Monday, December 12, 2016

December/January Admission Notes

The Holiday break is coming up, which means a large number of students will be completing their application (or part II of their deferred EA application). Here are some suggestions for Regular Decision and Deferred Early Action applicants to review.
  1. Patience. Patience is key, as this time of year brings out a rush of supporting materials. We will receive tens of thousands of documents over the next month, and we need time to match these items up, enter them into our system, and have them show up on the application status page. We have made great strides in importing documents, so the status page is almost a live feed, but mailed items take a little longer to add to a file. You do not need to call/email us if you do not see an item on your Status page. Give us 10 business days from when you applied or the document was sent (not requested but actually sent), whichever was later. As well, make sure your name on your documents matches your application data (and both name and email on test scores).
  2. Part II for Deferred applicants. For deferred EA applicants, your next step is to make sure you complete part II of the application (the 3 short essays), give us any updates on the Update section, and contact a teacher through your status page about sending in a recommendation. 
  3. Test Scores. We will take the January SAT for admissions review for this year and the February ACT (without Writing!), but these are the last exams we can use. In addition, you need to make sure to request as a score recipient when you sign up, as we have to keep on a timeline in order to get decisions out in a timely fashion.
  4. Fall Grades. While we do not require fall senior grades due to some high schools not having these ready until mid-February or later, we do heavily suggest you send in Fall grades. These can be sent in through the Update section of part II for Deferred EA applicants or by your counselor sending in an updated transcript. If you have a dip in senior grades, it is better to let us know now (and explain it) rather than us finding out in June and having to possibly rescind an admission offer.
  5. Timelines. Review the Timelines page on this blog, as it can give you more details on when things will occur. We do not have rolling freshman decisions, but instead have three decision release dates. One, the EA decision date in November, has already passed, another small group of admissions offers will go out for RD/deferred EA applicants who meet our Early Action admission criteria (see last year's February post for details on this group), and our final decisions will go out in mid-late March.
  6. Responsibility. While your parents, your HS counselor, and our office are here to help you with the application process, the ultimate responsibility for your application resides with you. Make sure that we have all the items needed for review, check your emails and your status page for details, and make sure that you have a complete application ready for us to review. The worst calls are always the ones from students where we were not able to make a decision, even with our reminder emails, phone blasts and text updates. Take care of your application.
  7. Scholarships. From about mid-November through mid-April, our office will be reviewing files and awarding scholarships to a limited number of admitted students. This is not a quick process, so please be patient as we do this. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will receive a letter in the mail, and email will be sent out, and a scholarship section will appear on your status page. You do not need to call/email about this process, just have patience.
  8. File Reading. From early January through about mid-March, the counselors in our office will be reading files. We will be reading, then reading more, then reading even more. As such, we will be limiting travel, we will have "quiet time" in our office where our counselors focus on reading and are not available to answer questions, and we will focus almost all our attention on reading files. Please be patient and think positive thoughts for our sanity.
  9. Finish strong. Admission to any university does not end with an acceptance and a deposit. It ends after you graduate from high school, when we review your final transcript. Senior year is a time of celebration, but don't take this to the extreme. We will be looking at senior grades and any new conduct issues, so make sure that you finish up your senior year academically and personally on the right note. I do not want to have to call you and ask why your grades tanked during the last semester, and I do not think you want to talk to me either. Keep on track with things.
Good luck, and Go Dawgs!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Early Action Decisions are Available

Early Action decisions are now available online! 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.

While official statistics will come out early next week about the admitted freshman, here are some limited statistics on this group:

Quick Early Action Numbers*

Applications Received: 15,614
Offers of Admission: 8,059
Mid 50% Admitted Average GPA: 4.00-4.26
Mid 50% Admitted Average SAT (old, CR+M): 1300-1480

Mid 50% Admitted Average SAT (new, EBRW+M): 1300-1430
Mid 50% Admitted Average ACT: 30-33
Mid 50% Admitted AP/IB/MOWR courses (over 4 years: 6-11) 
    -Academic Rigor is based on an overall core course review, but this gives a good glance at the challenge of our admitted student's curriculum.

* Please Remember that these numbers are mid-ranges, not minimums.

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 Status page.

Please be patient, be nice and be courteous.

Have a great weekend and go Dawgs!

UGA Admissions - The Long Journey

In the past, I have 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 right 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 mid-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 a large number of 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 then complete their file) 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, lower grades that are out of balance with strong test scores, 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 25+ years of talking with families about decisions.

Go Dawgs!

P.S. To quote Forrest Gump, "I'm pretty tired...I think I'll go home now".

Thursday, November 3, 2016

UGA and the ACT

Over the past 5 years, UGA has had a huge jump in the number of students submitting ACT scores. UGA treats the ACT in the same way that we do the SAT (neither one is better or worse, easier or harder, etc.), but there still seems to be a great deal of mystery about how UGA looks at the ACT. I will try my best to give you some insight into our process.

When we look at the ACT scores, we are one of many schools that will superscore the ACT. This means that UGA will take your highest subscores in multiple ACT exams and use these highest scores both individually and in calculating the highest composite. The ACT determines the composite by adding together the English, Math, Science Reasoning and Reading subscores, then dividing by 4 (rounding to the nearest whole number). This is how you might have a higher overall Composite score than what your individual Composite scores show. Here is a quick example:
  • ACT 1: English-28, Math-29, Science-25, Reading-26 - Composite 27
  • ACT 2: English 24, Math 31, Science 27, Reading 23 - Composite 26
  • UGA Superscore:  English 28, Math 31, Science 27, Reading 26 - Composite 28
When UGA looks at the scores in more detail, though, we are focusing on the subscores that match the SAT scores. As such, our focus is on the English subscore and the Math subscore as these match up with the SAT subscores. If you have both SAT and ACT scores, we will then use whichever test has the strongest scores. In addition to these two subscores being a good match to the SAT subscores, there has also been research showing that these subscores are the best ACT score predictors of student success in college. The Washington Post has a good article about this ACT issue, although they use harsher language that I would.

