Every year prior to the Early Action (EA) deadline of October 15, students and parents have a lot of questions concerning the process, timelines, and materials, among other things. As such, here is an FAQ for many of those questions. Feel free to ask more questions in the comments, but hopefully, this will answer most issues that come up.
- Should I apply EA or RD (Regular Decision)? I don’t know. I really don’t. It is actually up to you whether you should apply for EA or RD. If you are comfortable by October 15 with our office reviewing your file at that time, then apply EA. If you need more time, later test scores, or for us to see your Fall grades prior to our initial review, apply RD.
- What is the difference in UGA’s EA vs RD review process? The difference in our EA vs RD review process is timing. We will review files in the same way during our EA and RD application process, we just have different decision dates. As well, our EA review is a more cautious in how many admissions offers we make due to our office not knowing how many students will apply and what they are like overall.
- What does UGA look at in the Early Action process? The UGA Admissions review process has changed a fair amount over the last 5+ years, as we have shifted to a more holistic review process for both EA and RD. The academic areas of your core course grades and your overall course rigor over four years (including senior year courses) are still most important in our reviews, along with test scores as secondary academic information, but we are also looking at your co-curricular activities, essays, recommendations, etc. Due to our EA decisions needing to be more cautious due to having a large applicant pool (I expect more than 40,000 total applicants in our combined EA and RD groups), a deferral decision is a possible outcome in our EA review. A deferral decision is not a denial or a wait-list, this is just a pause in any decision until we can look at a deferred student in light of our entire applicant pool.
- I submitted my application and I left XYZ off of it by accident. What should I do? If you left off an activity, leadership role, etc., you are not able to go back in and change your application, but you can upload a resume off your UGA admissions portal to update us on any changes.
- I entered my self-reported grades incorrectly. How do I fix this? Don’t worry, we will fix it for you. We will compare your high school transcript with your self-reported grades and make any corrections and it will not impact your application. Self-reporting your grades helps us keep to our timeline which overall helps everyone, and it also helps our applicants remember their core grades and see what we are looking at in our academic part of the review.
- If my academics fall into the mid-range information from last year’s applicant pool, what are my chances of admission? Again, I don’t know. Every year is very different, both with individual applicants and with the overall applicant pool, so there is no way to guess.
- When do I need to get in EA materials and test scores? Let’s split this into two different groups, documents vs. test scores, as they are sent in different ways. For documents, we need to have them in by one week after the deadline, so they need to be sent to us by October 22. These documents (the official transcript and the Secondary School Report are required, teacher or community recommendations are optional) need to be sent to us by a school official, and if they are sent electronically we will add them to your file in 1-2 business days and they will show up on your status page. Test scores need to be sent to us by the testing agency, and they are sent to us electronically based on the schedule of the sending company. As long as a student has both taken the test and make the request for the scores to be sent to UGA by the application deadline (so for EA that is October 15), we will be fine getting the scores. We know that test scores may get to us a little later than the deadline, and we have built this into our timeline. Just make sure you make the request by 10/15 for the scores to be sent to us.
- When will we receive an EA decision? I don’t know yet, but I will give out this information in a future blog post when we get closer to the release date.
- Any suggestions on applying Early Action? Two suggestions: 1) If you want to alleviate the pressure on you, your parents, your counselors, teachers and even me, don’t apply close to the deadline. We treat applicants the same if they apply the day the application opens or on deadline day, but the closer to the deadline you wait to apply, the better chance you have of a problem happening you can’t fix. Your cat will chew on your laptop’s power cord, your Wi-Fi will go out, or something else bad will happen right when you need it to work. 2) Don’t apply EA if you will not be okay being deferred. Deferral is tough, there is no doubt about that, but I suggest going into the process with the understanding that deferral is only a pause in a final decision, not a denial. Have it in the back of your mind that a deferral decision is a possibility, and if you are admitted, all the better.
- Should I email/call my UGA counselor to let them know that UGA is high on my college list? No. Really, really no. UGA does not use demonstrated interest in our review. We figure that if you are applying to UGA, you are interested in us, so no need to communicate your “demonstrated interest”. It just slows everything down.
- What should I do if I am deferred EA? First, don’t panic. Deferral is just a delay in an admission decision until we know what our entire applicant pool is like. Last year, we received roughly 22,000 EA applications and 18,000 RD applicants, and I expect we will only grow in our application numbers. We can only admit a certain number of students in order to enroll approximately 6,000+ freshmen, so we need to be careful with our decisions. Deferred applicants will be able to submit updated information on a form off their status page, and they can also send in updated transcripts and test scores if they wish.
- Do I need to commit to UGA if I am admitted EA? No. Take your time choosing your future college. You have until May 1 to submit a deposit, so make a good, informed choice.
- What about the UGA Honors College and scholarships if I am admitted EA? I can’t give you an exact timeline for honors and scholarships, but UGA’s initial offers for both of these will generally be tied to the EA decision release or a few weeks afterward.
- I know a person who was admitted/not admitted and they had XYZ academics. Why? I do not suggest that students compare themselves to other applicants, as generally while you might know someone, you might not know everything about them. We are looking at everything in a file, while most people only know the surface information about other students. In addition, it is very difficult to compare a decision from one year to the next, as the applicant pool and the number of applicants changes every year.
- My student is applying to UGA Early Action. Should I buy UGA gear just in case? I think red and black looks great on everyone, so… But again, I cannot guess about a specific decision, sorry.
I hope these FAQ’s help, and Go Dawgs!