Athens Ga. – High school seniors who applied for “early-action” admission to the University of Georgia will learn their status when decision letters arrive by mail starting next week. But those who don’t want to wait can get the news online the evening of Dec. 12 by using the password-protected status check on the Admissions Office Web site, https://www.admissions.uga.edu/.
About half of this year’s 11,600 early-action applicants will find that they have been accepted to UGA; most of the rest will learn that a final decision has not yet been made. UGA initiated a formal early-action program in 2003, offering prospective students the option of submitting applications by an Oct. 15 deadline, rather than waiting until the regular-decision deadline of Jan. 15.
This year’s early-action applicant pool is again larger and more diverse than the previous year, continuing a trend of the past three years. Nearly 22 percent of the students applying for early action identified themselves as being from an ethnic or racial minority group. More than 800 early-action applications were received from African Americans, up more than 100 from last year’s early-action total. The number of early-action applications from Hispanic students increased slightly to 324.
But the number of early-action applicants offered admission at this point is slightly lower than last year. “We expect that the current economy will drive the yield to enrollment upward and we are being a bit conservative in the offers of admission so as not to exceed our target enrollment of 5,000 students next year,” said Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management.
McDuff predicted that the admissions office will receive between 17,000 and 18,000 total applications this year, with a target enrollment of 4,800 new first-year students entering this summer or fall and another 200 in spring 2010.
UGA adopted a two-part application process three years ago and prospective students applying for early action are only required to fill out the first part of the application.
Those early-action applicants whose admission decision was deferred are now asked to complete the second part of the application form, which includes short-answer essay questions and an activity resume. They also must provide a recommendation from a teacher of an academic course taken in their junior or senior year and ask their school to send updated transcripts, if new grades have been posted. New standardized test scores also may be submitted. All materials are due by the Jan. 15 deadline for all freshman applications to UGA.
“The odds of being offered admission are 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 it’s important for those students who are deferred to realize that many of them will be offered admission as we begin making additional decisions between February and April.”
The students who applied early this year are academically quite strong, McDuff said. Those offered admission at this point have an average academic GPA of 3.95, a mean SAT of 1312 (with a mean SAT writing score of 650) or a mean ACT of 30.This year, UGA began requiring students to submit writing scores for their ACT and SAT tests and those scores are an integral part of the selection process, McDuff said.
A major factor in early-action decisions continues to be the rigor of the courses that the students have taken relative to what is available in their school, McDuff noted. Those admitted through early action took an average of five Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes.