Early Action vs Reg Decision

From now until October 15, one of the most common questions for the admission office will be "Should I apply for Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD)"? There is the perceived notion that one option is better than the other (NOT TRUE!). If a student applies RD and meets the EA criteria for admission, they will receive an acceptance in late February. If a student applies EA and is deferred, they will be shifted to the next stage of review and will be looked at the same way as an RD applicant who is not admitted during the February admission process. In reality, the only person that can answer the question of how they should apply is the student who is applying.

First, the EA Vs. RD difference is really about timing. If a student submits an application for EA, they will know something by at least mid-December. This "something" could be an acceptance, a denial, or a deferral (which means we want more information before we can make a decision). Early Action accepts are applicants that are extremely strong academically, and that our office determines we would admit without even reviewing the non-academic information. EA denials are students that we determine we would not admit for EA or RD based upon the information we have at that time. Deferred applicants are seen as very competitive academically, and we want to review the file during December through March, when we have much more time to do holistic reviews. RD applicants who apply will receive a decision in late February (if they meet EA requirements), or they will hear in late March, when all RD or deferred EA applicants will know final decisions.

For both Early Action and Regular Decision applicants, give yourself time to get your application together, and do not rush to complete it at the deadline. This is like pushing off writing a 10 page report until the last day, and wondering why it did not turn out as well as you thought it would.

So if you are looking for someone to tell you whether to apply EA or RD, look in the mirror, because you are the person that knows your situation best, so you are the one that needs to make this call.

91 comments:

  1. Good Afternoon. My daughter's status page says she was accepted for EA but she hasn't received her acceptance packet in the mail yet. Can you tell me when they were mailed, please?

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    1. The letters were prepared for mailing on the Friday and Monday before the Thanksgiving holiday, but the UGA mail service was on a skeleton crew that week. As such, I am guessing most were mailed yesterday. My daughter is 15 minutes from campus and has not received her letter yet either. Patience.

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  2. Can you specifically explain what factors would get a student deferred versus rejected during the EA process? Because, if an EA applicant has a 4.0 GPA, ok SAT scores, and took some rigorous high school courses (but isn't a top five student), should that student be concerned about being rejected instead of deferred if he or she isn't accepted? Thanks for answering!

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    1. I have tried to spell out what we look at in Early Action, but I am not able to guess about a possible decision, sorry. I cannot guess what a future applicant group will look like, what we might possibly see in a future applicant, etc.

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  3. Due to the valedictorian and salutatorian being assured admissions by UGA, does that mean a student with a verified #1 or #2 class ranking (even ig he/she hasn't been officially announced as valed or salu yet) will be accepted automatically during the EA process?

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    1. There are certain requirements that must still be met for Val/Sal admits. They must have a complete application, meet state requirements, be from a GA SACS accredited HS with at least 50 graduates, and we must receive information from the school that the students are Val or Sal.

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  4. My son is in junior year of high school in Ohio now and he will try to apply University of Georgia this year, but my job will be transferred to Atlanta, GA about summer next year. Can he be in-state student at Freshman year?

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    1. He would not initially be a GA resident (as that takes 12 months of being in-state with documented proof), but his first year he could be classified for an Economic Advantage Waiver (http://www.reg.uga.edu/files/forms/EconomicAdvantagewaiver.pdf), which is for students/families who have a job move to GA. After that, he could apply to be a resident. FYI: The state HOPE scholarship program has a more strenuous requirement of time in GA, so you would need to work on that separately with the state and GA Student Finance Committee.

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  5. Thank you for the answer. I will work on it.

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  6. The admissions website says that UGA calculates its own GPA adding one point to all APs. But, if a high school adds bonus points to the grade, UGA will count the weighted grade, but not add their own 1 point to the GPA. So if I got A's in most of my AP classes without the 7 points my school adds, wouldn't it be more beneficial to me to submit a transcript without the weighted grades so that I could take advantage of the point that UGA adds and get a GPA above 4.0? Is that something that is possible? Because with a weighted transcript the highest GPA I could get would be a 4.0, but if I had the extra point that UGA adds to APs, then my GPA could be greater than 4.0 I hope that makes sense.

