Friday, September 24, 2010

College Program Etiquette

Like many of you, my two children had to go through a year of "Etiquette" classes. They learned about table manners, dinner table rules, proper introductions, social graces, etc. It is interesting that one of our most recent Admission Counselor hires, Sarah Peters, taught etiquette for an Athens-based company for a number of years (and she lists her favorite book as "anything by Emily Post" in her UGA Admissions Profile).

Over the next two months or so, there will be hundreds of college fairs, visits to high schools, and admissions programs across the country. After having done well over a thousand programs of some sort during my admissions tenure, here are a few hints about how to handle yourself during a college admissions event and show off some college admissions program etiquette.

  1. When you go to a college fair, make sure to introduce yourself to the person behind the table. Feel free to ask them questions about admissions, academics, etc., but understand that if it is a large program, they may have to speak to a number of people besides you, so treat this more as gaining information and less like a 15 minute interview. As well, an admissions counselor would not be able to guess if you would be admissible or not (similar to what I always say about guessing on this blog). On the other end of the spectrum, don't race around the event like a 400 meter track event, grabbing whatever you can and stuffing it into a bag.
  2. If you fill out an information card, make sure that you do it at that colleges table, and not on the table of the college next to them. It is a small thing, but it will make sure that no neighboring college gets mad at the person with which you are interacting. As well, make sure you write neatly so we do not butcher your name or address, and know that it may take several weeks to get your information into a colleges database. In other words, do not expect something to be mailed out by the next morning.
  3. If you are among a group of people waiting to talk to the admissions person at a college fair, it may help to slide up beside them and listen to what the representative is saying. Generally, about 70% of the questions are very similar from student to student, and this may save both you and the representative time and effort.
  4.  If you attend a college program during your school day, make sure that you actually want to hear what is said, and are not going just to get out of class. This is as much for allowing your fellow classmates to have more of a chance to speak to the college representative as it is to let the admission counselor focus on the truly interested students.
  5. Make sure to turn off your cell phone during the college visit (if cell phones are allowed at your school), and understand that this is not a time for texting friends. Give the representative your attention, and while we want you to feel free to ask questions, make sure you do not dominate the program (let others ask questions too!).
  6. When the visit is over and everyone is leaving, say thank you and, if you are really interested in this college, get a business card from the representative. If you really want to be polite (and if you thought the presentation was insightful!), write a quick thank you note. While this will not have an impact on a decision, it will probably make that representative's day when they get the card. You would be amazed at the number of admissions counselors who keep thank you notes tacked to their walls!
So go out there, enjoy the college fairs, college nights, high school visits, college workshops, and whatever else admissions offices are calling their events. Learn a great deal, and show off your college admissions etiquette!

Go Dawgs!

    24 comments:

    1. Thank you for the amazing blog. I have 2 questions.
      1) I have e-mailed the Admissions Counselor for my state on 3 different occasions and he has never responded. Is there an alternate person I can contact?
      2) When completing the section on "Honors and Awards" and "Activities and Leadership," should I use complete sentences? The space is limited and I thought about listing. What is best?

      ReplyDelete
    2. Anon: We have a new email system at UGA, so it might be shifting your email to the spam account. The suggestion I might have is to email the supervisor of the counselors, Melinda DeMaria (see the Meet the Counselors page for her email) and maybe she can get the email to the correct person. As far as the Honors and Awards and Activities sections, you can always shorthand some parts, as long as the gist of the information comes through.

      ReplyDelete
    3. I was wondering what is meant by super scores. My ACT scores in April 2010 was Composite 28, English 28, maths 30 reading 31 and science 21 writing 10.
      I took it again in september 2010 and now my composite 29, english 31, maths 34, reading 24, science 26. waiting on writing results.
      How will it be super scored.
      Thanks.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Anon: Superscoring means that when we get two or more test scores, we will take the highest subscores from all the tests, and those subscores will go into our system and as well they will be used to make the highest composite scores. We do not cross SAT and ACT scores, but if you have two or more SAT scores, we will take the highest scores in the three areas to make your best scores, and the same with the ACT and the five subscore areas in that exam.

      ReplyDelete
    5. Since the writing score of the ACT is on a scale of 1-12, how do you calculate? Do you convert the writing score so that it has a common denominator of 36?

      ReplyDelete
    6. Anon: Actually, UGA uses the combined English/Writing score, which includes the writing section, but which has a scale of 1-36. As well, the composite score does not include the writing portion as determined by the ACT.

      ReplyDelete
    7. I go to Alpharetta high school in Alpharetta, GA and when I toured UGA they mentioned there is an admissons counseller for that school, and I can find at the web site. I tried, it said there are many counsellers for GA but gave me no names. How do I go about finding who is the admissons counseller for my school.
      thanks a lot.

