Monday, December 23, 2013

UGA Holiday Break

Our office will be closed for the holiday break from late December 24 through January 1, and we will then open back up on January 2.  This means we will not open mail, answer emails, phones calls, voice mails, respond to blog posts, etc. until our office reopens in January.  Please be patient with us when we reopen in January as we will have two Orientation sessions for students enrolling for Spring.

We will be pushing applications into our system through the holiday break, but the test score import will be paused. As well, we will have a large amount of college transcripts with fall grades to review for entering Spring transfers, and we will also have to handle a large amount of mail right after the start of the new year. As such, please understand it may take a few days to dig out from under the document deluge.

Enjoy the holiday break and Go Dawgs!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Transfer Applicants for 2014

Sometime this week, our office will open up the Summer Transfer application, and the Fall Transfer application will open up in late January/mid February. Here are a few notes for students who are considering applying as transfer applicants.
  • If you have been following this blog for the past few months, you know that we are implementing a new student information system. For this year, the summer applicants are on the old system, and the fall applicants are on the new system. What this means for transfer applicants is that we do not have the ability to change your term from summer to fall or fall to summer unless a new application is completed. As such, you need to select the term (summer or fall) that you wish to start classes at UGA carefully, as you will need to stick with this start term.
  • Because of the new student system, we have had to move up the Summer transfer application deadline to February 15, a change of 15 days, to insure smooth processing of transfer coursework in our systems. If you are applying for Summer transfer admissions, please make sure to focus on getting your application and all materials in before the deadline to make your admission process move forward efficiently.
  • Transfer deadlines are for both the application and for all college transcripts. UGA will only review academic work that is completed and sent to our office by the deadline. For example, Fall transfer applicants have a deadline of 4/1, so we can only review work completed and into our office by 4/1. We cannot use work from a Spring term where classes are in progress and will be completed after the deadline. In addition, we do not need a high school transcript for transfer applicants, so please do not request this to be sent to UGA.
  • There is no difference in our review process from summer to fall, or the terms we can use for review are the same (see the previous bullet point), so make an educated decision on what start term you wish to apply for transfer admission. Do not select summer transfer admission just to try and have a decision earlier but with the intention of switching to fall, as this will cause you problems due to the change in student systems.
  • Summer term has a number of course options, both on the UGA campus and online, so review this option carefully and see if it fits your needs. 
  • We often get a question revolving around starting in the summer and if you can then continue normally at UGA for the fall and beyond. If you start at UGA and take classes as a student in the summer (not as a transient/guest student), you can then attend for the fall and beyond, just like any other student for any other term.
  • Remember, in progress courses cannot be used for admission consideration, all college transcripts from all colleges where you have grades (even dual enrollment work from high school) are needed in order for us to review your file. 
  • If you have AP or IB credit at your current college, it must show up as specific courses with specific hours and college course titles and course numbers on a college transcript to be considered as transferable work.
I hope this helps in the transfer process, and make sure you do not wait until the last minute to apply or send in transcripts.

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Random Admissions Thoughts December 2013 Edition

We have made it past the Early Action decisions, and we are now at the next stages of the admission cycle. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts about what happens in Admissions and UGA from December to late March.

  • Scholarships-We are working on the review of files for scholarships, but as of today we have only had about four working days since decisions were released, and most of those were spent talking with families. I expect that we will begin releasing some scholarship offers in mid-late December, and this will continue until mid-April as we review files for different scholarships. We will offer about 15-20% of admitted student's scholarships overall, but it takes time.
  • Honors-The Honors program is working with UGA's new student system for the first time, so please be patient with this office as they begin their review for their early offers. They hope to be able to start communicating with accepted applicants in December, but it will depend on many things. Again, please be patient with their office.
  • Deferred EA applicants are beginning to submit part II of the application and get in teacher recommendations, and we expect the majority will finish these steps during the December holidays. Deferred applicants do not need to submit a new application or pay a new application fee, and it will cause problems for applicants who try to do this. In addition, the last section of part II is an update form, where an applicant can give us new information such as updated activities, fall grades, new honors, etc.
  • While Fall grades are not required for RD or deferred EA applicants, I heavily suggest sending them in, either on part II or on an updated transcript. Accepted students do not need to send us updated grades unless requested by another office (Honors for instance).
  • For RD applicants, it is best to apply first and then send in any school documents, as it is easier and quicker to match these items. Test scores can come in prior to applying without issue, but documents have to be saved in our holding files and then matched every day, and these files get a little overwhelming during deadline times with thousands of non-matched documents.
  • For a few students, GA411 is having issues with sending transcripts to us if one was sent earlier in the summer (June/July). You may get an email from GA411 saying we downloaded the transcript, but this comes from GA411, not us, so go by myStatus.
  • During your senior year, do not catch senioritis or do something that you will regret the next day. The main reason we would ever rescind an admission offer would be a serious drop in grades or a problematic conduct issue, so stay strong and focused.
  • Remember, more is not always better. If you have ten teacher recommendations sent to us, or decide you need to send us a five page resume, or decide that 200 word short answer limits are too limiting and decide to send us two page essays by mail, know that it becomes harder to see the forest through the trees. Brevity and being concise are not bad things.
  • We will accept SAT/ACT scores from exams taken and requested to be sent by the end of January. Please make sure you request your scores be sent to UGA when you sign up for the exam. Do not wait until you have seen your January scores before requesting them to be sent, as that might be too late. Remember, we only use the highest scores, so thee is no need to wait before sending them.
Go Dawgs!

