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!

38 comments:

  1. for the filling in of grades do I write A if my transcript says 96 and A with 0.5 credit. This is my AP BIOLOGY score (it is a 96 with 7 bonus points added for the AP scores)
    Should I write A in the application for grade scale or should I deduct the bonus points and write B
    Thanks a lot

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  2. Anon: Whatever the transcript shows as the grade for the course, you would enter that in. If the transcript says a 96, which you are saying is an A, then you would enter in an A for that term grade. We have a process on our side of things with detailed information on which schools add points to term grades and which do not (thus should we add the .5 weight or not for AP grades), we so we handle that side of things.

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  3. Mr. Graves,

    I'm looking to apply as a transfer student for the Spring 2011 semester. I'm currently attending GCSU and have 30 transferable credit hours on my GCSU transcript due to AP scores I received from high school. Since it is my first semester and I will not have grades until December, I do not have a GPA.

    I had a meeting with one of the UGA counselors last spring after being denied admission and I was told as long as I had the 30 hours by the September 1st deadline, I could apply as a transfer student without having a college GPA.

    Would I need to include my high school transcript in order to have a GPA on record, or will my previous application for the Fall 2010 semester be used to supplement my transcript from GCSU?

    Thanks

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  4. Anon: I would suggest you contact our office and speak with the counselor on duty, as there may be some issues involving transfer admission for spring if you have no transfer GPA (thus cannot meet a transfer consideration level) and if you have been out of HS for less than a year. Since I do not know the specifics, I cannot comment exactly, so that is why I suggest you call and speak to the counselor on duty.

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  5. Mr. Graves-
    I'm a high school senior applying to UGA, and I'm currently dual enrolled at a community college. The application asks for all of the classes I will be taking this year. While I have a pretty good idea of what I will be taking next semester at the college, I can't actually register for them until Novemeber, and I might end up changing my mind. Is it okay if I put down, for example, that I am taking Biology 1107, and something happens and I end up taking a different class? Thanks in advance!

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  6. Mary Grace: Yes, it is fine if you give us your best estimate on what courses you will be taking second term of your senior year, as a number of students will have slight modifications to their senior schedule throughout the year. If you have a slight change in your schedule, then just leave your file as is. If you have a drastic change in your schedule (you drop your math and English class, etc.), then you can send our office an email when you know all of the changes and we will add it to your file.

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  7. Thanks for responding so quick! My back-up class if I don't take biology is a public speaking course, so I'm guessing that's not drastic considering I wasn't already taking either?

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  8. Mary Grace: You are correct, that change would not be drastic.

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  9. What does the status check site say if the applicant has been accepted?

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  10. Anon: I do not have the exact text for the different decisions, but it will state clearly that you have been admitted if that is the decision (and generally, unless flash is not allowed on your computer, you will see fireworks!).

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  11. While filling out the application, I wanted to add in my business internship. I do not know whether to put it under the activity section or work section (and add in that it is an internship). This is for a work based learning program and I am technically listed under them as an employer, but am not officially employed. Which section would be best to put it under?

    Thanks.

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  12. V: Either one is fine, but generally, applicants put their internships under the employment section.

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  13. Hi. I have a couple of questions. Do you consider participation in the National Honor Society a club or an honor? And, when describing our role should we use bullets or a complete sentence. For example: "Served as the president of...." Or "I served as the president of..." Thanks for your help.

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  14. Anon: I would assume based upon NHS being a society/club, it should be under club. but for both you and everyone else, there is not a right or wrong answer to this, as this can be listed in either section. As for how to list your role, do it how you feel most comfortable, as either way is just fine.

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  15. hey mr. graves just a quick question for students who were admitted for spring 2011 from waitlist...when can i apply for housing, i cannot find the date on the housing website. appreciate it!

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  16. Shell: Housing is still working on the last minute fall housing issues, so I would not call them yet. You will get an email with some details in Sept., but you can also call housing in mid-Sept. for more details about Spring.

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  17. Is there anything different that a homeschooled freshman applicant might need to apply or be considered for admission? Or is it mostly the same as a regular student applicant?