So when you look at your ACT results and are discussing them with other people, know that we are looking at specific subscores, and that a Composite Score does not always give the most accurate information. Here are two more examples to give you a good understanding of the situation:

  • Student A: English -29, Math -30, Science -24, Reading -24, Composite 27
  • Student B: English -25, Math -22, Science -29, Reading -31, Composite 27
The Composite score for both students is a 27, but the eyes of UGA, Student A has a much stronger ACT, specifically in the English, Math areas. So if they both go out and state that they have a 27 ACT, that does not really give the full and accurate story. FYI, we give out the ACT Composite data in our information due to the fact that this is how all colleges share the ACT, and how we need to in our reporting, and generally the ACT E and ACT M averages are close to that average Composite.

I hope this helps a little bit in understanding how UGA looks at the ACT, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2017 Early Action Update

With the Early Action deadline hitting about 10 days ago, here are a few updates about the process:

  • Total EA Applications (7% increase over last year):  15,560 (submitted and fee paid)
  • Complete Early Action Applications as of today: 13, 850 (89% of the group)
  • # of EA Applicants Applying within 4 days of Deadline: 4,264
As you can see, a large number of the Early Action applications are complete. The biggest item that is missing right now are official test scores, and as long as they were both taken and UGA was marked as a score recipient by 10/15, we can use them. You can see if your SAT scores have been sent by looking at the Score Sends option on your online score report. The ACT does not have an online listing of when scores are sent, so you would need to contact them directly. We just imported 3,900 10/1 SAT scores this morning, so a large number of files just changed to complete. If you took the 10/1 SAT with Writing, those scores are suppose to be sent to us on 10/30.

We are caught up completely on importing documents. If your documents were submitted by the 10/22 deadline, it will be considered for Early Action. If a document is not in, you need to take steps ASAP.

Your Steps

Be sure to check your Status Page to make sure you are complete!  If items you have sent are not showing up on your Status Page, 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 5 business days, I would suggest either re-sending the document(s) or contacting us. We do not accept faxed documents, so make sure to send it electronically or by mail.

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!

Monday, October 10, 2016

2017 Early Action Updates

We are within a week of the EA deadline, so here are some updates about the process so far.

  • Currently, we have roughly 10,200 EA applications submitted as of right now (3;12 pm on 10/10). We expect a jump in application numbers as we get closer to the deadline, and we heavily suggest not waiting until the last minute to apply. Deadlines are usually when your computer fails, your dog gets sick on the keyboard, etc.
  • For students impacted by Hurricane Matthew, we will be extending the EA deadline to 11:59 pm on October 18. We hope that you and your family are safe following the devastating impact of Hurricane Matthew. We understand that recovering from the storm may be your top priority over the next week, and we have extended our Early Action application deadline to Tuesday, October 18 for applicants impacted by the hurricane. If you wish to take advantage of this deadline extension, please note that there is no need to contact us. Simply submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on October 18 and you will receive full consideration as an Early Action applicant.
  • For all students, we will continue to accept supplemental materials, including the school report and transcript, through October 22nd. 
  • Remember that in order to assure that UGA can use your SAT/ACT scores, the tests must be both taken and UGA must be selected as a score recipient by the 10/15 deadline. This means that if you put in UGA as a score recipient of the Oct. 1 SAT, we can use it. This also means that we are not able to use the Oct. 22 ACT, as those scores will arrive too late for EA.
  • Of the students who have submitted EA applications, roughly 60% have a complete file! This is well ahead of past years, in part due to our new system. The worst calls we have to answer are from students who did not get in all required materials, so make sure everything is sent in on time.
  • Applicants, remember to both check your application status page to make sure we have all required materials, and to allow for emails from in case we need to send you a reminder email.
Have a great fall semester, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Random Admission Thoughts, September 2016 Verson

It is September, which means that we are wrapping up Spring transfer decisions while at the same time we are almost 2 weeks into the freshman application (in a new system). As such, here are some quick notes on what is going on in our office, and some helpful hints for the freshman application.

Spring Transfers

  • Spring Transfers: I expect that our office will be finished with transfer decisions sometime this week, with the exception of anyone who has applied to a non-Athens program or someone with a conduct issue that is serious. 
  • Spring Orientation registration will open up in late September/early October, so accepted Spring students should keep an eye on their email for notification.
2017 Freshmen
  • As of today (9/12), we have 2,500 freshman who have submitted an application, and almost 8,200 additional students who have started an application but have not submitted it yet. While it is hard to predict the future based on 12 days, that is roughly 500 more than last year at the same time.
  • We have three automated emails which go out to applicants after they hit submit. Email #1 goes out right after you apply, and lets you know we received the email, what you need to do next, and a link to the Applicant Status page. Email #2 is a reminder for students who applied but have not submitted their application fee, and it goes out 5 days after application submission. Email #3 goes out 7 days after an application (with an app fee) is submitted to any applicant who is still incomplete. Make sure to pay attention to these emails, and to list as an acceptable email that will not go into Spam.
  • We have officially completed the Peach State Tour with Ga Tech and Ga State, and we were able to reach over 4,000 student/parents and 500 HS counselors. We hope you were able to attend!
  • For those who were not able to attend, we are on the road for the next two months or so. Go to our UGA Near You site to see where our counselors will be traveling in the fall.
Application Hints
  • Before you start your application, remember to pull together a few things: correct SSN, a copy of your transcript, a resume, and your counselor's contact information.
  • For test scores, remember that while we ask for students to list their scores on the application, we need official SAT or ACT scores to be sent to us by the deadline from the testing agency.
  • On the Academics page, make sure to list the high school from where you will be graduating, and then give us your counselor name and contact information so an email can be sent to them. If you attended any prior high schools or are taking DE/MOWR college classes, these should be listed on a later page.
  • For the self-reported grades, make sure to read the questions carefully and then answer them. If you make a minor error on the self-reported grades, do not panic. We review each transcript and correct any minor mistake, so you do not need to contact us with a correction.
  • We also know that sometimes minor changes will happen with senior schedules (especially second semester), so just enter in your best estimate of what you will be taking this year on the Academics page.
  • Don't wait until the last second to apply. Seriously.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