Friday, November 22, 2013

EA Decisions are now on myStatus

Early Action decisions are now available online!  You can view the press release with some statistics about EA students who were admitted here.  For students who were deferred, please understand that this is not a denial decision.  We want to be able to have a more in-depth review of you, including short essays, activities, recommendations, etc.  Please be sure to read the deferred student FAQ page before commenting on here.

If you have questions about your specific decision, please do not post them on this blog.  As well, do not give out or request personal academic information in your post, as we would then need to delete these posts. We are not able to answer questions about individual students here because we will generally not have your information in front of us and we cannot disclose individual student information in a comment.  I would recommend talking with both your family and high school counselor first, then reviewing this previous post on suggestions about how to react to an EA decision, and finally reading the FAQ's available from your myStatus page.

Please be patient, be nice and be courteous.

Have a great weekend and go Dawgs!

Part Way Home in Admissions

Earlier this fall, I used the image of a long cross country trip when looking at the Admissions process, and how we would not know the exact arrival time until we were almost to the destination. Now picture the Admissions process as a road trip with three legs to the journey. The first leg is Early Action, and we are now at the end of that part of the trip. The second leg is a little shorter, and finishes up in late February when we review all Regular Decision and Deferred EA applicants to see if they now meet Early Action admission standards (some EA defers will have a jump in their SAT/ACT scores that could shift them to admit). The last leg is the hardest, as it is the file reading part of the trip, and it does not finish up until late March when final decisions are released.

So please know that UGA will not be done with the entire freshman admission decisions after we make our Early Action decisions. We will be done with the Early Action leg of the trip, but we are still a long way from being done with final decisions! We will still be receiving a large number of RD applications, deferred EA students will be completing their part II sections, we will be reviewing transcripts, reading essays, doing holistic reviews, etc. So if you are deferred, please know that we still have a lot of admission decisions to make! My rough estimate based on prior years is that will still be admitting between 3,000-4,000 more freshmen after EA decisions. As well, please know that UGA will be treating deferred EA and RD applicants the same during the next steps of the process. The rumor always hits that deferred applicants will now be "put at the back of the line behind RD applicants", so let me just cut that off now and let you know that is incorrect. Again, in the next stages of the admission process, we will look at deferred EA (who get in part II and a teacher rec!) and RD applicants in the same way.

In addition,  I heavily suggest that any deferred applicants that start comparing themselves to people who were admitted and questioning the decisions remember that UGA has a full view of everything in an applicant's file, from the various SAT/ACT subscores, and problem areas such as a D/F grade, an applicant's overall curriculum, and more detailed information about their overall information, while others only have a partial and sometimes inaccurate view of things. This is just my suggestion, and you do not have to follow it, but it comes from 20 years of talking with families about decisions.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2013 Early Action Decision Release Update

For all of you who are waiting anxiously by your computer/mailbox, nervous about your Early Action decision, here is some good news. UGA is planning on releasing the EA decisions on the myStatus page on Friday, November 22 in the late afternoon, unless some serious problem arises, which I do not expect. If this changes, we will let you know, but this is the plan at this time. If there are issues, the release date and time would then be a little later, either over the weekend or the early part of the next week.  Do not call/email/text/message/tweet asking for the exact time of "late afternoon", as I cannot give an exact time. We will post a message here when it opens up. We are excited about this, and I am guessing you are as well, and hopefully it will allow for a little less nerve-wracking Thanksgiving break.

In addition to the decisions being available on the myStatus page, letters will go out in the mail for Accepted, Deferred and Incomplete students. Freshman denial letters will not be mailed out, as almost all applicants see their decisions online, and we, along with a number of colleges, did not want to have a letter that only served to reinforce the negative feelings they might already have.

Here are a few suggestions on how to react to the four different decisions:

Admit: Celebrate with family, buy a lot of UGA gear to wear for the Thanksgiving break, but remember that not everyone has received a decision of admission, and so be a little more low key with friends and classmates. In other words, do not run up to you best friend during English class and scream "I got into Georgia" while 10-15 of your classmates are mentally throwing daggers into your back. In addition, be patient with the other parts of campus (commitment deposit, housing, the UGA myID system, etc.), as they might need a few days to take in your information. Remember, we have a new system we are incorporating into the entire University, so it may take a little longer for things to happen. Read the materials we give you online and in an acceptance packet as it will instruct you on what to do next.

Defer: This is the most challenging one, as these are applicants who are truly strong students, but we want to see more about them, as well as the rest of the applicant pool, before making a final decision.  Please remember, this is not a denial at all, but instead a way for us to be able to review you in full, from your co-curricular activities, your essays, and your recommendations. As I usually state, defer is not a four letter word (even though you might feel this way), only a delay in an admission decision. This is your chance to let us know what you are like as an overall applicant. While this is probably not the answer you would like, I would suggest you treat it as a call-back for a second audition. Some roles have already been cast (or admitted), and we now want to look at you in more detail to see how you compare to the rest of the people auditioning (or applying). One of the worst things you can do is give up and not do the essays. The second worst thing is to call us up and berate us for not admitting you. We will be happy to talk to people, but make sure to communicate in a positive tone, understand that we cannot talk about other applicants, and please remember that defer does not mean denial. In past years, just under half of the deferred applicants who completed part II were later admitted. Each year, about 1000 deferred students do not complete part II, so we never even have a chance to even review them! If you are serious about UGA, take the time to complete your application, and then be patient as we review all of these files throughout Jan., Feb. and March. When completing part II/the essays, you do NOT need to do an entirely new application, and there is no new/additional application fee. You just need to go to your myStatus page after decisions are out, complete part II/the essays, and hit submit. As well, get a teacher from an academic area to write your teacher recommendation. Remember, UGA is in no way done with the overall freshman admission process. We still have a long way to go, with a great deal of files to read and admission offers to make, so make sure you do your best to show UGA what you are like as an overall student/citizen.

