Campus News

‘Early-action’ applicants to University of Georgia receive admissions decisions

Athens Ga. – For some 6,100 high school seniors, the holidays will be off to a happy start when they learn they have been offered early admission to the University of Georgia.

Those who applied for “early-action” admission to UGA can learn their status in one of several ways this year.They can wait for decision letters that will arrive by mail starting next week or they can find out by going online the evening of Dec. 3 and using the password-protected status check on the admissions office web site: Others may choose to get the news via their iPhone with the UGA Admissions App that allows them to check their application status.

Technology also has enabled the admissions office to release decisions about a week earlier than in past years. Use of imaging, electronic submission of materials and self-reported grades have reduced the amount of time it takes to process applications, according to Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management.

Although the size of the early-action applicant pool was nearly the same as last year-just over 10,600-about 100 more students have been admitted at this point compared to 2009.”That’s a reflection of the academic quality of the applicants this year,” said McDuff.

About a third of early-action applicants will learn that a final decision has not been made yet and will be asked to submit additional information by the regular-decision deadline of Jan. 15.

“We always try to stress to early-action applicants that if their admission decision was deferred, they still have a chance to be part of the incoming freshman class,” McDuff said. “In the past few years, we have been able to admit about half of the students who were initially deferred and then completed Part II of the application by the regular-decision deadline.”

UGA initiated a non-binding early-action program in 2003 for students who choose to submit applications by an Oct. 15 deadline.Early-action admissions decisions are based solely on academic criteria.

McDuff believes that many students wait to apply until the regular-decision deadline in order to have additional factors considered, such as high school activities and volunteer work. “For some students, that’s a good decision,” she said.

McDuff predicted that the admissions office will receive close to 18,000 total applications for next year’s incoming class, with a target enrollment of 4,800 new first-year students entering in the summer or fall and another 200 in spring 2012.Typically, about half the students offered admission go on to enroll at UGA, a comparable yield to other selective universities.

This year’s early-action applicant pool is again academically strong and diverse.Those offered admission at this point have an academic grade point average mid-range of 3.83-4.07, an SAT mid-range of 1230-1390 (with a mean SAT writing score of 652) or a mean ACT range of 28-32. UGA requires students to submit writing scores with their ACT and SAT tests and those scores are an integral part of the selection process, McDuff said. Those students admitted through early action also took an average of six Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes.

More than 24 percent of the students applying for early action identified themselves as being from an ethnic or racial minority group. More than 720early-action applications, representing nearly seven per cent of the total pool, were received from African Americans.The number of early-action applications from Hispanic students totaled almost 500 students, a 23 percent increase from the previous year.

“The odds of being offered admission are always driven by how strong a student looks relative to the rest of the applicant pool,” McDuff said. “The first offers of admission are extended to students with the strongest academic records, but the most important factors in the regular-decision process are also academic-in particular grade point average and the rigor of the courses that the students have taken relative to what is available in their school. However, regular-decision applications and applications from students deferred from the early-action program are given a holistic review that includes other factors that tell us about students’ talents and activities outside the classroom.”

To help students and parents understand the admissions process, David Graves, senior associate director for operations in the admissions office, writes a blog for the admissions office website:

“The blog gets about 2,500 hits a day and we think it helps reduce anxiety felt by students and parents, as well as answers questions and provides helpful advice,” McDuff said. “The Nov. 30 post is about how to react to early-action decisions.”