2022 EA Decisions and Data

  David Graves      November 19th, 2021

  Early Action decisions will be released late this afternoon, so here are some details about the EA applicant and admitted groups. I will also add a comment to the top of this post when decisions go live, and I will announce it on Twitter as well. When you log into your status page, you will see a “View Update” link under the Status Update, and that is where you will see your decision. About 20 minutes after we release decisions, an email will go out to students who have not already checked their status letting them know a decision is available on their status page. For students who were deferred, please understand that this is not a denial decision.  We want to be able to have a more in-depth review of you, including short essays, activities, recommendations, etc.  Please be sure to read the deferred student FAQ page before commenting on here. There will also be an article in the UGA News next week which will give more broad details on the class as a whole, so I suggest you also review this information when it is available. Quick Early Action Numbers (These numbers are mid-ranges, not minimums.) Applications Received: 21,570 (21,539 with fee paid or fee waived) –UGA received roughly 3% more EA applications than last year. Based on the data on applications started for RD for this year, we expect a larger group of applicants to apply using that option than last year. Offers of Admission: 8,917 […]

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The Zanzibar Effect

  David Graves      August 6th, 2021

There is a myth about a sea captain and a jeweler living on the island of Zanzibar, and it goes something like this: A long time ago, a retired sea captain lived on a remote area on the island of Zanzibar. Each day he had a ceremonial flag raising and lowering at sunrise and sunset, and he fired a cannon at exactly noon each day. A friend who was visiting the captain asked how he knew the exact time that noon occurred on the island, and the captain responded by saying that he updated his pocket watch daily based on the time shown on a large clock displayed in the window of the town’s jewelry store. Later that day, the friend was visiting the town center, and he came across the jewelry store the captain had mentioned, as it had a large antique clock front and center in it’s display window. He entered the store and found the jeweler hard at work behind the counter. His curiosity got the better of him, and he asked the jeweler how he set the time on the antique clock in the window. The jeweler replied, “oh, that’s easy, there is a retired sea captain on the other side of the island who always fires his cannon at exactly 12 noon each day, and I use the sound to set the time on my clock”. The moral of this story is that when you are trying to set a gauge for determining information (in […]

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Admissions Causation and Correlation

  David Graves      March 5th, 2021

Fifteen plus years ago, I did a presentation at a local library just north of Atlanta for a parent group, talking about admissions in general but also going into detail about the UGA admissions process. The room was full of eager parents waiting for a glimpse behind the curtain of admissions (not exactly my plan, but that is what it felt like). Prior to me giving my talk and taking questions, the organizer of the event introduced herself and let the audience know of her college knowledge. She stated that her son was admitted to a prestigious university (insert whichever top 20 college you wish here), and that the reason he was admitted was due to her insistence that he play the tuba in high school. The subtle message was that while other students were playing standard instruments like the saxophone or clarinet, her child was playing a unique/unusual one, and that made him jump off the page. Why do I still remember this story? Two reasons. First, I always wonder if her son really wanted to play the tuba, much less any instrument, and if he still harbors some resentment about the decision that was forced on him. Second, I always wonder what that college’s admission office would say about the assumption by the mom’s statement. When I read admissions files, it is always interesting to see an applicant try something unusual, but it does not then cause that the student’s chances of admission go up. I recently tweeted […]

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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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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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2019 Early Action Update

  David Graves      November 2nd, 2018

Yesterday the UGA Admissions Office announced that our Early Action decision release date would be Friday, November 16 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 two weeks, here is some data about this year’s Early Action application group. Total EA Applications: 16,906 (submitted and app fee paid) 13.6% increase over last year, which is a very big increase Complete Early Action Applications as of today: 16,320 97% are complete right now, very impressive EA Applicants Applying within 4 days of Deadline: 7,500 Wow, just wow Total number of EA Applicants using Coalition App: 5,000 We are fine with either application source (in-house app or Coalition) Residency data on EA apps: 54% in-state, 46% out-of-state  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 this year. Most common majors: Biology – 1,850 applicants, Undecided – 1,557 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 3% of our applicants are incomplete, with some of those having issues due to the recent hurricanes impacting the southeast. We will be shutting down the importing of […]

