Thursday, April 29, 2010

Essay Examples from 2010

In continuing with the theme of working with rising juniors and seniors in high school, the question of admissions essays always comes up. In our file reading this year, our counselors read a lot of essays, from the great to the less-than-great (a kind way of saying bad), and we were given permission by two future UGA freshman to use one of their essays as an example of strong writing. I will post one today and one next week, and hopefully this will give you an idea of the level of writing that we sometimes see in the application. I hope you enjoy these essays, and thanks to the two students who allowed us to use them! Remember, we ask for four short essays (150-200 words each), and this is just one of their essays: 

I once caught an orange slice in my mouth. He was twenty feet away. I was on a bike. A perfect throw, a perfect catch.


There's a certain kind of adrenaline I get. An orange slice has an irregular shape, and thus an irregular trajectory. The wind never affects it in the same way. If you don't keep your eyes locked and your feet light you'll get popped straight in the nose.


The rush was unexpected the first time. The excitement first comes from the success, the achievement. Then the
taste of the orange factors in. Citrus invigorates you, refreshes you; food always tastes better when you have to
work for it. I understand how a seal feels.


Although nothing more than a particularly lucky catch, a memory revived from the multitude which deserve afterlife, this catch was representative of a much greater achievement. Through my studies and expectations I've held onto my quirks and hobbies. Catching an orange in my mouth will never land me a job, but it may keep me sane. Life would be too boring otherwise.
                                                                                    Spencer G.

23 comments:

  1. I don't think this is exactly the place to ask this, but I'm not sure where else to drop it!
    I've applied as a transfer to UGA for Sp 2011 and I'm slightly confused as to whether or not I'm supposed to submit essays of any kind, and if I need a teacher rec. Even if they're not required would it at all benefit me to send in one or both? The transfer application struck me as remarkably bare.
    Thanks for keeping up the blog; it's been really useful.
    Love the essay about the orange, very sharp.

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  2. Kate: No, transfers do not need to send in any essays or teacher recs, as our transfer evaluation process is focused on your academic work at other colleges. It will not impact your decision if you send in these items, as they are not used in the transfer process.

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  3. Ok, thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

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  4. Okay, I have a question. I know UGA uses the 15-200 word rate. But, really how long would other colleges expect your essay to be on average?

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  5. Kevin: Each college is different on the length of the essay. Some are doing short answer essays like UGA, and some want between 400-500 word ones. It just depends on the college.

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  6. Hello, I was just wondering, are we supposed to print off the Counselor and Teacher Forms, print those and send them in, and then apply electronically?

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  7. Paulisa: Counselors and teachers can either send in the forms online or do them by mail. Generally, it is easier and quicker to submit them online, but it depends on the preference of the person.

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  8. Would someone please post the link for the high school counselor recommendation form? I am having difficulty locating it.

    Thank you!

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  9. Anon: Your counselor should go to https://www.admissions.uga.edu/article/high_school_counselors.html in order to complete this form online. If they cannot complete it online (or do not wish to), then they can do it by printing out the pdf, which can be found at https://www.admissions.uga.edu/document/school_evaluation.pdf

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  10. Suppose one is transferring after graduating from another college (in this case an art and design school) with the intention of earning a second bachelor's degree (specifically a BSW). It's likely that very few credits would transfer from the previous school, and it's my understanding that the transfer GPA only takes into account the transferable credits. Though I have a sufficient GPA overall, I'm worried that my scores in a few core classes (likely the only ones that would transfer) will prevent me from making the cut. Am I right or am I wrong?

    I know this is kind of a weird place to ask this, but I'm not sure where else to go with it...

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  11. Anon: UGA calculates the GPA on transferable courses, so your transfer GPA may be different from the overall GPA on the transcript. We would not be able to predict the GPA until we reviewed the application, though.

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  12. When must I submit my 4 application essays?

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  13. Jon: If you are applying Regular Decision, you would complete the essays during the application process, as the 4 short answer essays make up the majority of Part II of the application. If you are applying Early Action, you only complete part I of the application, and if deferred, you would then do part II/essays. We would direct you on how to complete part II, and it would then be matched up with the rest of your application.

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  14. With all of the other questions posted here, I thought I might as well post one since there have been thoughtful and helpful responses. This might be a stupid question and I'm just checking, but RD applicants only need one teacher recommendation, right?

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  15. Anon: RD and deferred EA students only need one teacher rec.

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  16. I have a question regarding the high school transcripts. Which ones do I have to send and when. Can I send them after I have finished applying or do I have to send them during the process. If I have to send them during the process is it a must to send them through the school.
    The other question that bothers me is whether I can send the letter of reccomendation and councellor's report after the freshman regular application deadline.

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  17. Anon: We need a HS transcript sent in by Jan. 15, and it can be sent in before or after you apply. As well, the HS transcript needs to be sent in by the high school unless you are given a sealed copy and then send it in. As for the teacher and counselor parts, they should be sent in by the deadline, as that is what a deadline means. We are still 25 days from the deadline of Jan. 15, so you should take action now to send in the materials (or at least do it as soon as you get back from the holiday break).

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  18. Do deferred EA students have to submit another transcript?

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  19. Anon: It is not required for deferred EA applicants to send in an updated transcript, but I suggest it.

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  20. How early would you recommend applying if I wanted to do the Freshman Summer Program. Would I need to apply for RD during the spring of my Junior year, ED or RD in the Fall of my Senior year, or will it not make a difference either way.

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  21. Anon: If you are talking about the Freshman College Summer Experience, this a program that is available for consideration for any admitted freshman, so you would apply either EA or RD (whichever you select). UGA's freshman application opens up in August, and the Freshman College application usually opens up in December. This is a program for freshman who want a jump start into UGA, and they enroll about 300 or so students. Their website can be found at http://freshmancollege.uga.edu/.

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  22. Should we send in a transcript or a mid-year report?

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  23. Anon: I recommend that applicants that have not yet been admitted send in an updated transcript.

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