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  18. David: You would want to refer to the web page that we have created for Home Educated students, https://www.admissions.uga.edu/article/home_educated_or_non_accredited_high_school.html. As well, you will still need to provide all the documentation that any other freshman application would send in. The biggest thing is to determine if you are a home educated student working with an accredited program (such as Faith Academy in Loganville as an example) or not.

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  19. Do we have to list all of our ACT/SAT and AP Test scores on the application? Or, can we just list those scores that we are officially having sent to Georgia to consider? Thanks.

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  20. Anon: We ask you to list all (if there is room for all of them). Please remember, the scores you list are not official, and are just a notice to us about your scores, if we are missing any officially that are higher, etc. As well, UGA only looks at your strongest SAT or ACT score subsections, so it does not hurt you if you send a score that is lower.

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  21. I can only send 5 scores, 2 of which are my SAT and ACT scores, I only have enough room to write 3 (out of 5) of my AP scores and none of my SAT II scores. How would you be able to see my other scores?

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  22. Anon: As I said above, your test scores (SAT, ACT, AP, IB, SAT II, etc) must come in from the testing agency to be official, so you need to contact the College Board and the ACT to get them to send them to us. You might have already done this, and if so, then you are fine. Again, the test scores you list on the application are just for referral, and are not official. As well, it is okay to not list all of them if there is not enough room.

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  23. If I have someone who wants to write a reccomendation letter for me, would he do this during the EA period or regular decision period??

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  24. Anon: You can send it in at any time, but generally, it would only be looked at in the Reg. Decision period.

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  25. when will regular decision application be reviewed? and if someone who applied as a regular applicant, would you be able to update your application with your first semester grades of your senior year, and any new sat or act?

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  26. Anon: An earlier post of mine, http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2010/02/february-wave-of-admits.html, gives you a rough estimate on the timelines for EA and RD. For RD, you can update your file with a new transcript and new test scores after the end of the first semester (and deferred EA students can do this as well).

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  27. When will the paper application(for review purpose) be available)?

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  28. Anon: It should be available later this week.

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  29. In the summer activities it says not to repeat any activities that were mentioned before, what if we mentioned all the other activities in the other areas?

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  30. Anon: I think you have answered your own question. We just do not want you to have to answer thinks twice, and this is a space for summer activities that are just summer.

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  31. My son submitted his application last week. He only listed the test scores that he wanted UGA to consider. He had asked his guidance counselor about what UGA meant by "send all scores" and she told him it meant "all scores that UGA should consider." I happened to find this blog and see that contrary to his guidance counselor's advice, he should have submitted ALL scores. What should he do now?

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  32. Anon: Since the test scores a student enters on the application are not official, and are only used for general knowledge, the best thing your son can do is have all of his test scores sent to UGA. Again, only the official test scores are used, so he just needs to contact the College Board and have them sent to UGA.

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  33. He already had the testing agency send the official scores for the tests that he listed on the UGA application. Are you saying that he should have the testing agency send ALL scores?

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  34. Anon: If he wants us to look at all the scores, then he should send all the scores. Since UGA only uses the strongest subscores taken from all scores submitted, it does not hurt him in any way to have all the scores sent in. We will not track him down if he does not send in all SAT scores, but since it could only help and not hurt him to do so, why not send in all the scores.

    I would suggest reading my posts about test scores, especially http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2010/06/test-scores-and-uga.html.

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  35. My son applied for early action admission this past weekend. The section asking for any immediate family members who are or have attended UGA was a bit confusing. I attended UGA so he put my name down. However, it then asked for what class I was in. He marked the class of 1988 because that is the year I graduated. However, I did not graduate from UGA. I graduated from another univesity. With the question asking "attended" rather than "graduated", was this the correct response?

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  36. Cynthia: What you put down is fine. Since UGA Admissions does not use alumni status as a factor for any admission decision, there is no right or wrong answer in our view. But this is how the Alumni Assoc. has requested we ask it, so you answered it correctly.

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  37. Can we supplement the original application under the "other things of interest" section to explain medical difficulties a student has overcome. My child's counselor says it should be included on the foundation fellowship application to demonstrate drive and passion, but there is no place to put it there.

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  38. Anon: If you want, your child can send in a letter explaining their medical difficulties, or you can write this in the special circumstances part of the application.

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