Monday, September 12, 2011

2012 Early Action Thoughts

Mid-September is the time of year when the questions really start coming in concerning Early Action, so here is a quick post covering some of the highlights.

Required materials for Early Action applicants - Deadline October 15
  • Submit the online First-Year application after selecting Early Action (which makes the Part II essay section collapse, as the essays are not required for EA)
  • Submit the $60 application fee or have an official fee waiver sent to our office
  • Have your HS counselor submit a UGA School Evaluation form
  • Submit an official HS transcript (either electronically or by paper, but no faxes)
  • Have an official SAT or ACT (with Writing) score sent to UGA (we will only be able to use SAT/ACT scores for Early Action for tests taken by the October 15 Early Action deadline)
Early Action vs. Regular Decision

Every year, students and parents call our office and ask if they should apply Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD). For the most part, we say that this has to be the student's call, as only the student knows if they feel comfortable with UGA reviewing their application based on their academic standing as of October 15. I have written a separate article about EA vs RD with a little more direction, and this should help you in the EA decision process, but it is still up to the applicant as to whether to apply EA or RD.

Preparation
  • Make sure that you have a copy of your high school transcript when you are working on your application, as you will need to refer to it when completing the self-reported grades section. As well, please do not mark that you cannot self-report your grades just because you have not taken the time to get a transcript. The self-reported grades make the admission timeline go quicker for both you and UGA, and it also helps you understand what your academic record looks like to UGA.
  • Make sure that you enter in correct information, but especially review the data on the Honor Code page, where we list 10 or so key data fields that you have completed (name, birthdate, etc.), as well as your SSN. Make sure these items are correct before you hit submit.
  • We ask for information on clubs, activities, leadership, athletics and honors. Please do not ignore these fields, as even though for the most part UGA does not use them for an EA decision, we will use them for scholarship review and in our file reading process if you are deferred.
  • For your peace of mind (and mine and your parents!), do not wait until just before the deadline to submit your application.
What if you are Deferred?

First, a deferred decision is not a bad result of applying Early Action. All that it means is that UGA wants more time and information on you, as well as a large number of other applicants, so that we can review your file in detail during our reading period that goes from January through mid-March. My suggestion is that if you cannot handle a deferred decision, you should not apply Early Action. Every year, between 800-1000 deferred students do not complete part II of the application (essays and teacher recommendation) because they are either too unhappy with UGA or too despondent over the deferral to move forward with completing part II. An Early Action applicant needs to go in with a positive attitude, but also with the understanding that they might be deferred. Again, a Deferral decision is not a Denial, is not a Wait-List, but is just the UGA Admissions office saying that we need more time to look at your file, and we want to give your application a more detailed review of everything in your file.

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