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!

17 comments:

  1. What is the deadline for SAT scores if applying RD, but for Ramsey/Foundation?

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  2. Do you have an exact date on when I can start applying for early admission for the Fall 2011 semester?

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  3. Anon: The deadline for the Found. Fellowship is Nov. 16 (I believe), so the deadline would be Nov. 16. Even if you are applying RD, you need to have your materials in by the FF scholarship deadline as you are applying for this earlier deadline program.

    John: The application will be up in mid-August, and we are shooting for Aug. 16.

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  4. when reporting our grades, would we put the recalculated UGA gpa, or the gpa that shows up on our high school transcript?

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  5. Anon: Good question. The application section will actually ask for specific grades, not a GPA. It will be broken down into the academic areas, so as an example you would enter in the number of A's, B's, C's, etc. that you earned in High School English classes, Math classes, and so on. The chart lists classes that should and should not be included, and gives instructions on how to enter in the information. It also asks for the number of grades you have listed that are AP/IB grades, and the total number of AP/IB classes that you will have taken from 9th grade through graduation.

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  6. Will the revised application also ask for the number of joint enrollment classes taken from 9th grade through graduation? Or, do you count a joint enrollment class like an AP class?

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  7. Anon: It will not ask for the number of joint enrollment courses taken overall (as there is not a field in our system to enter this), but we will track this based upon the HS transcript, the senior schedule, and the college transcript. We do not count joint enrollment courses as AP/IB (but we still review them for the rigor of the overall applicant!).

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  8. what if you also want to be considered for merit scholarships and Honors Program but applying for Ramsey/Foundation??

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  9. Anon: If you apply for the Ramsey/Fellowship program, you will then be considered for other merit scholarships. As for Honors, you would contact that program specifically.

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  10. If you are denied in EA, can you still apply for RD?

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  11. Anon: If you are denied, then you are denied, period. So if you are denied EA, then you will not be considered in the RD process (and thus should not try to apply RD).

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  12. HELP!!! I see nowhere on the 2010 Early Action application (Part I) that asks to submit the essays. I do see it on Part II, however (which is NOT submitted for Early Action). So, we DON'T submit essays for Early Action at all? Send me an email: ellenfix1@gmail.com

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  13. Ellen Fix: When applying for Early Action, you do not need to submit the essays, as that is part II of the application, and that is only for students who apply Regular Decision or who are deferred from Early Action. You do not submit essays with EA.

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  14. Just a question...
    I know that you cannot probably answer this accurately, but if you are taking a significant number of AP classes and have a good GPA that meets UGA requirements, but your act score is a little low (say 27) should you still apply for early decision? Or should I wait until regular decision?

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  15. Anon: Here is an answer I gave to a similar question that should help. "Anon I: I do not guess about admission decisions, so you have to decide for yourself if you feel comfortable with UGA reviewing your file based upon what you get into us in Oct., or if you want us to look at updated information based upon fall grades, new test scores, etc.". In other words, you have to make the call, but know that your grades and rigor are more important that your SAT/ACT scores.

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  16. I got deferred so I am currently filling out part 2 of the application. I also have to submit a teacher recommendation. On the teacher recommendation page, I fill in my information, but how do I get my teacher to fill it out? Do I just put in her information and email and leave the rest blank and submit, because it also has a section on there for the teacher to fill out?

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  17. Anon: You should give the link to your teacher, and they will fill out all of the information.

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