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 We rescinded eight offers of admission this year – please don’t be one of these next year.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 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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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, 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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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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