David Graves      September 4th, 2020 in Blog

The UGA Freshman application opened up on September 1, and in the first 4 days, thousands of students started an application. We generally have a small spike of students start the application right away, but only about 200 have actually submitted the app right now, so don’t panic if you have not started. But now that the application is open, here are a few things to think about concerning your application to UGA.

  • Should you apply EA or RD? I have no idea, as this is really up to you. The EA and RD reviews are the same, just on a different timeline. We have an initial academic review of each applicant, and then for a number of students, we go into more detail in our holistic review process, where we look at everything. We will be reading a large number of files during the October/November EA initial process, and we will also defer a number of applicants where we want to look closer at their file holistically but we need more time to read the files (mid-October to mid-November does not give us a huge amount of time for holistic reads). The big question you should ask yourself when choosing EA vs RD is as follows: Are you comfortable with us reviewing your file on October 15, or do you need more time to work on the app, get in later test scores or fall grades? If you are good with us reviewing you somewhere around 10/15, apply EA, but if you need more time or later items, apply RD.
  • Should I apply with test scores or ask to be considered test optional? This is entirely up to you, as we cannot guess as to how you feel about your scores. If you feel like your scores will be beneficial to your application, tell us to use them. If not, or if you have not been able to take any standardized tests due to the corona-virus pandemic, then select that you want to be considered without scores. Either is fine for us, and we will treat applicants the same whether they are test optional or not, just with more focus on the grades and curriculum on the academic area of the review.
  • When should you apply? There is no need to be one of the first to apply, but I also warn students against waiting until the last moment to apply. We treat every applicant the same whether they apply on September 1 or January 1, so there is no need to rush your application just to get it in early. At the same time, don’t wait until the last few days to submit the application, as this causes unneeded panic with your parents, your counselor and yourself. I generally find that the “sweet spot” for submitting the EA application is sometime between September 20 and October 5, so that you have enough time to work on the app, but you don’t wait until the last week to hit submit. For RD applicants, it is a little longer sweet spot, so my suggestion is to just not wait until the last few days to hit submit.
  • Are there any steps to complete after I apply?  The first step after you apply is to give us time to push the application into our system. Next, when you receive an email that your app is in our system, go into your Status Page to make sure you see your application information and to familiarize yourself with this site. This is where you can track your materials, where you will see decisions, etc., so it is pretty important. If you applied using the Common or Coalition application, you will also want to complete the self-reported grades form found on the status page (see the checklist items). This helps us move forward with your file and keeps us on track with the timing of our reviews and decisions. We use the transcript in our academic review, but the self-reported grades section helps us to have an initial academic foundation for the applicant.
  • What application system should I use? We are okay with you using any of the application options (In-house app, Common App or Coalition App), and one is not seen as better than the other. I have been asked a few times if using the UGA in-house application indicates more “demonstrated interest” (UGA does not care about demonstrated interest by the way, as we assume every applicant likes us), and the answer is that we don’t care which application you use, and all applications are treated the same.
  • When should you send in materials/scores? If you want us to use test scores, I suggest you go ahead and send in your SAT and/or ACT scores. UGA is a “best score” admission office, so we only look at the top scores in your file. As such, I always suggest sending in all your scores, as we will then determine which scores are strongest from our point of view. If you are choosing to apply Test Optional, you don’t need to worry about this part.  As for materials, this depends on which application you use, our internal one or the Common/Coalition application. For the internal application, once you complete your counselor’s biographical information on the Academics page (the 5th page of the app), an email will go out to your counselor to submit an attached Counselor form and upload a transcript. A later page labeled “Recommendation” is similar, where once you add in your teacher or community recommender’s info, an email also goes out to them with a link to a recommendation form. If you apply using the Common or Coalition Application, work with your counselor to make sure all your documents have been requested and tied to your application.
  • How will you know when UGA has received items? Once you apply, make sure to check on things through your UGA Admissions status page. This page will let you know when you applied, what documents we have received (and when), what test scores are in your file, and much more. This is also where later on we will release decisions, allow for admitted students to submit a deposit, let you sign up for orientation in May, etc. As such, it is a key page to check to make sure everything is going smoothly with your application.
  • Can you send in updated information after you apply? We are fine if your materials and test scores are sent in prior to you submitting your application, after you submit the application, or a mix of the two. If you apply and then have new scores to send, just have UGA listed as a score recipient and we will add the scores to your file. The big issue is to just be aware of deadlines for both applying and when we need materials to get into our office, as seen on our Deadlines page.
  • When will you know a decision? I don’t know yet. It is sort of like asking when you will get somewhere but you don’t know how many miles away the destination is. I have no idea how many students will apply, either EA or RD, so it is tough to guess on an exact timeline. My rough estimate is that EA decisions will go out sometime in late November, and that final decisions for all deferred EA and RD applicants will be released in early March, but these are only rough estimates. When we get closer to these date estimates, I will post more details on both the blog and twitter about exact dates.
  • Who should you ask if you have a question about UGA Admissions? My first suggestion is just to ask right here on the blog. I will respond in a timely fashion, I work in the office, and I am old enough (notice I said old, not wise) to have seen most everything, so I can tell you about the process. I cannot guess about a decision though, so just forget about that. But my best suggestion is to always ask someone in admissions at X college what the process is currently. Who not to ask? Neighbors, uncles you only see at holiday events, the parent of a student who was once admitted to UGA, etc. Change happens in admissions, and the best resource for what is accurate for you right now is someone in admissions.

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