Friday, March 30, 2012

2012 Freshman Decisions are Available

Final freshman decisions are now available online, and the applicant pool this year was very strong! We had roughly 19,000 applicants, which was our largest applicant pool ever. Here are a few notes about the decisions.
  • Please do no have everyone in your family try to log onto the site. It will only slow down our servers, so I suggest that just you, the student, log in, as multiple people logging in might lock down your myStatus page. You can then share this information after you see it.
  • I do not have any detailed statistics for the admitted or wait-listed group, but I will post them early next week (most likely just the mid 50% ranges). Rough data has the admitted students (all admitted freshman, including earlier admits) with about a 3.87 GPA based on how UGA calculates it (not what is on a HS transcript), an average of about 6 AP or IB classes, and roughly a 29 ACT/1310 SAT CR/M. Please do not post any of your statistics on this blog, as that is not what this is site is about, and there are other places to do this (and many personal stats are not quite how we see them, ie. GPA's, balance of test scores, etc.).
  • Before commenting about any other students who have a decision, please review my elephant fable post,, and understand that you may not know everything about another person.
  • I will delete any comments that are offensive, ask for personal information/stats from others, or are that fall into the unacceptable comment type that which ""bully, intimidate, or harass any user"; "post content that is hateful or threatening" (see New Visitors intro on right side of blog).
  • I have put up three posts this morning, one for each of the three decision possibilities, with details about each decision and some links to FAQ's. Please read everything about a decision before commenting.
  • Please remember that both the other students and the admissions counselors in my office are actual people, and treat them with respect. Before hitting submit on a comment, make sure you actually want to post it.
  • No matter what the decision, know that there a a number of college options, and UGA is just one of them. 
  • After decisions are out, the next steps are up to you, from depositing at a school, signing up for housing, etc. Make sure you take care of everything post-decision! 
  • Go Dawgs!

2012 Admitted Freshman

Later today, we will be making decisions available to students.

For those of you who have been admitted to UGA, here is a post for you, and a chance to comment. Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics, throw fellow classmates under the bus, etc. These types of comments will be deleted.

Congratulations to all of the freshman who were admitted to UGA, and we look forward to you becoming a part of the Bulldog Nation. The next steps for a new student can be seen in the flyer in your admission packet titled Next Steps, so go ahead and review what you need to do next. In addition, there will be a great deal of information you can access off the myStatus page, so when you have the time (after celebrating), please review these.

Remember that the Housing and myID pages may need a few business days before your information will be available, so be patient with these sites. 

You have until May 1 to submit a deposit to hold a spot in our freshman class, and we hope the next stage of the admission process is a little less nerve wracking than the decision process. As you celebrate this time, make sure to be considerate of others in your school who may not have been admitted.

Good luck in the next stage of the college admissions process, and Go Dawgs!

2012 Wait List Students

Later today, we will be making decisions available to students.

For those of you who have been wait-listed by UGA, here is a post for you and a chance to comment. Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics, throw fellow classmates under the bus, etc. These types of comments will be deleted.

Every year, our office has to predict approximately how many students we can admit in order to enroll our freshman class, but we can never be sure how many students will enroll until after the May 1 deposit deadline has passed (and maybe well after that!). If the number of students who say they will be attending UGA is lower than we expect, we may need to go to our wait-list group in order to get the size that we want for our freshman class. Every year, we have about 1,000 students on the wait-list, and we carefully monitor the deposits coming into the University to see where we are in comparison to the predicted freshman numbers.

The Wait-List FAQ can answer some questions, but the most important thing you need to do is decide if you want to remain on the wait-list. Follow the instructions on the status check and/or the wait-list letter we mailed out, and let us know if you want to stay on the wait-list or if you want to decline this option and go forward with admission at another college. If you decide to stay on the wait-list, you still want to move forward with an alternate college plan, as we will not know about any wait-list options until May at the earliest. If you select to stay on the wait-list, we then know you still want to attend UGA if an opportunity opens up. The key word in wait list is wait, as this is not a quick process, so be prepared to wait.

