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 after we have receive more detailed information about the student. 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.

Here are my two suggestions when looking at EA vs RD: First, look at the First-Year Profile for previous years, and determine where the applicant would fall within grades, curriculum and test scores. Since Early Action (EA) admitted students are at the top end of the group, if an applicant is not in the mid-50% or higher in at least two of the areas (and the third area is not WAY below the mid-range), they should rethink applying EA. Secondly, the applicant should ask if they would like to have first semester grades or SAT/ACT scores from after October 15 in their file before a decision is made. If you want UGA admissions to see more about you, apply RD.

And for those of you who apply EA just because you do not have to complete the part II essays of the application, even though you are not near the mid ranges in the profile, I would suggest you think again. Give yourself time to get your application together, and do not rush to complete it by the deadline just because you "knew" you would be deferred but did not want to do part II of the application yet. 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.

107 comments:

  1. Hi! I was just wondering if there were minimum SAT scores required for people applying to UGA. I know on the UGA website it said that the only minimum SAT scores were those required of the University System of Georgia (CR - 430 and M - 400), but on the Collegeboard website, it is stated that the minimums are 560 for CR and 570 for M. Could you please verify which are correct? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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    1. I work for UGA Admissions (and helped to create and update the website), so I would say that my office is in the best position to give information about our office. The only requirements we have at UGA for the SAT and ACT tests are the minimums set by the University System of GA. Most likely, the College Board (and other publications/websites) are giving out the bottom of the mid-50% as the minimum, or people are misunderstanding it. But I always suggest you trust what the colleges give you concerning their minimums.

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  2. If I was denied for Early Admission, can I still apply to UGA for Regular Decision? Also is there another type of application besides EA and RD? I really want to go to UGA but I am not sure I'm good enough.

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    1. The only two options are EA and RD, and it is not easier or harder to be admitted either way, it is just a different timeframe. If a student is denied during the EA process, that is it, as the decision is final. If you are worried, I suggest you apply RD.

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  3. How do you take into account the difference in one school's rigor as compared to another school's less rigor. For example, if one student at a highly competitive high school had a core GPA of 3.6 and another student also had a 3.6 but attended a much less rigorous school, how do you account for this?

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    1. We do look at the overall pattern by high school of how students who enroll at UGA do while at UGA, so we are able to see how students from different high schools do in college. At the same time, though, just because a high school's academics are perceived as strong or limited does not really mean that a specific student's academic courses will match this. You can go to a perceived strong academic high school and take the weakest classes possible, or you can attend a high school with perceived limitations yet take the strongest classs, do dual enrollment, take outside courses, etc. So while we do look at the high school, we also look at how a student has done with what is available to them.

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  4. If I were to apply EA and was deferred to RD would I be able to change my ACT/SAT scores if I took those tests and did better on them before RD?

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    1. Deferred EA applicants can update their file with new test scores and a fall term transcript, and the deadline is 1/22 for any updated materials.

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  5. If you are deferred to RD, is there another fee if you update your files and apply for Regular Decision?

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    1. If an applicant is deferred, they do not submit an RD application or send in another application fee. They would simply complete part II of the application, which is the essays section and an update section, and have a teacher recommendation sent in. Then the application would go into our holistic read process.

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  6. If I had ISS in 9th grade because I was cheated off of, do I need to include that on my application?

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    1. Any suspension for an academic/honor code violation needs to be reported, and you can then give us a detailed explanation.

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    2. Does it hurt your chances of being accepted?

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    3. I cannot guess about the impact of a situation, sorry, as we need to review the entire situation and overall file.

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  7. I took the June 2015 ACT and just sent my scores. If they do not come before October 22nd, will I still be considered EA?

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    1. Any scores both taken and requested to be sent to us by the 10/15 deadline will be fine for EA.

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  8. My daughter got deferred after the EA period, and she has all but decided to turn her back on UGA. As a parent, I'd like for her to go there. She has a 3.96 GPA, over a dozen AP courses, and more service than I care to count. (As an aside, her ACT was 28...probably the thing that got her deferred.) I think she was deeply disappointed by the decision and is also reticent to chance a 2nd rejection. Do you have a suggested message I can give her to help keep UGA on her radar?