2017 Freshman Application is Open

The 2017 Freshman application is now open! Here are a few key steps about what to do after you submit an application.

  1.  A short while after you apply, we will load your application into our system.  You will then be able to log into the Applicant Status page, and this is where you will be able to check on the status of your required supplemental items. When you enter your counselor's name and contact information into the Academics page of the application, this triggers an email to go to your counselor so they can submit the required school/counselor report. FYI, we are okay if your counselor chooses to send in a counselor form through Naviance instead.
  2. Be patient as we load your application into our our system and match up test scores and supporting documents. We suggest giving our office 5-10 business days to match up items, especially if they are sent by mail, so you do not need to send items multiple times.
  3. Parents-While we have had parents start an application in the past, I do not suggest this for the 2017 application, as we are using a new system that links the application with our recruitment system. If you start an application, this will create a new prospective student in our system, and that is not what you (or I) want to happen.
  4. Documents (transcripts, counselor/school evaluations, etc.) that are sent prior to applying are now able to be matched with your record in our system when they arrive, so they should display on the Application Status page fairly quickly. Just make sure any materials that are sent in have your full name and birth date on it. We accept electronic documents such as Naviance/Parchment (an electronic document system) documents and our own counselor form, as these get to us much quicker than printed documents that are mailed. The new GAFutures system is not functioning exactly as the old GA411 transcript system was, but we are working with the state to get it up and running ASAP. We are okay with mailed documents , but it takes more time to get materials to us through the mail, opened, scanned and into a file than with electronic documents.
  5. On the Applicant Status page, we have given the option for students to upload their fee waiver and Permanent Residency card (Green card) if these options were marked on the application. 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 Status page. We also have given students the option to upload a resume on the Status page, but that is not a required document.
  6. We will accept all nationally offered SAT/ACT scores that are both taken and sent by the Early Action 10/15 deadline, so we are fine with the October SAT but we cannot accept the October ACT. Make sure you send us scores on time so we can review your file.
  7. Use the Applicant Status 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 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.
  8. Remember, we need an application fee, an official transcript, a school/counselor report and an SAT or ACT 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!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Getting Ready to Apply

The 2017 Freshman application will open up on September 1, so here are a few things to help prepare for this process.
  1. Always take care of things well before a deadline. A student who applies and submits all documents well before a deadline shows that they are the type of person who does not wait until the last moment to do things, from applying to studying to going to class. If X university is number one on your list of colleges, act like it. We do not make different decisions based on this, but it helps everyone involved.
  2. Be prepared when you sit down to start the application. Before you start your application, make sure you have the following items on hand; your correct Social Security Number (SSN), a copy of your transcript which shows grades from 9th through 11th grade, a copy of your resume, your SAT/ACT/AP scores (for entering in the score area, but if you have sent them to UGA already, they will show up on the app), and your counselor's contact information including email. As well, have your payment information handy (either a credit card number or a digital copy of a fee waiver). Our new application system has you enter in your counselor's contact info and email when you apply, so make sure to have it handy.
  3. Proofread your application before you submit it. I am not just talking about proofreading your essays, but instead checking your whole application to make sure you are giving us the information you want us to see. We receive hundreds of emails right after a student applies to UGA asking for us to add X to their file where they forgot something, correct Y where they made a mistake, etc. After you complete your application, go over it one more time to make sure your birth date is right, all the clubs/activities that you want us to know about are listed, and your information looks correct. We even have one section that just lists the 8-10 most important items with your responses, and we ask you to make sure these are accurate before you hit submit.
  4. Be kind to your counselors and teachers. Make sure to give your HS counselor and any teacher who will be writing recommendations for you time to do their part. Don't rush in the day before the deadline to ask them for help, but instead give them 2 or more weeks if possible.
  5. Don't listen to rumors/myths about college admissions. I have been over this many times, so I won't beat a dead horse. All I can say is that I have had three surgeries in my life, but going through the experience does not make me a doctor, just a good patient.
  6. Map out your college application plan. If you are like most students, you will apply to 3-5 colleges. If this is the case, you will have to track the deadlines, materials timelines and actions needed for all of these colleges. Get a calendar (electronic or paper) just for admissions timelines, and enter in the deadline dates, scholarship dates, campus programs, deposit dates, etc. for all these colleges. This is the best way to keep this process organized and to not miss out on something. The worst calls we handle are when a student did not do X by a certain deadline and we can't do anything for them except say sorry.
  7. Let your parents be involved in the admissions process, but only so much. It is okay to allow your parents to be a part of the college admissions process, but make sure that you are the one who completes the application, writes the essays, etc. Your parents can be great at helping you keep track of deadlines, make plans for visiting colleges, and giving you suggestions about your application. In the end, though, make sure you are the one driving/managing this process, as you are the one who will be at college next year.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Test Score Deadline for 2017 RD and Deferred EA applicants

It seems like everything is changing for the freshmen who will be applying for Summer/Fall of 2017. The FAFSA date is changing to take into account tax/financial information from two years prior to their entry term (some are calling this Prior-Prior Year FAFSA), the SAT has changed, the ACT essay has changed, and the Coalition Application is now a part of some college's application system (not ours). As far as the changes to the SAT and the ACT, we have seen some changes in the timing of the release of scores. For the SAT, it might now take in between 26 and 39 days for us to get a score report. In addition, the ACT (without the essay) is now taking about 10-14 days to get to us.

