Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Where's the Effin Waffle House?- A Story of Misunderstanding

About 7 years ago, my wife and I were driving home after picking up our six year old son at my in-laws house, with  him firmly strapped into his car seat  in the back. As six year olds are prone to do, his discussion turned to bodily functions and a wonderful discussion about gas. My wife, raised as a proper southern woman, re-enforced the notion that one should not use the word "fart", even going as far as to say "remember, we do not use the F word". Of course, this turned into a wonderfully painful discussion about what other words he should not say, from the S word, the H word, and the other, dreaded "F word".

We finally made it through the "words that should never be said" talk, and focused on the drive home from Greensboro, GA to Athens. We had just reached the bridge crossing I-20, when from the back of the car we heard the statement "Where is the effin Waffle House?" My wife jerked her head around in horror and asked "What did you just say?" in a tone only a mother knows. My son grinned back at her and said "Where is the effin Waffle House?" She sat stunned, unable to speak, when he once more repeated "Where is the effin Waffle House?", only this time pointing forward and up in the sky. My wife turned to look, and saw the Waffle House sign up ahead in the dark sky, with one of the F's dark from a burned out light bulb. In other words, "Where is the F in WAFFLE HOUSE?" Luckily, I was able to keep the car on the road through all the laughter, but it was not easy.

Why do I tell you this story, other than it is the best story I have in my parental bag of stories?

Around deadline time in January (and really throughout the year), we will get phone calls and emails from students, parents and counselors asking about an application. The student will ask if the application is in the system and okay, and we will check to see if it made it into our files. When we say yes, we go away thinking that the student now knows the application has been submitted (and letting them know to check their myStatus online), but the student may hear the words "okay" and think that their file is complete. A counselor may call to say they have just sent in the high school transcript and so the applicant's file should be complete shortly (and thus we say okay), only to later find out it was sent by fax and we could not even read the name on the page, much less the grades. A parent may call to make sure UGA has received their child's ACT scores (and we would see they came in on X date), but not see the myStatus situation or see the UGA email indicating that we are still missing an ACT Writing score. As you can see, it all comes down to an issue of misunderstanding what was communicated by both sides.

So when you contact any admissions office, make sure you are asking specific questions, make sure to submit  things early in the process in case there is a problem, and make sure to use the sources at hand (myStatus, your counselor, etc.), to insure that your file is complete.

43 comments:

  1. I was accepted EA and know you said you continue to review/award scholarship money and out-of-state waivers through April. If I did not receive anything at this point, is my file reviewedm again,along with the RD applicants? Are my chances of receiving any money any less since I was not awarded something initially? A few classmates I know received money and they are not likely to enroll. If you don't hear from these applicants until May, if at all, what happens to those dollars that were awarded and not used? Do you go back an consider all applications, even those who were passed over in the EA pool? I really want to come to UGA and and an out-of-state waiver would sure help me toward that goal so I was just trying to see what kind of chance I might still have. Thanks for your help.

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  2. carolina girl: Your file will be reviewed over the next several months from among admitted students for scholarship consideration, and your chances are the same as before. We will be monitoring the applicants who have been admitted and if they have decided to enroll or cancel their applications, and we also know that a percentage of the scholarship offers will not be accepted. We track this data throughout the year, and we also have tracked this over a number of years and know roughly what to expect. I cannot guess as to a scholarship offer though, so I would ask that you be patient.

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  3. DGraves,I think there might be an error with my application. I just submitted it and under the first year application part 2 heading it states that I have completed my application. However, when I look at the application part II of the Application and Essays it says they have not received it. I am not sure what the problem is.

    I am a deferred applicant.

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  4. me: Remember, today was the first day back for us, so we just started to import applications, part II's, etc. that were done while we were on break. Wait a few days and if it is still an issue, email us. Just so I am sure, this is the case if you did part II ( a deferred student should only do part II, not an entirely new application!).

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  5. Mr. Graves, I just submitted my part II a few hours ago, not over the break. The issue I am having is my essays are not being shown as submitted when I did them in part II. Am I supposed to wait a few days for that to show up on my status?

