Freshman Application FAQ

  David Graves      September 4th, 2020

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, […]

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UGA is Test Optional for Fall 2021

  David Graves      August 26th, 2020

Due to the continued challenges facing prospective applicants concerning access to standardized tests caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Georgia has decided to make SAT or ACT test score submission optional for the Fall 2021 application process. UGA has taken this step as a part of our commitment to help reduce barriers for rising high school seniors who will be applying in the upcoming year. High school students who apply as freshmen to the University of Georgia for the Fall 2021 term will not be required to submit an SAT or ACT score as part of the application process. This change will allow the university to better serve future students by ensuring that testing limitations related to COVID-19 do not impact a student’s ability to apply to UGA. The university has been evaluating the impact on high school students based on the cancellation of ACT and SAT test dates, and we expect that future testing opportunities will be limited as a result of the continued pandemic. As such, the University of Georgia has determined that suspending the SAT/ACT test requirement for fall 2021 is necessary. This is a temporary suspension for fall 2021 admission, and we will re-assess the testing situation and how it impacts applicants for future terms. More details of the Test Optional decision can be found at the test optional FAQ page, with details concerning scholarship review, Honors, etc.   Go Dawgs!

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I don’t know

  David Graves      July 14th, 2020

I have always been very comfortable with telling people “I don’t know”. I am a father of two kids, so according to them I haven’t known much for a long time. Even in Admissions, I am comfortable saying I don’t know. Will I get admitted if I do X? Will I get a full season of football tickets as a freshman? Will all my classes be after 9 a.m.? Will I get a scholarship if I have X GPA and Y test scores? Will I be able to get into the first Orientation session? Will I get off the Wait List if I do X? I cannot guess about any of these things. I used to think that that these questions were the hard ones to answer, but if nothing else, the first six months of 2020 has taught me that I truly do not know the answers to a lot more important things.   Here is a brief list of some of the things I don’t know at this moment: I don’t know exactly how things are going to work on college campuses in the Fall. I don’t know about college football, fans at the stadiums, tailgating, or how many games we will win. I don’t know if my socks actually match right now. I don’t know when we will be able to have tours and information sessions. I don’t know exactly how classes will run throughout the year. I don’t know the air speed velocity of an unladened […]

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What Matters

  David Graves      June 19th, 2020

“Everything’s been said, but it needs saying again.” Ernest Gaines Everything in college admissions seems cyclical, with each new year seeming to be an updated version of the year before (except of course when Covid-19 throws a wrench into the system!). Admissions advice always seems to use similar themes and language from year to year, with slight changes to keep the message fresh. I am certainly guilty of this, as I am going into my tenth year of writing the UGA Admissions blog, and at times my messages seem be on auto play. So, in order to say what “needs saying again” but in a different way, I will rely on words of wisdom from people who are much smarter than I am. “I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.” – Margaret Thatcher A great deal of what we look at in admissions is the end result of the hard work you have put in during your high school years. We are focused on how you have performed in the high school classroom, as this is a key indicator in how you will do in a college setting. This does not mean that we only admit straight A students, but instead we are looking for students who have worked hard and show real strength in their academic success. It is not the critic who […]

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2020 Freshman Final Admits

  David Graves      March 13th, 2020

  We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available today, March 13th, in the late afternoon time frame. For those of you who have been admitted to UGA, here is a post for you and a chance to comment.  Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow students under the bus. These types of comments will be deleted. Congratulations to all of the freshman who were admitted and we look forward to you becoming part of the Bulldog Nation.  The next steps for a new student can be seen in the flyer in your admission packet, so please go ahead and review what you need to do next.  In addition, there will be a great deal of information you can access off of your Status page.  When you have the time, please review this, as there is key information in the Next Step materials.  Please remember a small number of students will be admitted to start in January 2021.  You will find specific information on your Status page and in your admissions packet.  Here are some rough statistics on the Entire Freshman Admitted Class for 2020-November, February and March waves, where we admitted 13,131 students total, which is slightly above last year’s offers of admission (I do not have separate data on just the final group, sorry): UGA Calculated Grade Point Average mid-range/average:  3.97 – 4.22, with a 4.08 average Please remember this is not the GPA students see […]

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Admissions Urban Legends and Conspiracy Theories-the 2020 version

  David Graves      March 4th, 2020

For some reason, people love an urban legend or conspiracy theory. Are there really aliens being kept at Area 51? Do Bigfoot and the Lock Ness Monster really exist? Was there really a second shooter on the grassy knoll? When there is the unknown, some individuals look for any explanation, no matter the proximity to reality, to try and make sense of things. An Urban Legends horror movie trilogy was even made in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s based on a variety of myths (as well as a lot of dark stairwells, creepy villains and a lot of blood and gore). I still remember Leonard Nimoy hosting the show “In Search Of …” back in the 1970’s, and it has now made a comeback with Zackary Quinto as host. I guess you can never get enough about unsolved mysteries and unfounded theories about why something happened. After we release final decisions in mid-March, a whole host of admissions urban legends and conspiracy theories will pop up on social media, in comments on this blog, and in high school hallways. I can’t stop these rumors from starting, but I can at least give you some ammunition to stop these theories from spreading. Rumor #1 – UGA admits only a certain number of students per year from my high school, and after a cap is met, they stop admitting students. Fact – We don’t have the time, energy or desire to have a quota of admitted students for each high school. We are […]

