Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Suggestions

I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer!  Hi, I’m Lindsey Whittaker, Assistant Director of Admissions, and I will be handling the blog for the next 1.5+ years.  While I have been with this office for five years, this is my first time working on the blog in this capacity.   I appreciate your patience as I transition into this role.

As school is ending and summer vacation is beginning, I would like to take some time to offer a few suggestions of things you can do during your break.

  • Read!  Many of you are going to have summer reading lists that you need to complete prior to school starting back.  Make sure you read all of your required books. (Notice I said books, not Cliffs Notes, Spark Notes, Wikipedia, etc.).  Also, pick up a few books to read for fun.  Reading is not just a way to pass time.  The benefits of reading include boosting test scores, building vocabulary, and improving memory, just to name a few.
  • Send us your test scores.  You’re not on our radar until you have contacted us in some manner, typically by sending SAT and/or ACT scores.  This means we can’t invite you to programs, send you admissions updates, etc.  You can send your scores to us as soon as you take the test, you don’t have to wait until you apply.  We’re going to use your best score possible, so why not go ahead and have them sent to us?  Roughly 500 applicants last year were incomplete because they forget to have test scores sent.  Don’t let this be you!
  •  Visit colleges.  Many of you are going to have travel plans this summer.  If your travel happens to land you near a college that you’re interested in, go ahead and schedule a visit.  It’s never too early to start visiting colleges.  Do you live within an hour of Athens?  Go ahead and schedule a visit to UGA! (
  • Organize, organize, organize!  Most students are going to be applying to multiple colleges.  Each college can differ in what is required from a first year applicant.  How are you going to keep everything straight?  Start a file folder for each college you are planning on applying to.  Get a copy of your transcript, make sure you have your correct SSN (very important!), have your counselor and teacher emails available, etc.  This way you can remember which colleges require what and what you have done once it’s time to start applying.
  • Start looking at the essays for the colleges that you’re thinking about applying to.  Most colleges are going to make the essays available during the summer.  What themes do you want do you want to write about?  Our new essay questions will be available (and posted to the blog) within the next 2 to 4 weeks.  You can store your ideas in your new college folders.  
  • Have fun!  It is summer vacation after all.  You’re going to have a very full year ahead of you with college applications looming, rigorous senior schedules, school activities, final exams, etc.  Take some time to relax and enjoy your break so that when it’s time for school to resume, you are focused and ready for your senior year. 
Go Dawgs!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Good News, Bad News

I have some good news and some bad news from the UGA Admissions Blog, so I will break it out into multiple notes in this post.

  • Good News: Over the next three years, UGA will be updating the old Student Information System from our current system (which is becoming hard to program/repair) to a new one, Banner (which all the other colleges in the GA System use).
  • Bad News: This is a complicated process, and it will take about 1.5-2 years to make the shift from the old system to the new one for admissions.
  • Good News: For the next 1.5-2 years (starting within the next month or so), I will be the team lead for the UGA Admissions Office for the Banner implementation project. 
  • Bad News: I will have to devote about 90% of my time to getting the new system up and running, and I will not be able to give much time/energy to managing this blog and the associated twitter account.
  • Good News: Lindsey Whitaker, an Assistant Director of Admissions in our office, will be the main person working on the blog. She has done some monitoring and answering of questions in the past, and has worked with students in a variety of areas in our office.
  • Bad News: When I started this blog about three years ago, it took me a while to get things running smoothly, to figure out the comment system, etc., so please be patient as Lindsey transitions into this role. In addition, she also has other responsibilities, so please be kind.
  • Good News: It is always great to have a different point of view on some things, so I am sure that Lindsey will be able to give some new insights into the Admissions Process.
  • Good News: The UGA Admissions Office will still be focused on giving you detailed, up-to-date information, and in making the decision process as transparent and open as possible. I am sure the next few years will go well, and I will check back in from time to time to help answer questions or give suggestions!
Go Dawgs!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wait List Process Completed

At this time, we have offered a limited number of students admission for fall term off the 2012 wait-list (approximately 130-140 students), and a smaller number of students spring admission off the wait-list (approximately 30-35 students). Based on the "Yes" responses we have received so far, we have determined that we are not able to offer admission to any further students off the wait-list for either fall or spring. We also know that some admitted freshman will decide not to attend UGA, and we have built this into our decision numbers.

