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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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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Information on the UGA 2021 Application

  David Graves      May 7th, 2020

Big News!! For the UGA Freshman 2021 application, the UGA Admissions Office will accept the Common Application as an option for prospective student applicants. Okay, now that you have recovered from your shock (it only took us 10+ years to choose this option), here are the details for applying for next year. Applying UGA will accept any of the following freshman applications: The Common Application, The Coalition Application and the UGA based Application (only submit one application from one of these options). We will still accept documents from all the same providers (SCOIR, Naviance/Parchment, documents submitted through the UGA admissions site, mailed in materials, etc.) We will still require a Secondary School Report (SRR) from a counselor, an official transcript sent from your school, and we will accept optional letters of recommendation from teachers/community members. Currently, we will still require an official SAT or ACT exam result sent to us from the testing agency. If the University System of GA and UGA change this policy, we will announce it ASAP. The Freshman Application will open up on September 1. Essays UGA will require two essays, a longer personal essay (250-650 words) and a shorter essay (200-300 words). The longer Personal essay will use the Common Application prompts or Coalition Application prompts for 2021. I have listed the Common Application prompts for the Personal Essay below for your knowledge. We will also be using these prompts for the UGA based application. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that […]

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2020 Freshman Wait List

  David Graves      March 13th, 2020

We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available today, March 13th, in the late afternoon timeframe.   For some students, you will be offered a place on our wait list.  Every year our office has to predict approximately how many students we can admit in order to enroll our freshman class, but we can never be sure how many students will enroll until after the May 1 commitment deposit deadline has passed.  If the number of students who say they will be attending UGA is lower than we expect, we may need to go to our wait list group in order to get the size that we want for our freshman class.  This year we have 1,158 students on the wait list.  We carefully monitor the deposits coming into the University to see where we are in comparison to the predicted freshman numbers. The FAQ can answer information on Wait List numbers, past year Wait List data, and other details (such as no, the Wait List is not ranked). For those of you who have been wait-listed, here is a chance for you to ask questions.  Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow classmates under the bus.  These types of comments will be deleted. Before commenting/asking questions here, please review the decision letter and the FAQ, as they give a great deal of details of the Wait List process. The Wait List FAQ can answer some questions, but the most important […]

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2020 Freshman Denial

  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. Unfortunately, we are not able to admit a number of strong applicants as we are limited in the size of our freshman class.  We know that you have a number of other strong college options and suggest you focus on the other great opportunities that are ahead rather than on a denial from UGA.  If your ultimate goal is to graduate from the University of Georgia, then we suggest you look at transfer opportunities down the road.  For now, focus on your current college options, find one that fits you best, and have a great freshman year there. Please read our Denied Student FAQ if you have questions. If you decide to contact us next week, please understand that we will not be able to give you a specific “reason” for a denial, as in this process we have looked at everything within an applicant’s file, and the overall reason is really that the overall applicant pool is very large and very strong. Things to Remember: UGA does not use the GPA from a HS transcript, but instead we calculate our own HS GPA based on core academic courses. For our admitted freshman, roughly 88% of their core grades were A’s, and 11.5% were B’s, with a majority of these strong grades being in Honors/Advanced/AP/IB/DE courses. In our holistic review, we also look at grade trends to see how a student has progressed […]

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December 2019 Admission Thoughts

  David Graves      December 4th, 2019

It is early December, and as such we are about two weeks removed from the Early Action decision releases. At this point in time, we are getting a wide range of questions from admitted freshmen, deferred EA applicants, Regular Decision applicants and potential transfer students. As such, this blog post will go into detail about the different questions that come up this time of year. Freshman Applicants What do I do now that I am deferred from Early Action? The first thing is to be patient. The next step of the review, which is the holistic read process, takes a while and we need time to look at everything within the files of the students we will be reading. Review the deferred EA FAQ for more details about what a deferral means, and what you can then send us to help in the review. If by mid-late December you know your fall grades but your school will not release an official transcript until January or later, go ahead and put your fall grades into your Update form along with any new activities or leadership roles. When will deferred EA or RD applicants hear a final decision? We have three decision dates for freshman, with the first one being in November. The next decision date is in mid-late February, and this will be a very small group of students who are mostly RD applicants, and would have been admitted in November if they had applied Early Action. A small percentage of […]

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Admission Traffic Lights

  David Graves      September 25th, 2019

I am not sure what this says about me, but I think traffic lights are awesome. Maybe I just played Red Light/Green Light a little too much as a kid. But traffic lights bring order to what could be chaos, give people subtle and not so subtle alerts about what to do, and overall they help everyone get to where they want to go. To truly appreciate traffic lights, all you have to do is drive up to one that is not working. Nothing is worse that having to deal with the flashing red light, and the fear that comes from not knowing if everyone else actually understands what to do in this situation. Because of my love of traffic signals, here are a few Admission related traffic light suggestions to help survive the admission process without any crashes, blaring of horns or polite/impolite hand gestures.   Green Light  Apply Earlier than the listed Deadline – If you are going to the airport, you always want to leave early enough to get you to the gate an hour before the plan departs. You want to leave plenty of time to deal with traffic (and malfunctioning lights), finding a parking space, a long line at security, or any other possible problem. I suggest you set a date a week prior to the actual application deadline as your unofficial deadline for submitting your application. If you are applying to UGA Early Action (deadline of 10/15), a personal deadline of 10/6 to submit […]

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So The Application Is Open, Now What

  David Graves      September 5th, 2019

The UGA Freshman application opened up on September 1, and in the first 4 days, roughly 7,000 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 doing more holistic reviews 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, later test scores or fall grades? If you are good with us reviewing you somewhere around 10/15, apply EA, but if you need […]

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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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Emergency Codes

  David Graves      July 9th, 2019

Last week, I volunteered for my 23rd year as a cabin counselor at Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with cancer. The campers during my week range from 7-12 years of age, and there is a wide range of situations with the campers, from ones who have been off treatment for years and having no challenges to campers missing limbs or going through medical care while at camp. Every year before the campers arrive, the camp staff goes over a list of camp rules to make sure the week goes by without any problems. This training covers a wide range of things, from important safety information from the medical staff (hydration and sunscreen are key buzzwords),  to the codes for a variety of different possible emergencies. Here is the short list of the emergency codes from camp: Code Red – Fire emergency at camp. Code Blue – Possible bomb/active shooter. Code Yellow – Missing camper emergency. Code Gray – Thunderstorm spotted. Code Black – Tornado Warning. When you’re working with a large group of people scattered around a huge camp space, you need to prepare for any possible issue and quickly alert people to any issue. As you can guess, most of these codes never occur. The only code used this year was code gray, but thunderstorms are normal for summer afternoons in Georgia. I did have a code yellow once, but the camper was just hiding out in the snack shack eating candy bars prior to leaving camp. Emergency […]

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