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 […]

Read More

Random UGA Admission Thoughts for 2019

  David Graves      January 3rd, 2019

It is the start of 2019, and a wide range of things are happening in the UGA Admissions Office. We have just closed down the freshman application for admission, we will open the transfer application for summer/fall 2019 on January 22nd, and we will be spending the next two and a half months or so hiding away in our offices as we read admission files. As such, here are some Admissions Thoughts as we move forward. 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 29,500+. Some of these applicants will not submit all the required items, so the official number of complete applications will not be known until later (but I expect it will be close to 29,000). Starting on 1/14, our office will be in […]

Read More

Random Admission Thoughts- September 2018

  David Graves      September 24th, 2018

Sometimes when writing the admissions blog, I have a specific topic to present based on the time of year, what is happening in our office at that time or something in the news that is timely. Other times, I just have random thoughts and ideas in my head of what is important or being talked about on social media or questions being asked about during our travels. Luckily for you, this is the second type, so no philosophical ramblings. As such, here are some random UGA admissions thoughts: There is no award for applying early in the process, but there are some consequences in waiting until the deadline to apply. We will treat your application the same if you apply on the first day or the last, but a majority of the files that are incomplete at decision time happen due to applying on the deadline. If you wait until the end, you cause others in the process (counselors, teachers, test agencies, etc.) to do things at a later time, causing some things to be late. Don’t wait until the end to apply. UGA uses “best scores” in the admission review, so we only look at the strongest sub scores for your SAT or ACT tests. If you take the SAT or ACT multiple times, we will only look at the strongest scores. What does this mean? Don’t wait until the last minute to send in scores after you see how you did. UGA requires a school report as a […]

Read More

The Language of Admissions

  David Graves      September 6th, 2018

My daughter, who is a sophomore International Affairs major at UGA, probably thinks she can hold her own in a hospital operating room. Why? Because being a Grey’s Anatomy fangirl has taught her all the medical lingo she would ever need in this life. Fourteen seasons and 317 episodes of the life of Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Miranda Bailey, McDreamy, McSteamy, and all the other doctors of Seattle Grace/Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital have taught her well. Words like V-Fib, central line, metastasis, Pre and Post-Op, and phrases such as “I need a ten-blade and 100 cc’s of epi stat” can just roll off her tongue. Me, I am terrified of blood, and almost all medical terms just go right over my head, even with a wife who is a nurse. In the same way, a number of occupations and offices have their own language. If you have ever been to the Varsity (a wonderfully greasy hamburger place in Atlanta and Athens), you know they have their own lingo for food, from a Naked Dog to Chili Steak all the way (see the Varsity Lingo page for the full details). Whether you are an accountant, in construction, work in finance or are a lawyer, every field seems to have their own language. College admissions is no different, and it can sometimes get confusing. Here is a helpful guide to some of the key words and phrases in the world of admissions. Binding: While there are many “Early” terms (early decision, early action, […]

Read More

Upcoming, Decision Dates for UGA Applicants

  David Graves      February 12th, 2018

The final two decision dates for UGA freshman applicants are now set (unless some major issue impacts our office), and the smaller February wave of decisions will be released on Friday, February 23, while the final decisions in March will be released on Friday, March 16. In addition, transfer decisions will begin being released on Friday, February 23. February Decisions – UGA will offer admission to over 2,000 freshman applicants on Friday, February 23. This group of decisions is made up of only offers of admission, and if you were admitted, you will be able to see the decision on your Admission Status page (so only admitted students will see a decision change on their status page) and these admits will receive an email communication. Additionally, an admissions packet will be sent out in the mail the following week. Our office is too busy reviewing files for me to run any mid-range academic averages at this time, but the academic information should be very similar to the Early Action admitted students (it will not be exactly the same, as we had a large number of EA admits who were applying for our top scholarships, which slightly skews EA stats a little higher). The press release about our Early Action decisions gives more details on the academic averages for this group. As we did in the November Early Action offers of admission, there will be some scholarship offers in this group, and those who have received them will see it on the status […]

Read More

The Coalition Application and Pizza

  David Graves      August 8th, 2017

For those of you who don’t know (or who have not read many of my blog posts), I am a great believer in analogies. I find that most times, the easiest way to explain the sometimes complicated world of admissions is to make it relatable to their own lives. As such, I am going to somehow tie together the new Coalition Application with Pizza. Yes, pizza, that wonderful meal/snack/superfood we all know and love. Most all of us love pizza, both because of the great taste but also because we generally know what to expect no matter who makes it. Most every pizza is going to have a crust, a layer of sauce and cheese. This is the base of almost all pizzas, and you can be sure that everyone from Papa Johns to your local hometown pizza joint starts with this. In the same way, there are a set of standard questions that most all admissions applications use as a base. Everyone asks for your name, your birth date, your high school, etc. Generally, these questions make up about 75-80% of the questions on the Coalition application. On the other hand, the thing that makes each pizza unique are the toppings. Everybody has their own favorites, with mine being pepperoni and bacon (don’t judge, bacon is great on everything). Yours could be banana peppers, olives and pineapple for all I know, as everyone has their own unique taste. Similarly, each college has unique questions that they need, many times […]

Read More

Are You Ready?