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  6. me: If you just did it a few hours ago, then wait a few days for us to post it as in on your myStatus page.

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  7. What is the school code if I am from outside US? 999999 is not the right code.

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  8. It can't be 000000 or / either because it immediately appears "Griffin Christian High School", which is not the high school I go to.

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  9. Anon: First, if your school has a high school code (even if it is outside the US, it can still have that as it is given out by the College Board), you would want to look it up in our system. If it is an international/Foreign HS with no HS code, then the default HS code is actually 999995.

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  10. I am from a foreign high school. I typed 999995 in the school code but it does not work either.

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  11. Anon: Are you talking about the application for admission or the teacher recommendation? The 999995 works for the application, but for some reason, it is having an issue with the teacher recommendation. I will have our tech team look at this issue, but in the mean time, The teacher can attach a pdf of the recommendation to an email and send it to admproc@uga.edu .

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  12. That's a wonderful story, DGraves! I effin loved it! :)

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  13. This might not be the correct section to be asking this question, but do you know around what date fall transfer students will begin to find out if they are accepted?

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  14. Anon: As quoted from the most recent transfer post:

    I expect that by the end of January, our office will begin to review the transfer applications. We will begin with Summer transfers, as they are the first to enroll and need to have their decisions before the Fall applicants. As well, though, these go a little quicker as there are not as many Summer transfer applicants as compared to Fall (last year it was about 300 vs. 1,500), so these should go quickly. When that process is done, we should go straight into Fall transfers starting in mid-February, and go forward from there.

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  15. Anon with Teacher Rec issue: The online teacher recommendation now has been updated to work with schools outside of the US who do not have a HS code.

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  16. what a great story!! thanks for the laugh!

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  17. Anon: Thanks for the compliment!

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  18. I have a quick question. I was deferred and want to send in my last semester grades. I picked up my transcipt and although I made all A's on last semester's report card, I still fell a couple of people in class rank and now I am a couple of places short of being in the top 25%, where before that was not the case. Would this be held against me if I send my grades in or would it be better to leave it as it is?
    How does the updated transcipt come into play in relation to an admission decision?
    Thank you for being so patient with all of the questions.

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  19. Anon: UGA does not focus on rank in class, so send in your new transcript with your A grades. When we are reading your file, one thing we look at is how your grades and courses have progressed from 9th through 12th grade.

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  20. Mr. Graves- My daughter went to her counselor to request that her updated transcripts be sent and she was told that our school system (Georgia) doesn't send transcripts mid-year; only at the end of the school year. I thought there was a miscommunication so I called the school and sure enough, no transcripts will be sent! What's Plan B- sending copies of my daughter's latest report card? Thanks for all you to to help with the admissions process at UGA.

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  21. Mary Anne: If the school is unable to send in a mid-year transcript, then have her ask for a copy of her report card to be sent to our office (it is better than nothing). The good thing about a transcript is that all grades are on it, and we are able to see the progression easily on that item. But a report card is fine in this case.

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  22. My son's school is telling him the same thing as Mary Anne states above, so in sending in a copy of the report card, does there need to be an accompanying letter from the counselor stating that this is the case? I'm not positive that their report cards will even be sent by January 15 either.

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  23. rhsmom: There does not need to be a letter from the counselor, as it will just add to the amount of materials we receive, and we can make the assumption that a report card was sent because a transcript was not available. For an updated transcript/report card (and this item only), our deadline is Feb. 1.

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  24. I am a deferred EA applicant. My counselor is sending my updated transcript by the end of the week. Will the transcript date change on the myStatus page so I know when UGA receives it?

    Thanks! This is a great blog!

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  25. Curious: The transcript date change should occur, although in our student system, only the month and year are stored for HS transcripts. So on the myStatus page, all HS transcript that are received in January will have a 1/1/2011 date, but you should still be able to know that a new one came in.

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  26. My son is applying online. His SAT and ACT scores will be sent electronically. His HS counselor will send the evaluation and the teacher evaluation. He has received rec letters, some paper, some as email attachments. Is it better to send them in all in paper form together? Can he email the non-paper letters? Whats the best mailing address?

