Admissions Checklist

  David Graves      August 22nd, 2018

I will tell you right now, I love the podcast for NPR’s “Hidden Brain” by Shankar Vedantam. I hope that one day I might be a part of a story about college admissions on this podcast (I know, keep dreaming). And one of my favorite episodes on this program is “Check Yourself”, a podcast about how checklists, similar to the ones airline pilots now use, can be vital in other areas. The start of the program deals with the growth of the airline business, and a 1935 Boeing crash that led to the development of the first airline pilot checklist. It then leads into the other business sectors which can be improved by using checklists. In our research concerning last year’s applicant pool, there was a dramatic dip in both admission rates and strength of essays for students did not plan ahead in their college application process and who waited until the last minute to apply. Preparation is key for a number of things, including the college admissions process. With the opening of the UGA Freshman application on September 1 fast approaching, here is a quick checklist for potential applicants. While the first two checklists are key right now, I thought I would throw in the last one so you can see what is down the road. Pre-Flight Checklist College Spreadsheet: Create a basic chart with the name of each college you are considering, the application and material deadlines for the different schools and decision plans (EA vs RD for […]

Read More

2017 Early Action Updates

  David Graves      October 10th, 2016

We are within a week of the EA deadline, so here are some updates about the process so far. Currently, we have roughly 10,200 EA applications submitted as of right now (3;12 pm on 10/10). We expect a jump in application numbers as we get closer to the deadline, and we heavily suggest not waiting until the last minute to apply. Deadlines are usually when your computer fails, your dog gets sick on the keyboard, etc. For students impacted by Hurricane Matthew, we will be extending the EA deadline to 11:59 pm on October 18. We hope that you and your family are safe following the devastating impact of Hurricane Matthew. We understand that recovering from the storm may be your top priority over the next week, and we have extended our Early Action application deadline to Tuesday, October 18 for applicants impacted by the hurricane. If you wish to take advantage of this deadline extension, please note that there is no need to contact us. Simply submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on October 18 and you will receive full consideration as an Early Action applicant. For all students, we will continue to accept supplemental materials, including the school report and transcript, through October 22nd.  Remember that in order to assure that UGA can use your SAT/ACT scores, the tests must be both taken and UGA must be selected as a score recipient by the 10/15 deadline. This means that if you put in UGA as a score recipient of […]

Read More

Getting Ready to Apply

  David Graves      August 8th, 2016

The 2017 Freshman application will open up on September 1, so here are a few things to help prepare for this process. Always take care of things well before a deadline. A student who applies and submits all documents well before a deadline shows that they are the type of person who does not wait until the last moment to do things, from applying to studying to going to class. If X university is number one on your list of colleges, act like it. We do not make different decisions based on this, but it helps everyone involved. Be prepared when you sit down to start the application. Before you start your application, make sure you have the following items on hand; your correct Social Security Number (SSN), a copy of your transcript which shows grades from 9th through 11th grade, a copy of your resume, your SAT/ACT/AP scores (for entering in the score area, but if you have sent them to UGA already, they will show up on the app), and your counselor’s contact information including email. As well, have your payment information handy (either a credit card number or a digital copy of a fee waiver). Our new application system has you enter in your counselor’s contact info and email when you apply, so make sure to have it handy. Proofread your application before you submit it. I am not just talking about proofreading your essays, but instead checking your whole application to make sure you are giving us the […]

Read More

Admissions and Grocery Stores

  David Graves      December 22nd, 2015

Imagine that you are in an admissions grocery store, and every cart is a student’s admissions file. The shelves are stocked with different items to fill each cart, from transcripts to teacher recommendations, counselor forms to resumes, etc. Every time a student applies a cart is created. The admissions office then needs to go to the different aisles and pull down the items for that specific student, and then add it to the cart so that it is ready for check out (or to be reviewed for admission). Sounds pretty easy, right? But now imagine the days surrounding a deadline. It is sort of like the scene in a grocery store when the threat of snow hits, with everyone scrambling to add milk and bread to their cart, suppliers racing to the stores to restock the shelves before the weather hits, and employees trying to calm the masses as the checkout lines get longer and the aisles get crowded. Now add into this suppliers shipping thousands of items to the store before the shoppers even get there, or worse, sending items to the store that will never be picked up (every year, we receive about 40,000 items for non-existent applicants). These items clutter up the aisles, the back storerooms, and all around the store, making it difficult to match up items with the right carts. If items are shipped to the store after the application cart is created, we can just add the items straight into the cart, but if […]

Read More

2016 Early Action Update

  David Graves      October 16th, 2015

With the Early Action deadline of yesterday, here are a few updates about the process: Total EA Applications (10% increase over last year):  14,514 Complete Early Action Applications as of today: 8,200 # of EA Applicants Applying within 4 days of Deadline: 4,973 As you can see, a large number of the Early Action applications are complete, and for EA applicants who have sent in test scores (the one item they truly control), 70% of these applicants are complete. Additionally, approximately 34% of the total applicant pool for EA applied right around the deadline.  This means our office still digging out from under the thousands of documents, test scores, etc. we have received. We appreciate your patience as we work as quickly as possible to match documents with files. It takes our office about 5 to 10 business days to match a document with an applicant’s file, and with the document/materials submission deadline of 10/22, we are still receiving a large number of items.  If your documents were submitted by this deadline, it will be considered for Early Action.  We are accepting the October 3 SAT for Early Action as long as you designated UGA as a school to automatically receive your scores, and we will import those near the end of October (10/22 is when you can see them, but they will trickle out to us the week after that), as the College Board is in the middle of changing their delivery process. As such, please make sure to […]

