Letting Them Drive Alone

  David Graves      May 8th, 2017

I can still remember one of the most terrifying moments in life as a parent, the day my son turned 16 and received his official driver’s license. We could handle the learner’s permit, as we could sit in the passenger’s seat and at least feel like we had some control of the situation. But when he arrived home after getting the official license and asked to go out without us, terror hit us hard. Even with his younger sister as a co-pilot, my wife and I were still terrified of what might happen. But being good parents, we held back our tears and our fears and allowed them to head off on the longest 8 mile drive of our lives. My wife and I hovered over our iPhones, tracking every turn and stop, wondering why the map was taking so long to refresh their location. And you know what? They arrived safely. Amazingly, they even made it back home alive. And as the days and weeks went by, we started tracking him less and less, and instead we started celebrating the end to our child-chauffeur days. Occasionally, there would be the small bump in the road, from the dead battery to a minor fender bender, but everything turned out just fine. Our fears of major accidents, our kids getting lost without us there to help them, and the unknown of who else is on the roads with them started to vanish. I even survived my daughter’s spontaneous road trip through […]

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Writing Great Short Response Essays

  David Graves      May 18th, 2015

As most college students and HS seniors can attest to, one of the most stressful times of the admission process is writing admissions essays. While UGA’s “essays” are actually short responses, we still see a great deal of angst and worry about them. Every year, I try to calm these fears by writing about the admission essay writing process. UGA is not looking for the perfect essay or an amazing adventure, but instead we try to focus on how your short answers can tell us more about you.  In my Suggestions for Writing Admissions Essays page, I try to give future UGA applicants some insight into how to communicate best with admission offices in this part of the application.  To summarize, make the essays unique to your experiences, show us details and don’t just tell us, and avoid the thesaurus at all costs (please read the page and review my blog post video about Jokes and Essays to get more details). As well, each year we select an essay from an accepted freshman that gives insight into what we view as a great short response. One of the great things about this essay is that we get a richly detailed picture of the event, and that after reading it we have gained a great deal of insight into the life of this student. This is not an essay with overdone language or some grand adventure to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but instead is a beautiful snapshot of a family […]

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The 2013 Application for First Year Admission is now open!

  David Graves      August 13th, 2012

This does not mean you should submit an application immediately.  Your deadline to apply for First Year admission to 2013 Fall and Summer Semesters for the “Early Action” is October 15.  The “Regular Decision” application deadline for Fall and Summer is January 15.   Our first and best suggestions are to take your time and plan ahead.  Gather all the information you will need prior to starting the application.  Verify that you have your correct Social Security Number, get a copy of your high school transcript to help when self-reporting your grades for us, and if you have a resume, use it to fill out the leadership and activities sections completely.  Often students who hurry to complete the application—especially if they have waited to the final moment—end up contacting our office to fix mistakes they made by rushing. Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you prepare to apply: Name, SSN and Address.  Make sure you enter your name and SSN correctly and consistently.  This needs to be correct for Admissions and Student Financial Aid.  Your address is crucial for receiving mail from us as well as for determining your Residency status. Your High School.  When listing your high school, use the search option on our application.  Your school’s CEEB code will be correctly recorded. Senior Courses.  Please list your senior year courses in the area provided, even if you have not received grades yet. Counselor Evaluation and Last-Minute Applications. Your high school counselor can complete […]

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Big Dawg Welcome 2011

  David Graves      July 26th, 2011

Every year, the University of Georgia has a huge series of events during the first week back on campus. This year, there will be a huge freshman gathering at Sanford Stadium, an outdoor movie at Legion Field, live performances at the Tate theater, and a special Dawgs after Dark on Friday, August 19. I hope that the first week at UGA goes well for all incoming freshmen and transfer students, and I wish you the best for your first semester (and year!). Go to the UGA Campus Life site for more information! Go Dawgs!

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Do’s and Don’ts from Admissions

  David Graves      July 15th, 2011

We are right near the end of the cycle for one group of students (the Fall semester starts on August 15), and we will open up the 2012 Freshman application on the same day. As such, here is a list of do’s and don’ts for both of these groups of students (please take with a little grain of salt): Entering Students:  DO: Have a great rest of the summer, and know that the first week at UGA, while a little intimidating, is the start to a great year! Speak with your professors on the first day, check out some of the great events going on that week at http://www.uga.edu/campuslife/calendar.html, try to connect with a few organizations that seem interesting to you, step outside your comfort zone, etc. DON’T: Let me see your name and/or photo on the front page of the Red and Black newspaper because you did something stupid the first week. It is the first week that you will be on your own at college and away from the parents, but be smart in the choices you make. DO: Jump in feet first into your classes, study hard, get to know the faculty member and your peers in you First-Year Odyssey course, and be on time. The UGA iPhone app has a campus map that can direct you around campus and show you where you are using GPS, and the bus system is a lifesaver. DON’T: Skip any classes because they are too early/too late/too far away/because you […]