Deny: While this is not a fun situation at all, the reality is that if you have been denied Early Action, you are truly not competitive for admission at UGA as compared to the rest of the applicant pool. It is not easy to write that, and it is very difficult to tell this to a student or parent, but when we look at this student's application in comparison with the other 12,070 EA applicants (and remember, we expect to get over 10,000 RD applicants as well), they do not match up academically with the others. It is better to tell you now instead of waiting until late March, as this gives you time to make other plans. Unless there seems to be a serious error (you are in the top of your class, take a very challenging course load, and have a strong test score), my suggestion is to not contact us about the decision, but instead move forward with plan B. While we do not mind talking with you at all, the reality is that an Early Action denial means that the admission to UGA is not possible as a freshman.

Incomplete: For the small number of students who did not complete your EA file, you are now automatically deferred to the next step, and so you will need to get in the missing materials from EA, and also submit part II of the application and a teacher recommendation. We went three plus weeks beyond the deadline allowing you to get in the missing documents, sending reminder emails, indicating what was missing through the myStatus page, and it was your responsibility to get in the required materials. So I do not suggest contacting us to see if we can take items late, as that time has passed. Focus instead on sending in what is needed to be reviewed in the next round. When completing part II/the essays, you do NOT need/want to do an entirely new application, and there is no new/additional application fee. You just need to go to your myStatus page after decisions are out, complete part II/the essays, and hit submit.

Go Dawgs!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Calculating a UGA GPA

During every admissions cycle, the question of how UGA calculates a high school GPA arises. I have seen so many GPA's thrown out on college "discussion forums" that I start to cringe when I see these three letters. Because there are so many school systems using such a wide variety of grading scales, my best answer is always that we try to start everyone out on as level a playing field as possible. To give you an idea of the range of grading/GPA scales, here is a small sample; 10 point grading scales, 7 point grading scales, E/S/U grades, narrative grade reports, 6 point GPA scales (to include AP weighting), 4 point GPA scales, plus/minus grades, numerical only grades, 16 point GPA scales adding all four years together, etc. As you can see, the GPA on one student's HS transcript could vary greatly from another's.

So step one is to look at the GPA(s) on your transcript, and then completely ignore it. Scratch it out, mark it out with a Sharpie, rip that section off the transcript, but do whatever you need to do to get it out of your mind.

Step two, understand that UGA re-calculates all high school GPA's, and it is based upon the individual grades (be it semester, trimester, full year, etc.) in all the academic classes using the grading scale at that school. In addition, we add 1.0 weight to every individual AP or IB grade (unless a weight has already been added to the individual grade), and calculate a GPA based upon a 4.00 scale. Every A is worth 4 points, every B is 3 points, etc. As I said before, our goal is to try to review everyone on as level a playing field as possible.

Here is a quick example: Johnny Smith applies to UGA with the following grades in his core classes, and his school does not add any weight to the grades.

  • 10 A grades (10 X 4 = 40 quality points)
  • 4 B grades (4 X 3 = 12 quality points)
  • 1 C grade (1 X 2 = 2 quality points)
  • 3 of these grades are AP grades (3 X 1.0 = 3 quality points)
Add up all the quality points (57) and divide by the number of grades (15), and you will get your GPA (57 / 15 = 3.80).

That is it. It is not that difficult, and it gives us a good, consistent GPA for all our applicants. Imagine if we had to try and compare a 3.76 GPA to an 11.40 GPA to a "mostly E/S grades" GPA. The idea of comparing apples to apples is much better.

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Early Action Update-Closing In

If you have checked your myStatus page today, you will see the above image. What does this mean? Exactly what it says. At this time, the Status Check is closed so we can move forward with final preparations for decisions, and we will release them by November 27. Does that mean we will release them on November 27? No. It means we will release them (all at one time) between now and November 27. While we can not pinpoint the date yet, we can at least narrow down the window for you, so you can get a better idea of the timing.

When I know an exact date, I will share it with you. Until then, we ask for your patience, and know that I cannot guess about a date, and will only give one out when we have the exact date.

Thanks, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Are We There Yet? - Early Action Edition

"Are we there yet?"

Admit it, you have said this phrase to your parents before-everybody has. If you are on a long car ride, the first thing you want to know is when you will arrive. And while the wonderful GPS system can give you a rough approximation, you can never tell when something unexpected will come up. Whether it is a traffic backup, multiple rest room breaks, a meal that takes longer than expected, or a missed turn, something might happen to change your expected arrival time. In my family, it is well known that if we want to get somewhere early, my wife should drive. So while you can guess about the time you will get there, you won't know exactly until you are very close to your destination.

The same thing happens in Admissions. While we have a rough time frame for the Early Action decision date, we know that there might be some odd issues that will pop up. Whether it is a new system being brought up, a problem with our software, a large increase in applications, a wave of illness in the office, or some other issue (just be glad we are not on the Common Application!), we cannot say exactly when we will release EA decisions until we get closer to the end of the process.

While I cannot give you a decision date right now, what I can do is keep you updated on this blog and through Twitter (follow me at @drgravesUGA). We are plowing ahead with reviewing the Early Action files, and we are impressed by the strength of this group, as well as the size of the pool (we have 12,070 Early Action applications, which is 700+ more than last year). We might not be able to let you know until we are almost at the release date, but we will try our best to keep you updated.

So to answer the question "Are we there yet?", I can only say what most parents say, "We're almost there, just be patient."

