applicant pool as a whole.

As well, I would not suggest going to one of the websites such as College Confidential and asking others who read the site to "chance me!". Throwing up a few numbers on a discussion group post and having 10+ people rate you will not be an accurate measure of how UGA (or any other college) will review your application. You actually might be better off with the magic eight ball.

So my recommendation is to look at yourself in the overall context, look at the information we share as to what we look at and what last year's class was like, and be patient as we go through the review process.

As the magic admissions eight ball says, "Reply Hazy, Try Again Later in Late March!"

Go Dawgs!

36 comments:

  1. i already sent my transcript before christmas. i had a semester long ap class and got an A in it. can i send in my new transcript so you guys will see my A? and counsler told me the that uga will only see my finished classes. they will not see my first semester grades because i havent finished those classes. is that true? cause i dont want them to see my first semester grades in the classes i havent finished

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  2. How exactly does the admissions process work? Are all applicants first reviewed to see if they meet EA criteria first, and then, if not, are they then given a holistic review? Also, are admissions decisions voted on by a committee? I'm very interested to have an inside peek at the admissions process. Maybe that could be your next blog post!

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  3. I am making a huge effort to get into UGA Spring 2011 with 30 credits. I am a second semester freshman and I need to know exactly which credits will transfer from GA Southern University to UGA so that I may determine if I need to take classes this summer. I tried looking on the transfer equivalency website to figure it out but am still not sure since I was told some classes are now not offered at UGA. I even spoke with Paul Welch from the School of International Affairs. He was very nice but unfortunately, could not answer my questions and referred me to you! So here I am with my crucial, specific questions!
    #1. I took Math 1111 and am taking Math 1112 now. Will this count for 6 credit hours when applying as a transfer student to UGA?
    #2. I took FYE Seminar 1220 for 2 credits. Will this count for 2 credit hours when apppyling to UGA?
    #3. I am taking Health 1520 for 2 credits now. I am also taking KINS 1112 for 1 credit. Will this count for 3 credit hours total when applying
    as a transfer student?
    Thanks for helping me, ACEMAC

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  4. Anon1: Yes, you can send us a new transcript with updated grades, but I would not be able to tell you what will show up on the transcript until I saw it, so I would trust your counselor.

    Anon2: Yes, all files are looked at to see if they meet the EA criteria, and decisions for this group go out either mid-Dec. for EA, or late Feb. for RD applicants who meet EA criteria. Then the other files are given a holistic review and final decisions go out in late March. No, there is not a committee, but maybe I will go into our process at a later date.

    Anon3: First, have you done research on our transfer equivalency site? It can be found at http://www.admissions.uga.edu/apps/transferequiv/index.html. The FYE class, Health, and KINS class will transfer in, and all three will come in as elective credits in those areas at UGA. As for Math, you will get credit for Math 1113 and a Math elective class for taking these two classes for 6 hours.

    I would also suggest signing up for a transfer information session, which happen on Fridays at 1 pm. Sign up through our Visitors Center at http://visit.uga.edu/.

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  5. Of course, the last of the comment that I listed for Anon3 was really for acemac!

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  6. I realize this isn't the place to put this, but around what date will Foundation Fellows finalists be notified? Will it be by snail mail or will it be a notification on our status?

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  7. I took French 1 as a freshman, began French 2 as a sophomore and then moved to a new state and thus new high school in the middle of my sophomore year. I was unable to keep up in the new french 2 class as the class began a full 5 weeks prior to the start of the hs I left. So, I was put back in french 1. I received As all semesters both freshman and sophomore years. My question is, since I have French 1 two years in a row, then French 2 and French 3, will both French 1 classes count toward my GPA or do they cancel each other out?

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  8. i was looking at the counselor's form on the site. what is considered most difficult? i take ap bio and it is the only ap science offered at my school. i also take it with a science research class. i also take regular trig. i have ap stat, calc, and honors trig above me for a senior to take, but i have algebra 3, algebra 2, geometry, and money management below me. so would regular trig be above average?

