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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Said No UGA Admissions Counselor Ever

  David Graves      August 12th, 2014

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, I can tell you whether to apply Early Action or Regular Decision.” This is a choice that needs to be made by the student, as it is a timing issue, not an issue that impacts the chances of admission. “Of course I can tell you what classes to take for the next year (or the next four/eight/twelve years).” While we know a great deal about high school classes, we are not an expert on what your school offers, when the courses are available, what you want to take and/or your academic preparation for courses. This is best decided upon after the student and family speak with their HS counselor. “Take the easiest courses so you can make the best grades possible.” We want you to challenge yourself to the best of your ability while still doing well in your classes. You need to prepare yourself for the UGA classroom experience, and the […]

Read More

UGA Admissions Urban Legends

  David Graves      August 1st, 2014

There are two times every year when admissions myths hit peak numbers in the rumor mill; During August/September when a large number of seniors start planning out their college applications, and in late March when final freshman admission decisions are released. I remember receiving a number of communications from one denied applicant who was sure that one of the reasons he was not admitted was due to him being a male. While we do not use gender (along with many other high-myth factors) in the admissions review, I found it interesting that he actually thought it hurt his chances while in fact UGA would actually prefer to have a few more males in the freshman class. At UGA, we want to make sure that students and parents have the correct information about the University and admissions.  In an effort to dispel common myths, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 UGA Admissions Urban Legends.  Here are a few of the common myths we hear: “UGA admits a quota of students per year from my high school, county, zip code or state.” The most competitive applicants are admitted regardless of high school, county, zip code or state. There are no quotas assigned to these, or any other, characteristics. “UGA has different admissions standards for out-of-state applicants.” Admissions standards are exactly the same for out-of-state applicants as they are for in-state applicants. UGA does not have a cap on the number of out-of-state students that can be admitted. “If I apply […]

Read More

UGA Admissions Urban Legends Videos

  David Graves      July 6th, 2012

Over the past three years, I have tried my best to shoot down as many myths or urban legends as possible concerning UGA Admissions. As such, I have created the following two videos to try and add a little humor to the issue. Please understand that while I have tried to add some comedy to these videos, I am not trying to insult anyone. These are just some questions that come up regularly, along with some of the interactions we have seen (I have left out some that are not so pleasant, such as speaking to a student while a sibling throws a temper tantrum next to her, or giving an information session while a dog is present in the front row). I hope these give you some insight into what we do and do not do in the UGA Admissions office, and please take these in the humorous style in which they were meant. And part II: Just so you know, we like to poke fun at ourselves and the admissions field as well, so here is a video about the sometimes humorous world of admissions visits to high schools. These visits can sometimes be wonderful, but they can also be unusual and odd, especially when the admissions counselor becomes a salesman. Go Dawgs!

Read More

Random Admission Thoughts, April 2012 Edition

  David Graves      April 4th, 2012

We have finished up the freshman decisions (except for the wait list decisions that we will not know about for a while), summer transfer decisions are almost completely done, and fall transfers are in mid-stream. As such, here are a few pieces of information, wisdom, and random ideas. Transfer applicants, please make sure that all transcripts from all colleges attended are in. Even if it was a summer course, a dual enrollment course in HS, or whatever, we need official transcripts from all colleges. Do not have a fax sent to us, as we will just shred it. Why waste your time and ours. Again, no faxes. Everyone, please make sure to not wait until the last minute to take care of things. If you are late for a class, it will go on without you. If you are late for a plane, it will take off without you. Please don’t let a college move on without you just because you did not take care of things on time. Transfer students, please make sure to look at the grades on your college transcripts and know that we look at all grades in transferable courses, even if you repeat a bad grade. I just looked at a transcript where the college listed the GPA as a 3.00, but we have it as a 2.15, because of numerous F grades in the first term that the other college waived when the course was repeated with better grades. It is not like the […]

Read More

Silent Suggestions for HS juniors (and below)

  David Graves      March 13th, 2012

While a number of admissions offices (including UGA) are using videos more and more in their recruitment of students, here is a different take on the standard “admissions suggestions” videos (and our tribute to the Oscar winning film “The Artist”). Thanks go out to Lindsey Whittaker for her acting abilities, and to Morgan Cogswell for her skills with video editing. Without these two, you would probably just be looking at a webcam video that only captured to top part of my head, and had unreadable cards. Go Dawgs!

Read More