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First-Year Odyssey

  David Graves      June 8th, 2011

I am happy to announce the newest program on campus for all First-Year students starting in Fall of 2011 (and beyond), the First-Year Odyssey program! This seminar program is designed for all new freshmen, and is geared towards connecting freshmen with faculty members in a small group environment (estimated class size is 15-18 students). The First-Year Odyssey program website just opened up, and you can now search from among the wide (and wild) variety of courses available. Every freshman starting in Fall 2011 is required to take a First-Year Odyssey course by the end of their first year at UGA, so you will want to start reviewing the options and make a list of the ones that interest you. You might even have a class with the Provost, the President, or the Dean of a college. This is an amazing new opportunity, and I am excited about this program. Here are a few examples of the 300+ FYO courses offered: The CIA in War and Peace Prediction: The Science of What Comes Next Books That Changed the World Chocolate Science Nature versus Nurture: The Role of Genetics in Your Life Comics in Context And They’re Off: A History of Horse Racing Telling on Retail AA for Uncle Sam’s Oil Addiction Chickenology: Everything You Need to Know about Chickens Bollywood: Film, Narrative and Culture Please remember that this is a brand new program at UGA, and the website just opened up, so please be patient if there are a few things […]

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Booker T. Washington HS Valedictorian Speech

  David Graves      July 14th, 2010

Just a quick post to share a video that has been circulating through our office for the last few weeks. Deonte Bridges, the Valedictorian at Booker T. Washington HS in Atlanta, GA, gives a powerful speech at graduation. We are excited that Deonte will be a member of the UGA Class of 2014!! Deonte Bridges Valedictorian Speech Go Dawgs, and Go Deonte!

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Senioritis Downfall

  David Graves      June 30th, 2010

Yesterday, I sent out two emails to incoming freshman (and I expect I will send out a few more before the end of summer) asking for more information on why their last semester grades had a serious decline. These are not fun emails, as these students are ones where there are serious issues with poor senior grades, and it is at a point where UGA might revoke the admissions offer. Generally, these are students with multiple D/F grades, and no stated issue concerning the grade decline. We send out an initial communication to these students in case there are personal issues that occurred during the senior year of which we are unaware, with our goal being to understand what has happened before we take any action. Just so you know, we do this for two reasons. First, any admitted student must still show that they are ready for UGA, and have maintained the academic standing that brought about the admission offer in the first place. Secondly, though, is that a severe drop in grades senior year has historically led to very poor grades in the freshman year at UGA, and this is not what UGA or the student really wants in starting off their college years. So, for all prospective students (especially rising seniors), please know that UGA looks at final grades, and “senioritis” is not an acceptable excuse for poor senior grades. I am not saying you need to make straight A’s senior year, but please make sure to […]

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Commitment Deposit Time!

  David Graves      April 15th, 2010

We are coming up on May 1, the date by which most freshman applicants need to make a commitment to attend their chosen college. UGA, along with all the other colleges, wants you to take your time and make sure you make the best choice for your future education. You may still be waiting on financial information, taking one last visit, or just trying to make up your mind. If you are still unsure, take the time to make a good decision. But if you know that you will be attending a specific college, I would suggest that you move forward with sending in your commitment deposit (or whatever action your college of choice asks for), and then let the other colleges that you are considering know this decision. These actions let the colleges know who to focus their attention on, who to now stop mailing materials to (this is probably the highlight for some of you!), and at some point, it will allow the colleges to know more about the wait-list possibilities and overall enrollment numbers. So if you know where you will be going to college next year, go ahead and let all of the colleges you are working with know this fact. Don’t just be involved, be committed! Go Dawgs!

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The Big Day is Here!

  David Graves      August 17th, 2009

Yes, today is a big day, both for UGA and admissions. Fall classes begin today, and the campus is full of life (and full of students!). It is exciting to see all of the new and returning students on campus, and life is now back to normal. On the admissions side of things, the 2010 freshman application is now available! As I have said in the past, it is not important to be the first one to apply. UGA Admissions is not like Disney World; being first in line does not mean anything, and there is no FastPass option. But I know that everyone is happy to have the application up, both on our side and yours. The Foundation Fellowship/Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship application is also be available as of today. Good luck, and let us know if you have any questions!

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