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  9. Anon1: I am guessing you will receive something in the mail about the FF scholarship program this coming week.

    Anon2: Yes, we will use both grades of your French 1 class in our GPA. Hopefully you put something in your app about the reason for the repeat.

    Anon3: Your question is a little to detailed for me to say exactly, as our office would look at your entire school offerings and what you have then taken. But I would say that you have taken a very challenging science curriculum with AP Bio., especially if that is the only AP science available, but I would also look at what else you have taen.

    As for math, I would guess that this would be average to abvove average, since it looks like you are taking mostly the basic required courses needed for 4 math classes, but taking the additional trig would add to the challenge.

    But more than this, we look at the overall rigor vs. what is offered, so we are looking at a broad scope of things, and generally, you should be able to view your courses and see where you are.

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  10. oh ok.also i look 4 of 5 years of spanish 8th grade -11th grade. i couldnt take 5th year because my math class was the same period. is that advanced or even most difficult?

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  11. Regarding French 1 twice... there was no place to put it in the app. I didn't think it was appropriate to whine about moving and it affecting my schoolwork etc. in since my transcripts were showing all As. Should I write a separate letter? One of my essays is about moving (not specifically about the french though...) and also I included the previous high school on my app. Additionally, the fact that my freshman grades are all transfer grades indicates the move. Please advise.

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  12. Anon1: While I went over parts of your curriculum in your first post, I can not do this for every section on every reader's course selection. You (and if you like, your counselor and your parents) can look over your academic courses and compare them with what is offered at your school to determine how challenging your rigor is for your overall high school career.

    Anon2: Since you wrote about moving in one of the essays (and most likely told us when), we should be able to get the picture from this. Generally, a student might also put this in the extenuating circumstances section, but the essay area is fine.

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  13. when my sister got into uga a long time ago she got a franklin college shirt in the mail a few weeks later. do u guys still do that?

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  14. Anon: I am guessing that within the next month, all admitted students might be getting a surprise gift in the mail!

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  15. Will RD admitted students get surprise gifts when they are admitted too :(

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  16. Anon: I believe that RD admits will also get a gift, but I am not sure of the timing!

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  17. oh yeah thats what i meant because im doing RD too, cause my sister did RD.

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  18. Should we begin with our FAFSA stuff even if we have not been admitted into UGA yet? Or should be wait until we have received our decision?

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  19. my counsler just sent my transcript last week. is that ok? is it too late?

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  20. Due to the recent mob of seniors in the guidance office My teacher recommendation was lost and wasn't sent until the 19th. the teacher felt that it should be sent by our guidance office to make it official? Will this hinder me being considered? I've checked the status updates and it hasn't been updated. My school has also just updated the senior transcripts? can i mail one this monday or sometime this week or will it be too late? Thank you so much for your help DGraves.

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  21. My school offers classes that are called post-AP courses. They have AP prerecs. Will those count with the extra .5 when GPA is calculated? Also, would those count as an AP class taken on my honors app?

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  22. Anon1: Yes, I would suggest you start to work with the Financial Aid offices at the colleges your are looking at to begin the process for completing the FAFSA.

    Anon2: We have always been a little flexible with school materials, so you should be fine.

    Anon3: See above answer, and go ahead and send in the senior transcript.

    Nervous Student: We do not recognize the post-AP classes as AP classes with any added weight, but we do see these courses as very challenging within the framework of our review of the rigor of your curriculum.

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  23. My high school transcripts still haven't been updated and I feel it is imperative that I send an updated transcript in. Will I be able to send one in even if it's not till the end of the month?

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  24. Anon: You can go ahead and send the transcript, but understand that we have started reading files, so if we review your application before the updated transcript, then there is nothing we can do. I would suggest trying to get it in ASAP.

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  25. when you review files, do yall go in alphabetical order? my last name is later in the alphabet and because my counsler is sending my updated transcript tomorrow, because at my school they are only sent on tuesdays.

