By mid October, I expect that UGA will have received roughly 15,000-20,000 Early Action applications for Fall 2022 (roughly 40% will come in during the last week), and by then the UGA Admissions Office will be in full file review mode to get all EA decisions out by late November/early December. I do not have an exact date for the EA decision release at this time, but late November/early December is a good general projection. In light of all the questions about the EA review process, here are some details about what will happen between now and the decision release date. We are working with a smaller window of time than our later decision releases, so we need to limit our scope of how we review files during the EA process. In our admissions review process, UGA treats EA and RD files exactly the same, just with different timelines. In addition, when we are looking at the EA applicants, we also have to keep in mind that we will possibly receive between 14,000-20,000 RD applications, thus we need to be somewhat cautious in our EA admission decisions, as we do not know what the RD applicant pool will look like.
- All EA applicants will receive an academic review where our team will look at the core grades, the rigor of the student’s overall curriculum and calculate a UGA GPA (for more details on how we calculate a GPA, please see a previous blog post about UGA GPA calculation). We started this process in August, and we will continue to do our academic reviews through late October as applications and materials roll into our office.
- On October 16, our admissions team will get an idea of what the overall EA applicant pool looks like, both in size and academic information. Understanding the scope of the applicant pool is key, as this will help us plan out the following month+. As I stated earlier, our EA timeframe is compressed, so we have to plan out our review process carefully.
- In looking at the overall EA applicant pool, there will be a small group of students who academically are at the top of the EA group (based on core GPA, course rigor over four years and test scores) who we will offer admission based on their outstanding academic information. There are no specific academic cut-points for this (or any other) group, but instead we are looking at a combination of several academic factors pulled together to make these decisions.
- For a large group of students just below the previous group academically, our admissions team will conduct holistic reads of these files. In our holistic file review process, we are looking at everything in the file, from grades to activities, essays to recommendations and more (see a holistic review blog post from 2018 for more details). Based on the holistic review, we will admit some of these students and defer some. I cannot say how many students we will admit yet, as we have to see who applies, what they are like and what the RD application information is looking like as we get closer to the January 1 RD deadline.
- For the next group of applicants who are academically strong but are below the previous group, we will defer these applicants and read their files in our holistic review process at a later time. We have more flexibility in our timeframe from December to March, and will be able to focus in more detail on these students files. For the students who are deferred in EA, we will also give them the option to give us updated information on Fall grades, updated activities and any new test scores so we can have them prior to making final decisions in March.
- For the final group of EA applicants, these are the students who, compared to the overall applicant pool, are at the low end of the group academically. This is a smaller group overall, and one where we have determined that they are not competitive academically both with the EA pool and with the projected RD applicant pool. We will move forward with a denial decision for these students, as when we look at the overall projected applicant pool of 35,000-40,000 EA/RD students, they would not be competitive, and we do not want to drag out a decision. If a student is denied EA, this means the process is done, as a student cannot then apply RD (as I have said, EA and RD are the same review process, just with different timelines).
In our freshman decision process, UGA Admissions always looks at the enrollment target for the year and then works backwards. We expect to enroll roughly 5,900-6,000 freshmen for the Fall 2022 class, so we then need to project out how many students we need to admit in order to enroll this group, as we know that not all admitted applicants will choose to enroll at UGA. For the 2021 class, we admitted roughly 15,500 students to enroll a class of about 5,800 freshman. Every year, we analyze previous year’s data, the accepted group and enrollment trends in order to project out who will enroll, and then plan out our acceptances accordingly. As one of my colleagues says, admissions is a long game, not a sprint, and Early Action is only the start of the overall process. In board game terms, it’s Monopoly, not Candy Land, and it takes a while to look at all the files. As such, be patient, as we need time to review the files in detail, and overall it is better to do a careful and methodical review instead of rushing the process. I hope this helps explain the UGA Early Action admissions process.