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!

20 comments:

  1. Is it true that the size of the freshman class decreased significantly over the past year or so due to the economy? :(

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  2. Also, how was last year's average 3.83 GPA calculated? Was it weighted or unweighted? Core classes or overall?

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  3. Do special circumstances play a role in the EA admission process?

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  4. Are EA candidates encouraged or required to send their first quarter grades?

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  5. Anon I: No, we have not decreased the size of the freshman class in the past year, it was just one possible result of the budget issue in the state, and not one that occurred.

    Anon II: The GPA is recalculated by UGA based on core classes.

    Anyll: Generally, the special circumstances do not play a role in Early Action, but occasionally when there are issues we need to review.

    Anon III: No, EA candidates are not encouraged to send in first quarter grades.

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  6. You mentioned special circumstances will enable the counselors to decide between deferred and being denied, does it also decide between deferred and accepted?

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  7. Anon: With over 10,000 applications, we are not able to review each application for every detail, so we focus primarily on the academic areas. Unfortunately, we are not able to look at the special circumstances of all the applicants. We do have the timeline to do a detailed review during the January to March reading season, so that is where we would see this information. Because there are much smaller numbers of EA students who are on the deferred/denied bubble, and because the denial decision is final, we look at that small group in much more detail.

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  8. DGraves: When do you think the October ACT Scores will be updated on the status page?

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  9. Anon: We have not heard from ACT on when they will be sent to us, so we are still waiting for this score report.

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  10. Regarding the Bernard Ramsey and Fellowship Scholarship Application, when the teacher recommendation, counselor and peer evaluations are received...will this show as "received" on our MY STATUS Page?

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  11. Anon: The people who run the Ramsey/Fellowship application process will communicate with you concerning materials, although the parts that overlap with the admission application (counselor rec, teacher rec) will show up on the myStatus page.

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  12. Hello,

    I was admitted into UGA last year but decided to stay at my current school FSU. However, money situations worsened. So, I am applying again.
    My main concern is not getting in. My GPA is still a strong 3.85. My real concern is that I am already in my major here and that I am pretty postive my major classes will transfer as will most of the others, but I dont want to be set back when I get to UGA. What are the other general freshman requirements other than the ones for my major that I should take next semester at my school so I can IMMEDIATELY be admitted into my major? I currently have 43 credits + the 15 for this semester + 12 next semester. Applying for Fall 2011.

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  13. I'm an Early Action applicant; is it at all possible to change my prospective major for my application at this point in the process?
    If so, how should I go about it?

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  14. Allison: Admission into a major depends on both your academic situation and the requirements of the specific major you are wanting to get into. For instance, some majors are ones where you will be admitted straight into the program (i.e. History), where others have specific requirements for being admitted into the program (i.e. all Business, Journalism and Education majors). In addition, each may have different requirements, from specific classes completed to a placement exam. I would suggest that you go to our online catelog, http://bulletin.uga.edu/, and pull up the major you are interested in.

    The bulletin lists the contact person for the major, the academic requirements for admission, expectations for transfer students, course requirements, etc.

    Bobby: You would log into your myStatus account, and then go to the settings page. On there, there will be an option to change some of your application information after applying (major, address, email, etc.). You cannot change everything about your application (documentation is needed to change your name and SSN for instance), but there is a fair amount you can change.

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  15. thanks for this above info! I wasnt aware that we could go in and change information this way...it seems like we would be notified that this was possible?

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  16. just saying: As you were typing your comment, I was typing a post giving details about this option. As well, I will try to add this detail to the news section of the myStatus page.

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  17. I have applied for EA, but I know I will more than likely get deferred. Some pretty big things have happened to me since I submitted my application, and I was wondering if I will be able to add those things to my application at such time as I have to finish the regular decision application? I feel like these things will definitely help my chances of getting admitted!

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  18. wondering: If a student is deferred, they will then be given access to part II of the application. This section will have the 4 essay questions and space for your responses, and there will also be a place for you to add any additional information to your application. In addition, if you feel like you need to send in any additional information, then you can mail or email this into us.

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  19. I have applied to UGA for Regular Decision and all of my forms are in and filed in the Admission office. Do I still have to wait until April 1 for an answer or will I get notified before that date if I'm deferred, denied, or accepted?

    Patience

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  20. Anon: Generally, there are three decision release dates. One is in December for Early Action, one is in February for Reg. Decision Students who meet Early Action criteria (see http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2010/02/february-freshman-wave-of-admits.html), and the last in late March. Occasionally there may be a few (10 or so) Reg. Decision admits in December for students who applied for the Foundation Fellowship/Ramsey scholarship so we can keep their file moving through the scholarship process, but most Reg. Decision applicants will hear in Feb. or March. The biggest group of decisions will be in March.

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