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Random Admissions Thoughts-October 2013 Edition

The Early Action deadline is in the rear view mirror now, and we are deep into reviewing files, cleaning up missing documents, and getting prepared for our first admission decisions in our new system. As such, here are a few notes to help get you through the waiting until decision day.

  • If your myStatus page is still showing items as missing, this is the time to act. Make sure that the items have been sent, and get them here ASAP. We can only wait so long before we have to stop taking in materials for EA.
  • If you have not seen Gravity yet, go see it. If possible, in 3D IMAX. It is an amazing experience.
  • Please do not ask when EA decisions will be going out, as we do not know yet. Really, we don't. When we know for sure the date of the release of EA decisions, we will post it on this blog and tweet it. But for now, just be patient.
  • Everyone celebrate the fact that UGA is not a part of the Common Application this year.
  • Remember that UGA is going through an entire student system change, so please be patient with Housing, Financial Aid, Registration, etc. as we shift to this new system.
  • Do whatever you have to do so you don't catch Senioritis. Take vitamins, wear a hospital mask, eat well, get sleep, but do not catch this disease! Trust me, it is better to work hard now than to have an admission offer rescinded in the summer.
  • Do something nice for your favorite teacher tomorrow. Cookies, candy, a kind note - just let them know they matter.
  • Take a look at the Dawg Camp site, as it is an amazing opportunity to get involved during the summer.
  • For Early Action applicants, remember that deferral is not a four letter word. Deferral is like a call back for part in a play. We just want to get a more detailed look at your file before we make a decision.
  • Please review the File Review Process Page to understand how we review applications, and what we look at in the different timelines.
  • Review our UGA Admissions Urban Legends page, do not listen to any rumors, and please do not spread any rumors.
  • Enjoy your senior year of high school, as it is the only one you get (at least I hope it is).
Go Dawgs!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Early Action Update

With the Early Action deadline passing, here are a few updates about the process:

  • Total Early Action Applications:  12,071
  • Complete Early Action Applications: 7,697
  • # of EA Applicants Applying near Deadline: 2,593

As you can see, a large number of the Early Action applications are complete.  Additionally, over 20% of the total applicant pool for EA applied right around the deadline.  This means our office still digging out from under the thousands of documents, test scores, etc. we have received. We appreciate your patience as we work as quickly as possible to match documents with files.

It takes our office about 5 to 10 business days to match a document with an applicant's file, and with the materials deadline of 10/22, we are still receiving items.  If your documents were submitted by this deadline, it will be considered for Early Action.  We are accepting the October 5 SAT for Early Action as long as you designated UGA as a school to automatically receive your scores, and we have imported most of these today, so they should show up on the myStatus page soon.

Your Steps
Be sure to check your myStatus to make sure you are complete!  If material you have sent is not showing up on your myStatus, double-check with your counselor, College Board, etc. to make sure that it was sent.  If it was sent and it has been more than 10 business days (business days do not include weekends or holidays), please contact us.

Now that you have submitted your application (and it is hopefully complete), take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the fall weather!

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

EA Deadline, The Day After

The Early Action deadline has come and gone, and we will spend the next several weeks matching up transcripts, test scores, recommendations, etc. Please be patient while we go through documents, as we had two full bins this morning, we are also receiving large numbers of e-documents through Parchment and GA411, and we will have a large number of test scores sent to us this time 

As of now, we have just over 12,000 Early Action applications, which is slightly above last year. Now the important thing is to make sure your file is complete. We will be taking the October SAT scores if they were requested when you signed up for the exam, and we will be receiving a large number of other test scores, as we know there is always a high volume of requests just before the deadline.

I have no idea at this time any exact timelines, what the applicant pool looks like right now, etc., so please do not ask what it looks like for admissions for EA this year. And as always, I do not guess about decisions, whether you will be admitted, deferred or denied, etc.

So for right now, here is what I suggest you do and not do:

Things To Do
  • Check with your school and the testing agencies to make sure your required materials were sent, and check your myStatus page
  • Keep up with your class work during Fall term, as senioritis is not an acceptable excuse for poor senior grades.
  • Stay out of trouble, or better yet, perform a Random Act of Kindness
  • Be patient with UGA Admissions (and all admissions offices)
  • Enjoy your senior year, and be kind to your teachers and counselors
Things Not To Do
  • Don't contact us a day or two after something is sent and check and see if we have received it. We suggest giving us 5-10 business days, as it takes time to match up tens of thousands of items.
  • Don't assume that someone else will send us items. You are the owner of your test scores, transcripts, etc., so you need to make sure they are sent to us.
  • Don't forget that if you send us an ACT, we require an ACT Writing score.
  • Don't listen to, spread, or believe in rumors about UGA Admissions. If someone says "I heard that UGA ...", run away.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The EA Deadline is Near

The Early Action deadline is almost here, and the two weeks surrounding the deadline are similar to Atlanta during 5:00 p.m. rush hour traffic (on a Friday).  Our office typically receives 4,000+ applications, a drastic increase in mail, and a great deal of emails and phone calls in the few days both before and after the deadline.  The best thing an applicant can do right now is be patient and make sure you have requested your test scores, transcript and school evaluation.  We work as quickly as possible to match documents with files, but we are dealing with a large number of applications and supplemental material, so things do not happen immediately.

The fastest way to get material to us is to send it electronically after you have applied.  If your high school is in Georgia, you can send transcripts through . Students attending a high school outside of Georgia can have their counselors submit transcripts online through Docufide/Parchment.  The high school evaluation can be submitted online from the High School Counselor Portal.  Remember, no faxes!

