Summer is a time for vacations, part-time jobs, and relaxation. But for rising HS seniors, it is also time to prepare for the college application process. I am not suggesting you have everything ready to submit an application on opening day of the UGA application (September 1 by the way), but only that you have some things laid out in order to be on top of the process. In our research concerning last year's applicant pool, there was a dramatic dip in both admission rates and strength of essays for students who either waited until the last minute to apply or who spent only a few days working on the application. In saying this, here are a few suggestions on steps to take get ready to apply to UGA.
- 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 time lines and actions needed for all of these colleges. Get a calendar (electronic or paper) just for admissions time lines, 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.
- Get prepared. Before you start your application, you will need to 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 and your counselor's contact information including email. As well, have your payment information on hand (either a credit card number or a digital copy of a fee waiver). It is key to have the correct SSN when you apply, as all financial aid offices use this as a matching field for all financial aid. I heavily suggest going ahead and sending us your SAT/ACT scores, as this will take care of this step, will pre-populate the test score section of the application, and will possibly allow us to communicate with you about certain events.
- Start working on your essays. Starting this year (students applying for Fall of 2018), both Early Action (EA) and Regular Decision (RD) applicants must submit 2 short essays, as compared to previous years when only RD and deferred EA applicants submitted them. Summer is the perfect time to start thinking about the UGA admission essays, and to begin the writing process. Make sure to proofread the essays, have someone review them for you, as you do not want to wait until the last minute to start on these.
- 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.
- 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.