This year, there are three options for the wait-list reply; You can say no, please do not consider me for the wait-list. The next option is to remain on the wait-list, but only if it is for the Fall term. The third option is to remain on the wait-list and be considered for both Fall and Spring term. This is so that if there is space available for the Fall term, we will look at all of the students who have asked to remain on the wait-list, but the only space available is Spring term, we will then work with only the students who said Fall or Spring. Once you select an option, you cannot change it, so make sure to think about it before you select one!

We will not know details about the wait-list until after May 15 (and maybe well after that), so please be patient with our office, and read the FAQ before asking questions, as it can give you a great deal of information. I hope this helps in understanding the process.

2012 Denied Freshman

Later today, we will be making decisions available to students.

For those of you who have been denied by UGA, here is a post for you and a chance to comment. Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics, throw fellow classmates under the bus, etc. These types of comments will be deleted.

Unfortunately, we were not able to admit a number of strong applicants, as we are limited in the size of our freshman class. We know that you have a number of other strong college options, and I suggest you focus not on a denial from UGA, but on the other great opportunities that are ahead. As well, if your ultimate goal is to graduate from Georgia, then I would suggest you look at transfer opportunities down the road. But for now, focus on your current college options, find the one that fits you best, and have a great freshman year there. I would also suggest you go to our Denied Student FAQ if you have questions.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fall Transfer Updates

Here is a quick update for Fall transfer applicants, as the deadline is approaching. At this time, we are moving along at a steady clip in reviewing files, and over 600 decisions have already gone out (as compared to last year on April 1 when about 200 fall decisions had been made). Because of the freshman decisions coming out on 3/30, we had to stop the importing of all applications into our system starting last weekend. Any applications that have been submitted are fine, and are just in a holding pattern waiting for us to import them into our system, which we will do on Monday, 4/2/2012. So do not panic if you applied this week and your application is not showing up on the myStatus page this weekend. Just be patient, and by about mid-late next week, we will have all the applications imported into the system and transcripts matched up. But again, do not panic, just give us time to work on them next week.

The 4/1 application deadline is for all materials as well, but it is a postmarked deadline, and we generally give an allowance of about 10 business days for documents to come in. So you do not need to email, call, or drive to Athens to hand us documents. Just make sure that transcripts from ALL colleges ever attended have been sent in to UGA (and if it has a different name on a transcript, send us a note about this).

Please understand that next week will be a madhouse of emails and phone calls surrounding the freshman decisions, so I suggest holding off your questions until later next week.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Elephant Parable, 2012 edition

Every year after decisions, there are a wave of unhappy comments about specific decisions and comparisons to other applicants, and so several years ago I decided to write a post about the importance of knowing everything about a situation before judging it. I thought that with decisions being released next week, it would be good to re-post this message.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived six blind men. Each of them was very wise. Each of them had gone to school and read lots of books in braille. They knew so much about so many things that people would often come from miles around to get their advice. They were happy to share whatever they knew with the people who asked them thoughtful questions.

One day these six wise blind men went for a walk in the zoo. That day the zoo-keeper was worrying about all of her many troubles. The night before she had had an argument with her husband, and her children had been misbehaving all day long. She had so much on her mind that she forgot to lock the gate of the elephant cage as she was leaving it. Now, elephants are naturally very curious animals. They quickly tried to push the gate to the cage to see if it might open. To their great surprise, the gate swung freely on its hinge. Two of the more daring elephants walked over to the gate. They looked left and right, and then quietly tip-toed out of the cage.
Just at that moment the six blind men walked by. One of them heard a twig snap, and went over to see what it was that was walking by.

"Hi there !" said the first blind man to the first elephant. "Could you please tell us the way to the zoo restaurant ?" The elephant couldn't think of anything intelligent to say, so he sort of shifted his weight from left to right to left to right. The first blind man walked over to see if this big silent person needed any help. Then, with a big bump, he walked right into the side of the elephant. He put out his arms to either side, but all he could feel was the big body of the elephant.  "Boy," said the first blind man. "I think I must have walked into a wall. "

The second blind man was becoming more and more curious about what was happening. He walked over to the front of the elephant and grabbed hold of the animal's trunk. He quickly let go and shouted, "This isn't a wall. This is a snake! We should step back in case it's poisonous."

