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 […]

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Admissions Myths and Urban Legends

  David Graves      August 23rd, 2013

Whether we are giving information sessions, visiting high schools, attending college fairs, or meeting with prospective students and families, we are often asked questions about how to apply to and get admitted to UGA.  At times we hear misconceptions and rumors about the admissions process.  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 Early Action, it will demonstrate to UGA that I really want to go there. Even if I am deferred admission, this will be an advantage in the Regular Decision process.” Applicants deferred from Early Action to Regular Decision do not have any advantages/disadvantages over those who apply Regular Decision. All applicants seeking admission to UGA are offered an equal opportunity for admission regardless of the decision plan. Read our entire list of Admissions […]

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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!

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Myths of UGA Admissions

  David Graves      September 20th, 2011

Every year, UGA’s Admissions Office works with a large number of prospective students (about 60,000 and growing for 2012), sending them materials, emailing them information, inviting them to campus events, and alerting them about our travel. A majority of these students come to our attention due to an action by the student (SAT/ACT scores sent to UGA, email our office, see us at College Fairs/School Visits, etc.), and we try to give both the student and the family the best information about UGA as possible. Last week, we received an email from the parent of one of these prospective students in response to an email announcing that we would be at a college fair in their area. My daughter received this email message from you today via email.  We both laughed and laughed when we read it. To be honest with you, (XXXX) kids from where we live in (Atlanta Suburb) County with 3.7x or higher grade point averages and above average SAT and ACT scores, as a general rule don’t get into UGA for Freshman admission.  If we are admitted at all, we are admitted in the summer, have to go to (XXXXX) State for a semester or get turned down outright or get “delayed” decision. Frankly,  we really do not not have any intention of even applying to the University of Georgia.  She can be easily be admitted to any of the leading universities in the USA (UNC, USC, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Arizona, UCLA to name […]

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Urban Legend # 1

  David Graves      March 3rd, 2010

Right now, there are two things going on; one, our office is knee deep/swamped/up to our ears, etc. with file reading, and two, you are waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for us to finish reading. But I know that the moment we release decisions, a wide range of urban legends will suddenly reappear. In that vein, I though I would bring up a few of the wonderful myths that always pop up just after the final decisions go out. No matter how many times we tell students that we do not have a limit on the number of freshman we can admit from a specific school, city, zip code, area, state, country or planet, we always hear “You did not admit me because I live in …”. First, we always state that this myth is incorrect, and that we focus on who is the strongest overall applicant, not what school or city the live in. Second, we do not have the time or the energy to try and break down the applicant pool in that sort of way to make decisions. I am just trying to make sure all the files get reviewed at this point! But beyond that, we really are looking at trying to make the best decisions overall while looking at everyone in the same light. So the next time you hear someone start that rumor, please direct them to and quickly shoot down this rumor! Go Dawgs!

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Mythbusters Admissions Style

  David Graves      June 4th, 2009

It is summertime, and all around the country, admissions offices start the process of working with a new group of prospective students. This means an increase in visitors, planning for fall college fairs and school visits, and last but not least, the flood of phone calls beginning with “I heard that UGA … (insert myth here)”. At times, the counselors in our office feel like they should be on an episode of Mythbusters, stomping out Urban Legends left and right. It has become so prevelent that we have compiled a top ten list of Urban Legends for UGA Admissions. So let me give you the inside scoop right now; admissions standards are the same for all freshmen applicants. In-State vs. Out-of-State, north GA vs. south GA, by zip code, county, school district, male vs. female, alumni relation vs. non alumni, gender, race/ethnicity, summer vs. fall, choice of major, planet of origin, and so on. I think I hit all of them, but you get the idea. In other words, all applicants are dealt with in the same way, and anytime you hear a neighbor or friend say “Well I heard that UGA …”, run away, quickly. Here are two examples of how silly certain admissions myths have become. If a freshman applies to UGA for summer admission and then wants to change to fall, all they would have to do is contact our office. Since there is no difference in admission standards, we would just change the term and bam, […]

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