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January 2020 UGA Admission Thoughts

  David Graves      January 3rd, 2020

We have now closed out the 2020 Fall Freshman application, and we will be very busy over the next few months. We have a large number of materials and test scores to connect with applications, transcripts to review and files to read, and we only have a limited number of days in which to do it. Admissions is not like, where we swipe left to admit or right to deny, so please be patient as we take time to review in detail the applications you have submitted. As such, here is some vital information for applicants and parents of applicants about the next steps in our process. The application deadline for freshman was 1/1, and the document deadline is 1/8 for materials. The required documents for freshmen are an official transcript and a counselor school report/recommendation (not a school profile). As well, any test scores must be requested to be sent to us from the testing agency by 1/8 (not an in-office deadline), and the last test scores we can use were from the December SAT/ACT. If things are sent in after 1/8, we might be able to use them, but we cannot make any promises. If the item in question shows up on the status page, that means we have imported it into your file as on time. We have a very large freshman applicant pool, with the overall number of EA and RD applicants together totaling 28,600 or so. Some of these applicants will not submit all […]

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EA Decisions and Suggestions

  David Graves      November 18th, 2019

As we stated earlier this month, UGA is planning on releasing the EA decisions on the Status page on Friday, November 22 in the late afternoon unless some serious problem arises, which I do not expect. If this changes, we will let you know, but this is the plan at this time. Please do not call/email/text/message/tweet asking for the exact time of “late afternoon”, as I cannot give an exact time. We will post a message here when it opens up. We are excited about this, and I am guessing you are as well, and hopefully it will allow for a little less nerve-wracking Thanksgiving break for some of you. I will also have an updated post on Friday with data on the applicant pool and mid-range data on the admitted group. In addition to the decisions being available on the Status page, letters will go out in the mail for Accepted students. Freshman denial letters will not be mailed out, as almost all applicants see their decisions online, and we, along with a number of colleges, did not want to have a letter that only served to reinforce the negative feelings they might already have. As well, initial scholarship and Honors offers will be released on 11/22, but know that we will reviewing students for scholarships through early April, and Honors will open their application in early December. Here are a few suggestions on how to react to the four different decisions: Admit: Celebrate with family, buy a lot […]

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2020 Early Action Update

  David Graves      November 1st, 2019

This morning the UGA Admissions Office announced that our Early Action decision release date would be Friday, November 22 in the late afternoon. If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know not to ask when late afternoon is, as I cannot give you an exact time. In the lead up to the decisions going out in three weeks, here is some data about this year’s Early Action application group.   Total EA Applications: 16,494 (submitted and app fee paid) roughly identical to last year’s EA applicant pool. Complete Early Action Applications as of today: 16,100 98% are complete right now, very impressive EA Applicants Applying within 3 days of Deadline: 8,659 Wow, just wow Total number of EA Applicants using Coalition App: 5,300 We are fine with either application source (in-house app or Coalition) Residency data on EA apps: 52% in-state, 48% out-of-state/intl We do not make different decisions based on residency, but it is an interesting data point as we saw a large jump in out-of-state apps last year. Most common majors: Biology – 1,672 applicants, Undecided Business – 1,459 We do not make different decisions based on major, but it is always interesting to see the different academic interests of our applicants. As you can see, a huge number of the Early Action applications are complete. Only 2% of our applicants are incomplete, with most missing official test scores. We will be shutting down the importing of test scores and documents very soon, so make […]

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Playing on the Same Court

  David Graves      August 8th, 2019

Hoosiers There are a few movies everyone has where, if it appears on-screen when you are channel surfing, you have to stop and watch at least a few scenes.  Hoosiers, where an underdog basketball team from the small town of Hickory, Indiana and their outsider coach overcome personal struggles to make it to the Indiana HS basketball championship game. One particular scene always stands out for me: As the team walks into the imposing Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis prior to playing in the final game, the players are stunned into silence as they look around the massive arena. Going from their high school gym with a capacity in the hundreds to a field house that seats 15,000 is an overwhelming change for the Hickory players, causing them to doubt themselves and their chances of winning the championship game. In the pivotal scene, Coach Dale has several of the players use a measuring tape to check the dimensions of the basketball court. “I think you’ll find it is the exact same measurements as our gym back in Hickory.” With one sentence, Coach Dale lets his players know that while the field house might be massive and the opposing team might seem intimidating, on the court where the game is played, it is a level playing field. When our office works with students who have challenges in their educational situation, many times from rural areas or from schools with limited resources, we see that same stunned silence as the Hickory […]

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