In light of these changes, and in trying to help out our applicants during a confusing year, we have changed the required date for taking AND requesting a test score be sent to UGA. We will take any SAT or ACT (without the essay) that is both taken AND requested to be sent to UGA by February 11th. This means that we will use the SAT that is offered on January 21 and the ACT that is offered on February 11. This does not mean wait until the last minute to send any scores though. Since we use only your best scores, and we superscore by using the best subscores within each test type (ACT, SAT 1, and SAT R).

My best suggestion right now is to send us your scores as of now, and make sure to list UGA as a score recipient when taking the SAT or ACT, and if you will be taking one a test during the last dates we allow, it is imperative to list UGA as a recipient (or we will not be able to use it).

We hope this helps our applicants during a year of change, and Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Spring 2017 Transfer Reviews

Today, our office started reviewing Spring 2017 transfer applications. This is earlier than I expected, but we are way ahead of the timelines we have predicted for Fall transfers files and final HS transcripts for freshmen. The 8/15 application deadline for spring has not passed and we are still receiving applications and documents, so we cannot say how long it will take us to finish or guess when you will hear a decision.  If you applied for the spring term, please be sure to check your myStatus to see if we have your most up-to-date transcript(s).  If you were enrolled in coursework this summer and have not sent a transcript with your summer grades, you should have one sent as soon as possible.  To be complete and ready to review, we must have a transcript from each college/university you have previously attended.  If you are attending a new college starting in the Fall 2016 semester, we do not need a transcript, as there will not be any grades on the transcript. If you are admitted, we will need a transcript when fall term is done, though, as we will need to post these grades.

Transfer decisions are made on a daily basis Monday through Friday, and it varies on how many decisions we can make in a day due to the complexity of some transfer files. The myStatus page is updated in the early a.m. every business morning, and decisions are posted on the myStatus page and are mailed to transfer applicants.We generally try to review files based on when a file is complete (earliest to latest), but this is not an exact science due to complexities within the transfer process. During the first few weeks of August, decisions might be a bit slower than normal due to also having to input summer work for incoming/returning students, but that should slow down by the start of class (8/11).

We will be reviewing Spring Freshmen applicants sometime in mid-late September after the deadline has passed and all files are ready for review.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Camp Sunshine 2016

It is that time of year again, when I will be away from the blog for a week while I volunteer at Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with cancer. This will be my 21st year volunteering for the summer camp part of Camp Sunshine, and I have had a wonderful time over the years working with this program. This year, I will be a cabin counselor for seven 12-year old boys  (along with one other counselor), and I am guessing I will be involved in a great deal of mountain biking, fishing, tennis, gold panning, going up the climbing wall (or just watching as my campers go up), archery, dodgeball, arts and crafts, and a lot of  singing. If you have never heard 200+ campers and 150+ volunteers singing and dancing to "Peanut Butter Jelly Time", you are missing a great event.

So, for the next week or so, I will be out of communication with this blog.  Once I am back, I will begin posting/commenting/replying again!

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Unofficial/Rough 2016 UGA Freshman Data

When you look at a college's Admission page, most of the time you will see a profile of the entering freshman class from the year prior. Many times, this data will have enrollment numbers, mid-50% ranges for GPA's and test scores, and at times ranges for an Honors Program and or Scholarship ranges. At UGA, specific data for the entering Class for 2016 will come out in September after we have exact data on who is enrolling at UGA for the Fall 2016 term. In addition, many colleges also post some information prior to this timeline based on the students who have been admitted so students/families can understand a little better the competitive nature of the applicant pool.

For the applicant pool of 2017, there are a number of changes (FAFSA timeline pushed forward, Coalition application for some, new SAT, etc.), and so I am going to post some rough, non-perfect data on the admitted 2016 class with some SAT R data based on the College Board concordance tables so future applicants can better understand what to expect next year. Caveat 1 -This is not the final data on the enrolling 2016 freshman class, so do not think that it is. Caveat 2 - Any SAT R numbers are projected out based on concordances from the SAT 1 scores, and as such are very, very projected and not actual! Everyone understand and agree on that? Good.
2016 Application Data
  • 23,000 Applications
  • 11,500 Accepted Students
  • Estimated 5,400 Enrolling Students
2016 Mid 50% Range Academic Data For Admitted Students
  • Core Re-Calculated GPA - 3.91-4.17 (weight added for AP/IB grades)
    • Since the best predictor of college success in HS core grades, expect this to be strong. Generally admitted students are A or A/B students in their core HS classes.
  • Average Number of AP/IB/DE courses - 5-10 over a four HS career.
    • UGA Admissions looks at the context of the school situation and understands that some schools offer a number of advanced classes, where other schools do not.
2016 Mid 50% Range Test Score Data for Admitted Students
  • SAT 1 Mid 50% -Range: 1200-1420 Total, with 600-710 CR, 600-710 M
  • ACT Mid 50% -Range: Composite 28-32, with similar mid-ranges for the ACT E and ACT M.
  • SAT R Projected Mid 50% -Range:  1270-1470 Total. 
    • The SAT R data is projected out based on the concordance tables provided by the College Board, but is in no way exact, as freshman entering in Fall 2016 did not take the SAT R.
  I hope this data helps a little, and again, please understand that this data is not official for the students enrolling in Summer/Fall 2016. Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Act 1, Scene 1 of Deciding on Dinner. Setting is the family kitchen. Father, Mother, Son and Daughter are standing around the kitchen island:

