Friday, October 23, 2015

Random Admission Thoughts-October 2016 edition

We are about a week out from the Early Action application deadline, and one day past the document deadline. As such, there are a wide range of questions that are hitting us right now. Here are a few thoughts on the issues that we are seeing most often.

  • ACT Scores -The ACT has announced that the September ACT scores with Writing are being reviewed and sent out slower than expected, but they still project having all scores sent to colleges within 3-8 weeks of the test being taken. Our office knew this timeline going into our Early Action planning, and so we will continue to import ACT scores through the projected 8 week out delivery date. Please be patient, as we do not control the sending of the scores, only the uploading of the scores once we receive them. Our office uploads test scores on Tuesdays and Fridays, so be patient.
  • ACT Screen Shot of Scores - While the ACT has suggested that colleges might accept a screen shot of the ACT scores, we do not want these sent to us. As I stated above, we have planned for the long timeline that ACT has in sending out scores, so we will continue to import scores for EA (and RD). Again, do not send a screen shot of your scores, as we will not use it.
  • SAT Scores - The SAT recently modified their test score format and delivery method, so for the week of 10/19-10/23, they did not send out any scores as they changed over to the new system. They expect that they will be back to normal sending SAT scores (which include the October 3rd scores) on 10/26 (update-College Board sent these scores late on 10/27, so we loaded them on 10/28. SAT scores requested on 10/15 or after have not been sent yet.). Again, please be patient, as we need time to then receive the scores and upload them. We will be accepting scores for a little while longer to take into account the delays in the SAT and ACT delivery issues.
  • Incomplete EA Applications -If for some reason your file is incomplete when we stop accepting test scores and documents, your application will be deferred and you will then have until 1/15 to complete part II and submit any missing items. You should not cancel your application, and you do not need to request a change to Regular Decision, as we will just defer your application so you can take the next steps.
  • Strong Applicant Pool - We have 14,515 Early Action applicants (about a 10% increase over last year), and all indications are that this group is stronger academically than last year. What does this mean? It means that it will most likely be a little more challenging to be admitted Early Action this year. No data or facts on the applicant pool to release at this time, but it is a strong group of students.
  • Prepare Yourself - Early Action applicants have self selected to apply EA because they feel comfortable with our office reviewing their academic credentials now, so these are generally very strong students. As such, we will be admitting, deferring and denying a large number of students. While you may know your academic information, and somewhat the academic profile of your peers/HS friends, we are dealing with 14,515 students from all over the globe. You only know a small slice of the applicant pie, while we are looking at the overall group. As such, hope for an admission offer, but also know that if you are deferred, know that this is not a deny. A deferral is simply our office asking for more time and more information so we can do a more detailed review.
  • Patience - Right now, just be patient as our office continues to match up documents and test scores, reviews files, and plans out our Early Action decisions. Read a book, see a movie, take a nap. Just be calm and wait for the next step in the Early Action process.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Friday, October 16, 2015

2016 Early Action Update

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

  • Total EA Applications (10% increase over last year):  14,514
  • Complete Early Action Applications as of today: 8,200
  • # of EA Applicants Applying within 4 days of Deadline: 4,973
As you can see, a large number of the Early Action applications are complete, and for EA applicants who have sent in test scores (the one item they truly control), 70% of these applicants are complete. Additionally, approximately 34% 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 document/materials submission deadline of 10/22, we are still receiving a large number of items.  If your documents were submitted by this deadline, it will be considered for Early Action.  We are accepting the October 3 SAT for Early Action as long as you designated UGA as a school to automatically receive your scores, and we will import those near the end of October (10/22 is when you can see them, but they will trickle out to us the week after that), as the College Board is in the middle of changing their delivery process. As such, please make sure to give us time to receive these scores and load them into the system.

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, ACT, etc. to make sure that it was sent.  If a document was sent and it has been more than 10 business days (business days do not include weekends or holidays), I would suggest either resending the document(s) or contacting us. We do not accept faxed documents, so make sure to send it electronically or by mail. Remember, we are okay with test scores both taken and requested by 10/15, even if they are not in our system yet.

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

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

2016 EA Deadline is Approaching

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 within the last few days, has a drastic increase in mail, and deals with 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 is be patient and make sure you have requested your test scores, transcript and school evaluation.  We will be working 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. Remember, the supporting document submission deadline is October 22, so you do not need to panic if it is October 16 and your file is not complete.

The fastest way to get material to us is to send it electronically.  Schools can submit transcripts online through Docufide/Parchment, through GaCollege411, or through our High School Counselor Portal transcript upload process.  The high school evaluation can be submitted online from the High School Counselor Portal or by Naviance/Parchment, and we are fine if the school submits the Secondary School Report (SSR) in place of our form. If an SSR is sent, please give us time to log it into the system, as it takes a little longer than a transcript to input. Remember, no faxes!

For SAT/ACT test scores, we will accept any scores that have been both taken and requested by the 10/15 deadline. As such, we can use the October 3rd SAT, but not the October 24 ACT. We do not control when the scores are sent in, only the receiving of the scores, so you want to work with the testing agency to make sure these are sent. As well, we import test scores on Tuesdays and Fridays, so be patient as we load these into our system. If you request a score on 10/15, it will not show up on the myStatus on 10/16. It will depend on when the testing agency sends it to us, and then give us a little time to load it.

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 5 to 10 business days from the time something is mailed for it to be matched with your file.  It takes 2 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 1-2 times 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 remember that 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.

Have a great day, and Go Dawgs!