Parents believe extracurriculars will help their teens get into University of Georgia. See what UGA says.

Many teens — and their parents — believe colleges will overlook less than perfect grades if they were class president, performed in school musicals and volunteered at a soup kitchen.

But I’ve had several parents tell me their highly involved offspring did not get into the University of Georgia despite an impressive list of extracurriculars.  If they were doing it again, the parents would advise their kids to devote their energies to raising their grades and test scores rather than pursuing multiple after-school activities.

I put the question to David Graves in the second segment of my lengthy interview with him about how students can enhance their chances of getting into UGA. Graves is UGA’s senior associate director of admissions and author of the popular UGA admissions blog.

You can look at the first video here. The first installment focuses on the early action decisions coming out Friday and what seniors who are deferred to regular admissions can do to boost their chances of being a Bulldog next fall.

Part three of the interview will appear later this week here on the blog.

Here are some other college related stories by the AJC:

Myths about getting into UGA

Myths about getting into Georgia Tech

College costs

Graphic of tuition increases over time

Crime on college campuses

 

 

Reader Comments 0

13 comments
class80olddog
class80olddog

Wonder if your chances would improve if you are LBGT born as a female but your gender identity is now male? Is there a question on the application for that? 

UGA guy
UGA guy

@class80olddog No, there is not this question on the application, and it would not impact a decision if it was there.

class80olddog
class80olddog

I challenge you, Mr. Graves, to release admission data broken down by gender - what what the median SAT/ACT score and GPA for males versus for females. 

UGA guy
UGA guy

@class80olddog Based on your comments, it looks like you believe that males are given a benefit in the UGA admissions process. Our process does not differentiate between males and females, and if a student does not want to report their gender, they do not have to, as this question is not mandatory for the admissions application. We do not have the data on the admitted group yet, as we have not admitted anyone yet for EA, sorry. But your initial premise is incorrect.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@class80olddog On the issue of gender, I have never heard any public colleges say they consider gender, but I have had private colleges tell me they seek gender balance. 

One admissions officer from a private school explained  if the school tips too female -- since there are more qualified female applicants than male at many schools -- then neither women nor men want to come. Many privates aim for a 55-45 female-male split. When I last wrote about this, I think UGA was 60-40, but saw recently a 57-43 ratio. 


http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-georgia-1598

UGA guy
UGA guy

@class80olddog As I stated, we do not have the exact data for the EA admits that will be going out on Friday, but a rough estimate on my part (I repeat, rough) shows that males who I project to be admitted have slightly higher test scores as compared to females (in ACT terms, I believe under half an ACT point), and females have a slightly higher GPA (I believe less than .03 difference). The challenge of the curriculum is even. This does not take into account the students who did not report their gender, and this is not final, either for EA or for the entire admit pool that will be finalized in March. As I stated on another post, there is a big difference in objective data of the actual information vs subjective data based on your perception of your daughter's situation.

class80olddog
class80olddog

I am one of those whose daughter was wait-listed at UGA, despite having an impressive resume of very high GPA, AP classes, extracurricular activities, and joint enrollment.  She was finally accepted into UGA (she was also accepted at Emory and a had a full ride scholarship at Mercer) and could have graduated in three years, but decided to remain for her fourth year to graduate with dual degrees. She was a great asset for UGA, so they really did not want to pass her up.  She WAS told at the time that taking joint enrollment classes were not evaluated as highly as AP classes, of which she had maxed out all AP classes at the rural school she attended.  This is in conflict with what Mr. Graves says.  Until the University of Georgia is completely transparent and releases the exact enrollment data and why the decisions were made, they will always be suspect in my mind.  I tutored special admissions during my time at Georgia (pre-Jan Kemp).  I had one admissions person (on this blog, I believe) say that if they based admissions solely on academic performance, then the class would be 75% female or higher and no one, neither male nor females, would want to go to the college, so SOMETHING had to be done. As long as admissions contains a degree of "subjectivity", then it will be suspect, because there is a reason to inject that subjectivity into the process.  Just like the racist businessmen who had excellent black job applicants, but their interview "did not go well".  Parade the Official UGA propaganda all you want, Mr. Graves, but until you back it up with data, it ranks up there with Trump campaign promises.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Oh, and before anyone brings this up, my daughter also worked 20 hours a week while she attended UGA.

UGA guy
UGA guy

@class80olddog First, your daughter was admitted to UGA, but you still claim that we give preference to males. This seems odd to me. Second, we don't have a preference for AP over MOWR, and we state this a number of times (see http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2011/02/dual-enrollment-and-challenging.html for more details on my blog). We do not add weight to a GPA for MOWR courses, but that is due to a lack of consistency for these classes as compared to the national standardization of AP and IB. In fact, my son (a GT soph), took both AP courses and MOWR courses in his HS career. Why would I have him do that if we saw it as a negative? We want students to review their academic options carefully and determine which courses will challenge them, prepare them for college courses, and get them ready overall.


No one from UGA admissions has ever said that 75% of our class would be female if a review was only on academic areas, and quite simply this is both untrue and offensive to the parents and applicants (and admits) who are male. Ms. Downey has 2 HS seniors, one male and one female, and both are strong students. 


As for your final comments, I will not engage in this type of insult, sorry.

DoubleSubject
DoubleSubject

If those in UGA would work harder at getting out, there would be more room for those waiting to get in.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@DoubleSubject If UGA is as competitive as they say, taking only "the best of the best of the best", then their four-year graduation rate should be much higher than the average school. Or maybe they turned down some good scholars who would have graduated in four years.

UGA guy
UGA guy

@class80olddog @DoubleSubject I think you both should review the 4, 5 and 6 year graduation data both for colleges as a whole and UGA, as we are well above the average, and have a very strong rate of graduation.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@UGA guy @class80olddog @DoubleSubject UGA does have strong graduation rates. And the ability to graduate in four years is often predicated on finances, not academics. I know several bright students who had to take time off to work. HOPE covers less and less of the cost. The economic diversity in public colleges is far greater than peer private schools. 

I have been struck on my recent round of college tours to top elite privates with how similar applicants are. We toured with racially and geographically diverse students, but their parents were all affluent professionals. 

That may explain why the tours emphasized stuff that I would have found silly as a teen -- we heard all about the traditions and annual fun events. I was one of those kids who went to college with the sole intent of getting the degree I needed to land a job. I was 100 percent focused on whether my family could afford college and whether I could get out in less than four years. I told my twins I felt like we were were visiting elite prep schools rather than top-rated colleges with all the talk about how much fun the college was.