The third man quickly decided to find out what was going on, and to tell his friends what they had walked into. He walked over to the back of the elephant and touched the animal's tail. "This is no wall, and this is no snake. You are both wrong once again. I know for sure that this is a rope."

The fourth man sighed as he knew how stubborn his friends could be. The fourth blind man decided that someone should really get to the bottom of this thing. So he crouched down on all fours and felt around the elephant's legs. (Luckily for the fourth man, this elephant was very tame and wouldn't think of stepping on a human being.) "My dear friends," explained the fourth man. "This is no wall and this is no snake. This is no rope either. What we have here, gentlemen, is four tree trunks. That's it. Case closed."

The fifth blind man was not so quick to jump to conclusions. He walked up to the front of the elephant and felt the animal's two long tusks. "It seems to me that this object is made up of two swords," said the fifth man. "What I am holding is long and curved and sharp at the end. I am not sure what this could be, but maybe our sixth friend could help us."
The sixth blind man scratched his head and thought and thought. He was the one who really was the wisest of all of them. He was the one who really knew what he knew, and knew what he didn't know. Just then the worried zoo-keeper walked by. "Hi there ! How are you enjoying the zoo today ?" she asked them all. "The zoo is very nice," replied the sixth blind man. "Perhaps you could help us figure out the answer to a question that's been puzzling us." "Sure thing," said the zoo-keeper, as she firmly grabbed the elephant's collar.
"My friends and I can't seem to figure out what this thing in front of us is. One of us thinks it's a wall; one thinks it's a snake; one thinks it's a rope, and one thinks it's four tree trunks. How can one thing seem so different to five different people?"

"Well," said the zoo-keeper. "You are all right. This elephant seems like something different to each one of you. And the only way to know what this thing really is, is to do exactly what you have done. Only by sharing what each of you knows can you possibly reach a true understanding."
The six wise men had to agree with the wisdom of the zoo-keeper. The first five of them had been too quick to form an opinion without listening to what the others had to say. So they all went off to the zoo restaurant and had a really hearty lunch.

Remember, when admissions is looking at an application, we are reviewing the whole applicant in the context of their individual situation. While people might know or read of one aspect of a student, they do know know the whole of an applicant's life.You might see the number of AP courses taken by one student over another, but not know all the classes taken, or how we look at the overall rigor. You might see SAT scores that seem slightly lower than another student, but not look at the writing score, the ACT, the individual subscores, etc. You might see a student with less clubs, but not see the student's family life, employment, or other demands put on that person.

So when commenting here or looking at other applicants, please do not be blind to the fact that you might know one thing about a student, but you do not know the whole of the person. Open your eyes to the fact that admissions offices are looking at everything within the file, seeing connections, understanding strengths and weaknesses, and trying to see the overall person. You might think that you know a situation because you know of one aspect (or score) of an applicant, but you might just be holding an elephant's tail and thinking it is a rope.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Final Decision Day 2012

Yes, the question that all freshmen applicants (and their parents) have been asking again and again can finally be answered. Final decisions for freshmen applicants are scheduled to be released on Friday, March 30 (unless something catastrophic occurs). As normal, we will open up the status check sometime in the afternoon on Friday (please do not ask what time on Friday, as I am just saying Friday afternoon for a reason), and applicants will be able to view their decisions. As well, admit and wait-list decision letters will be sent out by mail (we do not mail out denial letters).

There will be three decision groups (Admit, Deny and Wait-List), and I will try to post some information on all three of these decisions next week.

Please do not have multiple people in your family try to log into the myStatus page on Friday, as this will slow everything down. Just have one person (hopefully yourself) log into myStatus, be patient as it may be slower than normal (do not keep hitting enter or refresh), and tell family members who want to see your myStatus page to wait until Saturday. If you do have multiple people trying to log into your myStatus, it could cause your individual myStatus page to freeze, so do not do this.

Remember, we cannot and will not give out any decisions by phone, in person or by email, and we are as happy as you are to have decision day finally get here.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Are We There Yet?

This past weekend, I drove a 15 seat bus down to Saint Simons Island (and then back to Athens) with a group of teenagers. I am guessing that over the course of the 7 hour drive, I was asked at least twenty times each way "are we almost there", "how much farther", and the famous "are we there yet". I could give the group a rough estimate of where we were, and what the GPS was predicting as our time of arrival, but there were bathroom breaks, dinner breaks, a traffic stop due to a funeral, etc. In other words, I had a rough idea of the arrival time, but it could change due to other factors. It was not until I was close to the destination that I could give an accurate time of arrival.