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  26. Anon: We do not review files in alpha order, but in a randomly generated order system. If you are in GA, I would suggest you look at having it send through GA411 (electronically). If not, understand that we will be reviewing files from now until late March, so if you get it in ASAP, you should be fine.

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  27. how do we know when u guys have gone through our files? will there be a notice on the page?

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  28. Anon: No, there is nothing to indicate to you when we have reviewed your file, as there are multiple reviews of the files, and they could happen anywhere between now and late March. You will receive a decision in late March after all reviews are done, and we look at all of the files in comparison with the overall applicant pool.

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  29. My school only offers 4 AP classes. Im going to take 2 of those AP classes( AP chemistry and AP american lit.) I decided to start taking AP classes to late to take the first two offered. I am also going to do the ACCEL program my senior year taking two college engish classes at a junior college. Would UGA consider this a rigorous schedule? I also have a 4.0 GPA. How will this factor in?

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  30. Anon: I am not able to go through every student's course selection to make a guess as to their rigor of curriculum, but I am glad to see that you will be challenging yourself with AP and PSO work. We look closely at both the grades you have made in HS and the courses you have taken.

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  31. My high school has advance classes and AP classes. Does UGA consider these equal? Also, I will graduate HS in 2012, and our class is the first to take the new math curriculum (math 1,2,3,4) and we are the first to be required to take 4 units of science. Do you think this will lower the average GPA for the entering class of 2012?

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  32. Anon: generally, both colleges and high schools view AP/IB courses as more challenging than advanced/honors courses. I do not expect a drop in the GPA for 2012, as most of our applicants already are taking 4 or more science courses, and the new math curriculum still covers similar concepts, but it is taught in a more combined fashion and with some new styles of learning (the short version of what I know about it).

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  33. Referring to your comment of Jan. 22nd, I do not completely understand "all files are looked at to see if they meet EA criteria". What exactly is Early Decision criteria? Also in same comment, "or late Feb. for RD applicants who meet EA criteria"? Bottomline, I was deferred and feel like I met EA criteria: 29 on ACT, 3.85 GPA. Now that I am now a RD applicant, do I fit in that category and will my decision go out late Feb.? I apologize for being a bit confused but love clarification. Thanks so much!!!

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  34. Anon: Bottom line, if you were not admitted EA, then you did not meet our definition of EA admission criteria. EA admission criteria is not a "meet this GPA, this test score, etc., it is a combination of things that are reviewed. Now that you have been deferred, if you have any new academic information into UGA, and if that raises you to UGA's level of EA admission criteria, then yes, you would be admitted in late Feb.

    I would suggest that you do two things; first, do a search for GPA, and read how UGA calculates GPA's, as they may differ from your calculation.

    Second, understand that a 29 Composite ACT is not what we look at. We are looking at the subscores (just like we look at the SAT subscores, and not just one number). The ACT English is easily comparable to the SAT CR, the ACT Math is comparable to the SAT Math, etc. So we are looking at test scores not as one number, but as the specific subscores that are sent to us and reviewed.

    As well, we focus a great deal on the rigor of your curriculum, so please factor that in when looking at your classes as compared to the students that were admitted EA (very strong curriculum, averaging almost 6 AP/IB classes in a wide range of core areas).

    Lastly, search on "timelines", as I wrote a detailed explanation of the three timelines and how we do them. The comment above was a very condensed version of the more detailed one from before. Hope this helps!

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  35. Im currently enrolled in the ACCEL program and im wondering does UGA take the grade I make in my college class and include it into my highschool gpa? If so do I get .5 added to that college grade since it would be basically the same as an AP class?

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  36. Anon: If the ACCEL class grade is on your high school transcript, then it will be calculated in your high school GPA (and if it is a core class). We do not add .5 to college classes, as they are not standardized like AP or IB classes, but we do look at this level of rigor in our review of your overall curriculum.

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