Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Before & After You Apply EA

With the Early Action deadline approaching, here are a few more detailed steps to take both before and after you apply.

  1. Get a copy of your SSN card to make sure your information is correct for both admissions and Financial Aid data.
  2. Print out a copy of your official HS transcript to help with the self-reported grades section.
  3. Update and print out a copy of your résumé for the activities/sports/volunteer/work/etc. sections.
  4. Get your payment information, and know that we can only accept credit card payments from 7 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
  5. Send in your SAT/ACT scores to UGA, and remember that we superscore and only use your highest scores, so there is no need to wait until after you apply or after you see the scores to send them. You can send updated test scores after you apply, but we suggest sending in any scores you have already received.
  6. Do not be late submitting your application, as we shut off the Early Action deadline after 10/15, and we cannot reopen it. Make sure you both complete the application and select a payment option, as both are required to apply. Do not wait until the night of the deadline to apply, as that is when your computer will decide to freeze up.
  1. Be patient as we load your application into our our system and match up test scores and supporting documents. Test scores are loaded on Tuesdays and Fridays, and are not always sent immediately by the testing agency. We suggest giving our office 5-10 business days to match up items, so you not need to send items multiple times.
  2. Documents (transcripts, counselor/school evaluations, etc.) that are sent prior to applying take a little while longer than items sent after applying, so we suggest sending in materials after you apply. We accept electronic documents such as GACollege411 transcripts, Parchment (an electronic document system) documents and our own counselor form, as these get to us much quicker than printed documents that are mailed. We are fine with mailed documents, but it takes more time to get to us through the mail, opened, scanned and into a file than with electronic documents.
  3. We will accept all SAT/ACT scores that are both taken and sent by the 10/15 deadline, so we are fine with the October SAT but we cannot accept the October ACT. As well, in order for us to use your ACT scores, we need at least one ACT Writing score. Make sure you send us scores on time so we can review your file.
  4. A day or so after you apply, we will load your application into our system.  You will then be able to log into the myStatus page. This is where you will be able to enter your counselor's email for the school/counselor evaluation. We are okay if your counselor chooses to send in a counselor form through Parchment instead.
  5. Use the myStatus page to keep track of your application and supporting documents/test scores. You (the applicant) are ultimately responsible for your application, but we will send some reminder emails/texts if your file is incomplete. I repeat, use the myStatus page to keep track of your application.
  6. Remember, we need an application fee, an official transcript, a school/counselor evaluation and an SAT or ACT (with Writing) score to complete your file, and the supplemental items EA submission deadline is 10/22. We cannot review your application without all these items.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Random Admission Thoughts-Sept 2014 Edition

The application has been open for about three weeks, so the flow of documents, test scores and applications is starting to increase. As such, here are a few thoughts to remember both before and after you apply.

  • For Early Action, we will be able to accept the October SAT (if you have requested UGA as one of the receiving schools when signing up), but we will not be able to use the October ACT. In addition, if you want us to be able to use your ACT scores, we need to have at least one ACT Writing score. If we do not have one, we cannot use the ACT. In addition, we have had a number of questions about ACT scores and rounding up. The ACT policy is the one that UGA follows.
  • We import test scores on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and we do not always receive the scores when you do, so please be patient.
  • About 1-2 business days after you apply, you should be able to see application data on your myStatus page (go to "Check your Application Status". This will display the documents and test scores we have in our system. This is also where you can input your counselor's email address so they can be sent information on how to submit the School/Counselor Evaluation form.
  • If your school uses the Naviance or Parchment electronic document system, we are fine with documents being sent in this manner. We also accept GACollege411 transcripts. If at all possible, have documents sent electronically, as it goes into your file much easier and quicker.
  • We superscore SAT and ACT scores, so there is no reason to wait until you see the test score results before you send us the scores. We are fine with test scores being sent to us before and after you apply, as we will match these electronically in our system.
  • For documents (school/counselor evaluation, transcript, teacher recommendations, fee waivers, etc.), we heavily suggest sending these after you apply, as it is much easier to match them to an existing application. If sent before the application, we can match them, but it takes much longer to do so.
  • If you send documents by fax, we will shred them. We cannot use faxed official documents, so please make sure they are sent electronically or by mail. As well, SAT/ACT scores MUST come from the testing agency.
  • Do not aim for deadlines. I repeat, do not aim for deadlines. If you do so, you will make your counselor, your parents, and yourself very anxious. P.S. The EA application deadline is October 15, and the deadline for required supporting documents is October 22.
  • We receive a number of emails/calls on how applicants should enter in information (should I enter in NHS in activities or honors?). There are no set rules for how to enter in information, so just do your best to give us details about you. While we do not use your activities/sports/work/honors in the EA decision, we do use this in our scholarship review and in the read process if you are deferred, so do not skip these sections.
I hope this information helps, and Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Where is the Effin Waffle House?

