The University of Georgia (UGA) is a highly competitive public research university located in Athens, Georgia. UGA is one of the oldest universities in the United States, founded in 1785, and has a reputation for academic excellence. In fact, the 2019 News & World Report ranked UGA the 13th best public university in the country.
UGA is often cited as having an acceptance rate of 48 or 49 percent; however, the acceptance rate for the class of 2023 was around 45 percent.
All of this means: getting accepted to UGA is difficult. However, if you keep certain strategies in mind, you’ll have a better chance of admission.
Aim for a 4.0 GPA.
According to UGA’s admissions page, “The academic review of first-year applications centers on three criteria: the students’ grade point average (GPA) in core academic courses, the rigor of a student’s course selection, and his or her best combination of scores on the SAT or ACT.”
UGA has high standards when it comes to GPA. The average GPA of the admitted class of 2023 was 4.0. This means that if your school offers AP or IB courses that can raise your GPA above 4.0, you’ll want to take those classes and score well. If your school does not offer higher than a 4.0, you will need to get as close to that 4.0 as you possibly can to compete.
Take challenging courses in high school.
Based on the second criterion UGA mentions on its admissions website, UGA admissions officers also look for students who have challenged themselves with rigorous coursework in high school.
In fact, 99 percent of admitted applicants for the class of 2023 took at least one advanced level course, meaning AP, IB, or Dual Enrollment.
If you know you will not do well in a harder class, you might want to rethink taking it and aim for the high GPA. However, know that UGA admissions officers are taking notice of effort and want to see that students are challenging themselves in high school. Take courses that challenge and excite you, and you will likely do well.
Try for high standardized test scores.
UGA’s third criterion for first-year students is a high combination of standardized test scores, meaning the ACT and SAT.
The middle 50 percent of admitted first-year students for the class of 2023 scored between 1300 and 1460 on their SAT, between 1500 and 1540 for honors students. That same middle 50 percent of admitted students to graduate in 2023 scores between 30 and 34 on their ACT, between 33 and 35 for honors students.
However, UGA dispels common first-year admission myths about UGA on its website and suggests that though test scores do play a role, the admissions team considers the whole of a student’s application. Though the middle 50 percent’s test scores serve as a great guide, the UGA website states that those statistics do not tell the entire story of who gets admitted.
Moreover, with the Covid-19 pandemic making testing more difficult, UGA’s admissions team will likely take those challenges into account, at least for students who have been affected and have not been able to take the SAT or ACT to raise their scores.
Write a compelling personal statement.
UGA accepts the Common App or Coalition App, both of which require a personal statement of around 650 words. This personal statement will help you tell the story of who you are as a student and what you can bring to the UGA community.
You’ll want to make your personal statement as strong as possible. NSHSS offers scholarship application tips and advice, and the tips on preparing a scholarship essay also apply to writing your personal statement for college.
If you need extra help preparing your college application essay, plenty of services exist to provide support for students. For instance, Prompt.com offers online support through a network of experienced editors. You can also ask your guidance counselor, teachers, and talented writers among your family and friends for guidance as you prepare an essay that tells your authentic story.
Rank at the top of your class.
Though ranking at the top of your high school senior class is not required to get into UGA, it certainly helps.
According to UGA’s website, the top two graduates from every SACS-accredited high school in Georgia will be guaranteed admission to UGA as long as they meet certain requirements.
About 5 percent of first-year students admitted to the class of 2023 were ranked either first or second in their class.
At the end of the day, all you can do is continue to be yourself. UGA, like all universities, want to admit students from diverse backgrounds with various passions and interests. So, keep enjoying your passions and showcase them through your application with your essays and activities lists.
UGA is a tough school to get into; however, their admissions officers want a well-rounded student body, not just students who all have the same talents and abilities. Be your authentic self, and work hard, and you might just get into UGA!