Dad:  "I have a great idea. Who wants to go out to eat tonight?"
Son (looking up from his phone): "Sorry, did you say something?"
Daughter (glaring at brother): "He said he wanted to go out to eat. That's great, but no Asian food. I had that yesterday."
Mother: "And no fast food. We don't need anymore fast food."
Son: "I need a cheeseburger. We can go wherever, as long as I can get a cheeseburger."
Dad: "Well it needs to be somewhere close. I want to watch the Red Sox's on TV tonight. How about (insert restaurant name here)."
Daughter: "I'm so tired of (insert restaurant name here). We always eat there. How about (insert 2nd restaurant name here)."
Mother: "No way. That place is too expensive, and the food isn't worth the cost."
Son: "I have a great idea. Let's go to (insert 2nd restaurant name here)."
Mother: "I said no fast food. What do not not get about 'no fast food' (using air quotes)."
Dad (looking exasperated): "How about I just pick up a pizza." 
Fade to black, dad walking out through kitchen door, shoulders slumped.

Every day, we all make choices. What to wear, where to eat, what comment/photo to like, what to do tonight, etc. We make choices all the time, based on our likes/dislikes, proximity, finances, friends, and a whole host of other factors. In the admissions process, potential applicants decide which colleges to visit, if they should apply, and if they are admitted to several colleges, which one to ultimately attend. If you are a recruited athlete, we sometimes get to see this decision played out on ESPN along with hats, animals and clothing used as props.

In the same vein, admissions offices make decisions every day. We decide what items and information gives us insight into an applicant, how much importance we should give to each item, how many people we can admit, and who we should admit, among other things. Just like every person is different and has different preferences, so do colleges. Georgia Tech, being a slightly smaller campus focused on technology and STEM academics located in downtown Atlanta is in many ways very different from UGA (which is good!). As such, UGA and GT will have different approaches to reviewing admission applications, and will make different decisions based on the makeup of both the institution and the applicant pool.

In this unique relationship between applicant (and the applicant's family) and college, both sides need to respect the choices that each one makes. Just like you would not want a restaurant owner to chase you down and demand to know why you did not choose his food over X restaurant or a rejected prom date to continue to hound you about not saying yes, the same holds true for both sides of the admission process. This morning, I received an email from a student who at the last minute said no to our admission offer. My response-I wish you well in your future college career at X. On the flip side, I remember the story of a former SEC football coach, who upon hearing that a recruit had decided upon another school, stated that the student would be "pumping gas for the rest of his life" like all the other former players at that college. That's just not right.

As such, make good decisions in your college search process, we will try our best to make good choices in our decisions, and I wish you well wherever you find the best fit. Good luck out there, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, June 13, 2016

2017 Short Essay Questions (for RD and Deferred EA applicants only)

Every year, our office reviews the freshman application for changes that we would like to see for the next year. During this review, we also look at the short essay questions that are required for First Year applicants who apply Regular Decision or are deferred Early Action (Early Action applicants do not submit essays unless they are deferred).  We were very pleased with the responses we received last year, so we are keeping the same essays for 2017 as we had for 2016. We require one short essay that all RD or deferred EA applicants must complete, and three additional short essay topics with the applicant selecting to respond to two of these. Essay 1 should be between 200-300 words, while essays 2-4 should be between 150 to 200 words, but remember to focus on substance and not word count.  Before submitting your application and essays, always remember to proofread and edit!  The First Year application will be available on September 1, but we thought that some people would want to know the essays earlier than that date.

Here are the four essay questions as we now have them, with Essay 1 being required (200-300 words) and Essays 2-4 being three options from which the applicant can select two (150-200 words).
  1. (Required) The UGA faculty has defined the qualities that the student body should demonstrate in the Admissions Philosophy Statement.  After reviewing this, help us understand which of your qualities will add value to our community of scholars. (200-300 words)
  2. Describe a problem, possibly related to your area of study, which you would like to solve. Explain its importance to you and what actions you would take to solve this issue. (150-200 words)
  3. Tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself that you have not already shared in your application. (150-200 words)
  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? Please write your response in the style of the UGA First Year Odyssey descriptions as seen on their website. (150-200 words)
Since I have been focused on getting a new recruitment system up and running this year, I was not able to review as many applications this past winter/spring, and thus I did not pull out any specific essays from this last application cycle. As such, here is a great essay from 2 years ago:

It's Christmas morning. I'm asleep in a beautiful princess bed adorned with flowers and puffy pink pillows. I've always slept with Weez on Christmas Eve.

Now let me make a little sense of all of this. Weez is my little sister (her nickname) and we always have a slumber party in her room on Christmas Eve. Seeing her experience the magic of Christmas never gets old... even when she's kicking me and stealing the sheets at two in the morning.

I can't help but feel the same things she does when she first wakes up and realizes what day it is. Then comes the mad dash downstairs to see what fun toys Santa left under the tree. Once all of the presents are opened, Weez always seems to have more fun playing with the boxes than the toys that came out of them. Sitting there, building a box fort with her, I realize that she's the present I'm most thankful for. She's taught me how to be more appreciative of the people around me than the things around me. Wow. Here I am with one of the greatest presents of all, my adopted sister.