The same is true with both freshman and transfer timelines. UGA Admissions tries to give you a rough idea of when you will hear a decision, but other factors sometimes come into play. Add an extra 1,000 freshman applications, and the decision date will shift back. The state adds a new requirement to our review (like last year's Verification of Legal Presence), and we have to shift people to work on that instead of reviewing files. It is not until we are close to the end of the process that I can give more specific dates. In addition, if I gave out a date early on, and then it turned out to be wrong, I would have a huge number of angry calls/emails/posts/etc.

So here is what I have at this time for admission decisions:

  • Freshman: At this point in time, we are still reviewing files, and we are still saying late March. Late March is late March, and I do not have any more specific information at this time. When it gets closer to late March and I have more details, I will update you on a revised timeline. Right now, just be patient, and know that we are deep into the file review process. Remember, 19,000 applications take a long time to review.
  • Transfers: At this time, we are for the most part done with summer transfer reviews. We still have a small number of files that a few academic departments want to review, and a few challenging files, along with about 100 incomplete applications. As for Fall transfers, we are averaging about 40 decisions a day, and we have made over 300 decisions already. As a point of reference, last year at this time we were still finishing summer transfer reviews, so no fall transfer decisions had been made yet. I do not have any specific application dates or completion dates that we are working on right now, but more details will be given out at a later time as we get further into the process. At this point, we have over 2,000 Fall Transfer applications, and I expect that number to jump up as we get closer to the deadline.
Please do not call, email or post a question asking when you will hear a decision, as we will not be able to give you any more details beyond what I have stated above. Just be patient, and know that we are diligently working on reviewing applications.

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Silent Suggestions for HS juniors (and below)

While a number of admissions offices (including UGA) are using videos more and more in their recruitment of students, here is a different take on the standard "admissions suggestions" videos (and our tribute to the Oscar winning film "The Artist"). Thanks go out to Lindsey Whittaker for her acting abilities, and to Morgan Cogswell for her skills with video editing. Without these two, you would probably just be looking at a webcam video that only captured to top part of my head, and had unreadable cards.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Interesting Items from the 2012 File Reading

We are still deep into reading freshman files, but here are a few interesting items about some of our applicants that we have learned from their files:

  • Second place winner in a national texting tournament (over 500,000 participants), and was a part of a texting documentary
  • National Bowling Champion (for age group)
  • Numerous mascots for their HS team, from the Spartans to the Bears, and even one Mermaid
  • Several applicants already had their own pilot licenses
  • Founded clubs at their HS's or in the communities, such as an Anti-Bullying club, Pay It Forward club, Random Act of Kindness club, several BBQ clubs, Garden club, Rock Climbing club, Knitting club, Sandwich club (not club sandwich), Health club, Carpentry club, Investment club, and a wide range of other groups that are too numerous to name
  • Atlanta Hawks Dancer
  • Professional Recording Artist (actually, several of these!)
  • Synchronized Swimmer
  • Alpaca farm worker
  • Worker in the Green Bay Packers press box
  • Thousands of hours/miles spent traveling and volunteering around the globe by a huge number of applicants, with 6 of the 7 continents visited (did not see a trip to Antarctica)
  • National Fencing Champion
  • Leads in theater productions, ranging from Annie to Oliver and many others
  • Family was offered over 50 cows (I believe the exact number was 57) for applicant's hand in marriage on a trip abroad
  • Numerous fluent bi-lingual and tri-lingual students, with one who I believe knows 7 languages
  • CDC intern
  • Fifteen plus applicants deferred their decision for a year, and spent time volunteering in South American, learning another language in China, attending a political science education program in Germany, and volunteering in poverty stricken areas in the United States.
  • Wide range of Volunteer clubs/organizations were created, from "Caring Crayons" to "Cleats for Christ" (not all groups began with the letter C, I promise)
  • GM for three Sports Fantasy Leagues (at one time)
  • National Geographic Intern
  • Intern for and small role in the TV show "Walking Dead"
This is by no means a complete list of activities, clubs, sports, highlights, etc., only a partial glimpse into our applicant pool and the unique and interesting things they have done. These are only some of the things that stood out from the crowd during our file reading, so there are a number of other wonderful and amazing things our applicants have done. I just wanted to give you a glimpse of what we see.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Essay examples, 2012