Please do not call our office to ask if we have received a document, test score, etc. if it was just sent.  It takes about 8 to 10 business days from the time something is mailed for it to be matched with your file.  It takes 4 to 5 business days for something submitted online to show up on your myStatus. By business I mean that any weekend or holidays when the admissions office is not working, we are not matching up materials.

Be sure to check your myStatus to see what we have received and what we are missing.  This is updated once every business day, so you do not need to check it several times a day.  Documents do not need to show up in your myStatus by October 15 to be in by the deadline, and we are giving school officials until October 22 to get in their materials (the school evaluation and transcript).  Know that if you have submitted something to us by the deadline, we will post it in our system and your myStatus shortly.  We appreciate your patience as we work vigorously to match all of the material we are receiving with applications.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Early Action Deadline Approaching

The Early Action deadline is approaching, so here are a few suggestions as we approach the deadline:

  • Don't wait until the last minute.  Even though the deadline is October 15, you should not wait until the last minute to submit your application.  We do not hold it against you if you wait until 11:59PM on October 15 to apply, however if you do this you are not giving yourself any time to account for issues that could occur to prevent you from submitting.  For example internet connectivity issues, computer problems, etc.  The deadline is the deadline, so you should always plan to apply earlier than the last minute.  Also be sure to take time to review your application before you submit it.   Please note while the application is available 24/7, the credit card payment option is only available from 7AM to 11:00 PM EST.  You can still select the check/fee waiver option after 11:00 PM.
  • Be patient.  After you submit your application, please be aware that things will not happen instantaneously.  We are likely to have around 11,000 Early Action applicants and the majority of the supplemental material will be sent within the next three weeks.  We will be vigorously matching material, but please give things time to get here (both mailed and electronically submitted documents) before contacting us.  If an item is mailed, allow time for the postal service to deliver it.  If a test score is sent, allow time for it to be both uploaded by the testing agency and downloaded by UGA.  Our deadlines are "postmarked/submitted" deadlines.  The next few weeks will be a little hectic in our office as we pull together all of the materials for each application, so we may be a little slower in responding to voice mails, emails, etc. As well, we have a new student system we are bringing up, so this adds an additional challenge to our process.
  • Do not send a fax.  If you or your counselor faxes something in, it will be shredded.  We place the shredder next to the fax machine for a reason.
  • Check your myStatus.  It is the applicant's responsibility to get in all required documents.  The myStatus page is updated once a day Monday through Friday, generally in the morning, so you do not need to check it multiple times a day.  We have also extended the deadline for admissions documents to 10/22, so documents do not need to show up on the myStatus by 10/15. If it has been over 10 business days since you both applied and any "missing" documents have been sent in, you should begin to inquire about the missing document.  If it is a GACollege411 transcript, we occasionally have one that does not come through.  However, it is easy to go back into the system and access it again.
  • Missing SAT/ACT scores.  If you sent your SAT/ACT scores a while ago and they have not matched up yet, verify that they were sent to UGA through College Board/ACT.  Then verify that the name, social and birth date on the test scores are the same as the admissions application as these are important matching fields.  If you have given us enough time to receive them and they are not showing up on myStatus, email with your situation and we will work on manually matching your scores.  Please be patient as it takes longer than a day for scores we receive to get into our system.We will accept test scores that were taken and requested to be sent to UGA by the 10/15 application deadline, as these will have time to get to us by our decision date. In addition, there is an odd glitch with our new system displaying the highest subscore at times, but we hope to have this corrected in a few days.
  • School Evaluation.  Your counselor will have additional time to submit the school evaluation as their EA deadline for materials is 10/22.  We will leave the online school evaluation open for at least a week beyond the deadline so your counselors should not have to stress about any last minute applicants. 
Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Random Thoughts for September 2013

It is the end of September, which means a number of things in the world of College Admissions. Applications are rolling in for next fall, the sound of luggage rolling down the office hallway as counselors pack up for their next week of fall travel, the campus gets a little crazy as home football games start to pick up. Here are a few quick notes for the high school seniors/UGA applicants for next year:
  • Review the Top Ten Urban Legends about UGA Admissions, so you do not have to worry about the myths concerning what major you should put down, if EA is easier for admissions chances, etc.
  • Please be patient with our office this year, as we are using a whole new student system (it will change Admissions, Registration, Student Financial Aid, Bursar’s Office, etc.) It is a big project, but we hope it will cause as few ripples as possible in your admissions process.
  • Take your time completing the application, so you do not have to send us an email asking us to fix your name, your SSN, your address, etc. Review the application, especially the 8-10 key fields we list out for you at the end of the application, before hitting submit.
  • Go by your favorite high school teacher's classroom and tell them how much they have meant to you. It is senior year, and I don't want this to slip by without you telling them.
  • Review the database of the UGA Admissions Counselors fall travel schedule (updated each week), and send your counselor a quick email with suggestions on what to do/where to eat/etc. in your hometown. You can find the counselor for your area at
  • Remember that if you are applying for Early Action, the deadline for taking an SAT/ACT is the EA deadline of 10/15, and that you need to have requested the scores be sent by 10/15. Also remember that if you submit an ACT, we need an ACT Writing score!
  • The materials deadlines are one week after the application deadlines, so EA materials need to be sent by October 22.
  • You are responsible for your application! We have a number of parents who are calling us now saying "My son/daughter and I are completing the application...". While your parents want to review the application with you, and maybe look at it before you hit submit, they should not be completing any part of the application. In addition, you need to make sure your SAT/ACT scores are sent, your counselor has submitted the School Evaluation (after you apply!) and transcript, and that you are checking the myStatus page.
  • Read a book for pleasure! I know that it is senior year, and life is crazy, but try to read something (I am about to purchase the new Malcolm Gladwell book David and Goliath).
  • If you had a conduct issue or a bad grade in high school, tell us about it, and how you have moved forward from it. As your parents would say, if you make a mistake, don't compound it by trying to cover it up. The worst thing you can ever do is try to hide something, as we then are not sure what other issues there might be in the application.
  • Senior year is important, so make sure you keep up your grades. Every year, we have had to rescind offers of admission due to low senior grades, so do not let it happen to you!
  • Go out and perform a random act of kindness for a freshman in your high school! Remember what it felt like to be a freshman, and then make their day a little better. My daughter just started her freshman year (go OCHS!), and while she is doing great, I know it would make a difference in her day, so go find a freshman!
  • When you are entering your self-reported grades, make sure you have a copy of your transcript in front of you. We want an accurate representation of your high school grades, and this is the best way (in addition to reading the instructions).
  • If you make a minor mistake on a non-crucial part of the application (punctuation error in your activities list, wrong date for a test score, or forgot one senior class), do not worry. We are not that overzealous, and we do not review files with a red pen.
  • After you submit the application, be patient. Our office still needs time to import your application, match up documents, download test scores, etc. Patience is not easy, but it is key.
  • Enjoy your senior year!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Updates about the Spring 2014 Transfer Process

