In addition to the decisions being available on the Status page, letters will go out in the mail for Accepted students. Freshman denial letters will not be mailed out, as almost all applicants see their decisions online, and we, along with a number of colleges, did not want to have a letter that only served to reinforce the negative feelings they might already have.
Here are a few suggestions on how to react to the four different decisions:
Admit: Celebrate with family, buy a lot of UGA gear to wear for the Thanksgiving break, but remember that not everyone has received a decision of admission, and so be a little more low-key with friends and classmates. In other words, do not run up to you best friend during English class and scream "I got into Georgia" while 10-15 of your classmates are mentally creating new and painful ways for you to meet your doom. In addition, be patient with the other parts of campus (commitment deposit, housing, the UGA myID system, etc.), as they might need a few days to take in your information. Remember, it takes a little while for information to flow to other offices. Read the materials we give you online and in an acceptance packet as it will instruct you on what to do next.
Defer: This is the most challenging one, as these are applicants who are truly strong students, but we want to see more about them, as well as the rest of the applicant pool, before making a final decision. Please remember, this is not a denial at all, but instead a way for us to be able to review you in full, from your co-curricular activities, your essays, and your recommendations. As I usually state, defer is not a four-letter word (even though you might feel this way), only a delay in an admission decision. This is the time in which we are able to look at your overall application, as we have time to do holistic reads from December through mid-March. While this is probably not the answer you would like, I would suggest you treat it as a call-back for a second audition. Some roles have already been cast (or admitted), and we now want to look at you in more detail to see how you compare to the rest of the people auditioning (or applying). One of the worst things is to call us up and berate us for not admitting you. We will be happy to talk to people, but make sure to communicate in a positive tone, understand that we cannot talk about other applicants, and again please remember that defer does not mean denial. One step you can take is to make sure we have received a recommendation from a teacher in an academic area (it is optional but we suggest having one sent in). A second step is to give us any updates through an update form you will see on your status page. This could be fall grades (when you know them), a new activity, job or leadership role, or anything you want to add to your file. Remember, UGA is in no way done with the overall freshman admission process. We still have a long way to go, with a great deal of files to read and admission offers to make, so just be patient.
Deny: While this is not a fun situation at all, the reality is that if you have been denied Early Action, you are truly not competitive for admission at UGA as compared to the rest of the applicant pool. It is not easy to write that, and it is very difficult to tell this to a student or parent, but when we look at this student's application in comparison with the other 14,500-plus early action applicants (and remember, we expect to get over 10,000 Regular Decision applicants as well), they do not match up academically with the others. It is better to tell you now instead of waiting until late March, as this gives you time to make other plans.
Incomplete: For the small number of students who did not complete your EA file, you are now automatically deferred to the next step, and so you will need to get in the missing materials from EA, (remember the teacher recommendation is optional but we suggest also having one sent in). We went three-plus weeks beyond the deadline allowing you to get in the missing documents, sending reminder emails, indicating what was missing through the Status page, and it was your responsibility to get in the required materials.