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Incoming UGA freshmen are shown at the Freshman Orientation Organizations Fair at the Ramsey Student Center on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The Organizations Fair gives freshmen the opportunity to take a first look at the myriad number of extra-curriculars offered at the University of Georgia. (Photo/Casey Sykes, www.caseysykes.com)

The college application process is no walk in the park. In addition to the high school grind, students are charging through applications to pursue their ambitions for higher education.

Applications for the University of Georgia’s early action admissions program closed on Oct. 15 — or for those impacted by Hurricane Michael, Oct. 22.

But neither busy schedules nor inclement weather nor the approaching holiday season stopped aspiring Bulldogs.

“I was eager to start the college process, especially with a school I really saw myself going to,” said Larry Yan, a freshman who was accepted early in 2017.

Approximately 17,000 students in-state and nationwide applied for early action, a 2,000 applicant increase from last year. According to the UGA Admissions Blog, this is a spike in applications and enough to inhibit the predictability of this year’s upcoming regular decision data.

Of those applicants, 7,556, or about 44.5 percent, were greeted with the UGA admission website’s triumphant fireworks on Nov. 16. 6,900+ were deferred, 2,000 denied and slightly under 500 incomplete. Last year, about 53 percent of early action applicants received admission.

“It took me a solid second to realize that I had gotten in, but it was an exhale of excitement and relief that I got in,” Yan said.

The middle 50 percent of GPAs for acceptees ranged from 4.07-4.33, roughly a .07 point increase from last year. The SAT mid-range was 1360-1490 and the ACT mid-range was 31-34.

The admissions process for early action is different than that of regular decision. While early action applicants fill out the same application as regular decision applicants, admission is based solely on an evaluation of their grades and test scores, allowing for a quick turnover of results.

While some may consider being admitted based only on raw numerical data “harder” than the holistic process of regular decision, the actual rigor of admissions does not change. In other words, early action is technically no harder than regular decision in regards to the acceptance process.

In addition to considering grades, curriculum and test scores,“Regular Decision applications are reviewed … with secondary consideration given to intellectual pursuits, creative endeavors and intercultural experiences; public service, co-curricular activities, community involvement, leadership and family commitments; integrity and personal maturity,” UGA’s Admission Myths page says. “Ultimately, students are encouraged to gauge which decision plan will provide the best opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and achievements.”

However, UGA Admissions does advise students who do not fall within previous years’ mid-ranges for early action to apply via regular decision.

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