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  27. Anon: We would rather not receive an email recommendation letter from the student, as it is always better (an more secure for the colleges) to get this information straight from the teacher/counselor or through the school. Since it sounds like the counselor is not doing the online school evaluation, I would suggest getting all of this material to the school and having them send it in together. The address is as follows:

    Undergraduate Admissions
    University of Georgia
    Terrell Hall
    Athens, Georgia 30602-1633

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  28. I reviewed my application recently and noticed that I left a box unchecked...it was the question about parents in the military and i left it unanswered about my mom. is that something i need to send a note to admissions about? Also my high school activities somehow printed twice to the application when sent. will this reflect poorly to the admissions review?

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  29. My son applied RD in November. Is it necessary for him to send updated transcripts at the end of this semester?

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  30. Anon I: If your mom did not serve in the military, then do not worry about updating us. Af the the duplicate activities, do not worry about that either, unless it left out some information. If you need to give us more details, you can email us a resume at admproc@uga.edu.

    Anon II: It is not required, but I always suggest an updated transcript for deferred and RD applicants. As well, I call a number of schools when reading files to see what the senior grades were like if we do not have an updated transcript.

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  31. Can you please tell me if teachers can still do the recommendation on line. My son's teacher said when he entered the recommendation and submitted it did not give a response that it was received. Thank you!

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  32. Anon: Yes, teachers can still do the online recommendation, as we have had a large number come in over the last few days (and a number this morning). I cannot guess as to the issue that he may be having (on the cases where there are issues it is generally a computer/browser issue on the submission side of things), but he can always resend it or send it as an attachment to an email sent to admproc@uga.edu .

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  33. UGA App: When I cut and paste my essays in the space provided it tells me I am 8 words over and I am the true count is 199 and it will not allow quotations marks for a quote. Is this ok or should I send essays as a separate attachment?

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  34. Anon: I am guessing that you are cutting and pasting from Word, and that is why it does not like the quotation marks (Microsoft products have a number of formatting issues). I would suggest you trim the essay a little to make sure it fits within our format, as it has a word count as well and I could not guess about the exact issue (I just went on to my trial application and was testing out things in my essays).

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  35. I just retyped one of the essays that I know is not over 199 words and it still tells me it is 4 words over. Can I send the essays as a separate attachment? If so, do I use the admproc@uga.edu address and do I need to note that on the application?

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  36. Anon: First, you do not need to retype the entire essay, only the characters with odd formatting due to Word (or you can save it from word as an open document text file and then paste it). But yes, if you are having problems with our word count, then send the essays as one pdf to admproc@uga.edu, and we will put them into your file as part II.

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  37. Love that story!!! It pains (panes??) me though to tell you that the wrong form of the word "there" was used in the last sentence of the post. I'm sure it was a test on your part to see which perspective student would catch the mistake and gain automatic admission to Georgia!! By the way, I don't have a dawg in the admission process this year. She was accepted EA last year and is fully enjoying her freshman year! I just love to read your blog.

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  38. Gamom2014: All fixed now, and I am glad your daughter is enjoying UGA!

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  39. Hey Mr DGraves...i am using a fee waiver to pay for the application...i mailed the fee waiver to UGA on 1/10/2011( monday) but my application status still shows that the payment has not been received....normally how long does it take to show up on the status...what is the deadline to make the payment..thank you.

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  40. Anon: If you mailed it on 1/10, and we have been back for only 2 partial days, and I generally suggest that you give our office 8-10 business days, then you need to give us a little more time. The deadline is a postmarked deadline, so you are fine, just be patient.

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  41. I know this is somewhere, but can't find it. When is the expected date that UGA will start sending out acceptance letters to the first year freshmans?

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  42. Anon: Generally, the final decisions will go out in late March. There will be a small group of RD or deferred EA applicants who meet (or now meet) EA admission criteria, and we will admit them in late Feb, but most applicants will hear in late March.

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