We are now a little over two weeks past the application deadline for Transfer students and have already made decisions on over half of the Spring applications.  We received approximately 1600 applications and have made decisions on almost 900 of those so far.  With about 500 applications waiting to be reviewed, our estimation is that everyone with a completed application will hear a decision by the end of September.

We have a small number of incomplete applications that are not able to be reviewed.  If we are missing an application fee or transcripts, including updated transcripts, then you are incomplete.   Be sure to check your myStatus to see if we have everything we need for you.

Please remember we cannot predict when you will have an admissions decision.  This depends on many factors including when your application was completed.  If you have been admitted, remember there is no commitment deposit for Transfer students.  Registration for Spring Orientation will begin in early to mid October.  In the meantime, visit the Orientation site for a to-do list of things you can start working on now.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Top Freshman Scholarship Application Available Now

The Foundation Fellowship Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships at The University of Georgia, if not in the country.

The Foundation Fellowship currently provides an annual stipend of $10,780 for in-state students (in addition to the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship) and $17,680 for out-of-state students (plus an out-of-state tuition waiver).  Much more than financial support, Program membership provides: spring break travel-study programs, a May study abroad program at Oxford in English immediately following the first year, travel-study grants closely related to students' academic and professional goals, which can be combined with study overseas for a full semester or academic year, grants to attend research and academic conferences, seminars and book discussions with UGA and visiting professors, and faculty and peer mentoring.

To be considered, all applicants must be current high school seniors with clearly superior academic credentials.  Minimum requirements include a high school GPA of 3.80 and a minimum combined, super-scored SAT Total score of 2100 or ACT Composite score of 31.

The deadline for the application to the Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Scholarships Program is November 4.  The application process requires that you first apply for UGA admission.  The full process is described in detail here.  The Fellowship Program is more completely described on the website of the UGA Honors Program, of which it is a part, here.

Feel free to email questions to .

Monday, September 9, 2013

Quick Notes About the First Year Application

With the 2014 First Year application opening this past Tuesday, we are receiving many questions from students who have started applying.  Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • When self-reporting your grades on the application, you should report grades as they are listed on your official high school transcript.  Remember we are only asking for grades from your high school years.  Do not include middle school grades in your application even if they are listed on your transcript.
  • Have a copy of your transcript in front of you when completing the application to help ensure that you don't have errors.  But if you realize later that you made errors in reporting grades, don't worry.  We require an official high school transcript because we are going to double check your self-reported GPA.
  • Did you forget to include leadership activities, awards and honors, or other resume material?  Don't worry.  You can email additional information to our processing team at .  This won't be reflected on your myStatus, but we will add your email to your file documents.  Please know that any changes we make in our system will not change the PDF copy of your application as the PDF is a fixed snapshot of your application when you first submitted it.
  • The University System of Georgia requires that high school students complete 4 units of science by graduation, including 2 units with a laboratory component.  This is rarely an issue for our in-state applicants.  We are able to be flexible with out-of-state applicants and use your 8th grade science as long as it was a physical science.  To learn more about the University System requirements, view their Staying on Course requirements and FAQ.
  • Once you choose Early Action or Regular Decision and submit your application, you are NOT able to change decision plans.  Take your time and make sure you choose the decision plan under which you would like to be considered.  However, if you want to change from EA to RD consideration, the "work-around" is to NOT complete your file for now.  EA applicants missing any required documents and test scores will automatically be deferred to the RD timeline after EA decisions are released, hopefully in early December.  Incomplete EA students will see "deferred" on their myStatus.  At that point you can send all documents, first semester grades, a teacher recommendation, additional SAT/ACT scores, and Part II of the application with the four short essays.  The Part II essays must arrive online by January 15; deadline for arrival of all other documents and scores is January 22.  The biggest drawback to this work-around is that you will have to ignore a few emails reminding you that your file is, indeed, incomplete.
We hope this helps you while you're getting ready to complete the application.  Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The 2014 First Year Application is Now Available

We have now opened the Fall 2014 First Year Application.  This does not mean we are encouraging you to submit an application immediately.  Your deadline to apply for First Year admission for Early Action is October 15.  The Regular Decision application deadline is January 15.