For the group of students where we were not able to offer admission off the wait-list, we are sorry that we could not do so, and we wish you well at the college you have chosen. You will receive an email with this notification shortly, followed up by a letter. While we understand that this is not the news you were hoping for, we have tried to move as quickly as possible with the process, and we hope that by moving forward earlier and finishing the process well before the projected end date (about 40 days earlier), this will allow you to move forward with other plans easily. Please remember that there are a number of reasons why we have made the decisions we did, and I would not be able to answer any comments asking why someone did or did not get admitted off the wait-list.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quick Wait List Update

I am in Arkansas right now, but I wanted to let everyone know that we started making a limited number of offers to wait list students for the Spring 2013 term. I do not have any specific numbers, but at least I can give you this update. We are still waiting to see on the responses from our initial wait list offers for Fall before we can say anything definitive on this Fall group and what the next steps will be for any further offers. I hope this helps, and please remember I am out of contact for most of the week, and that I do not have any more specifics other than what I have already shared. Go Dawgs, and thanks for being patient!

Friday, May 11, 2012

UGA Admission Terms

A recent National Admissions meeting brought up the issue that admissions offices have some words that are unique to our specific profession, and that an admissions dictionary might be needed. In fact, one of the presenters is Carey Clinton, a UGA alum and one of our Assistant Director of Admissions. As such, I have created a new Admissions Terms page, which is my limited attempt at a UGA Admissions Dictionary. It is now one of the pages you can see right below the blog heading. I hope this gives some insight into the often times confusing world of college admissions!

Go Dawgs!

Arkansas Bound with the SEC

For the last six years or so, I have spent a few days each May meeting with Admissions personnel from the other SEC schools (welcome Texas A&M and U Missouri!) to share ideas, talk about different issues, laugh, cry (okay, not too much crying), and share stories from the year. It is also a good time to plan for the future, and see how other college admissions teams run their offices. I am also going to get a behind the scenes look at the University of Arkansas, visit Fayetteville, AR for the first time (Pig Sooie!), and hopefully learn a great deal. As such, I will have intermittent access to the blog, and to your questions. Please be patient concerning any replies, and I will try to answer questions either at sporadic times during the event, or when I return mid-week.

As well, let me know if you have any questions about admissions for the SEC group. I cannot promise any answers, but I can share your thoughts.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wait List Update

I am happy to announce that we will begin making a limited number of offers from the wait list for the Fall 2012 term starting later today! Over 700 students have requested to stay on the Wait List (out of about 1,100 offered the option), and we will only be able to offer admission to a limited number of these students. I do not have exact details about who are how many students we will be able to admit off the wait list, though, so please be patient as we move forward with this process. Just so you know, here are a few quotes from the Wait List FAQ:

  • The waiting list is not numbered or ranked.  Around May 15 we will know how many spaces (if any) will be left in the Class of 2016.  If we go to the waiting list, we will review all the applications of those students who have reserved a place on the waiting list via the Web site to select the most qualified students and determine the order in which offers of admission will be made. Our selections will be made in an attempt to round out the class with regard to all the academic and personal talents and qualities we have reviewed.
  • We will attempt to phone all students who are to be accepted off the waiting list; and if a student is still interested, we will send an acceptance letter.

Please do not call or email our office to see if you are going to be admitted off the Wait List, as we will be initiating the contact for offering admission from this group. As you can see, we are a little bit ahead of the timeline we expected (5/7 vs 5/15), and we will try to communicate by phone first, and then voice mail and email if we are not able to reach a person. After we communicate with the student or family, the student has the option of accepting the offer or not, and if admitted, they then have time to then make a decision about enrolling at UGA and sending in a deposit. As such, it is not always a quick process, but we will try our best to move forward as rapidly as possible.

Go Dawgs!