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    1. When a HS or a county makes a decision on how they will weight grades, there will always be some students who are helped and some who are not. Within the state of Georgia, I have communicated with a number of high school individuals about their weighting choices and how this impacts a GPA at UGA. But it is the choice of the school or county as to what they send us, not UGA. As well, we need a consistent transcript from the school, so one student cannot send a weighted grade transcript and another cannot send an unweighted one. You are correct that the highest GPA a student from a HS that adds extra points to the teachers actual grades can only be a 4.00, but this is a discussion you and your family need to have with your school administration, as they control the situation.

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  7. I know UGA calculates their own GPA, but is there a certain GPA and SAT requirement for Regular Action?

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    1. No, we do not have cut-points for the GPA or test scores for freshman admission.

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  8. This is a page for undergraduate application. Can you pl share a page/link where any update regarding PhD (Public Administration and Policy) can be shared.

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    1. I suggest you directly contact the Graduate School, as there is no blog like this for their office.

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  9. Do you accept dual enrollment credits from high school students, or does it depend on the student?

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    1. If the DE college is accredited and the courses are academic, then yes, we would accept the work.

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  10. Does UGA allow a student to apply to multiple schools Early Action?

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    1. I am guessing you are asking if our EA process is exclusive or not, correct? If so, then please know that UGA does not limit what colleges or what decision plans (Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Decision, etc.) you select when applying to other colleges. Just make sure to work with your HS counselor to make sure they know what you are doing and if any other colleges you are looking at have restrictions.

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  11. If I apply early, but took the SAT in October, will UGA still look at my score when it arrives to the admissions office after the EA Deadline? Does the same apply to SAT Subject Tests?

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    1. For EA, you need to both have taken the test and requested UGA as a score recipient by the EA deadline. As such, we can use the October SAT if you make sure to request it be sent to UGA prior to 10/15.

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  12. Should an applicant for EA send SAT and ACT scores or only the one thst had the better scores?

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    1. For EA and RD applicants, I suggest they send in both SAT and ACT scores, as we will only use the strongest scores.

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  13. I am taking the SAT again and already have a high score. If I do worser this time, will it look bad on my part if you take a look at all my test scores? Or do you focus only on the highest score?

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    1. UGA only looks at the best subscores to calculate the best super score.

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  14. We have confused ourselves over here...

    For EA, student needs to take both ACT and SAT correct?

    For RD, student may have either ACT or SAT taken, correct?

    Thank you

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    1. EA and RD are the same thing (same process, same materials needed, etc.), just a different time frame. As such, for both EA and RD, we need either an SAT or ACT score, but we do not need both (we are fine if you send both, but not needed).

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  15. Replies
    1. Yes, we superscore the SAT and the ACT.

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    2. Trying to outline my deadlines and make sure I'm clear:
      if I plan to submit EA (Oct 15th deadline) can I still sit for the Oct 6th SAT and submit the scores in time for consideration? I read that the score release dates are scheduled for Oct 19th

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    3. Yes, we can use the 10/6 SAT for EA (as stated in the deadlines page), but you need to list UGA as a score recipient prior to taking the test.

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  16. Does legacy affect admission at UGA?

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    1. No, legacy does not impact admissions. We ask the question for our Alumni Office and their records.

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  17. Hello! I was wondering if you could give me some advice on when to apply. I am deciding between EA and RD just based on my grades/ACT. Currently I have a 4.01 GPA and do IB classes but my ACT is a 25. I will be re taking the ACT in October hoping for a higher score, but EA does not accept that late of a test score. Do you suggest I wait and apply RD hoping that my score goes up or should I apply EA and hope I get accepted or deferred to then send my scores in again if they are better.

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    1. My suggestions have nothing to do with your academics, but instead with your feeling about applying. Are you comfortable with us looking at your file on October 15, or do you want new scores and grades (like the October ACT you mentioned) in your file prior to us reviewing your application? Do you have the time to apply by 10/15, or is the fall super busy? Will you be okay if you are deferred? Once you answer these questions, you can then decide what to do.