Take your time and plan ahead.  Gather all the information you will need prior to starting the application.  Verify that you have your correct Social Security Number, get a copy of your high school transcript to help when self-reporting your grades, and if you have a resume, use it to fill out the leadership and activities sections completely.  Students who hurry to complete the application will often make mistakes.  Remember that there is no admissions advantage to submitting your application on the first day it goes live.  UGA will look at you the same way as any other student who applies by the deadline.

Don't forget to read our previous post that addresses many of our frequently asked questions for First Year applicants.

Thank you for your interest in the University of Georgia and remember, take your time.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Few First Year Applicant FAQ's

It’s fall semester, and questions are beginning to flood in about UGA’s First Year admission process.  Here are answers to some of our more frequently asked ones.

  • I plan to apply Early Action.  What is the last ACT/SAT exam date you will accept for Early Action (EA)?  We will only be able to use SAT/ACT scores for tests taken by the October 15 EA deadline.  For us to receive your scores in time, you must designate UGA as an automatic recipient when you register for the exam.
  • Do I have to complete the essays if I am applying for Fall 2014 as a First Year student?  It depends.  Are you applying for Regular Decision, whose deadline is January 15 compared to EA’s October 15 deadline?  If so, you will complete four short essays for the 2014 application.  EA applicants who do not meet EA criteria and who are then deferred to the Regular Decision process will complete the essays.  Click here to see this year’s essay topics.  Regular Decision also requires a teacher recommendation and allows you to submit your first term senior grades. 
  • When can I apply?  There is early, and then there is late.  The 2014 First Year application first becomes available at the beginning of September.   Please know that, while there is a HUGE penalty for missing our application and document deadlines, we give no admission benefit or prize for being among the first to submit the application.  Take your time.  (Just don’t wait until the week before the deadline when most mistakes are made!) If you submit your application on our September 3 opening date, we still cannot begin to review your completed file and scores until October along with all other Early Action applicants.  All EA decisions will be released in late November or early December.  The file completion deadlines for EA and RD will be one week after the application deadlines.
  • How long does it take to fill out the application?  Most students say it takes longer than they thought it would, so be encouraged by the fact that you don’t have to complete the application in one sitting.  Once you create your UGA “ApplicantID”, you can save your work and come back later to complete the application and make any corrections.  Warning: Once you agree to the UGA Honor Code and choose "submit" at the bottom of that final page, you cannot return to make changes or corrections to your application.
  • What will I need when I sit at my computer to I apply?  Great question!  We suggest you put four documents in your UGA folder:  (1) SSN card, (2) resume, (3) copy of your latest HS transcript, and (4) fee payment information. You absolutely must give us your correct Social Security Number (please proofread it). We ask you to list your honors, activities, leadership, and work experiences which you may have already collected for a resume.  You need to accurately report the college prep curriculum you’re taking and the grades you've earned.  And finally, to complete the application you must give us payment information, ideally for a credit card.    
  • Should I apply Early Action or Regular Decision?  We can’t tell you which decision plan is right for you.  That decision should be made by you with the help of your family and high school counselor.  Read our Regular Decision vs. Early Action page here.

We hope this FAQ helps.  Plan to regularly review our Blog for admissions news and updates or to search for answers to other questions that you cannot readily find in our First Year Student pages.  And Go Dawgs!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Admissions Myths and Urban Legends

Whether we are giving information sessions, visiting high schools, attending college fairs, or meeting with prospective students and families, we are often asked questions about how to apply to and get admitted to UGA.  At times we hear misconceptions and rumors about the admissions process.  We want to make sure that students and parents have the correct information about the University and admissions.  In an effort to dispel common myths, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 UGA Admissions Urban Legends.  Here are a few of the common myths we hear:

"UGA admits a quota of students per year from my high school, county, zip code or state."
The most competitive applicants are admitted regardless of high school, county, zip code or state. There are no quotas assigned to these, or any other, characteristics.

"UGA has different admissions standards for out-of-state applicants."
Admissions standards are exactly the same for out-of-state applicants as they are for in-state applicants. UGA does not have a cap on the number of out-of-state students that can be admitted.

"If I apply Early Action, it will demonstrate to UGA that I really want to go there. Even if I am deferred admission, this will be an advantage in the Regular Decision process."
Applicants deferred from Early Action to Regular Decision do not have any advantages/disadvantages over those who apply Regular Decision. All applicants seeking admission to UGA are offered an equal opportunity for admission regardless of the decision plan.

Read our entire list of Admissions Urban Legends and view a video from Nancy McDuff, our Associate Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment Management here.

Go Dawgs!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet UGA Near You

Fall travel is quickly approaching!  During this time of year admissions counselors leave their desks and offices behind and head out on the road for college fairs, college nights, high school visits, counselor programs and other recruitment events.  This means you may be seeing UGA admissions staff on the road!  Be sure to check our Meet UGA Near You page for a list of events we will be attending this fall.  This page is updated weekly so check back regularly as we continue to plan travel and add events.

Georgia students, if you are attending a PROBE  fair you can register  your information online ahead of time!  When you register online, you will be able to print out a bar code to take with you to the fair.  College representatives will be able to simply scan your bar code to capture your information.  This will prevent you from having to fill out a different information card for each college you speak to.

While you're looking through travel schedules, consider looking up who the admissions counselor is for your school and sending a quick a message.   Whether it's just to say hello or to suggest places we visit while in your area, we love to hear from prospective students!

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Are you ready to apply?

Especially if you have an older sibling who’s been through this before or maybe your parent happens to be a school counselor, your first question for August 1 might be, are there any changes to UGA freshman admission this year?