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    1. The first thing I always say is that deferral is not a denial in any way, but just a call back. The next round is where we really get a chance to look at everything in a student's file, and where we really get to know a student. The last thing I would say is would you like to go to a college where the applicant pool is so strong that we have to make tough decisions (and to imagine the strength of the freshman class). Good luck to her.

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  9. Hello,

    I tried 3 times yesterday to post this one but somehow it seems its not getting through. My daughter applied under RD and expecting UGA reply. With her SAT scores of CR 480 and Maths 560. HS grades 9th 85%, 10th 9.4 CGPA (3.4 GPA), 11th 85%. For 12th predicted grade is 80% and above. She is currently pursuing CBSE Board of India. I think her SAT scores will be of concern but as a parent I'd like to know what are the chances of her getting accepted.

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    1. Unfortunately, I am unable to guess about a decision, as our admission review is based both on the individual applicant and the overall applicant pool, and it is too difficult to try and guess about the chances of admission for a student. On the good side, she will know shortly about a decision, as we will be releasing decisions in mid-late March.

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  10. Hello, I've been trying for a while to post a question to the GPA calculation blog but not getting the verification emails that I keep requesting so hope you won't mind responding here. Just so I'm clear on the calculation, my child currently has 15 core classes, all A grades - some of which are honors and 8 AP classes (individual teaches grades not weighted but they do add weight at the end of each semester for school GPA calculation). Is the calculation below correct in that instance?

    15 X 4 = 60 quality points
    8 X 1.0 = 8 quality points)
    GPA: 68 / 15 = 4.53

    Thank you!

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    1. That looks correct to me based on your information.

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    2. Appreciate your response - thank you!

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  11. Re: Admissions for 2017 - If I only take the NEW SAT, how will UGA compare my results to another applicant who took the old SAT? They are two completely different tests and the NEW SAT is somewhat unchartered territory. Will UGA look at percentile rankings within each test? Or, will UGA look more at GPA and rigor of classwork since this is somewhat of an odd situation faced by both students and admissions.

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    1. First, our office always has focused more on grades and the rigor of a student's 4 years of HS courses than on a test score, so we will continue to do this. Second, we are working closely with both the SAT and ACT, and we already have the SATR to SAT1 concordance built into our system. As such, while this is a change, it is not as big a change as expected. In addition, I am guessing that almost all 2017 applicants who take an SAT will take an SATR, either just that one or both the SATR and the SAT1.

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  12. We live out of state and my son would like to apply early decision. We believe he meets the basic criteria to be admitted by Early Action. However he would also like to be considered for potential merit based scholarships and would like to retake the SAT this fall (results would be after Early Action deadline). Assuming he got into UGA with EA.... How late can he submit additional SAT scores to be considered for any scholarships UGA may have to offer?

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    1. If he is looking at the Foundation Fellowship/Ramsey Scholarship, the deadline is Nov 2, so the October 1 SAT date would be the last one, and he would want to request UGA as a score recipient when he registers for it. For other scholarships, it would be the January SAT and/or February ACT for this year (I just wrote a blog post about this yesterday about extending the test dates for our applicants, and it fits with scholarships).

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  13. Hi, I'm interested in applying EA. I have a very high GPA (4.3) and have take 4 AP classes and 5 dual enrollment classes, however, my test scores are just mediocre. Should I go ahead and apply EA or wait until RD?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I suggest you re-review this page again, as the only person who can determine if you should apply EA or RD is you. Look at the information I have shared (EA vs RD is about timing), and then make up your mind about a decision plan.

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  14. Is it true that UGA looks at GPA and rigor of classes over test scores????

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    1. Yes, our office believes that what you do over 4 years in HS is more important than what you do over 4 hours on a Saturday morning.

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    2. This is true in the EA process as well as the RD process, correct???

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  15. What is the acceptance rate by medical schools for UGA?

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    1. I do not have the exact data, but if you go to https://premed.uga.edu/about-premedical-studies/faqs/faqs-for-high-school-students, you can see some details about the overall pre-med information, including some statistics.

