Admissions Tips, Hints & Myths

Admissions counselors and staff members answer many questions about what it takes to be admitted to UGA. Over time, we have identified a specific pattern of questions that indicate there is some misinformation passed around the prospective student population which can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety.

We have polled our staff to create a list of UGA Admission Urban Legends. We hope that you will find the attempt to debunk these myths helpful as you proceed through the admissions process at UGA.

Top Three Admission Myths
There are minimum SAT/ACT scores required for admission.

UGA does not have a “minimum” SAT, ACT or GPA requirement for first-year students beyond those imposed by the University System of Georgia. While our middle 50% profile provides an overview of the academic qualities of the middle 50% of our students, it doesn’t provide the full picture of who is admitted at UGA. As we continue to get more competitive, our focus is on the whole-student and not just their academics. As a result, your entire application plays an important role in our decision. What do your activities, essays, and letters of recommendation say about you?

UGA Admits a quota of students per year from my high school, county, zip code or state.

The most competitive applicants are admitted regardless of high school, county, zip code or state. There are no quotas assigned to these, or any other, characteristics.

You have to be a well-rounded student – like president of a club (or several!), a captain of sports team, involved in community service, and working too – to be admitted to the University of Georgia.

It is our goal as we review applications to build a well-rounded class of students. If our class is full only of students that are well rounded, it could get a little bit boring. We like edges and we like passion! As a result, think about what makes you special and tell that story in your application through your activities, coursework, and essays. That will help us get to know the authentic you.

Other Common Myths
It is easier/harder to get Admitted Early Action than Regular Decision.

Early Action and Regular Decision reviews are similar, just on a different timeline. There is an initial academic review of each applicant that focuses on rigor of classes, GPA, and test scores as well as a deeper dive into a whole-student review that examines essays, activities, and optional letters of recommendation. This allows us to look beyond the numbers for interesting students who are going to contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways. The big question you should ask yourself when choosing between Early Action and Regular Decision is: “Am I comfortable with UGA reviewing my file on October 15 or do I need more time to work on the application, add later test scores or fall grades?”

It is easier to get into UGA if I choose an uncommon major.

We do not admit based on major. In fact, many of our students change their major before classes begin and even more will change their major before they graduate. We recognize that you may not know what you want to study when you get here and, as a result, we aren’t going to review your application and make a decision based on what you list as your major.

My SAT/ACT score will be the most important factor in the consideration of my application.

Grades in academic coursework and curriculum choice are the primary factors in consideration of first-year applications. Performance on standardized tests will also be considered, but the importance of standardized tests does not exceed the emphasis placed on grades earned in a rigorous curriculum.

I can just take easy classes and make straight A's, and that will get me admitted.

While GPA is the most important factor in the admissions process, rigor of curriculum is a close second. We expect students to take advantage of the most challenging courses offered at their high schools. It is possible that a student with a 4.0 GPA who has avoided the challenging courses offered at their high school may not be admitted while a student with a lower GPA who has attempted the most rigorous courses at their school is offered admission.

UGA has different admissions standards for out-of-state applicants.
We review applications from Georgia and out-of-state similarly. However, depending on the geographic makeup of our pool year-over-year, decisions may vary for students from Georgia and students from out-of-state. UGA has a goal of enrolling a freshman class made up of 80% in-state students and 20% out-of-state students, and it depends on the strength of the applicant pool as to how this impacts admission and Georgia residency.
There is a summer trial program and therefore, if I apply for summer, I will have a better chance of being admitted.

The term for which a student applies does not impact the admission decision. All first-year applicants have the same chance of being admitted to UGA regardless of the term for which they apply. UGA does not offer a summer trial program for students not offered admission for Fall.

My entire family went to UGA, so my legacy status will help me get admitted.

Legacy does not play a role in the admission process to UGA. All applicants have an equal opportunity to get admitted regardless of whether or not there is a family history of attending UGA.

UGA will use ALL of my classes in calculating my GPA for admission.

In calculating an applicant’s GPA for admission, UGA will only use the classes that satisfy the Required High School Curriculum (RHSC) in the main five core academic areas – English, Math, Science, Social Sciences, and Foreign Language. AP Art and Music Theory courses will also be calculated into the GPA for students completing those courses.

If I apply Early Action, it will demonstrate to UGA that I really want to go there. Even if I am deferred from Early Action, this will be an advantage in Regular Decision.

Applicants deferred from Early Action to Regular Decision do not have any advantages/disadvantages over those who apply Regular Decision. All applicants seeking admission to UGA are offered an equal opportunity for admission regardless of the decision plan. UGA does not consider demonstrated interest at any point in the admissions process.