Griffin H., thank you for letting us share your essay with future applicants to UGA.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

UGA Orientation

Summer is upon us, and that means one thing (at least in admissions that is): Orientation! If you are a new student to UGA, you are required to attend an Orientation session (and you get to meet the Orientation Leaders in the photo!). In order to have a successful time at Orientation, you need to make sure to take certain steps to be ready for this event.
  1.  Review the Orientation To-Do list for First-Year and Transfer students.
  2. Prior to attending Orientation, make sure you have taken care of several items that are required before you can register for classes at Orientation. Make sure you have cleared your Verification of Lawful Presence requirement (see your myStatus for how to submit documents for this), send in your Health Center Immunization forms well before your session, and complete the Emergency Contact information in Athena.
  3.  If you have any transfer work that needs to be reviewed and posted to your account (dual enrollment work for freshman, Spring work for Summer/Fall transfers), get the transcripts into UGA ASAP. Getting this transcript in will mean that you can register for courses that might need this work posted as prerequisite credit. In addition, make sure to send in any AP or IB scores to UGA to make sure the Registrar can post the credit.
  4. Review the Pre-Orientation Placement Testing information to see if you need to take any placement exams, and if possible, do these prior to Orientation. Many students will be able to exempt one or more placement tests due to SAT/ACT/AP scores, but you need to check and make sure.
  5. Send in your final HS transcript. While we do not need this by your Orientation date, it is best to have this sent in as early as possible so you do not forget about this. If this is not sent in by late June, you will be receiving emails/texts reminding you to send it, and not having this sent to us will cause you not to be able to register for Spring 2017 classes and beyond. Do yourself a favor, send it in ASAP!
  6. Download the iPhone app for UGA, and review the Orientation section of the app. This app section gives you a glimpse of the projected schedule and helps you understand more what to expect.
Orientation is where you will be able to learn about what is means to be a student at UGA and how to chart your path at Georgia, from course registration to advising to activities/clubs and much more.Orientation is a crash course in College 101, and you need to make sure to listen and soak up as much as you can.

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

UGA and the New SAT

As everyone probably knows, the College Board started offering the newly redesigned SAT test in March of 2016, and the Essay portion is now optional. This new SAT (which I am calling the SAT R for now), will impact freshman applicants starting in the Summer/Fall of 2017 and beyond. UGA will continue to accept both the old and the new SAT and the ACT, but with the change in the SAT R test, we will not require or use the Essay/Writing component for either the SAT or ACT for students beginning in the Summer/Fall 2017 term and beyond.

UGA will continue to superscore the SAT and the ACT (we do not superscore across SAT and ACT exams though), and we will continue to use the SAT subscores for both SAT tests in the superscore calculation for each SAT type, those being the SAT I and the SAT R. In reviewing the details of the equivalency charts from the new to the old SAT, we have now determined that we will not be able to superscore between the two SAT tests. While we initially thought we might be able to superscore across the two SAT's, we now see that this is not possible for many reasons, especially due to the difficulties in trying to compare the Critical Reading (CR) and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) sections. Based on our review of the new scores and the concordances, we do not predict this change to have any negative impact on any chances for admission.

In helping students to understand the SAT R, the College Board has provided students with an SAT Score Converter to allow you to translate the SAT R to SAT 1 or the reverse. Additionally, we suggest you look at the data a college provides in their student profile (for example, the UGA First-Year Class Profile), where they provide mid-range data. You can then use data from the College Board Conversion charts to see that our mid -50% SAT 1 of 1810-2060 (2400 range) would be roughly equivalent to a mid-50% SAT R of a 1290-1440 (1600 range). While this is not exact, this is at least an estimate how the new SAT R translates into our past data. Our office will be doing a a great deal of data analysis in the coming months to make sure we use all three score types (SAT 1, SAT R and ACT) appropriately and correctly.

Please remember that in our review of SAT and ACT scores, we will continue to look at all subscores, but we will focus on the CR & Math Sections on the SAT I, the EBRW & Math sections of the SAT R, and the English & Math sections on the ACT.

We also suggest that you review what steps other colleges will be taking concerning the new SAT to better understand your options.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

2016 Wait List Update

We have started offering admission to a small group of students from the Wait List, with a large majority of these being for the Spring 2017 term. Due to the fact that our deposit numbers are at the level that we predicted for Summer/Fall, we are limited in the number of offers we are able to make. We will initially email admitted students and give information about their two-week Commitment Deposit deadline, campus housing, Orientation and other pre-enrollment steps. In addition, the myStatus page will show these decisions, and a decision letter will be mailed shortly after. Over the next few days, we will also email the rest of the wait-listed students to inform them that we cannot offer them admission off the Wait List, and we will then update their Status Check one final time. We will not be calling students about the Wait List, but instead will be using email and the Status Check for details.

In reviewing the students who we admitted off the Wait List, there were a variety of individual reasons for the offers that were made. As such, I cannot give an overarching reason for the decisions. We did take into account our earlier reviews of the files, along with a wide range of information that we had on hand.

For those many strong students we were not able to admit from the Wait List, we thank you for choosing us as one of the options for your higher education.  We wish you the very best of college success.  We understand that this is not the news you were hoping for, and we very much appreciate your patience “waiting on the Wait List.”  Please remember that there are a number of complex reasons why the University made the final decisions it did, and we respectfully remind all that this blog cannot be used for comments about why you or other individuals did or did not get admitted in the Wait list process.

