Thursday, February 23, 2012

2/23/2012 Update on Transfers

Here is a quick update on the Transfer Applicants for Summer and Fall of 2012. Please remember that the Summer deadline is still a week away, and the Fall deadline is still over a month away, so all numbers are based only on today's date.

So far, about 450 students have applied as Summer 2012 transfers. At this time, we have reviewed and made decisions on about half of the  files. There are also a small number of applicants who are incomplete (my estimate is about 100), so we hope to have a majority of the Summer transfer decisions out within the next few weeks. Please remember that there will be some files that are more difficult and will take more time, that more people will apply over the next week, which could shift timelines, etc. Please be patient.

At this time, roughly 1500 applications have been submitted for Fall 2012 transfer admission. We will not begin the review of these files until we have completed the summer files, although there will be some overlap as we get into the final summer files and documents are being sent in at the last minute for summer applicants. I do not have any better date of when we will begin reviewing fall transfers than this, so please be patient. Last year, we had about 2,500 fall transfer applicants, and in 2010 we had just under 3,000, so I do not want to guess about how many we might receive overall for 2012.

With that stated, here are things not to ask:
  • When will I hear back on a transfer decision? 
  • Where is your office as far as the date being reviewed?
  • I have X GPA and Y hours. Will I be admitted?
  • Will X course transfer in (see the Transfer Equiv)?
  • Does UGA like me, check yes or no?
  • Do I have to send in all my transcripts from all colleges attended?
  • Does the 4/1 deadline really apply for all fall applications and transcripts?

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 2012 Freshman Decisions

In the late afternoon today (Friday, February 17), we will be releasing the February wave of admission offers. As I stated in earlier comments, these admitted students, who are primarily Regular Decision (RD) applicants, are applicants who meet the criteria that UGA admissions used for Early Action (EA) admits. Just to stop any questions, there are no set "EA critieria levels", as it is a review of the combination of grades, rigor and test scores, so please do not ask what EA SAT/ACT, GPA or rigor criteria is. There will be a small number of EA deferred students who are admitted in this round, mostly because of an increase in their academic standing (new test scores) or if we needed to re-review their other academic information due to another issue (change in course schedule, issue with a transcript and self-reported grades, etc.). We are not able to re-calculate GPA's on all deferred and RD applicants based on fall senior grades, as we do not have the manpower or time to do so (we had almost 19,000 total freshman applicants this year). We do look closely at the fall grades during our read process though, and we look at grade trends, high/low grades, and how a student did in their most challenging classes, especially in jr/sr years.

Whenever we release these February decisions, we always get questions, ranging from "Why didn't I hear" to "Does this mean that more decisions will roll out through the month of March" and so on. The next group of decisions after this round will be in late March, and this will be the remaining freshman decisions. From now until late March, our office will continue with reading, and reading, and reading more files. Please do not contact us and see if you can get your decision earlier, whether due to a vacation, another college's schedule, a birthday gift for an applicant, etc., as we need to review all of the files before making final decisions.

Roughly 1,500 students will receive an offer of admission in this round (we only do admits during this round), but we have a large number of students that we will be admitting in late March as well. I do not have any specifics about this February group (GPA, SAT, ACT mid-ranges), but they should be somewhat similar to the EA admitted group.

I hope this answers a fair amount of your questions, congratulations to the newly admitted freshmen, and Go Dawgs!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Random Admission Thoughts February 2012 Edition

First, I will be out of the office for the next five days, so please hold off on any questions, or if you do submit them, be patient, as I will not be able to review any emails/blog comments until late next week.

Second, February in Admissions means that our office is working on a number of different projects. Here is a brief list:
  • Finishing up of the initial academic review of the last freshman applicants
  • Reading freshman files, and reading more freshman files, and more, and more...
  • Beginning the review of Summer Transfer applicants (which will be followed by Fall Transfer applicant review)
  • Cleaning up/Reviewing any late arriving transcripts for current UGA students with work from other colleges
  • Reviewing International documents for International Freshman
  • Reviewing Residency documents and Green cards for residency review
  • Attending a limited number of college fairs, financial aid workshops, etc.
  • Continue to speak to prospective families and students during our Admissions Information Sessions (8 per week during read season)
  • Putting out any fires (literal or figurative) that come up

In addition, here are a few thoughts about Admissions:

