Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Random Thoughts, September 2015 edition

It's mid-September, which means we are at the tail end of our Spring 2016 transfer review process, and we are 2 weeks into the 2016 freshman application process. As such, here are a few random thoughts about the issues that have been most pressing over the past few weeks.

  • Spring transfers-The end is in sight! I expect that by the end of this week, all spring transfer decisions will be done (unless there is an unusual circumstance involving your application). Anytime I can say we are down to the last 30 or so files, you know it is close.
  • Freshmen-As of this morning, we had over 2,700 Early Action applications in, with 40 states (plus Washington DC) and 877 high schools represented. Not bad for two weeks in!
  • Remember, your role in the application process is not done once you submit your application. You need to make sure you have sent in your official SAT/ACT scores from the testing agency and have alerted your counselor that you now need an official transcript and a school/counselor evaluation to be submitted. One business day after you apply, you will be able to log into your myStatus site and enter in your counselor's email into a text box to alert them to send these items.
  • When entering in your self-reported grades, get a copy of your transcript first! If you are relying on your memory for your grades, stop right now. Get a copy of your transcript so you can see what we will see, and then enter in the completed core area grades from your 9th grade on (no 8th grade grades, even if they are HS classes).
  • We would rather have you take your time and complete your application correctly as opposed to rushing through it to get it in quickly.
  • Once you submit your application, you cannot change from Early Action (EA) to Regular Decision (RD) or the reverse, so choose wisely.
  • If you are unsure about whether to apply EA or RD, ask yourself one question-Are you okay with our office looking at your overall academics on October 16th, or do you need more time/want fall grades to be in/want one more SAT/ACT score? That should drive your decision.
  • If the only ACT you have only sent us is an ACT without Writing, we can't use it. We need at least one ACT Writing score in order to use your ACT scores. We are fine with one or more ACT scores without Writing if you have at least one with Writing.
  • We are fine if you send in just an SAT or just an ACT (with Writing), but we need at least one.
  • If your neighbor/best friend/person you met at Kroger starts sharing the latest rumor about UGA Admissions, leave the store immediately. Avoid them at all costs!
  • Find a few colleges that fit you well, and don't put all your eggs in one big UGA admissions basket.
  • Stop by and say thanks to your high school counselor. They deserve it.
  • Interesting statistic: If you apply within a few days of the deadline, your chances of admission decrease greatly. This is not due to any preference on our end (we treat an application sent in 9/2 the same as 1/15), but instead is an indicator of preparedness/procrastination. In other words, don't wait until the deadline to apply! If you are a procrastinator, change your habits now.
  • Give your mom and dad a hug. Before you know it, you are going to be away at college, and they will really miss you.
  • Remember, senior year counts. We always have a few students where sadly, we have to rescind their offer of admission. Don't let this happen to you!
Go Dawgs, and may the odds be in your favor!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Application for UGA's Top Freshman Scholarship Program Available On September 15, 2015

The Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarships are the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship programs at the University, if not in the country.

The Foundation Fellowship currently provides an annual stipend of $11,372 for Georgia residents (in addition to the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship) and $18,892 for non-residents (plus an out-of-state tuition waiver). The Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship provides $5,686 for Georgia residents (in addition to the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship) and $9,546 for non-residents (plus and 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 England 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. For more information about the amazing opportunities for Foundation Fellows and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholars, please visit the Honors Program website.

To be considered, all applicants must be current high school seniors with a minimum unweighted high school GPA of 3.80 and a minimum combined, super-scored SAT total score of 2100 or ACT composite score of 31.

This separate scholarship application will be available next week on Tuesday, September 15 on the admissions website.  The deadline to submit the online application is November 2, 2015.

This year, two online recommendations will be required to complete the Foundation Fellowship application.  Students will be prompted to input the names and email addresses of a selected counselor and teacher recommender.  After the scholarship application is submitted, and email will be sent to the counselor and teacher with instructions to submit the recommendation. Applicants will be able to track the receipt of these recommendations on their online application status check.  The deadline to submit these two recommendations is November 11, 2015.

The online application contains sections where students will detail academic achievements and detail their involvement with their schools and communities. Two essays, containing no more than 500 words will also be required to complete the application. 
1.      If you could examine whatever you wanted for one year using methods of your choice, how would you direct your efforts and what would you hope to accomplish?  No time travel or fantasy elements, please.
2.      Personal Statement: Tell us about yourself.

We look forward to reading your applications! Feel free to email us if you have questions at

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2016 Freshman Application is Open

The 2016 Freshman application is now open! Here are a few key steps about what to do after you submit an application.

  1.  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 and check on the status of your required supplemental items. We are okay if your counselor chooses to send in a counselor form through Parchment instead.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 okay with mailed documents (but do not suggest this option), but it takes more time to get to us through the mail, opened, scanned and into a file than with electronic documents.
  4. Starting in 2016, we have given the option for students to upload their fee waiver and Permanent Residency card (Green card) through the myStatus page. This will expedite the review process for these documents, and we do not need an additional paper copy if you upload the document through the myStatus page.
  5. We will accept all nationally offered SAT/ACT scores that are both taken and sent by the Early Action10/15 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.
  6. 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. In addition, review the Timelines page for more details on when to expect a decision.
  7. 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. See the Deadlines/Required Items page for more details.
I hope these suggestions help, and Go Dawgs!