Friday, April 27, 2012

Question about Essay Questions

 At this time of year, we start looking at the freshman application, and what need need to tweak/alter for following years. We often debate back and forth about our four short essay questions (150-200 words), and what we could ask that is creative yet specific, allows for an applicant to share more about themselves, but does not get too pretentious.

I am now throwing this question out to you, high school students, to see what short essay question(s) you would like us to ask on the application? Be creative, share your ideas, and maybe we will use your question on next year's application.

Thanks, and Go Dawgs!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 2012 Updates for Freshman and Transfers

It is mid-April, and life is still fairly hectic in our office. Freshman decisions are out, but we are still in the thick of reviewing transfer files, monitoring commitment deposits for the freshman class, traveling, hosting accepted student events on campus and around the US, mailing out tons of materials, etc. But we also know that this is a hectic time for you as well, so here is a quick update on what is going on at UGA.

  • Admitted Freshman: We suggest you do not wait until the last moment to decide where you will be attending college. We are fine if you wait until May 1 to submit your commitment deposit, but we do not want you to get it in late and suddenly have problems attending your intended college. Make a good decision, and make a well thought out decision, but don't put it off just to delay making a decision. In addition, make sure not to catch "senioritis", as if it is too severe, it could be fatal to your enrollment at UGA! In addition, all of our merit based scholarships (except for the Goizueta scholarships that had a separate application) have been awarded. Approximately 9-10% of the class was offered a merit based scholarship (with out of state at times having a partial or full waiver of the OOS fees), so it was a very competitive process. Scholarship offers are displayed on a student's myStatus page if one is offered, and the section only appears if an offer is made.
  • Wait list students: We will be monitoring the deposits that come in, but we will not be able to determine the next steps until sometime after the first week of May (May 1 is a postmark date), so move forward with plan B and then be patient. I wish I could say that we would know things earlier, but I can't, as we need to make sure we know what our freshman class is looking like numbers wise before we take any action with the wait list.
  • Transfer Applicants: There are still a tiny number of summer applicants that we are working with, but these should be cleared up within the next 2-3 weeks, so be patient. As for fall transfers, we have almost exactly 2,500 applicants, and we have made roughly 1,200 decisions. We are able to review about 50 or so files a day, but it may get a little slower as we get into more detailed and difficult files. As for what files we are working on and what application/complete file dates we are at, it is tough to determine exactly, but my estimate is that we are working on files that were complete as of the very end of January/the early part of February. Again, this is not exact, but this is the best example, while also knowing that some tough files from earlier in the year may have to wait to be reviewed, while some later files may have been reviewed earlier due to the request of a department or due to being well below the consideration levels (and thus being denied).
  • Transfer Applicants: Make sure we have Fall 2011 grades in your file for review, or we cannot make a decision! If your transcript shows a date prior to early December, there is no way that we could have Fall grades on the transcript, and we need Fall grades to make a decision! We try to communicate with you, but 2,500 transfer files is a lot to check, and it is not always easy to tell if a term is not on the transcript yet.
  • HS Juniors and below: Make sure to challenge yourself and do well in your classes, but also to enjoy life. Read a book for fun, watch a movie (I have Moneyball on DVR and can't wait to watch it tomorrow night), cook a meal for your parents, and take a nap once in a while. Oh, and get off call of duty, it rots your brain (just kidding!).
  • Parents: Help your student in the admission process, but make sure that your child is the one that takes the lead. I am reminded of the projects in my daughter's second grade class, and you could tell which ones were done by the student and which were done by the parents. Let your student take the lead!
Go Dawgs!

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 Admitted Freshman Statistics

As I promised last week, here are the statistics on the Admitted Class of 2016. I do not have the stats for the wait-list group ( just over 1100 were offered wait-list) at this time as we do not know who will remain on the WL, so you will have to be happy with this information for now. We are thrilled that we had such a strong applicant pool, and the admitted group is very impressive. Remember, the statistics I give out are the middle 50% ranges, so please take that into consideration when viewing the information. We admitted slightly under 10,300 freshman, and are aiming for a class of 5,000 enrolling students.