  David Graves      July 6th, 2017

Summer is a time for vacations, part-time jobs, and relaxation. But for rising HS seniors, it is also time to prepare for the college application process. I am not suggesting you have everything ready to submit an application on opening day of the UGA application (September 1 by the way), but only that you have some things laid out in order to be on top of the process. In our research concerning last year’s applicant pool, there was a dramatic dip in both admission rates and strength of essays for students who either waited until the last minute to apply or who spent only a few days working on the application. In saying this, here are a few suggestions on steps to take get ready to apply to UGA. Map out your college application plan. If you are like most students, you will apply to 3-5 colleges. If this is the case, you will have to track the deadlines, materials time lines and actions needed for all of these colleges. Get a calendar (electronic or paper) just for admissions time lines, and enter in the deadline dates, scholarship dates, campus programs, deposit dates, etc. for all these colleges. This is the best way to keep this process organized and to not miss out on something. The worst calls we handle are when a student did not do X by a certain deadline and we can’t do anything for them except say sorry. Get prepared. Before you start your application, you will […]

Read More

2018 Freshman Essays

  David Graves      May 31st, 2017

Every year, our office reviews the freshman application for changes that we would like to see for the next year. During this review, we also look at the short essay questions that are required for First Year applicants. Starting this year, we will have all freshman, Early Action (EA) and Regular Decision (RD) submit two essays in their application. This is a change, as for the last 10 years, EA applicants have only submitted essays if they were deferred. But to keep the same timelines (with projected application growth) and to balance adding the Coalition application, among other things, we have added the essays (down from three to two) to the EA application.  We require one short essay that all applicants must complete, and four additional short essay topics with the applicant selecting to respond to one of these. These two essays should be between 200-300 words and remember to focus on substance and not word count.  Before submitting your application and essays, always remember to proofread and edit!  The First Year application will be available on September 1, but we thought that some people would want to know the essay prompts earlier than that date. Here are the five essay questions, with Essay 1 being required and Essays 2-5 being four options from which the applicant selects one.    (Required) The college admissions process can create anxiety. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself that you have not already […]

Read More

2018 Freshman Application Changes

  David Graves      May 22nd, 2017

With each new year of admissions comes changes to the application and/or application process so that we can make better decisions every year, and also make sure that we are able to release decisions in time frame that works for both our office and the applicants. As such, here are the changes for the freshman application for students starting in Summer/Fall of 2018. Coalition Application – Starting this year, we will begin accepting applications submitted through the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success (also known as the Coalition Application). We will continue to have our own application (and we expect a majority of our applicants will use our form), but we wanted to allow students who use the Coalition Application for multiple colleges to have this option. We will still be accepting documents through our normal methods of Naviance/Parchment, GaFutures and documents sent by mail, so there is no change that needs to happen for counseling offices sending us materials.  Short Answer/Essay Changes – Students who apply Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD) will complete the exact same application, as there will now be two short answer/essay questions for both EA and RD applicants. In the past, EA applicants did not complete the short answer/essays unless they were deferred, but now all freshman applicants will complete these when they apply. As well, we have shifted from three to two short answer/essays for applicants. This change will allow us to begin our holistic read process earlier, will eliminate the issue […]

Read More

December/January Admission Notes

  David Graves      December 12th, 2016

The Holiday break is coming up, which means a large number of students will be completing their application (or part II of their deferred EA application). Here are some suggestions for Regular Decision and Deferred Early Action applicants to review. Patience. Patience is key, as this time of year brings out a rush of supporting materials. We will receive tens of thousands of documents over the next month, and we need time to match these items up, enter them into our system, and have them show up on the application status page. We have made great strides in importing documents, so the status page is almost a live feed, but mailed items take a little longer to add to a file. You do not need to call/email us if you do not see an item on your Status page. Give us 10 business days from when you applied or the document was sent (not requested but actually sent), whichever was later. As well, make sure your name on your documents matches your application data (and both name and email on test scores). Part II for Deferred applicants. For deferred EA applicants, your next step is to make sure you complete part II of the application (the 3 short essays), give us any updates on the Update section, and contact a teacher through your status page about sending in a recommendation.  Test Scores. We will take the January SAT for admissions review for this year and the February ACT (without Writing!), […]

Read More