For UGA Admissions, early October brings out a wide range of questions about the UGA Early Action process, so here is an FAQ on the most prevalent questions out there at this time.
- Should I apply Early Action or 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.
- Does UGA look at everything in a student’s file in the EA process, or are you only looking at the academic areas? A number of years ago, UGA’s EA review was just based on academics, but that is not the case now. While academics are still key in all of our reviews, and especially in EA, the overall competitiveness of the applicant pool means we need to look at a wide range of things in our review. For a large number of EA files, we will be looking at everything in the file (including the activities and essays) during the EA review. For some applicants though (some of the deferred group), generally with a slightly lower academic range, we will delay reviewing the files in full detail until somewhat later in the process so we can also look at any updates a student has submitted.
- If I apply EA, what are the possible decisions? There are three possible decisions in Early Action – Admit, Deny and Defer. If you are admitted, congratulations! If you are denied, I am sorry, and the next step is enrolling at another college and possibly looking at transferring to UGA (you cannot apply RD if you are denied EA). If you are deferred, please know that 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.
- When do my test scores need to be in for Early Action? We know that sending test scores to a college is a slightly different process than sending a document, as it can take a little while to have the testing agency actually send the scores to us. Our rule of thumb is that if you have both taken the test by 10/15 and have put UGA as a score recipient by 10/15, this will give enough time for the scores to get to UGA for us to use them in our review. We will be importing scores to our system through late October, so we are able to handle the slightly delay in you requesting a test score and us actually receiving them.
- Can you explain the two different EA decision release dates for in-state vs. out-of-state applicants? UGA expects to receive possibly 28,000 EA applications, and we need time to review these files. In addition, we are the flagship university for the state of Georgia, so we have a focus on having roughly 80% of our First-Year class be Georgians. In order to meet both of these challenges, we are splitting up the decision dates for in-state vs. out-of-state applicants so we can better serve our students. We will be releasing EA decisions for Georgians in mid-late November, and EA decisions for out-of-state applicants in mid-December.
- Does UGA look at demonstrated interest in the review process? UGA does not look at demonstrated interest in our review. We assume that if you have applied to UGA, you are interested in UGA, and that is as far as we go. We do not look at the number of visits, how often you have communicated with us, or how quickly you open an email (or anything like this) in our decision-making process. What does this mean? You do not need to send an email to the UGA counselor associated with your high school to introduce yourself, as it will not impact a decision.
- Do all my materials need to be in by 10/15, and can they be sent before or after I apply? We know that deadlines cause some challenges, especially for high school counselors who are dealing with such a wide range of students applying to a number of colleges. As such, UGA’s document deadline is 2 weeks after the application deadline (so 10/29 document deadline for EA), and you can have your application materials and test scores either before or after you submit your application.
- How many students will UGA admit in Early Action? I don’t know. Seriously, I really don’t know, at least not yet. The challenge for a number of colleges, UGA included, is that while we will have a large pool of EA applications (our guesses range from 27,000-30,000), we don’t know how many total applications we will receive when looking at both the EA and Regular Decision (RD) groups. Since we treat both EA and RD applicants the same, we want to make sure we do not over-admit during the EA timelines and have issues with having room for RD and deferred EA offers. We need to be careful when making decisions, as we have to make sure we do not over-enroll the class. Our plan is to have roughly 6,200 First-Year students start with us next August, which assures that we have space in the classroom, the residence halls, etc. This means we need to carefully analyze how many students will say yes to us.
- Can you give more details on test scores and how UGA uses them? While we require either an SAT or ACT score, our office knows that how a student performs in the classroom and how they challenge themselves by taking rigorous courses are much better indicators of how successful a student will be at UGA. In our review of standardized tests, we are fine with either the SAT or the ACT (no preference), and we will super-score the tests if you have taken one test multiple times. We are fine if you send us all scores or just the super-scores, just make sure they are sent to us on time.
- If I am deferred during Early Action, can I send in more information? If a student is deferred during the EA process, we are fine with new information being sent to us for additional review. Deferred applicants can submit an Update Form through their status page and share Fall grades, new activities or leadership roles. As well, you can send us later test scores and your high school can send us Fall semester grade reports or an updated transcript.
- If we are admitted in Early Action, when will we hear about the Honors decisions and/or scholarships? When UGA releases EA decisions, we expect to release some scholarship offers, and we also expect for the Morehead Honors College to release some decisions as well. If a student is not offered a scholarship in EA, please know that we will be reviewing admitted student files throughout the overall process, and we expect to finish the scholarship process in early April. For Honors, if a student is not admitted during the EA process, they will need to apply to the Honors College.
- How can I better my chances for admission? UGA Admissions is fairly transparent in what we look at in our review and what our process is like, so there is no secret cheat code for being admitted. UGA will be reviewing a large number of applicants, and we will be looking at a student’s academic and overall information in reviewing the file. Academically, how a student does in the classroom and how they challenge themselves in their course selection are the biggest factors, and we will also look at what a student is active in outside of the classroom (clubs, sports, volunteer work, etc.). We are looking at how students will do at UGA, both in the classroom and in our community. The challenge comes when you expect 50,000 applicants, and these applicants are for the most part very strong students and active individuals.
- Do you limit how many students you can admit from X school, region, neighborhood, etc.? This is a rumor we hear every year, and no matter how many times we tell students we do not have a certain number of “slots” for each school or area, this rumor keeps popping up every year. While we do have the 80% in-state target for enrolling students, this is the only time where we have a limit on who can enroll from where. When we review a file, we are looking at the individual applicant in comparison to the overall applicant pool, and we do not give any preference for a student from a specific region of GA or high school in GA. It is just a very competitive applicant pool, leading to us not having the space to admit all the strong applicants.
I hope this FAQ helps a little bit, and Go Dawgs!