  • Mid-50% range for GPA: 3.74-4.04 (please remember that this is not the GPA you see on your transcript, but the GPA that UGA calculates based on the core courses taken in HS, and looking at the actual grades on the transcript)
  • Mid-50% range for the SAT CR and M: 1190-1360
  • Mid-50% range for the  SAT Writing: 580-690
  • Mid-50% range for the ACT: 27-31
  • Average number of AP/IB courses: Approximately 6
  • 39% of the freshman admitted to UGA had their strongest test score from the ACT, and if their ACT was then translated to the SAT, the SAT mid-ranges increase by over 30 points for the combined CR/M.
While we show the average number of AP/IB courses, we look at the entire course selection, and the accepted students have challenged themselves with a wide range of Honors and Advanced courses, summer programs, and a number of college courses taken through Joint Enrollment/Dual Enrollment programs (roughly 950 accepted students are taking dual enrollment classes).
Statistics can never show the other qualities that we have seen from our admitted group, from leadership capabilities to strong writing, being active in their schools and communities, to showing great growth from freshman to senior year.
Congratulations to the admitted class of 2016! Now we just have to wait and see who chooses to attend, so send in your deposit if UGA is your school of choice.

These are all the stats I can give you right now, so please do not ask for other data, as I will just have to say no. Our office is focused on phone calls, emails, WL information and transfer reviews, so I cannot always slog through the data.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Random Admission Thoughts, April 2012 Edition

We have finished up the freshman decisions (except for the wait list decisions that we will not know about for a while), summer transfer decisions are almost completely done, and fall transfers are in mid-stream. As such, here are a few pieces of information, wisdom, and random ideas.
  • Transfer applicants, please make sure that all transcripts from all colleges attended are in. Even if it was a summer course, a dual enrollment course in HS, or whatever, we need official transcripts from all colleges.
  • Do not have a fax sent to us, as we will just shred it. Why waste your time and ours. Again, no faxes.
  • Everyone, please make sure to not wait until the last minute to take care of things. If you are late for a class, it will go on without you. If you are late for a plane, it will take off without you. Please don't let a college move on without you just because you did not take care of things on time.
  • Transfer students, please make sure to look at the grades on your college transcripts and know that we look at all grades in transferable courses, even if you repeat a bad grade. I just looked at a transcript where the college listed the GPA as a 3.00, but we have it as a 2.15, because of numerous F grades in the first term that the other college waived when the course was repeated with better grades. It is not like the Men in Black where you can just hit a button and we forget about some grades.
  • Admitted freshman, deposits are due on May 1. Do not wait until the last minute of April 30th to make a decision if possible. In addition, do not double deposit (unless you are on a wait list and then get admitted off of it, in which case you should contact the school you no longer will be attending). Double depositing is bad! 
  • Admitted freshman (and transfers), keep your grades up! We will be looking at your final grades, and we have revoked admissions at times. I hate those calls, so please do not make me call you about a big drop in your grades.
  • Wait listed students, please know that if we could make wait list decisions sooner, we would, but we have to wait and see what the freshman class is looking like numbers wise. The "wait" in wait list is there for a reason, even if it is painful. Sorry!
  • Rising seniors in HS, start make plans for visiting campuses, determining who might write your recommendations, get a copy of your HS transcript after junior year is complete, etc.
  • As well, rising seniors, review how the colleges you are interested in look at the SAT and ACT scores. For instance, if you send UGA three SAT scores, we will only use the highest subscores, so you do not have to worry about score choice. In other words, if you are interested in UGA, send in your test scores early! This will let us communicate with you earlier, will make sure you do not forget to send the scores, etc. You would not believe the number of people who are just now calling us because they forgot to send in their SAT/ACT scores, even with us reminding them 3+ times.
  • Find time to read a book outside of your normal school work. If you have time to tweet, get on Facebook, or play Call of Duty, you have time to read. Just do it!
  • Freshman and sophomore HS students, your grades in your first two years do count. We will be looking at them. So do not slack off and think we will just ignore these grades.
  • Transfer applicants, please be patient. We have roughly 2,500 fall transfer applicants, and it takes time to review them. I would guess that about 800 decisions already made, but it takes a while. Again, patience.
  • On April 7, To Kill a Mockingbird will air on the USA channel, 8 PM EST. If you get a chance, watch it! It is wonderful!
  • Parents, do not listen to rumors. If someone says "I heard that UGA ...", run away with your hands over your ears. Really, do that!
  • Admitted Freshman, choose a college that fits what you are looking for in a college, not what your friend/neighbor/boyfriend/girlfriend think is the right one for you.
  • Do a Random Act of Kindness today. Trust me, it will make at least two people smile.
Go Dawgs!