About 11 years ago, my wife and I were driving home after picking up our six year old son at my in-laws house, with  him firmly strapped into his car seat  in the back. As six year olds are prone to do, his discussion turned to bodily functions and a wonderful discussion about gas. My wife, raised as a proper southern woman, re-enforced the notion that one should not use the word "fart", even going as far as to say "remember, we do not use the F word". Of course, this turned into a wonderfully painful discussion about what other words he should not say, from the S word, the H word, and the other, dreaded "F word".

We finally made it through the "words that should never be said" talk, and focused on the drive home from Greensboro, GA to Athens. We had just reached the bridge crossing I-20, when from the back of the car we heard the statement "Where is the effin Waffle House?" My wife jerked her head around in horror and asked "What did you just say?" in a tone only a mother knows. My son grinned back at her and said "Where is the effin Waffle House?" She sat stunned, unable to speak, when he once more repeated "Where is the effin Waffle House?", only this time pointing forward and up in the sky. My wife turned to look, and saw the Waffle House sign up ahead in the dark sky, with one of the F's dark from a burned out light bulb. In other words, "Where is the F in WAFFLE HOUSE?" Luckily, I was able to keep the car on the road through all the laughter, but it was not easy.

Why do I tell you this story?

Just like with any other community, college admissions has their own vocabulary, and applicants need to make sure they understand what these words (such as Early Action, FAFSA, superscoring, etc.) mean. You don't want to think that you are hearing one thing, but in reality an admissions office is talking about something else.You want to make sure you know what is needed for each admissions office in order for the applicant's file to be complete, how to apply for financial aid, and what the steps are from considering a college all the way through enrolling there. I even have a page on this blog called Admission Speak to help understand admissions terms.

So when you work with any admissions office, make sure you are asking specific questions, make sure to submit  things early in the process in case there is a problem, and make sure to use the sources at hand (status pages, your counselor, etc.), to insure that your application moves forward smoothly

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2015 Parent Post

Every year we try to open a post aimed at answering questions from parents.  We want to educate parents about the UGA admissions process and dispel myths and rumors that may be floating around high schools, neighborhoods and communities.  We recently sent an email out to students regarding the First Year application opening and letting them know about our blog, so hopefully they have already started doing more research on our admissions process, but now we want to hear from you, the parents.
With the 2015 First Year application now open and fall travel beginning, our office is about to get even busier, so now is the time to ask us questions.  Parents, what would you like to know?  Please post your questions through the comment option and we will try to respond as quickly as possible.

Go Dawgs!

P.S. A good resource as you start this process is the Top 10 UGA Admissions Urban Legends site.

Monday, September 1, 2014

2015 First Year Application Suggestions

The first-year application opens up tomorrow, so here are a few hints for when you are starting your application.

When you start working on the application, we suggest you have four items with you.
  •  SSN card (you absolutely must give us your correct Social Security Number (please proofread it twice).
  • A copy of your resume (we ask you to list your honors, activities, leadership, and work experiences which you may have already collected for a resume). This information is not used for EA, but we do use it for scholarship review, so that is why we ask it for both EA and RD applicants.
  • A copy of your latest HS transcript (you need to accurately report the college prep curriculum you’re taking and the grades you've earned).
  • Your fee payment information (to complete the application you must give us payment information, ideally for a credit card).
After you have started the application and created 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. As well, you need to complete a payment option (check/waiver or credit card) to finalize the submission of the application.

When you are selecting your term, decision plan (EA vs RD) or major, select the ones you want, not what someone told you would be "easier for admission". If you select summer, do so because you intend to start in the summer term. We are fine to change freshmen from summer to fall or fall to summer, but it takes time and effort on our part, and we would rather not take time away from other work to change your term due to a rumor. When you select Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD), it sets up different required items in your application checklist. Once you select a decision plan, you need to stick with it, as changing causes issues with the back end process of your application. As for majors, you are free to change your major after you are admitted and send in a deposit, so there is no logical reason for us to use this in an admission decision, or for you to select a major you do not want.

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!