  1. Everyone, please remember to breathe, be patient, and smile! This is a busy (exhausting) time in admissions, so please be patient while we get through the next few steps in both the freshman and transfer admission process.
  2. We will be sending out a phone blast to any freshman applicants who are still missing any materials, so make sure you check your myStatus page concerning your file. You are ultimately responsible for getting UGA (and other colleges) your admission materials, so do not ignore the emails or phone calls we send out.
  3. We will be accepting the January 28 SAT scores, so if these test scores are all that is missing, we are fine with this, but they will not get to us until mid-late February. Check your myStatus a few business days after you receive them to make sure we have them in your file.
  4. If the document was sent before and is not in, make sure your name is correct on the document (full name, not nickname), and that it was sent. Secondly, if a document is missing, have it sent again ASAP (but not by fax!). 
  5. Transfer applicants, please be patient.The transfer review process is not a quick process, so please give us time to review the files. For rough estimates on timelines, see my timeline page. Also know that if you applied for Fall term as a transfer, it does not start until August (six months away), so there is plenty of time prior to you attending UGA. Everyone wants to know earlier, but it is just not possible.
  6. Transfer applicants, please make sure you have transcripts in from all colleges ever attended, and that the most up to date work (if you attended a college in Fall 2011, we need that term) is in. If you did not list a previous college on your application, we cannot list on on the myStatus page until we learn about it, so it is up to you to get things in.
  7. If your documents are under a different name (your school lists your name as Trey instead of William, or it is under your maiden name, etc.), please email with this information.
  8. Whenever you send an email, make sure to put your full name and birthdate in the email.
  9. If you want to know when you will hear a decision, look at the timelines page. Do not call or email our office asking this question, as we cannot guess as to an exact date, and the timeline page is the best resource. 
  10. Transfers, the Transfer Equivalency Page is your best resource for how courses come into UGA. If the class is not in there, it means we have not seen it before, and you need to then wait until we review your application and transcript to see how it does come into UGA.
Go Dawgs!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Summer/Fall 2012 Transfer Admission

As our review of the freshman transcripts (just the transcripts, not the entire file!) comes to an end, we will now starting up our transfer reviews. The transfer decision process is very different from the freshman process, so please take note. While the freshman decisions go out at three times during the year (November, late February and late March), the transfer decisions will go out beginning in February and ending in late May/early June, and are made on a daily basis. Here are a few notes on the Transfer Admission Process:

Transfer Deadlines
Around this time, we receive a number of questions about why our fall transfer deadline for both applications and college transcripts is April 1. Just so everyone knows, our transfer deadlines are set up as they are for a few reasons. First, the transfer review process is a very detailed and time consuming process, and we set the deadline so that students can receive a decision in enough time to make a decision about where to attend college. With 3,000 plus transfer applications expected for Fall, if we set the deadline at a later time (let's say June 1), you might not hear a decision until late July or early August. If you couple that with needed to have orientation, financial aid interaction, and making plans for moving (either to Athens or to another location), this timeline just does not work. So we need to have an early enough deadline so we can make decisions in an acceptable timeline.

The second issue is due to the fact that if we did extend the deadline to June 1 or so, we would most likely receive 1,000-2,000 additional applications, at least based on past history when June 1 was the fall deadline (the largest # of transfer apps in recent history was in 2001 with about 4,500). Besides causing even greater stress to the timeline, the additional applications would most likely cause the requirements to go up, as we can only handle so many entering students, both freshman and transfer. Some people might want this, and some might not, but it would definitely mean changes in our decisions.

Transfer Review Process
Transfer decision reviews are not a quick process. First, the file has to have all transcripts from any and all colleges an applicant has attended, and we must have any completed work through the Fall term of the previous year (so for this year, it would be Fall 2011 work). We will review complete summer transfer applicants first, then fall, and we review files for the most part in order of when the file is complete (so the earlier you complete your file, the earlier the review). We then have to review the transcripts, see what classes transfer in, determine the number of transferable hours, and calculate a transfer GPA. If we then admit a student, we must plug in exactly how the transferable courses come into UGA, and whether they match specific UGA courses or come in as elective work. In addition, we must plug in the hours and GPA for HOPE scholarship purposes for those applicants that fall into this situation, and make sure that everything is correct. In other words, it can take a while.

In addition, the speed of the review depends upon the colleges an applicant has attended. If we have a large database of knowledge about a college and the courses from there (for instance GA State Univ.), then almost all of the equivalent courses are already in our database. But if you have attended several colleges where we have almost no information on (for instance, Green River CC and Central Washington Univ.), then it will take a while to research your classes and determine how the courses translate over to UGA courses.

Transfer Timelines
As you can guess, this means that I have no idea how many transfer applicants we can review a day, and how many decisions will go out on X date. As well, I cannot even begin to guess, beyond a rough monthly estimate, when you will receive a transfer decision. What I would suggest is that you should make sure that all transcripts are here through the status check system, that if you have any other names you have used (last name is Jones now but was Smith), you should contact us to let us know after the transcript is sent, and be patient. Remember, transfer decisions will both come in the mail and will be posted on the status check. But please do not ask me when you will hear a decision, or if you submitted your application and transcripts on X date, when you will most likely hear. I cannot guess about it, so just be patient.

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!