Tuesday, February 9, 2010

File Reading, Part V

The fifth part of the review is already known to most everyone, but I will go ahead and share it with you. In this section, we are looking at an applicant's academic progress over the 3-3.5 years of high school where we have grades, looking at both the overall picture and the grade trends.

When we look at a student's transcript, we are trying to understand how a student has progressed over their 3+ years in high school. Have they been consistently strong throughout the years, did they start slow and then jump up to all A's, did they have a tough time in a specific subject, are all their B's low or high B's, etc. We then use this in combination with the other factors impacting their life, from family issues that occurred where we saw a dip in grades to how a student did once they got into a specific AP course. If a student made a D in Geometry in 10th grade, did they bounce back from it or keep on a downward trend. All of these factors help us understand the overall picture that the transcript gives us.

Three quick warnings/notes on grades: First, we are only looking at core academic work, not PE, Health, Driver's Ed, etc. While your high school may put these classes into your overall GPA, we are not focusing on these course grades. Second, we focus on grades, not on the GPA or rank that is on your transcript. We are looking at how you have done each term in your academic classes, and so when I talk about this area, I try to talk about actual grades. Third, growth in one term, especially the first semester of your senior year, does not count as a trend. If you have B's and C's for three years, then suddenly wake up and start making A's, we look at this, but it is not a grade trend, this is a grade spike. A trend is a relatively constant movement, while a spike is a sudden shift. If you have a grade spike (hopefully upwards), I am wondering why you did not make this jump earlier.

That is the end of Part V, and I am amazed that I was able to keep it so brief!

Go Dawgs!

12 comments:

  1. when u look at specific areas do look at the corresponding SAT? because the geometry example happened to me. i took it and didnt do well and got a C in the class. And when i looked at my SAT i saw that almost all the questions i missed in math were geometry. the next year i bounced back though.

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  2. Hello. When I check my admissions status, there are green checks next to everything except the high school evaluation form. I checked with my counselor and he said that he mailed it in november. Should I worry about this? I already got in UGA School of Music and I need to make sure I get into the university as well. Thank you!

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  3. Anon: We are not able to look at your SAT and know what challenges you faced on it (be it geometry, Algebra, etc.). If there is a large discrepency between test scores and grades, we then look at the reasons why (overachieving student, student hit a minor speed bump, student is not working to their full potential, etc.)

    jcpg92: Yes, this is a major issue. The school evaluation is a required part of the application, and so it needs to be taken care of ASAP. If we do not show it as in, it means that we did not receive it. You should contact our office about this, but first make sure your counselor did the actual UGA school evaluation form. He can also go to our website and still complete the school evaluation form online, but I would suggest that he completes it tomorrow!

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  4. jcpg92: Based on the information in your comment, I was able to track down your file. In addition, I then checked our holding file and I was able to track down your missing document. The problem was that first, it was sent in by mail before you applied, and second, it had a different last name then the one on your application (hyphenated last name on app vs only one of those names on the school eval.). It should show up tomorrow, but yes, anytime it is this late after the deadline, you need to take action. If he had done it online, it would have matched up due to the SSN, but when we have to drop it into our holding file, we do that by alpha.

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  5. Do extra-cirrcular activities weigh as much on a transfer applicantion as it does on a freshman application?

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  6. Okay. I didn't know that mailing it or sending it in before I applied would have been a problem. I also thought that my school had my hyphenated last name in the system. Thanks so much for the help and sorry I didn't take action sooner.

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  7. Anon: We do not look at extra-curricular activities in the transfer process, only your college academic work.

    jcpg92: Having supporting documents sent in before you apply only causes a problem if we either can not read your name, or if your name is not correct (first name or last name). We can not match something for James Jones- Smith if we have filed his earlier materials away in the holding file as Jimmy Smith.

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  8. Yeah I understand now. I didn't mean for that to happen. Thanks.

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  9. Hello Dr. Graves,
    I have a question concerning the topic of Majors.
    If one were to apply to UGA, and met all criteria and specified for admissions in a very competitive major, Biology per se, is it possible to be denied because of applying for a highly competitive major? On the other hand, would one have a higher chance of being admitted if applying for a less competitive major such as Chemistry, or General Education?
    In sum, does the major a student is applying for affect their acceptance at all?

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  10. Will W's hurt my transfer decision? I have three on my transcript. The Withdrawal excuse was to give care for dying family member but I did not specify in my application.

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  11. how many esl student applied this year. Also how is the admission of esl student compare to regular student.

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  12. Kathy 90: Sorry for the delay, but the family took a quick vacation to go skiing in NC. First, I am not a doctor (but thank you for the raise in my education). The selection of major does not have an impact on our decisions, especially since a freshman applicant can change their major any time between the day they apply until just after orientation.

    Anon: Generally, W's will not impact a decision, unless they are WF grades (withdraw failing). Those are treated as F grades, but a W is just an ignored course.

    Anon: I do not know how many students have applied where English is not their native language, and generally, except for understanding a student's SAT and English grade issues in the first few years after being in the US, there will not be any major difference.

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