Read More

Random Admission Thoughts, February 2015

  David Graves      February 11th, 2015

It is February, and we are deep into reading Freshman files, and just about to start reviewing transfer applications. As such, here are some thoughts about issues that usually pop up about now. Freshmen: At this time, our counselors are reading thousands upon thousands of freshman files in great detail, and it is a long and detailed process. As such, we have limited availability to speak with students or reply quickly to emails. But this also means that freshman decisions will go out within the next 1.5 months or so. We always have a small group of freshmen admitted in late February (you can look at my 2014 February Decision blog post for details, and a new post will be available later this month). As well, we expect final decisions to go out in mid-late March. Please be patient, know that we are reviewing files as fast as we can, but we need time to look at everything. We do not have any specific dates for these decisions yet, but I will post an announcement here when we do. Transfer applicants: We will start reviewing transfer files sometime within the next few business days. Transfer decisions go out daily once we start the review process, and we look at summer files first and then move onto fall applicants. I cannot guess when an applicant will hear a decision, as it depends on the number of applicants, when a file is complete, how complex the files is, etc. I am an […]

Read More

Now What?

  David Graves      January 13th, 2015

The RD application/Deferred EA part II deadline is just about to pass, and everyone now starts to get into the mindset of “Now what?”. Here are a few hints to get you through the next few weeks/months. Patience. Patience is key, as any deadline brings out a rush of supporting materials. We will receive tens of thousands of documents, and we need time to match these items up, enter them into our system, and have them show up on the myStatus page. The myStatus page is not a live feed, so if a teacher recommendation is added to your file right now, it will not show up until at least the next day. If documents were sent prior to you applying, it will take longer to match things up, as we need to do it by hand. As well, some items get split up when we receive a packet, such as a fee waiver form, as different steps need to be taken with different items. A fee waiver, for instance, needs to be handled like a financial transaction, and thus takes a little longer to enter into the system. Same with residency documents/permanent residency cards, etc. You do not need to call/email us if you do not see an item on your myStatus page. Give us 10 business days from when you applied or the document was sent (not requested but actually sent), whichever was later. Test Scores. We will take the January SAT for admissions review for this year, […]

Read More

Applications and Inventory Supply

  David Graves      December 22nd, 2014

A number of my relatives work in the automotive industry, with the two closest to my age being engineers. My brother-in-law, Dave,  is an engineer with Toyota, and his job making sure the assembly process for SUV’s and mini-vans goes as planned. One key for automotive plants is managing inventory, allowing you to build the vehicles from the different parts, but not having too few or too many parts at the plant. One serious problem that many businesses used to have was when plants had to store and manage a large volume of parts (and the space to keep the parts), causing the company to spend more time and energy focusing on managing the parts and less time and energy focused on building vehicles. This led to Just in Time Inventory (JIT), where a company manages the materials needed to make their product by having a critical amount of items to function, but not so many that they become a storage facility instead of their true focus of building cars, planes, etc. Many admissions offices have an inventory problem, and no matter how hard we try to manage it, we are still stuck spending more time than we want managing documents and less time making decisions. The inventory we struggle with are documents, or more precisely transcripts, recommendation letters, forms, etc. Test scores are not an issue, as they are all electronic and match up automatically with a file, but all other items without applications need to be managed by […]

Read More

Early Action Update

  David Graves      October 23rd, 2014

With the Early Action deadline passing, here are a few updates about the process: Total EA Applications (10.5% increase over last year):  13,291 Complete Early Action Applications: 9,950 # of EA Applicants Applying within 3 days of Deadline: 3,523 As you can see, a large number (roughly 75%) of the Early Action applications are complete. Additionally, over 25% of the total applicant pool for EA applied right around the deadline.  This means our office still digging out from under the thousands of documents, test scores, etc. we have received. We appreciate your patience as we work as quickly as possible to match documents with files. It takes our office about 5 to 10 business days to match a document with an applicant’s file, and with the materials submission deadline of 10/22, we are still receiving a large number of items.  If your documents were submitted by this deadline, it will be considered for Early Action.  We are accepting the October 11 SAT for Early Action as long as you designated UGA as a school to automatically receive your scores, and we have imported most of these today, so they should show up on the myStatus page soon. I believe we will be receiving the October 11 SAT sometime next week (the College Board site says 10/28), but make sure to give us time to receive these scores and load them into the system. Your Steps Be sure to check your myStatus to make sure you are complete!  If material you […]

Read More

2015 EA Deadline Fast Approaching

  David Graves      October 13th, 2014

The Early Action deadline is almost here, and the two weeks surrounding the deadline are similar to Atlanta during 5:00 p.m. rush hour traffic (on a Friday).  Our office typically receives 4,000+ applications, a drastic increase in mail, and a great deal of emails and phone calls in the few days both before and after the deadline.  The best thing an applicant can do right now is be patient and make sure you have requested your test scores, transcript and school evaluation.  We are working as quickly as possible to match documents with files, but we are dealing with a large number of applications and supplemental material, so things do not happen immediately. The fastest way to get material to us is to send it electronically after you have applied.  If your high school is in Georgia, you can send transcripts through GAcollege411.org . Students attending a high school outside of Georgia can have their counselors submit transcripts online through Docufide/Parchment.  The high school evaluation can be submitted online from the High School Counselor Portal or by Parchment. Remember, no faxes! For SAT/ACT test scores, we will accept any scores that have been both taken and requested by the 10/15 deadline. As such, we can use the October 11 SAT, but not the October 25 ACT. We do not control when the scores are sent in, only the receiving of the scores, so you want to work with the testing agency to make sure these are sent. As well, we […]

Read More