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  16. Hi, I'm a senior in high school, and I'm looking to apply to UGA EA. I know already that I want to attend Freshman College, and I was wondering if I should apply for summer or fall?
    Thanks so much.

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    1. If you are truly serious about attending the Freshman College program (which is in the summer), then apply to start in the summer. But if you are not sure, apply for the fall, as that is when almost all freshman begin. We can change students from summer to fall or the reverse, but it is a little bit complex, and since there is no difference in our review, choose the start term you want.

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    2. Okay, thanks. I am very serious about Freshman College, so I think I'll go ahead and apply summer. Thanks again.

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  17. Hi! I am applying for EA, but I want to take the October 1st SAT. I contacted the College board, and they said the scores will not be out until October 27, and the test scores for EA are due by October 22. The lady from the College board, however, said that colleges are aware of the late date that scores are coming in, and that they should accept the scores anyways. I just wanted to confirm this with the actual school.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If you look at the Deadlines/Required Materials page on this blog, you will see that I have written "Official SAT or ACT (Essay not required) scores sent to UGA by the testing agency, test must be taken and requested sent to UGA by the 10/15 deadline". As such, the October 1 score will be fine as long as you have UGA as a receiving school prior to taking the test. We have the same information on when the SAT and ACT scores will get to us and we work from that information.

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  18. With EA does the major you select become your intended major, and is it a factor in the decision process.

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    1. With any application, your selected major is your initial major at UGA, but is does not play a part in the decision process. After an accepted student has been admitted to UGA, they can change their intended major through the UGA student system (Athena).

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  19. So sorry if this question has already been asked, but if I want to apply for RD because I'm just nervous about being deferred for EA can I still submit my application at the same time I would if I were applying for EA? Or would you recommend waiting a little bit so I can at least get my senior year semester 1 grades?

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    1. We are fine if you apply RD now, but if you are wanting us to have senior grades in your initial GPA calculation, wait to submit the application until you know fall grades and can report them in the self-reported grades section.

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  20. On the information sheet I received, I noticed that the mid 50% of students have 4-9 AP/IB classes. I was just wondering if this number included dual enrollment classes.

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    1. I believe this is just AP/IB. If you add in DE/MOWR courses, it goes to 5-10 classes in the mid-50% range.

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    2. Okay, I have 4 AP classes and 9 DE classes so 13 total. I should meet this category, correct?

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    3. Mid-50% averages do not mean that these are requirements, or that if you meet these you will be admitted. These are mid-ranges based on last year's class, and as such give some insight into the strength of UGA applicants, but cannot be used to predict future admission.

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  21. Hi! Do you think that your essay and extracurricular's can have a big impact on your application? Thank you!

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    1. During our holistic read process, these factors are important in our review, but they will be looked at in addition to all of the other areas we look at, not as the only factors.

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  22. If you are applying regular decision, will our first semester senior year grades be used in the GPA calculation? and what is the average GPA for the Honors college?

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    1. If you apply after you know first semester grades and add them to your application, then yes, we will use them in your GPA calculation. As for mid ranges, see https://www.admissions.uga.edu/prospective-students/first-year/fy-profile

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  23. At Alabama they offer 1/4 , 1/2 , 3/4 , and full scholarships for having a certain gpa, sat and or act, etc. Does UGa do anything like that?

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    1. We have a wide range of scholarships at UGA (see https://www.admissions.uga.edu/prospective-students/tuition-fees/scholarships), but we do not have the kind of scholarship options that you mention.

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  24. How do you calculate GPA? and do you count anatomy in your GPA calculation?

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    1. See https://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2013/11/calculating-uga-gpa.html for how we calculate our GPA, and anatomy is a core area course (science), so we use it in our GPA.

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  25. I was under the impressing that applying EA shows that you are seriously interested in the school as a first choice, but if all the criteria is not submitted at that time and if you are on the cusp, does it actually hurt your chances? How do you convey to the school that it is your first choice?

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    1. UGA does not treat EA applicants any differently from RD applicants, except in having a different timeline. If you do not send us materials by the deadline, we can't review your file for EA. We do not make different decisions based on UGA being your first choice, sorry.

