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 We rescinded eight offers of admission this year – please don’t be one of these next year.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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November 2014 Admissions Thoughts

  David Graves      November 19th, 2014

We have made it past the Early Action decisions, and we are now at the next stages of the admission cycle. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts about what happens in Admissions and UGA from November to late March. Scholarships-We are working on the review of files for scholarships, but as of today we have only had about four working days since decisions were released, and most of those were spent talking with families. I expect that we will begin releasing some scholarship offers in mid-December, and this will continue until mid-April as we review files for different scholarships. We will offer about 15-20% of admitted student’s scholarships overall, but it takes time. Honors-The Honors program is working with our office to collect data on the admitted EA applicants, so please be patient with this office as they begin their review for their early offers. They hope to be able to start communicating with students in mid-December, but that is an estimate, not a specific timeline. Deferred EA applicants are beginning to submit part II of the application and get in teacher recommendations, and we expect the majority will finish these steps during the December holidays. Deferred applicants do not need to submit a new application or pay a new application fee, and it will cause problems for applicants who try to do this. In addition, the last section of part II is for any updates, where an applicant can give us new information such as updated […]

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Random Thoughts for September 2013

  David Graves      September 26th, 2013

It is the end of September, which means a number of things in the world of College Admissions. Applications are rolling in for next fall, the sound of luggage rolling down the office hallway as counselors pack up for their next week of fall travel, the campus gets a little crazy as home football games start to pick up. Here are a few quick notes for the high school seniors/UGA applicants for next year:   Review the Top Ten Urban Legends about UGA Admissions, so you do not have to worry about the myths concerning what major you should put down, if EA is easier for admissions chances, etc. Please be patient with our office this year, as we are using a whole new student system (it will change Admissions, Registration, Student Financial Aid, Bursar’s Office, etc.) It is a big project, but we hope it will cause as few ripples as possible in your admissions process. Take your time completing the application, so you do not have to send us an email asking us to fix your name, your SSN, your address, etc. Review the application, especially the 8-10 key fields we list out for you at the end of the application, before hitting submit. Go by your favorite high school teacher’s classroom and tell them how much they have meant to you. It is senior year, and I don’t want this to slip by without you telling them. Review the database of the UGA Admissions Counselors fall travel […]

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The Fourth Quarter

  David Graves      December 19th, 2011

For a majority of students, the first semester is coming to an end, and with it comes the arrival of the dreaded disease known as senioritis. Hopefully, this video will shed a little more light on how UGA Admissions looks at a student’s senior year. Go Dawgs!

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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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File Reading, Part V

  David Graves      February 9th, 2010

The fifth part of the review is already known to most everyone, but I will go ahead and share it with you. In this section, we are looking at an applicant’s academic progress over the 3-3.5 years of high school where we have grades, looking at both the overall picture and the grade trends. When we look at a student’s transcript, we are trying to understand how a student has progressed over their 3+ years in high school. Have they been consistently strong throughout the years, did they start slow and then jump up to all A’s, did they have a tough time in a specific subject, are all their B’s low or high B’s, etc. We then use this in combination with the other factors impacting their life, from family issues that occurred where we saw a dip in grades to how a student did once they got into a specific AP course. If a student made a D in Geometry in 10th grade, did they bounce back from it or keep on a downward trend. All of these factors help us understand the overall picture that the transcript gives us. Three quick warnings/notes on grades: First, we are only looking at core academic work, not PE, Health, Driver’s Ed, etc. While your high school may put these classes into your overall GPA, we are not focusing on these course grades. Second, we focus on grades, not on the GPA or rank that is on your transcript. We are […]

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Senioritis, or the “finger of shame” email

  David Graves      August 31st, 2009

One of my brothers has two pet dogs, and over the years, he come up with a unique discipline technique called “the finger of shame”. When one of the dogs does something wrong, he would scold them, and at the same time he would curl his index finger into a hook shape and say “shame!” After a while, all he had to do was hold out his curled finger, and the dogs would cower and know they did something wrong. The finger of shame has now become legend in our office, and I occasionally have to raise the finger, mostly in fun, but occasionally as a warning for someone to turn things around. As you might remember,I wrote a post a few months ago that about admitted students whose senior grades dropped dramatically, and we were just now seeing those grades on the final high school transcripts. Well, today was the day that I sent out the “finger of shame” email to those students. I tried not to be too mean, but I wanted to let them know that a major drop in their senior year work was not a good way to start their freshman year at UGA. At the same time, I directed them to UGA’s Office of Academic Enhancement for help in organization and planning, and let them know that we hoped this drop was an aberration and not a omen of the future. I also had one very serious conversation with one student this summer about […]

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Senioritis, or the 12th grade blues

  David Graves      July 10th, 2009

I will be out of the office next week, so there will be no new posts or replies until my return. But I leave you with a quick post about the wonderful topic of senior year grades. Yes, I know how you probably feel about this, but go ahead and read it anyways. Over the past month, the evaluation team in the admissions office has reviewed about 4,500 final high school transcripts. It is exhausting work, but we are checking to make sure that all enrolling students graduated from high school, completed their required curriculum, and finished well academically. I then get the wonderful job of contacting a handful of these students to get more information about very poor senior grades. I am not talking about one bad grade, but instead a downward trend at the end of high school. Over the last 12 years at UGA, most of these situations are to give these students a warning that unless they make a change, they probably will not last at UGA for more than a year (our reviews show that low senior grades lead to low freshman grades in college). Occasionally, I will have to flag their record and see how the student has done fall semester before allowing the student to register for spring. And on the worst situations (I have had less than ten in my 12 years), I have had to tell the student that they can not attend UGA at all. It is not a fun […]

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