We hope that our quick turn around of the Wait List situation has allowed you and your family to make plans on a much earlier time frame that initially projected.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Fall Transfer Update

The review of the 2016 Fall transfer applications is our key focus at this time, and we continue to diligently work on these files.  At this time, we have made roughly 1,100 decisions of the 2500 applications we received this year. In addition, roughly 300 of the 2,500 files are incomplete and thus will not be reviewed. Based on statistical data, we are averaging about 45 decisions being made per day. As such, I expect that we be be complete for the most part by about mid-May, although,we will have a few slowdowns as we get into some of the more challenging files to review.

Please remember we cannot tell you when you will have a decision as this depends on many factors. Applications are generally processed in the order in which the file was completed, but this is not always the case, as some files are more challenging, are from colleges where we are having to build a catalog in the new system, or are just complex. We also have two new staff members who can handle the more basic transfer files, so they might review some later files that can be done easily but might be out of "completion order". As well, I am not able to look at each individual file to see why someone did nor did not receive a decision based on X date.

Most applications completed by roughly the end of February or earlier have been reviewed with some exceptions.  If you are transferring from an out-of-state college or a college we have not had many students apply from, your application may take a bit longer to review and thus the timeline would not be correct for your situation. Transfer decisions are updated daily on the status check, and the myStatus page is updated at about 5 am every morning.

If you have been admitted and want to see how your courses transferred, you can use the transfer equivalency site off the admissions website. If you have submitted a deposit, you can log on to DegreeWorks to see how your courses apply towards the degree/major you have selected.  As well, go to the Next Steps brochure to learn about what you will need to do next to enroll at UGA (this is also sent in the acceptance packet).

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

First Year Academic Merit Scholarships have been Awarded

Over the last several months the Admissions staff has carefully reviewed all our newly admitted First Year students to consider them for University of Georgia academic merit scholarships.  (See the list and our discussion of merit and need-based aid at our website,  All scholarships available through Admissions have now been awarded, and we have contacted each of the recipients via email and mail.

At UGA, academic merit scholarships have become increasingly competitive.  This is mainly due to the limited funding we have for these awards and the high number of extremely capable students who now gain University of Georgia admission. 

Always continue to search for scholarship opportunities, whether or not you have been awarded a scholarship from Undergraduate Admissions Office.  Search your academic major for scholarships online.  Use our web site and the Office of Student Financial Aid web site to search for external scholarship opportunities. Also, remember to look for local scholarship opportunities for students in your home community.

If you have been selected for any of our Academic Merit awards, congratulations!  Please be sure to read your offer letter carefully.  Keep it for your records.  In this letter you will see what requirements you must maintain to renew your scholarship each succeeding year and, in general, how much the scholarship is worth in relation to your overall costs. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

April 1 Random Admission Thoughts

It is April 1, so we are juggling a wide range of things at this time. We are working with freshmen, transfers, deposits, recruiting future classes, orientation planning, etc. I am also in the middle of a large installation of a new recruitment system (which is going great), but it is eating up most of my time right now. As such, here are a few notes about what is happening:
  • Transfer applicants: We are well into reviewing transfer files, but each ones takes time, as we have to determine how your courses transfer into UGA, calculate an overall transfer GPA, determine hours, etc. Transfer decisions go out daily once we start the review process, and we are averaging roughly 50 files reviewed per day, M-F. I cannot guess when an applicant will hear a decision, as it depends on the number of applicants, when a file is complete, how complex the files is, etc. I am an admissions officer, not a fortune teller who can predict the future.
  • Documents: Transfers, please remember to give us 10 business days from the day a transcript is sent OR you submit your application, whichever is last. It is a mostly manual process to match college transcripts, so it takes a while. If you left a college off the application this will cause problems, as we need official transcripts from every college you attended as an Undergraduate.
  • Timelines: The Timelines page at under the blog header is the best place to understand more about when you will hear a decision. Remember, though, that the Timelines page has projected dates, and so these are not exact due to many factors that impact our reviews. I expect over 2,500 Fall transfer applicants, and while we are going through them as quickly as possible, over 1,000 students had applied by mid-February, over 1,500 had applied by the beginning of March, etc. In other words, patience is key.
  • Admitted Freshman: Do not forget to decide on a college by May 1 and submit a deposit! We wish you well in this choice and want you to find the best possible match, but we do not want to hear from you on May 3rd saying "I forgot to submit my deposit".
  • HS Junior Parents: This is the time of year when HS juniors visit campuses for the first time and are looking at planning out their senior schedules. We are thrilled to have visitors to our campus, just make sure to schedule your visit early, as April tours and information sessions fill up quickly due to Spring Breaks and lots of interest in UGA. As well, our office is not the best group to suggest what a student should take during their senior year. We suggest your family sits down with your HS counselor to see what the options are, and how your student can challenge themselves yet still be successful in HS. We also get a large number of questions about AP vs DE (dual enrollment) courses, and which is the best option. Since we do not know all the details of the situation or all the options, I suggest you review a past AP vs. DE blog post on this issue and then work with your HS counselor. In addition, we do not make suggestions on what elementary schools applicants for Fall 2029 should attend.
  • Scholarships: We will be awarding scholarships through about mid-April, but again, this takes a great deal of time to review files and make decisions, so we ask for your patience. We have made a large number of scholarship offers already, but we have a few offers still to make. Please remember that our office is limited in scholarship funding and we have a large number of strong/wonderful admitted students. In addition, we are not able to "match" scholarship offers from other colleges, as each institution has their own method and funding for scholarships.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 Final Freshman Decisions are Available

Final freshman decisions are now available online.  We had a very strong applicant pool this year! We had 23,000 applications, which was our largest applicant pool ever.  Here are a few notes about decisions:

