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!

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