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  18. I thought that teacher recommendations were not used for EA applications; however after submitting an EA application, it is noted that teacher recs are “ highly recommended” under the teacher recommendation section. Are they looked at during EA review?

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    1. The EA review is primarily an academic review, but not always exclusively so, as there are some files which we will look at in a more holistic process in the decision process. As such, we suggest getting in teacher recommendations now, as they might be used in the EA process or later if the student's application is deferred.

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  19. If i get accepted in EA for fall semester, can i find a way to early enroll to attend UGA uin january instead of the fall?

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    1. No. We have already reviewed applications for Spring 2019, so this is not a possibility.

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  20. If I get deferred to Regular Decision, how long do I have to send an updated transcript with my senior fall semester grades? My fall semester doesn't end until the end of January.

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    1. Mid-January is the timeline for getting in updated materials, so late January will be too late.

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  21. If someone does much better on the SAT vs ACT, will you use the highest test score of the 2 tests, or will the lower grade count against you? Also, if one does significantly better on SAT, do you recommend that they focus on improving that score as much as possible and forgetting about the ACT all together?

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    1. We only use the highest subscores in our review of test scores, so a lower score will not impact the situation. If a student feels more comfortable taking one test over another, it is probably best to focus on that one test.

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  22. Where can you upload files on the applications?

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    1. Once you have submitted an application, you will have access to your admissions status page shortly afterwards. On the status page is the option to upload a resume or resume-like items (in the upload section).

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  23. At my school, we can only take AP courses starting from sophomore year and have a limit to how many we can take per year (ex: only 1 in 10th grade, 2-4 in 11th grade and 2-5 in 12th grade). Due to this, I have taken less AP courses than other students at other schools, and as a result my UGA-calculated GPA will be lower than many others who are able to take many AP courses. Will this affect my chances in admissions to UGA and also the Honors Program? How do you determine if a student has taken a schedule that is considered rigorous in school when some schools (like mine) have restrictions on the number of advanced courses? Is there anywhere on the application where I could talk about this?

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    1. Adding some personal information, I have taken 8 AP courses over the three years in which they are available, (out of a maximum of 10 possible) which is considered to be a large number at our school and quite a rigorous schedule. Since the admissions office won't know this, however, my 8 AP courses look weak in comparison to others. Am I at a disadvantage?

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  24. When do acceptance letters for Early Action come out?

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    1. I do not know yet. When we get closer to mid-November, I will have a date that I will post on the blog.

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  25. Hello, I know EA is mostly academics, is class rank taken into consideration as well?

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    1. While a large part of EA is focused on overall academics, we are starting to make some changes (see https://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2018/09/changes.html). When we review files, we do not focus on class rank, as many schools do not give rank in class, among other issues. At the end of our decision process, we do look at the Valedictorians and Salutatorians, but that is our limit for class rank focus.

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    2. Thank you for the reply :)

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  26. How much of the admission process depends on the grades? Is it equally split with Grades, SAT, Rec letters, etc....

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    1. There is no exact percentage of importance given to the parts of a file, sorry.

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Yes. When you first start to log into the admission portal, you will see that you have checked the EA option, but the RD option also shows (unchecked). Now just select RD instead.

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  28. just wanting to make sure I understand my deadlines - have submitted my EA app. Does the teacher/counsellor recommendation fall under "The materials deadline" of 10/22?

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  29. So I submitted my Coalition application today, but my counselor still hasn't uploaded her recommendation to Coalition yet. So if she uploads her recommendation at a later time, will it attach to my application later?

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    1. I replied to your question on the other page.

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  30. I submitted my EA application yesterday and have all materials in but my SAT/ACT official score report. I had them sent 3 days ago (the 12th), but am worried they will not be in by the 22nd when they are due. What happens when all materials are in by the due date but the SAT/ACT score reports are not there yet?

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    1. If you read the deadlines page again, you will see the test score deadline is for the test to be taken by 10/15 and for the scores to be requested sent to UGA by 10/15. We know the timelines of the test submission and have built it into our process.

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  31. What scholarships am I already considered for when applying EA?

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    1. For all freshman applicants, we consider students for all scholarships based on the application except for the Foundation Fellowship/Ramsey scholarship program, as that has a separate application.

