Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spring 2012 Transfer Update

The deadline for Spring is one day away (Spetember 1), so I thought all of the transfer applicants would like an update on the progress of our review. Please remember, we are evaluating transfer files daily, but it takes a while to review each transfer file, so please be patient with us as we go through this process.

As of today, we have 1300 Spring transfer applications, and we expect a few hundred more to come in over the next few days. Currently, we have made decisions on just under 500 of these files, and we are averaging about 30-40 decisions a day. Of the remaining 800 files still to review (and this will grow over the next few days as the deadline hits), we have transcripts from about 500 of the applicants. Generally, we will evaluate files based upon who completed their file earliest, so someone who submitted all of their materials (application, application fee, transcripts) on August 12 will generally hear a decision before someone who completed their file on August 13, who will hear before an August 14 completion, etc. There are some exceptions, but this is the general course that our office takes.

Please do not ask when you will hear a decision, as I cannot guess as to a date. As well, monitor your myStatus page to make sure everything is in, and if a transcript is under a different last name (if was under a maiden name, you changed your name after adoption, etc.), email and let us know of the different names so we can track things down. Then just be patient as we review all of the transfer files.

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, August 22, 2011

UGA on the Road

The end of August means one thing in the world of college admissions: The start of Fall travel! Every fall, droves of college admissions counselors depart from their campuses like flocks of migrating birds, heading out to college fairs, college nights, high school visits, counselor programs, and recruitment events, only to return to their college nest in late October/mid November. Some will be out for two to three weeks, while others (not UGA) will be on the road for 10+ weeks. What does this mean for prospective students and parents? You will be seeing a lot of UGA people on the road this fall. And to track where we are, go to the UGA On The Road page for more travel details.This page will be updated weekly to show any new programs or visits our admission team will be attending.

Now, here is my request for all prospective students and parents. When admissions officers are on the road, many times they are dashing from program to program, and are not always able to learn about the wonderful and unique restaurants, hotels and/or events in your community. Many times, it is easier to stop by a Subway shop on your way from High School A to High School B, and they miss the places that make your hometown great. So if you see that UGA will be visiting your area, go to the UGA Counselor Page and send the counselor assigned to your area a quick email letting them know about the hometown places they may want to visit when they are in your area. If you still are not sure who will be visiting your area (there is some overlap of travel territories), you can send an email to the most likely person and they can forward it on to the correct counselor if it is not them.

In addition, this is a great way to break the ice when communicating with a college admissions counselor. Instead of just asking about a specific major, the football team or the weather, you can now have a reason to contact the counselor, and you will be giving them insight into your community.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Check List

My wife Cathy and I have taken enough trips in our life together to know that before we do any packing for a vacation, we need to have a check list for the trip. We have had more than enough times early in our marriage where we were an hour down the road when one of us suddenly uttered the famous words "Did we remember ...?" The worst times have been when we are in a rush to get everything together and hit the road in 30 minutes or less, and some bag, book or envelope is still sitting on the kitchen counter while we race out of the driveway. We have learned the hard way (urgent trips to Target or CVS) to take the time to plan out the preparations for a trip.

In the same way, I seriously suggest that you take the time to plan out the college application process. I have written about this issue before, but here is a more specific list of suggestions:

  •  Get a copy of your transcript, your resume (or create one and then put it with your college admissions materials), your school counselor's contact information, documented verification that your official SAT/ACT scores were sent to each college, your senior schedule, and payment information (credit card information for example). One of my co-workers has also suggested a box of green tea bags for a calming cup during this stressful time.
  • Go out and buy a large bin, crate, or accordion style file holder to keep all of your college materials . In addition, create a section for each college where you will be applying, purchase enough folders for different sections for each college (admission, financial aid, housing, scholarships, etc.), and label each folder with the college's name.
  • Create a checklist for each college, which should include a section for both the deadline date and the date submitted for each item. Your list should include all the required materials, from the application, application fee, transcript, test scores, recommendations, etc. The checklist should also have a place to list any user name and password that you have for the college's application or status check.
  • Purchase or print out a master calendar where you can list the important dates for each college. This could include the deadline dates, the notification dates, May 1 commitment deposit date, etc. You can use different colors for the different schools (red for UGA, orange for Clemson, etc.). Post this calendar in a prominent place in your house. Shoot for taking care of things by AT LEAST two weeks prior to a deadline.
  • After applying, print out a copy of the application verification page(s) and any other post-application requirements that each college gives you. 
This is probably not everything that you will need, but it is at least a good start. Hopefully this will help make sure that nothing will be left on the counter as you take off on your college admissions journey.