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  26. Hi
    I am in the dual enrollment program at UWG. When I request for my transcript to be sent to you guys, it asks for specific information for where and who to send it. I wasn't sure if I should just put Terrell Hall or if there was a specific person I should send it to.

    Thanks

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    1. UGA admissions is fine, and there is an address in the upper right hand side of the blog. As well, if an email is needed, use admproc@uga.edu

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  27. How long do you keep application records? I applied to go to UGA for the 2014-2015 school year, and would like to find out why I did not get in. It was this huge scandal at my school that I did not get in -- everyone thought I was going to get in early action, and I didn't get in at all. I had a 3.8888 GPA, and took and passed 4 AP exams, and was in countless extracurricular's, including dance, recycling, different honor societies, club leadership positions, sports, GHP semifinalist, et cetera. I got Zell Miller, so my ACT was about a 26 or 27. And had above average on y'all's 3 main numeric values you use to determine qualification. I also know that several of my classmates, had lower numbers in all 3 and were less-involved, but were of non-white ethnicity and got in, and I am of white ethnicity. So, I thought it was because I was part of the majority. But another white applicant who was way less qualified, got in, but the only way I made sense of that is because they were a first generation student. I am also a lower-class citizen & made all this possible without having my own computer and everything. I am only attending school because of scholarships I earned.


    Anyway, I would like to know how I was not qualified. So, would you still have this on record?
    People told me you probably had it mistaken, but I did not call and check, because I didn't feel like this was fair at all & wanted nothing to do with a school that did not acknowledge my potential.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No, we would not still have this information. Second, I would suggest you let this go and focus on your future, not your past.

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  28. Hello, I am currently a junior in a high school that is not in Georgia. I am enrolled in the AP/honors track and make decent grades. I plan on applying to UGA at the end of junior year with Early Action. Will it cause an issue with my application and more importantly, acceptance to UGA if I have not taken any of my senior classes? Also, my school did not have AP classes available to any students until my sophomore year. Will my honors classes taken freshman year versus my Pre-Ap and AP classes taken sophomore year and this year conflict with my acceptance?

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    1. Our application opens up on Sept. 1 of each year, and almost all of our freshmen applicants have not taken senior courses, so this will not be a problem. As for your course selection, most HS's do not offer AP courses to freshmen (or if they do, it is one such as AP Gov or AP Human Geog.), so this does not place you in a negative situation. We look at all core courses taken, from Honors to CP, Advanced to AP/DE, etc., so just keep challenging yourself to the level you can handle and be successful in the classroom.

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  29. I am applying for early decision and I sent my transcripts from Clayton State and Gordon State a week ago. Only Gordon State has shown up on my application. Do I need to resend my Clayton State transcript?

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    1. Send an email to admproc@uga.edu and we can track it down.

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  30. Do y'all actually read the letter of rec our counselor writes for our application, and do y'all look at our resume if we submitted it???

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For both EA and RD, we look at the counselor information, with different focuses during different times (we focus more on the academic information in EA and the overall recommendation during RD and deferred EA), and during our scholarship review and holistic file read, we look at a student's activities.

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  31. Do y'all take in to consideration honors classes as well as AP courses? I am a junior and have taken 1 AP class and 1 DE class, but I have taken several Honors over the past three years. Does it hurt my chances to get in if I have not taken several AP classes?

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    1. We take into account all core classes a student takes, from CP to Honors, Accelerated to Advanced, AP to IB, and DE/MOWR classes as well. As such, take the most challenging courses you can handle (and survive) in order to prepare yourself for UGA classes.

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  32. Have y'all released how many EA applications y'all received?

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    1. We received just under 16,000 EA applications.

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  33. How far along are y'all on reviewing the applications?? Is there any sign as to when decisions will be released??

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If you look on the Timelines page, you will see that we predict we will release decisions somewhere between mid-Nov and early Dec. It is hard to guess about when we will release decisions, but I will announce it here when we are ready to give an exact date.

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  34. When are the early admission decided and notified to the applicants?

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    1. See the Timelines page for more details.

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  35. Do #1 and #2 from a SACS accredited high school automatically get accepted EA??