  • Please do not have multiple family members try to log onto the myStatus.  This will slow down our serves.  We suggest that only the student log in as multiple people logging in could lock down your myStatus. You can always share this information with family members after you see it. Remember, the myStatus page might be a little slow when it first opens due to high traffic volume-Just be patient.
  • No matter what your decision is, remember that there are a number of college options and UGA is just one of them. An admissions decision is not a judgement about your worth. A majority of our applicants are strong, qualified applicants, but our freshman class is not big enough to accommodate everyone.
  • When trying to comprehend your decision, please understand that our office is looking at your file individually, then in comparison with the rest of the 23,000 applicants. That is a very large, very strong applicant pool, and we are limited in how many students we can admit and enroll.
  • We posted three blog posts this morning, one for each of the three decision possibilities, with details about each decision and links to FAQs.  Please review everything about a decision before commenting.
  • Please remember that other students and the admissions representatives in our office are people too and treat everyone with respect.  Before hitting submit on a comment, make sure you actually want to post it.
  • As in past years, we have admitted a small group of freshman to start in the Spring 2017 term. Please make sure to look at the term of acceptance if you are admitted. An offer of Spring will not be shifted to Fall or Summer, as we made a decision to admit this small group for Spring 2017.
  • We will delete any comments that are offensive, ask for personal information/stats from others, or that fall into the unacceptable comment category (Comments that bully, intimidate, or harass any user; Content that is hateful or threatening.  Please see the New Visitors information posted on the right side of the blog).
  • After decisions are out, the next steps are up to you.  Whether you are depositing at UGA or another school, signing up for Housing, or registering for Orientation.  Make sure you take care of everything you need to post-decision.
Go Dawgs!

2016 Freshman Admits

We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available late afternoon today, March 18th.

For those of you who have been admitted to UGA, here is a post for you and a chance to comment.  Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow students under the bus. These types of comments will be deleted.

Congratulations to all of the freshman who were admitted and we look forward to you becoming part of the Bulldog Nation.  The next steps for a new student can be seen in the flyer in your admission packet, so please go ahead and review what you need to do next.  In addition, there will be a great deal of information you can access off of your myStatus page.  When you have the time, please review this, as there is key information in the Next Step materials.  Please remember a small number of students will be admitted to start in January 2017.  You will find specific information on your myStatus and in your admissions packet.

Here are some Statistics on the Entire Freshman Admitted Class for 2016-EA, February and March waves, where we admitted approximately 12,200 students total:

UGA Calculated Grade Point Average mid-range/average:  3.91 - 4.17, with a 4.03 average
Please remember this is not the GPA students see on their high school transcript, but rather the GPA that UGA recalculates for everyone based on the core academic courses taken in high school and looking at the actual grades posted on the transcripts

SAT Critical Reading + SAT Mathematics average: 1343

SAT Writing average:  637

ACT Composite average:  30

 AP/IB/Dual Enrollment course mid-range/average: 5-10 courses, average of 8

Remember that the Housing and myID pages may need a few business days before your information will be available.  Please be patient with these sites.

You have until May 1 to submit a commitment deposit in order to hold a spot in our freshman class.  We hope the next stage of the admission process is a little less nerve wracking than the decision process.  As you celebrate, make sure to be considerate of others in your school who may not have been admitted.

Good luck in the next stage of the college admissions process.  Go Dawgs!

2016 Wait Listed Freshman

We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available late afternoon today, March 18th.   For some students, you will be offered a place on our wait list.  Every year our office has to predict approximately how many students we can admit in order to enroll our freshman class, but we can never be sure how many students will enroll until after the May 1 commitment deposit deadline has passed.  If the number of students who say they will be attending UGA is lower than we expect, we may need to go to our wait list group in order to get the size that we want for our freshman class.  This year we have roughly 700 students on the wait list.  We carefully monitor the deposits coming into the University to see where we are in comparison to the predicted freshman numbers.

For those of you who have been wait-listed, here is a chance for you to comment.  Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow classmates under the bus.  These types of comments will be deleted.

The Wait List FAQ can answer some questions, but the most important thing you need to do is decide if you want to remain on the wait list.  Follow the instructions on the status check or wait list letter we mailed to let us know if you want to stay on the wait list or if you want to decline this option and move forward with admission at another college.  If you decide to stay on the wait list, you should still move forward with an alternate college plan as we will not know about any wait list options until May at the earliest.  If you select to stay on the wait list, we will know that you still want to attend UGA if an opportunity opens up.  The key word in wait list is wait as this is not a quick process.  So please be prepared to wait.

There are three options for the wait list reply.  You can say no, please do not consider me for the wait list.  The next option is to remain on the wait list, but only if it is for the Fall term.  The third option is to remain on the wait list and be considered for both Fall and Spring terms.  This is so that if there is space available for the Fall term, we will look at all of the students who have asked to remain on the wait list.  If the only space available is for Spring term, we will only look at students who said Fall or Spring.  Once you select an option, you cannot change it so be sure to think about your decision before you make your selection.

We will not know details about the wait list until after May 15, and it may be well after that.  Please be patient with our office and read the FAQ before asking questions as it can give you a great deal of information. If you do not feel like you can wait until mid-May through mid-June for a decision, it may be that the wait list option is not for you.

2016 Freshman Denials

We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available late afternoon today, March 18th.   Unfortunately, we were not able to admit a number of strong applicants as we are limited in the size of our freshman class.  We know that you have a number of other strong college options and suggest you focus on the other great opportunities that are ahead rather than on a denial from UGA.  If your ultimate goal is to graduate from the University of Georgia, then we suggest you look at transfer opportunities down the road.  For now, focus on your current college options, find one that fits you best, and have a great freshman year there.  Please read our Denied Student FAQ if you have questions.

Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow classmates under the bus.  These types of comments will be deleted.