Go Dawgs!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Freshman Application is Now Open!

We have now opened up the Summer/Fall 2012 Freshman Application! As I have stated in previous posts, this does not mean you should stop whatever you are doing and submit the application as quickly as possible. Please do not do this! Instead, make sure that you have all the information you will need prior to submitting your application, such as verifying your SSN, having a copy of your transcript and a resume so that you can complete all of the information needed without errors or gaps. A majority of students who apply right after we open up the application then end up contacting our office to fix mistakes they made by rushing through the application. Here are a few items you want to make sure you complete correctly:
  • Make sure you have put your name in correctly. Your name called/nickname should only list "Bob", not Bob James Smith, your SSN NEEDS to be correct for our office and financial aid, and your address needs to be right for both mailing information to you and for Residency purposes.
  • If you are a citizen of the United States, mark citizen. A Permanent Resident is a person with an Alien Registration Card/Green Card, not anyone who lives permanently in the U.S.
  • When listing your high school, do the search process so that your high school's code will drop in correctly and will not slow down us importing the application. In addition, if you have attended multiple high schools, list your current one first.
  • Please list your senior year courses in the area provided, and you can shorthand course names/titles. This helps us in our review of your file.
  • Your HS counselor can only complete the online HS Evaluation form once you submit your application (so please do not wait until the last minute!), and you will be asked to give your counselor's email to alert them that you have applied. They will also be able to see this on the UGA HS Counselor Portal, and we will keep the online HS evaluation form open for about a week after the deadline.
  • The SAT/ACT/AP score area on the application is for our general knowledge about you, but we need the official scores to be sent to us.
  • The deadline for Early Action for the SAT/ACT is to take the exam by the Early Action deadline of October 15, and to request the score by October 15. 
  • If you have any conduct or conviction issues, please be specific about the situation. As well, we do not need to know about minor traffic tickets, if you had ISS in middle school, etc. 
  • In the Activities sections, please do not leave this blank thinking that we will never look at it. This area is important in scholarship review, when we are in our holistic review process, if we need to know more about you, etc.
  • Read the self-reported grades description in detail before completing this section. We are looking at your core course grades from 9th grade on, as well as how many of the grades you list are from AP/IB courses, and how many total AP/IB courses you will have completed by your HS graduation.
  • Do not hit the submit button unless you are sure that you (and your parents!) are ready to submit the application!
  • Remember that the online credit card payment option is only available from 7 am - 9:30 pm EST
  • UGA only has an online application, so we do not accept any paper applications that are submitted.
  • Do not fax our office any updates, corrections, etc. We do not like faxes!
Remember that there is no admissions advantage to submitting your application on the first day it goes live. UGA will look at you the same way as any other student who applies by the deadline, so being the first application in does not give you any bonus points. While I do not suggest waiting until the week of the deadline to apply (too many risks of problems/errors), I suggest you take your time completing the application and making sure all the information is correct before submitting it.

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Look to the UGA Website!

Just a quick post to direct everyone to the updated and newly designed UGA website! There is a great deal of new information, but also a great deal of standard information with a new look (check out the calendar and the UGA Today section for instance!).

Friday, August 5, 2011

HOPE Changes for 2011-2012

I have previously written about the changes that occurred to the GA HOPE program this year, but I wanted to give everyone a link to the Office of Student Financial Aid's HOPE changes page so everyone can see the specifics of the new regulations added by the GA legislature.

Since early August is the time of year when students need to work with the UGA Bursar's Office to take care of their enrollment costs, both the Office of Student Financial Aid and the Bursar's Office have been receiving a large number phone calls and emails. Since the changes made this year were somewhat complex, I am thrilled that the people in Financial Aid have been able to give such a great breakdown of the changes and how it impacts current and incoming students (and it also will be good for future students to review as well)!

I hope this helps answer some of the questions surrounding the HOPE changes, and we are looking forward to the start of classes in about 10 days.

Go Dawgs!