EARLY ACTION DECISIONS HAVE BEEN SENT!

As many of you discovered today, we’ve started to release our Early Action notification letters. Many of the letters sent on Wednesday were for students who applied before our Early Action Deadline (November 1). We will be sending Regular Decision notification letters in late February. The timing of when you submitted your application, and also when you completed your application, have an impact on when you will receive your decision letter. Please be sure to check your application status online to ensure that you have completed your application. When checking your status, make sure you allow processing time for your application and online checklist to be updated.

Now a few notes on decision letters. Below, you will find a bit of advice on decisions.

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Admitted to UMBC: Congratulations! Being offered admission to a college or university is an exciting experience, especially if this is the first college decision letter you’ve received. In your UMBC admission packet you will find a variety of information about the campus and a future at UMBC. Later in the spring we’ll host several receptions and events, on-campus and off, for admitted students to get to know UMBC. May 1 is the national deadline to submit an enrollment deposit so take some time to consider what school will be the best fit for you. Also, feel free to share your decision with friends and family, but keep in mind that not everyone received this decision. If you have questions for us, feel free to get in touch.

Wait List: In a way, being placed on the wait list is a non-decision; you’ve not been offered admission, nor have you been denied admission. We place students on the wait list for further review as we learn more about our enrollment numbers. Essentially, as more students submit their enrollment deposit to UMBC we have a better idea of our incoming class and we can determine if we can admit students from the wait list. Additional academic information is welcome from wait list applicants, this can include mid-year grades or additional test scores. We do not assign students a number on the wait list, the wait list will be reviewed as a whole when we get to the point of reviewing the wait list. I don’t have an exact notification date for wait list students but we do our best to send decisions by the end of May.

Not offered admission to UMBC: This, of course, is the hardest decision to receive. Believe it or not, this is also the hardest decision to give. We truly value our applicants but the reality of college admissions is that we cannot admit all of our applicants. In the last few years UMBC has experienced significant growth in our applicant pool, and this larger applicant pool has becoming increasingly competitive. I often see students do two things when they receive this decision: 1) try to compare their application with other students, and 2) try to rack their brains on what they “did wrong” on their application. I discourage students from trying to do either of these things. For the first point, it is very difficult to compare students to one another because we consider each applicant individually. As admissions counselors we have the entire application, and while the exact criteria and review process for applications is kept internal, suffice it to say that we consider many factors. For the second point, students rarely do something “wrong.” As mentioned earlier, we cannot offer admission to all of our applications. There exists a reality that we only have so much space in our incoming class and therefore, because of numbers, we have to make decisions to not offer admission to some students. If you’re not offered admission please know that you can still attend UMBC later down the line by transferring.

Next Steps: Plenty of emotions come with receiving decision letters from colleges. We’re very excited to get to know our admitted students over the next few months, and we hope to see you here in the fall. If you were placed on the wait list or not offered admission, please know we are still here as a resource. We’re happy to guide you through the process and clear up any questions you may have. One note I would make, if you do want to follow up with an application decision we want to hear from the student. Family members, we appreciate you, but your student should be making the call, sending the email, etc. We know you want to help, parents, but this is a time for your about-to-be-a-college-student to take the reigns.

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As always, let us know if you have questions. Take care!

Applications Update!

Happy Tuesday UMBC Applicants!

Before I begin this week’s blog, I want to share a quick joke with you:

a. Why did the high school senior throw his watch out the window?

b. Why didn’t the Skeleton go to senior prom?

(Answers are found at the end of the blog)

The application engine needed a little bit of oiling to get started, but now it is humming away. Early Action and Spring Transfer applications are rolling in and making their way through our processing area (being downloaded from Common App, being matched with accompanying materials, etc.). We do ask for a little bit of your patience, as we work hard to get decisions out to each student in a timely manner. We are updating our systems frequently, so each day new applications are received from the Common App and will trigger the initial “we have received your application” email to you. Likewise, once your application is complete, it will undergo review.

Keep in mind we are also focusing our efforts first on Early Action applications, than spring transfer applications, then Regular Decision applications and finally Fall Transfer applications.  So if you’re a Regular Decision or Fall Transfer applicant, we may not process your application at this point as quickly as someone who’s applied for Early Decision or Spring Transfer.

When we are processing applications and documents and your application remains incomplete, we will send you an email to let you know what we’re missing and how to submit it.  So please check your email in-boxes frequently. We will launch those decisions as soon as our process can run its course.  Early action applicants can expect to receive an admissions communication in mid to late December.

Stay tuned for more on our UMBC Undergraduate Admissions Blog for more information!

ANSWER A.) He wanted to see time fly!

ANSWER B.) He did not have any body to take!

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(Please, please, do not laugh too hard.)

Clean the Corners

Hello Future Retrievers! Today, I want to share with you all a phrase that a previous supervisor of mine used a great deal and will benefit you while completing your high school career. What’s this phrase you ask? It’s called, “Clean the Corners.” I never knew what it meant, until I asked for some enlightenment. When you are cleaning your house or your room, sometimes you are in a rush and only straighten up.  It doesn’t take long, but you make sure it looks good. Typically, one can tell if someone took the time to clean or just rushed through by checking the corners. If the corners are swept and clean, they put care into it; if not, the room is unfortunately still dirty.

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This is the time of year where many high school students do just enough to get by, and start to relax just a little bit too much. This is known to many of you as SENIORITIS! Students begin to let their school work take a back end to their social lives because their applications are in to their prospective schools and they believe that they are on their way. Yes Future Retrievers, it is true, you and your fellow classmates are on your way to gaining slight independence, but you have to finish high school strong first!