While we are still in full swing reading freshman files, I thought I would share a few essay examples from this year that I think are impressive. Please understand that while some people believe that great essays should have as many impressive words as possible, or flow like a poem cascading through the mind (okay I am overdoing it a little), UGA believes that a person's voice, insight into the applicant, and an ability to share thoughts and emotions are key. As such, here are a few examples (with the author's approval):

Throughout my life with Sickle Cell Anemia I have always been told to pursue my dreams. My mother would tell me "You have Sickle Cell; Sickle Cell does not have you." This confused me because I did not understand what she meant. This disease seemed to take control over my body and prevent me from taking care of daily tasks like taking deep breaths without having a crushing pain sink into my chest. But as days pass I regain my strength and begin to take control of my body, conquering Sickle Cell Anemia with each hospital visit. Even though having Sickle Cell Anemia is difficult to undertake, there is one thing that has shaped the person I am today. That is the power to not see my disease as a crutch. As I have grown I have realized that I do not want to be seen as a person that is inferior to others. I want to accomplish any goal that I set my mind to regardless of my disease. I now understand the quote that my mother has always told me. My strength and dedication has enabled me to accomplish anything I set my mind to.  - Haleigh L.

A Scout is prepared. I had forgotten that particular maxim tonight, which I begun to regret long before the first bit of whipped cream, sprayed on a paper plate in lieu of a pie, landed squarely in my hair. Tonight I was fulfilling my duty as Den Chief of a local Cub Scout pack. Normally, I'd be mentoring the group of fifth graders, helping them connect the leaders' words and instructions to reality as they saw it. Not tonight. As a reward for record-high fund raising, the only thing they were interested in was smearing whipped cream through my hair. I was the most unprotected target other leaders brought goggles, towels and ponchos. In a thin borrowed poncho, I grimaced every time whipped cream slid under it, onto my precious uniform. When at last the supplies were exhausted, and I'd removed as much cream from my hair as was possible with a nearby garden hose, I realized I'd gotten lucky. There were many more dire situations to be unprepared for in scouts - broken tents, torrential rains, snakebites,etc. Another lesson to teach my scouts. But I was still going to need a very long shower.  - Tyler P.

I was born in the midst of warfare and genocide, in the troubled nation of Bosnia. The ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by the Serbian troops included unlawful confinement, murder, rape, sexual assault, torture, beating, robbery and inhumane treatment of civilians. Our only crime was believing in the faith of Islam. My brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors and countrymen all lost their lives because of one nation's greed and personal hatred. My family and I witnessed that horror, which is still fresh in my memory. At times I still have nightmares from when a bomb from a warplane hit the side of my house. It caused the foundation to shake as if it was a category 10 earthquake. At that point in time I thought our lives would cease and our time on earth was over. Such memories will never be forgotten. To this very day, I feel blessed and humbled that I am still alive, knowing that god is watching over me and my family. Moreover, adversity and misfortune will occur regardless of your identity or ethnic background. Yet, in time, blessings are bound to come knocking. My past has only motivated me to produce a brighter tomorrow. UGA is my gateway towards success. - Edin I.

As you can see, the reader knows a great deal more about each applicant after these essays. Good job, and Go Dawgs!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

2012 Transfer Update, 3/2/2012

While yesterday was the Summer Transfer deadline, and we will still be receiving materials for this group for the next week or two, we have now also started to review Fall Transfer files. We will be shifting back and forth between Summer and Fall transfer applicants as materials come in, and we will be starting with the Fall Transfer applicants who completed their files first, and moving forward from there. As I stated in the previous transfer update post, I cannot guess if you will be admitted, when you will hear a decision, what will transfer that is not included in the Transfer Equivalency database, etc.

So for right now, just be patient as we review transfer files, and we will make decisions day by day for transfers, with the decisions showing up on the myStatus page (updated in the early AM every business day) and in letters mailed to the applicants.