Monday, May 22, 2017

2018 Freshman Application Changes

With each new year of admissions comes changes to the application and/or application process so that we can make better decisions every year, and also make sure that we are able to release decisions in time frame that works for both our office and the applicants. As such, here are the changes for the freshman application for students starting in Summer/Fall of 2018.

  1. Coalition Application - Starting this year, we will begin accepting applications submitted through the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success (also known as the Coalition Application). We will continue to have our own application (and we expect a majority of our applicants will use our form), but we wanted to allow students who use the Coalition Application for multiple colleges to have this option. We will still be accepting documents through our normal methods of Naviance/Parchment, GaFutures and documents sent by mail, so there is no change that needs to happen for counseling offices sending us materials. 
  2. Short Answer/Essay Changes - Students who apply Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD) will complete the exact same application, as there will now be two short answer/essay questions for both EA and RD applicants. In the past, EA applicants did not complete the short answer/essays unless they were deferred, but now all freshman applicants will complete these when they apply. As well, we have shifted from three to two short answer/essays for applicants. This change will allow us to begin our holistic read process earlier, will eliminate the issue of hounding EA deferred students to submit the essays at a later date, and will help us maintain our decision release timelines.
  3. Regular Decision Deadline - We will be shifting the Regular Decision application deadline to January 1 (up from prior years of January 15), with a document deadline of January 8. The Early Action deadline will remain October 15 (with the document deadline on October 22). As our application pool has increased, we have been challenged to keep pace with a mid-late March final decision timeline, and this change will help keep us on track.
  4. SAT/ACT Test Dates - For Regular Decision or Deferred Early Action applicants, the last test dates we will be able to use will be the December dates. Both the SAT and ACT have changed their test date offerings, and as such this has caused us to change our timelines. As well (just like past years), make sure you request the scores to be sent to UGA by the application deadline (for both EA and RD timelines). 
We expect the new essay questions to come out shortly, and I will post them here when they are available. I hope this information helps you plan out your application time lines for next year!

Go Dawgs!

Friday, May 12, 2017

2017 Wait List Update

UPDATE: We now expect to release final WL decisions on either Monday, 5/22 or Tuesday, 5/23. We were hoping to release them earlier, but issues came up that delayed these decisions.

Starting today and going through the early part of next week, we will be finalizing decisions for all students on the Wait List. Due to the fact that our deposit numbers are slightly above the level that we predicted for next year, we are very limited in the number of offers we are able to make. We will be making all Wait List decisions in the same manner as our other admission decisions, where a decision will be displayed on the status page and an email will be sent shortly after a decision is made to alert the applicant that a status change has occurred. Admitted students will have a  two-week Commitment Deposit deadline from the acceptance date. We will not be calling students about the Wait List, but instead will be using the status page for the decision release.

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.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Letting Them Drive Alone

I can still remember one of the most terrifying moments in life as a parent, the day my son turned 16 and received his official driver's license. We could handle the learner's permit, as we could sit in the passenger's seat and at least feel like we had some control of the situation. But when he arrived home after getting the official license and asked to go out without us, terror hit us hard. Even with his younger sister as a co-pilot, my wife and I were still terrified of what might happen.

But being good parents, we held back our tears and our fears and allowed them to head off on the longest 8 mile drive of our lives. My wife and I hovered over our iPhones, tracking every turn and stop, wondering why the map was taking so long to refresh their location. And you know what? They arrived safely. Amazingly, they even made it back home alive. And as the days and weeks went by, we started tracking him less and less, and instead we started celebrating the end to our child-chauffeur days.

Occasionally, there would be the small bump in the road, from the dead battery to a minor fender bender, but everything turned out just fine. Our fears of major accidents, our kids getting lost without us there to help them, and the unknown of who else is on the roads with them started to vanish. I even survived my daughter's spontaneous road trip through Atlanta highway traffic to go to a Sunflower Festival in Calhoun, GA without dying on the spot (I confess I did check her progress on the iPhone about 10 times though).

How does this relate to College Admissions? Well, in early August, about 3 months from now, the parents of the Class of 2021 will have to let their children drive their college forward alone. You will still be there checking up on them, texting them, and sending them care packages, but you will no longer be riding in the passenger seat. Those first few days will be filled with doubt, wondering if they are eating right, making good choices and meeting new friends. There will be a few bumps in the road, from that first rough test, a disagreement with their roommate or that initial feeling of being lost. But amazingly, they survive. Actually, they do more than survive, they thrive. They become a part of this amazing community known as UGA, and you smile.

For some of you, this will be your first child going on to college. For others, this is the final one (I am there with you empty-nesters!), and this will be a little easier. No matter what though, it is still tough to let them go it alone. But just like your children, you will survive, and you will thrive.

Go Dawgs!