Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Early Action Decisions and Reactions

Early Action decisions will be going out at the end of the week, so here are a few suggestions on how to react to the three different decisions:

Admit: Celebrate with family, buy a lot of UGA gear to wear for the holiday season, but remember that not everyone has received a decision of admission, and so be a little more low key with friends and classmates. In other words, do not run up to you best friend during English class and scream "I got into Georgia" while 10-15 of your classmates are mentally throwing daggers into your back.

Defer: This is the most challenging one, as these are applicants who are truly strong students, but we want to see more about them (as well as the rest of the applicant pool) before making a final decision.  Please remember, this is not a denial at all, but instead a way for us to be able to review you in full, from your co-curricular activities, your essays, and your recommendations. This is your chance to let us know what you are like as an overall applicant. While this is probably not the answer you would like, I would suggest you treat it as a call-back for a second audition. Some roles have already been cast (or admitted), and we now want to look at you in more detail to see how you compare to the rest of the people auditioning (or applying). One of the worst things you can do is give up and not do the essays. The second worst thing is to call us up and berate us for not admitting you. We will be happy to talk to people, but make sure to communicate in a positive tone, understand that we cannot talk about other applicants, and please remember that defer does not mean denial. At the end of last year (after all decisions, both during March and Wait List offers in May), just  about half of the deferred applicants who completed part II were later admitted. About 1000 deferred students did not complete part II, so we never even had a chance to even review them! If you are serious about UGA, take the time to complete your application, and then be patient as we review all of these files throughout Jan., Feb. and March. When completing part II (the essays), you do NOT need to do an entirely new application, and there is no new/additional application fee. You just need to go to your myStatus page after decisions are out, complete part II (the essays), and hit submit. As well, get a teacher from an academic area to write your teacher recommendation.

Deny: While this is not a fun situation at all, the reality is that if you have been denied Early Action, you are truly not competitive for admission at UGA. It is not easy to write that, and it is very difficult to tell this to a student or parent, but when we look at this student's application in comparison with the other 10,600 EA applicants (and remember, we expect to get over 7,000 RD applicants as well), they do not match up academically with the others. It is better to tell you now instead of waiting until late March, as this gives you time to make other plans. Unless there seems to be a serious error (you are in the top of your class, take a very challenging course load, and have a strong test score), my suggestion is to not contact us about the decision, but instead move forward with plan B. While we do not mind talking with you at all, the reality is that an Early Action denial means that the admission to UGA is not possible as a freshman.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Summer/Fall 2011 Transfers

At this point in time, UGA has received approximately 100 summer transfer applications and 200 fall transfer applications. While our principle focus is on freshman at this time, especially on Early Action decisions, we have been able to review a few transfer applicants. When I say a few, I mean that less than 30 students have received a decision as of today. We hope to be able to review a few more before the December holidays, but for the most part we will be tied up with more freshman files, updated college transcripts for Spring students, file reading, etc.

I expect that we will begin reviewing transfer files in depth in late January, and we will continue through late April/early May. The main thing that transfer students need to do now is to move forward with applying and in getting all your transcripts in to UGA. As well, if you have already sent in a transcript from your current college, you now need to send an updated transcript with Fall 2010 work when it is available.

The application process for transfer students is a lot less complicated than for freshman, but we still have students who are incomplete. Apply (and submit your application fee) and list every college attended on the application, and send in transcripts from every college ever attended (even if it is from your high school days and dual enrollment). If we do not have a transcript from every college you have attended, we cannot review your file.

So transfers, make sure we have all your transcripts in, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Congratulations Tracy Yang, UGA Rhodes Scholar!

Tracy Yang, a senior at UGA (and Westside HS of Macon graduate), has been named a Rhodes Scholar, the 22nd in UGA's history. Tracy is an Anthropology major, and has done research in the health disparities within the lower socio-economic populations within the United States and Nicaragua. She was named as a Truman Scholar last Spring, and has served in several leadership roles in the UGA chapter of  Roosevelt Institute, a national student-run think tank. In addition, Tracy is a Foundation Fellow at UGA, and is a member of the Honors Program.

Congratulations to Tracy and all of the other 2011 Rhodes Scholars, and we wish you all well during your time at Oxford!

Friday, November 19, 2010

We Anticipate That EA Decisions Will Be Released on Dec. 3

In the late afternoon of December 3, UGA anticipates that we will make the Early Action decisions available on the myStatus page. We say anticipate in case something unforeseen causes a delay (power outage, the Board of Regents making a change, office closing due to a blowout win by UGA over GA Tech in football, etc.). In addition, we expect that we will begin mailing out the decision letters on December 3, although these will take a few days to get out as, we have over 10,600 letters to send out. We are thrilled that we will most likely get decisions out earlier than normal, and we hope this is good news for you as well!