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    1. No, as many times the Val/Sal have not been determined yet by the HS. As such, we wait until final decisions for this, as we can then be more accurate with these situations.

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    2. Understandable, do y'all take into consideration class rank for EA?

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    3. UGA does not use class rank in our review (except for the Val/Sal situation), as we focus on the actual core grades in HS, the rigor of a student's curriculum, and the SAT/ACT scores (in that order).

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  36. Will we just need to look on out my status page this afternoon to see decisions?

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    1. Yes, sometime late afternoon, and I will post when it is open here and on twitter.

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  37. If you are deferred from EA, but you do not wish to send in your 1st semester grades because they are in progress/ they are not representative of the grades you believe you will graduate senior year with, is it still required to send them in during deferred RD?

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    1. If you are deferred, you will then need to complete part II, which are the 3 short essays and an update section. We heavily, heavily suggest you enter in fall grades there (if you submit part II when fall grades are complete), or have an updated transcript sent in. If you do not send in fall grades, we have to make certain assumptions and possibly contact your school to get a better understanding of your senior year. As well, we look at all final transcripts of enrolling students, so we are going to see them anyway, and we have revoked decisions if senior grades are low.

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    2. Also, will UGA admissions take into consideration these grades are in progress? or are they weighed just as heavily as the past 3 years?

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    3. We will look at senior grades as a part of the overall academic makeup of the student.

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    4. turns out I was doubting myself too much, I actually got in! Now, my question is slightly different. Even after I get accepted do do you still recommend i send my 1st semester transcript? Also, I may have a C in AP calculus this year and I read somewhere that colleges like you to admit to them beforehand. Should I go ahead and send an explanation of why I believe my grade dropped to a C? this is my only C and I dont want to get my acceptance letter taken away.

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    5. We do not need mid year grades for accepted students, but we will look at final grades closely, so keep your grades up.

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  38. My question kind of relates to the one above me; If i got in EA then should I tell my counselor to submit a mid-year report or are you only interested in final year grades?

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    1. We do not need mid year grades for accepted students, so final grades are all we need.

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. 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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  41. When does the Freshman College application open?

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    1. I am not sure. You would need to work with that office, http://www.freshmancollege.uga.edu/, about their application.

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  42. My son recently completed his application and we noticed that the format (paragraph indentation) of two of his essays changed after the application was submitted. I'm worried this will be considered as negligence to the reader, but I believe they were correct prior to the submission.

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    1. We are not focused on the format of the essays, but instead the content of the essays. As such, you should not be worried about this.

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  43. In an earlier post, you wrote that one could have a higher-than 4.0 GPA because UGA adds weight to AP/IB courses. During an orientation trip and tour this past fall. we were told that if a high school adds weight to Honors or AP classes (core classes only), UGA will accept that weight without rescoring the GPA. Is this true or do you only add weight to AP?IB courses? Thank you.

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    1. If a high school adds their own points to the teacher grades (so an 88 becomes a 98 on the transcript), we do not remove this weight, even if they add it to more than AP/IB grades. But we then do not add any additional weight to these student's GPA calculation. As well, any grade we see that is above a 100 (let's say a 108 for AP Bio), that is still just an A to us, so a 4.0 to be used in the GPA calculation.

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    2. So if a high school adds 0.5 or 1.0 "quality points" directly to the GPA grade (3.0, 4.0, etc.) for core Honors or AP classes, these points will not factor in to the GPA that UGA considers, is this a correct undrestanding?

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    3. If your school adds weight to a GPA that they calculate, then we do not care at all, as UGA does not look at a GPA on a transcript. We calculate our own GPA, so we would then add the weight we give to AP/IB grades of 1.0.

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  44. I wanted to know if the October 22,2016 SAT test scores will be accepted for an early action deferred applicant.

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  45. I wanted to know if the November 5,2016 SAT test scores will be accepted for an early action deferred applicant.

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    1. Yes. We will use scores through the 2/11 ACT exam.

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  46. Would requesting an interview with an admissions counselor following the submission of our application be recommended, or would this be considered "overkill" and potentially harm our acceptance chances?

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    1. We are fine if you wish to come in and talk to a counselor, but these do not have an impact on a decision.

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