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Senior Year Do’s and Don’ts

  David Graves      August 3rd, 2018

It is that time of year again, when K-12 schools are starting back, students (and teachers) groan and parents quietly celebrate. Colleges are beginning to open their applications for the Class of 2023 (UGA’s app will open on September 1), and the college admissions process suddenly gets real. With the flip of the proverbial switch, applying to colleges suddenly changes from a vague future action to a reality and the tension level goes up to a seven or eight. I honor of this time of year, here is a list of do’s and don’ts for parents and students. Rising HS Seniors: DO: Have a wonderful senior year, as your senior year should be special. Focus on doing well in your classes, but also take time to strengthen your ties to your friends, meet new people, and enjoy your last year of HS. DON’T: Let senioritis overtake your brain. After you are admitted to a college, they will still be reviewing your final HS transcript, and you need to make sure your grades have not dropped to a level that causes problems in enrolling at your intended college. We rescinded eight offers of admission this year – please don’t be one of these next year. DO: Stay active in clubs, sports, volunteer work or other activities that you have been involved with during HS. Senior year should be a good finish to your HS years, not a count-down until you are out of there. DON’T: Be so active in all things […]

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The Back Door is Closed

  David Graves      June 13th, 2017

Our Admissions Office receives a number of calls each day, with questions that range from the traditional (“When does your transfer application open up this year?”) to the unconventional (“What are the tinted window laws in Athens, GA?”). Recently, one father called in to speak with one of our admissions counselors, and he asked “I am looking for a back door into UGA for my daughter. Can you help me?” Yes, that was the actual question. It was almost like he was envisioning an admissions-style Harry Potter Platform 9 and 3/4 train station wall where a few lucky people could enter while the rest remained oblivious to this secret passage. While some people might see this situation as strange, parents and high school students are hearing from trusted sources such as their neighbors, second cousins and the friendly barista at the local coffee shop that there are back doors to get into X college. Rumors abound about applying for certain terms, playing a specific instrument, applying for a specific major, or overwhelming an admissions office with communications to let them know the college is #1 in the student’s mind. On a recent episode of the TV show American Housewife, teenage son Oliver starts taking ballet in order to have a better chance of admission to Harvard. I even know of a family who considered moving their kids to a small town in south Georgia because they are certain it will make it easier to be admitted as compared to being […]

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Suggestions for Freshmen Applicants

  David Graves      August 21st, 2015

Yesterday, I posted some advice on what questions most admissions officers will not answer, at least not in the way that most prospective families are looking for in a response. Today I am going to focus on our suggestions for how to put your best foot forward with an admissions office. We truly love reading the applications of students who are passionate about attending UGA, and we want your application (and the application process) to be the best it can be. 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. 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 information you want us to see. We receive hundreds of emails right after a student applies to UGA asking for us to add X to their file where they forgot something, correct Y where they made a mistake, etc. After you complete your application, go over it one more time to make sure your birth date is right, all the clubs/activities that you want us to know about are listed, and your information looks correct. We even […]

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Said No Admission Counselor Ever-2016 Version

  David Graves      August 20th, 2015

In the UGA Admissions Office, there are some things we will never say no matter what. Some people will ask questions hoping for one of these answers, but you will not hear us give an answer (at least not the one some people expect). I sometimes feel like Dr. Seuss in “Green Eggs and Ham”, (paraphrasing) “I will not say that in a house, I will not say that with a mouse. I will not say that here or there, I will not say that anywhere.” Here are some of the top things we would never say: “Sure, go ahead and cut back on your academic schedule so that you can add another activity.” Academics come first. Let me repeat, academics come first. If you are struggling with being overloaded, I suggest looking at cutting back on an extra-curricular activity, not academics. You will thank us sometime during your first semester in college. “Yes, you should completely trust the information your neighbors, friends, and online college forum people give you about college admissions.” While there are a number of well meaning people who want to help you with the college admission process, most of them do not have a background in the admissions process. Just because I had the transmission changed in my car does not make me an expert how to do this mechanically. While many people have gone through the admissions process, they are not reading files, analyzing enrollment data, reading essays, etc. They might have knowledge about […]

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