(Since the newest Harry Potter movie is being released today in theaters, I thought the Owl Post image was appropriate, but sorry, no owls or bulldogs will be delivering your decision letters!).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet the Parents II

A little over a year ago, I did a post specifically to answer questions from parents, and I thought I would revisit this theme. While I love working with and answering questions from students, parents seem to be put in the background at times during the college admissions process. You hear the term "helicopter parent" and hear horror stories about over-zealous moms and dads, but for the most part they are just trying to help their children navigate the often confusing process of college admissions.

A number of colleges try to connect with parents, through email blasts, mailings or other connections, trying to give the family more information. In fact, I am going to have an email go out today, right before I upload this post, sent to all the parents of the students who have applied so far. Please know that since we have over 11,000 applicants, this could lead to a large number of questions, so please be patient with me as I respond.

So here is your chance, parents. What questions do you have that you are dying to ask? If possible, please do not post as Anonymous (just make up a name so you can see my reply specifically to your question), ask whatever questions you would like through the comment option, and I will try to respond as quickly as possible. Fire Away!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship Application Deadline

The post mark application deadline is Monday, November 15 for the Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship application. We realize that many students will be starting, completing and submitting the application over the weekend and may be in a bit of a panic over the submission of supporting documents.

Please do not panic!

We will continue to take supporting documents during the next few days after the deadline. Please be aware that we do not accept any faxed documents and all mailed documents should be sent to the address below.

Undergraduate Admissions
Attn: Cindy Boyles Crawford
Terrell Hall
Athens, GA 30602

Remember that if you already sent in a transcript for your admissions application there is no need to send an additional copy.

Thanks to DGraves for allowing me to guest post again. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Changing Application Information

You have submitted your admission application to UGA, when suddenly you come to the realization that your email, shakeyourbootyallnightlong@yahoo.com, might not be the most appropriate email address to use. You want to change it, but you are not sure what to do. Well at UGA, it is fairly easy to change certain key items on your application.

After students apply to UGA, they are still able to make some changes to their personal application information by going to their myStatus page, found at https://www.admissions.uga.edu/access.html. From there, log into your account, and select the Settings option on the left hand menu. You will be able to select the Information Change option for students who have already applied, and this will show you the fields that you have the option to change. This will allow you to change such things as your address, email, major (for freshman applicants), and phone number. You are not able to change everything in your file, such as your name or your SSN, as those changes need more detailed documentation, such as a copy of your SSN card, and you would send these changes to admproc@uga.edu. This is not a place where you can change every small part of your application, such as what you did in the summer of 2007, but instead is focused on the important data elements of your application file that may need to be changed due to a change in your situation (address, email, etc.).

These changes will then flow into your application and will show up in our system on the next business day.

We hope that this helps you in the overall application and enrollment process at UGA!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Application Overload!

There is an interesting article out today that is a collaboration between The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education titled Application Inflation: When is Enough Enough?. It is a very good read, and it deals with an important issue in College Admissions. The main focus of the story is about the balance of recruiting  and getting a large number of students applying to a college in order to either  have a stronger freshman class or to make your college look more selective by having a smaller admit rate (or both). This is a serious issue in college admissions these days, and one that does not have an easy answer.

While I cannot speak for other college admissions offices, I will say that UGA does not want students to apply to us just to inflate the application numbers. If UGA is not a good fit for you as a college, I will not take is personally if you do not apply here. My belief has always been that a student should find a small number of colleges that fit their criteria, and they should not blanket the nation with admissions applications. While UGA wants to have a great pool of applicants to make our freshman class great, we do not want to mislead students about their chances, or use them as a pawn in the admissions guidebook ratings game. I am guessing that a majority of colleges feel the same way.

One of my earliest posts on this blog was about the comparison between admissions and dating, with a focus on finding the right match. When my daughter reaches high school in three years and hits that scary world of dating, I am not going to suggest that she try to get as many date requests as possible just so she can reject a lot of boys and seem more "selective". (On a side note though, I do hope that having a dad who works in UGA's admission office might make any potential boyfriends think twice about how they act!). Admissions decisions should not be about how either the college or the applicant is perceived by the outside world, but instead should be about how good a fit there is between student and university. The process should not be a contest about how many applicants a college denied, or about how many institutions a student was admitted to, but about what seems the best fit for both sides.

And just so you know, if UGA were to have a 43% increase in applications from last year like the U. of Chicago did last year (I do not expect this!), this would mean almost 26,000 applicants, which would scare me to death! In my area in operations and selection, we are running a fine line in how many applicants we can handle, so adding another 8,000 or so applicants to the pool would overwhelm our office.

UGA does want to continue to have great students consider us as a possible college match, and we would love to see our student body grow even stronger academically and personally. We communicate with prospective students, visit high schools, attend college fairs, etc., all to both help the prospective student know more about UGA and to recruit a strong class. But we do not want applications just for numbers sake. We want a good match, and so should you, and we wish you well in your college search!