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  32. Is the application proof that shows up after you submit your application what your admissions counselor looks at?

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    1. Not exactly, but for the most part. The pdf you see is the fixed app as of the moment you submitted it. We see an app that is "live" and any new data will update it (test scores for instance). We also have a lot more information that we look at when reading.

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  33. Hello.
    If my counselor never submitted my school report for early will I be denied?

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    1. If your EA application is not complete when we shut off importing any new materials and/or test scores, then you will be deferred and have until early January to get all materials in.

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  34. Hi,
    If I applied through Coalition, how do I check my status? Coalition does not tell you whether or not you've been accepted. Is there a way to link Coalition to the UGA status? Will I get an email tomorrow letting me know if I am accepted, deferred, or denied?

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    1. Look in your emails for one sent to you shortly after you applied, and you will find one giving you access to the UGA admissions portal. This gives you access to our system.

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  35. If you got denied from UGA by Early Action, can you apply again for Regular Decision?

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  36. Hi, I applied for regular decision as a freshman for next year and have had my application completely done and submitted for about a month now, will I find out sooner or still not know if I was accepted until late February?

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    1. No. As I have stated in several areas (including the Timelines page at http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/p/timelines.html), we will have a small group of RD students we admit in February, and these would be applicants who would have been admitted in November of they had applied in the EA round. Most RD applicants (and the EA deferred applicants) will hear back in March after we have had time to review all the files.

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  37. If you were accepted EA but didnt hear anything about scholarships or finances is there still a chance you will get something?

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    1. We will be awarding scholarships through the end of March, so we will be offering many more scholarships down the road.

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  38. Are DE/AP looked at equally, or is one preferred over the other?

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    1. In a broad sense, we look at AP, IB and DE courses as equal. Within that though, especially with DE courses, there are some that are stronger and some that are not. For instance, DE College Algebra is definitely not as strong as AP Calculus, etc.

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  39. Is it true that UGA only uses the english and math portions of scoring for the ACT?

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    1. Yes, see http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2016/11/uga-and-act.html

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  40. Hello, I recently applied to UGA as a freshman regular decision applicant. I didn't realize until after the fact that I had already submitted my application, that I was short about 40 words on one of the essays. Will this likely play a significant role in my gettin deferred? Also what if I took multiple DE courses, and made a not-so-good grade in one of the courses, will that also play a role in me possibly getting deferred? Also, when will regular decision applicants receive their admissions decisions? Thank You!

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    1. The essay length will not play a role in the decision. We look at quality, not (word) quantity. If you have low grades, especially in a jr/senior course that is challenging, this could have a very serious impact on a decision. As stated in my most recent blog post, final decisions will go out on 3.15.

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  41. If you get denied as an incoming freshman can you still apply again as a transfer later on?

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    1. Yes, as we receive a number of former freshmen applicants who then apply as transfers (and we have a number of them enroll as well).

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  42. If I have a 3.7 GPA and a 30 ACT Score, do you recommend applying early or do you think I might get denied?

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    1. I recommend you ask yourself a few questions, as I cannot guess about a decision. If you are comfortable with us looking at your file in October, apply EA. If you want Fall grades in first, want new scores or want more time, you should apply RD. EA vs RD is not a difference in a review, but a difference in our timelines, that is all.

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  43. Hi!
    In which year did EA start at UGA?
    Also, I am wondering what is the ratio of admitted to EA among the EA applicants?

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    1. We started EA about 15 years ago. I do not have the ratio of admits to applicants, as we do not make different decisions based on EA vs RD.

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  44. Hello, I am wondering what is the percent of freshmen enrolled as "EA" admission and "RD" admission, respectively, last year, or these averages in recent years?

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    1. I do not have this data, as it varies each year based on the decision, whether you consider EA deferred students to still be EA or shifted to RD (we still refer to them as EA), etc. Since there is no difference in the admission process, it really just depends on what the applicants are like that apply EA vs RD. Generally, we have more students apply EA, and more of these students are on the higher end academically looking at grades/rigor/test scores, so that at times will distort the data somewhat if you are looking just at specific numbers.

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