      ReplyDelete
    8. Anon at Alpharetta HS: I believe that the counselor that works with Alpharetta HS is Lindsey Dean, and you can connect with her through the Meet the Staff page at https://www.admissions.uga.edu/article/meet_the_uga_admissions_staff.html

      ReplyDelete
    9. thanks a lot for the counselor's name and e-mail contact

      ReplyDelete
    10. Do you know the name of the counselor that works with Yeshiva Atlanta High school is?

      ReplyDelete
    11. Anon I: Actually, I think I was incorrect about Alpharetta HS, as I think Jackie Pearson now works with this high school. As for Yeshiva, Lindsey Dean does work with this one. Both Jackie and Lindsey work out of our Atlanta office in Buckhead, so they will be working with a large number of metro Atlanta schools.

      ReplyDelete
    12. DGraves:

      I was accepted as a transfer for Spring 2011. I received my packet of information, but now I'm not sure what to do. Do I need to commit to UGA now or wait? When is the deadline for me to decide if UGA is where I want to go?

      ReplyDelete
    13. Chase: You will receive an email shortly about orientation for spring, and this is how you will let us know that you will be attending UGA. Freshman students have a commitment deposit and then sign up for orientation, but transfers just sign up for orientation.

      ReplyDelete
    14. My school's registrar sent a copy of my transcript last week, but it has yet to show up on the "mystatus" link. Does it usually take a little longer to completely acknowledge the receipt of a transcript? If so, how long should I wait before I get worried? Thank you.

      ReplyDelete
    15. PHS senior: If it was mailed last week, then it has to go through your schools postal process, then through the US post office, then through the UGA post office, and finally to our office. This could be as short as 3 working days or as slow as 2 weeks, depending on the US postal service. It will then need to be scanned in and matched with your application. As such, I would not be worried yet, but if by the middle of next week it has not been linked to your file and showing up on the myStatus page, then contact our office about it.

      ReplyDelete
    16. On my status for admission, it says college transcripts not received but not needed for an entering freshman. I have taken college classes during the summer as well as a dual enrolled student for Fall 2010. I feel these need to be considered for admission since I took these over AP classes (still have 4 AP's but have 9 completed college classes after Fall 2010 semester). The college has indicated they were sent to UGA. Does the Admission office not marked these as received in my status even if they have them?

      ReplyDelete
    17. Anon: When we receive a college transcript for a freshman applicant, we will mark those as received and they will show up on the status check. I would suggest being patient, and if in 2 weeks they still are not here, first talk to your dual enrollment college to see when they were actually sent, and then go from there.

      ReplyDelete
    18. My situation is similar. I just started a dual enrollment class last month. There is a red X on my application status page in the transcript section next to the college name where I am dual enrolled. Above that it says a college transcript is not required for entering freshman. But, I am concerned because the legend on the status page states that anything with a red X is required. There are conflicting messages on the status page. I know you are dealing with thousands of applications and I'm concerned that my file won't be pulled for review because it looks like it has a hold. Should I go ahead and have a transcript submitted from the college, even though it will be blank, to get rid of that red X?

      ReplyDelete
    19. Anon: At UGA, we have a large number of freshman who are taking dual enrollment courses, and thus want to get us a college transcript. The only way to display this is to have a field which shows when a transcript is in or not, and due to the nature of the fields and other items, right now we need to show this as a red X indicating that it is not in. That is why we put the wording above the college transcript field to state that we do not need this for freshman (as opposed to transfers where we do need it). If you send in a college transcript, we will then populate this field to let you know we have received a transcript. But it is not required for freshman to get us a college transcript!

      ReplyDelete
    20. We missed UGA at the Sandy Creek Probe College fair!! Hope every thing is OKAY!!

      ReplyDelete
    21. Anon: I am looking into what happened, as we had a counselor who was flying from out of town back into Georgia to attend the Fayette County/Sandy Creek Fair, so I am guessing there may have been issues with his flight.

      ReplyDelete
    22. Will UGA be at the Macon Probe Fair on October 19?

      ReplyDelete
    23. Flip-flop: You can see the full travel schedule for our counselors at https://www.admissions.uga.edu/staff_travel.html, which can be sorted by state, date, location, etc. This does list our attendance at the Macon Probe Fair.

      ReplyDelete
    24. Regarding the previous post about the Sandy Creek/Fayette County Probe College Fair, Des Potier, Associate Director of Admissions, did attend this fair, so I am sorry if you missed him!

      ReplyDelete