Our simple answer is, not really.  Your research will show that we have earned the roles of an internationally esteemed flagship state research university, the oldest in the United States.   Lots of students want to start college in the exciting warmth of Athens.  Over the past two decades we have realized unprecedented increases in the diversity and academic profile of our freshman classes.   UGA admission has become remarkably competitive.  So applying to UGA is—and you deserve—a relatively complex process that will fairly reveal to us your potential for academic success and for contributions to our campus in comparison with an expected 20,000+ other applicants.

One change is that we’re opening our Application for 2014 First-Year students after Labor Day, September 3, instead of late August as in the recent past.  The reason is a bit of caution on our part while we are in the midst of a multi-year switch to a massive Banner student information system version called “Connect UGA”.  It is replacing a legacy system finally showing its age.   Our goal for the change is that you shouldn't notice.

Two other 2014 changes are in the essay topics we require for Regular Decision and a prohibition for applying for Summer, 2014 admission. This year, Summer students will have to gain Fall admission first, then in April request a change to Summer.

The rest of our process is essentially unchanged.   As you’ll see on our First Year Application website, we will still have two routes, Early Action (EA) and Regular Decision (RD). The 2013-14 deadlines for applying—Oct. 15 for EA and January 15 for RD—are unchanged, as is your responsibility for getting us all necessary test scores and supporting documents by our posted deadlines.  All admission decisions will be made before April 1 and accepted students must make their nonrefundable enrollment commitment deposit by May 1.

Please understand that because of the necessary complexity of our 2014 admission process and rolling out the new Connect UGA SIS, deadlines really are deadlines. That part of the UGA freshman application process—for better or worse as older siblings, parents and counselors can testify—has definitely not changed.

And finally, check this Blog regularly to hear the latest hints, suggestions, and updates both large and small on what we hope will be a “Connect UGA” year for all of us.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Advice for Campus Visitations from the Admissions Staff

Many students will have travel plans during the summer and for rising seniors those plans often include visiting colleges they plan to apply to in the fall.  Here are some tips and advice from our admissions staff of things to keep in mind as you plan your campus visits.

  • Do your homework.  Go online to websites of the colleges you are visiting.  Learn what you want to do while you're on campus.  Check for visitation calendars, see if you need to register for a tour, etc.  Review a campus map to become familiar with where you are going.  If you are visiting UGA and you have an iPhone, download our App which includes a campus map among its many features.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.  Campus tours will almost always include a walking tour.  Now is not the time to break-in a new pair of shoes!
  • Come prepared.  Go ahead and start thinking about the questions you want to ask and write them down.  You don't want to forget once you're there.  Determine where you are going to need to park and find an address if you're using a navigational device.  Be aware that while some areas may have visitor parking, this is not always free.
  • Check the weather.  Look online to see what the weather is going to be like the day of your visit.  Bring an umbrella if there's a chance of rain.  If it's going to be hot bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.  You may even want to consider packing sunscreen.  It's also never a bad idea to layer your clothing as temperatures outside may change throughout the day.
  • Plan for lunch. Visits often last at least a couple of hours and you're probably going to get hungry so go ahead and make plans for lunch.  Do you want to try the food you'll be eating as a UGA student on the meal plan?  Check out the summer schedule for our Dining Halls here.  Visitors are able to pay to eat at one of our award-winning Dining Halls, and it's all you care to eat!  There are also many great local restaurant options in downtown Athens.

If you want to schedule your visit to the University of Georgia, sign up for a campus tour and First Year Information Session online here .  Click here to learn more about visiting UGA!

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Essay Questions for the 2014 First Year Application

As promised, here are the essay questions for the 2014 First Year application.

1.  Choose an intellectual or creative opportunity (for example, community involvement, a summer program, a unique project, travel abroad, etc.) from your high school years that you have enjoyed and highlight how you have grown personally because of the experience.

2.  It has been said that every friend and acquaintance with whom you share your life can become, in ways small or large, a part of who you are.  Briefly tell us about one such person—not a relative—who many people would say is quite different from you.  Use only her or his first name, and in particular, reflect on your interactions and how those experiences may have changed you.

3.  Tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself that you have not already shared in your application.

4.  UGA’s First Year Odyssey Program offers more than 300 seminar courses for new freshmen.  Some examples include “The History of Horseracing”, “Einstein and the Theories of Relativity” and “The Zombie Plague”.   If you could create your own seminar course at UGA in any subject area that interested you, what would it be? What would the course be named and what would you hope to learn?

These four essay questions will be required for First Year applicants who apply Regular Decision or are deferred Early Action.  Each essay should be about 150 to 200 words, but remember to focus on substance and not word count.  Before submitting your application and essays in the Fall, always remember to proofread and edit!  The First Year application will be available in early September.

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Updates and Reminders for Transfer and First Year Students

The majority of Fall transfer decisions have been made.  We should be able to complete the handful of remaining decisions by mid-June.  If you have been admitted for Fall and completed coursework this past Spring, please be sure to send us an updated transcript so we can post your credit.  Spring transcripts should be processed before your scheduled Orientation date as long as you get your transcript to us in time.  We encourage students to bring an updated transcript or grade report to Orientation to ensure access to your coursework during the advising appointment.

All admitted students should check the myStatus to make sure you have cleared your Verification of Lawful Presence registration flag.  If you do not clear your VLP flag prior to attending Orientation, you will not be able to register for classes after meeting with your advisor.  You can find a list of ways to clear this flag on your status check.  Please note it can take up to a week to clear you once we have received your information.

Admitted First Year students, please do not forget to submit your final high school transcript!  If you completed college coursework through dual enrollment then we will need an official college transcript as well.  Don't forget to register for Orientation if you have not done so. You can also visit the Orientation website for a To-Do list of everything that should be completed before your session.

Go Dawgs!