When I danced in college, we had 10 minute half- time shows…that’s a really long time by the way. I would start out with so much energy because of the adrenaline of performing in front of thousands of people. After my team and I did our dance feature, my energy would plummet and I had to find the strength to finish the half-time show with a BANG or the entire performance would be a waste. With that being said, do not forget to “clean the corners!”  You have to give that one last kick, and finish your high school career with a BANG.

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*Remember, the UMBC admissions office looks at your final transcript as the last part of the application process.*

YOU CAN DO IT!

Stay Healthy!

There is NO fun in being sick, especially while you’re in college. In general, college students are very busy people with extremely stressful schedules. While I was in college, I played two varsity sports; I was involved in over five clubs and the president of two campus organizations. On top of all of this, I also had to balance a part time job as well. At some point in college, you may feel stressed out or burned out, and this can eventually cause you to get sick. It has happened to me time and time again: I overwork myself and end up with headaches and an awful cold.

I made a vow to myself that I would do all that I can to prevent myself from stress, burnout, and getting sick. Here is a list of five important tips to help you stay healthy in college.

1.) WORK OUT!

I’m an extremely active person. I love running, playing basketball, lifting weights and anything else that can get me moving. However, with such busy schedules, working out is usually the first thing a college student will cut out. I was fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it LOL) to have had mandatory basketball practices each morning at 5:00AM and 4:30PM so I was always in great shape. Now that I have graduated from college, I still make time to work out. In an attempt to maintain my health and shape, I schedule specific days during the week to work out in some way. Whether it means just going to lift weights on my own or running two miles in the fitness center or going to play pick up ball at LA fitness. I always make time and I want to encourage you to do the same as you all approach your freshman year of college. Find something that you love to do that keeps you active! It will help you stay healthy AND relieve stress.

If He can work out, then you can too:

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2.)CREATE A BALANCED DIET!

Your diet is a great way to ensure that you are staying healthy in college. It’s so easy and convenient to pick up chick-fil-a (I must confess, I am downright guilty of this) or to have a few of the palatable cookies from the cafeteria as well. If you begin to start thinking more about eating healthier foods, then you will be less likely to become sick. You can do this by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. The next trip that you make to the grocery store can be the beginning of your commitment to healthier foods. Try to substitute some of the junk food purchases with apples or carrots. Try to purchase cereal bars, or mixed bags of nuts and fruits. Not only are they healthy, but they are very convenient to grab on the way out the door. It’s also a great idea to substitute a couple of those cans of soda or coffee with water. Decreasing your caffeine intake will help you sleep better at night! TRY IT OUT!

DONT BE THIS GUY:

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3.) CATCH SOME Z’s!

I am very talented in the art of sleeping. In fact, I may enjoy sleeping a tad bit more than I should (LOL) but then again, who doesn’t enjoy a nice night of counting sheep. My teammates and friends in college would always make fun of me for going to bed early. I would usually be in bed by 9:30p.m. or 10:00p.m. each night, especially the day before a test or exam. A lot of times, I would stay up later to study or complete homework, but I always try to manage to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Every person’s body is different; some people can work off of less sleep than others. Listen to your body and give it the right amount of sleep. Sleeping enough at night helps you remember the information you retained during the day. So, do your best to get enough sleep when you can.

DONT BE THIS GUY

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4.) DESTRESS!

Some may like yoga, some like to vibe to music, and some chose other activities that reduce stress. My outlets to relax and relieve stress in college were Netflix, NBA2K, and listening to music. A good Netflix movie was a great way for me to relax after a long week of work, practice, games, and tests. I would play my teammates and friends in NBA2k and this was a great way for us to relax.  My stress relievers are not going to be the answers to everyone’s problems, but the point is that you need to find your “happy place” to go to when the weight of being college students is lying on your shoulders. You could try Zumba, running, skating, or anything that will allow you to refresh and calm down. A stress-free life starts with staying healthy!

What’s your stress releiver going to be?

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When The Seasons Change…

I have now completed my first travel season for the Fall of 2014. I have learned a great deal and have truly grown from the experience of traveling the roads of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But now, it’s TRANSITION TIME. I am looking forward to the next step in the role of being an admissions counselor, reading.

Do you know what we are looking for? What exactly our job is? Our job is to make sure that any student we admit has the potential to be a successful UMBC student. The first thing we look at is academic history and standardized test scores to get an understanding of what you have done in the past. We will then look at your anticipated major and see if your academic history aligns with your strengths, so if you tell us you are interested in engineering we will look at your math and science courses; if you say you are interested in psychology or another social science we will look at your writing skills and writing intense courses. The other thing we look at is to see if you will be a good fit for our community. We do this through letters of recommendation, your essay, and any outside activities you have be involved with. We also look to see if you have initiative and drive or have taken on any leadership roles on campus or in your community. Our students are an active and vibrant group that care about one another and are dedicated to their studies so we want all incoming students to fit in well with our community.

I know that you all have what it takes to be Retrievers! The Early Action deadline is on Saturday… that’s like tomorrow!!! Also, don’t forget to schedule a visit! You can do so by clicking here!

Here are some pictures from my travel season below. Enjoy!

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Remember to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ UMBCadmissions for upcoming events, information, and more for the admissions staff!

Relationships!

Before I went on the road, I heard stories from the UMBC Admissions staff about all of the people they met and all of the fun they had while on recruitment travel. I thought to myself, “There is no way that you could have that much fun while driving from one high school to the next and standing at college fairs all night long. There’s no time to have fun.” Boy was I wrong! I have met so many wonderful people. I have been able to absorb any and all knowledge passed my way whether it is from seasoned counselors, new counselors, guidance counselors, or principals. Every person told me that this profession is all about the relationships you make . . . and to never eat alone.

I have made some amazing relationships with admissions counselors across nation. We all have the same personality for the most part. We are a bunch of extroverts who love interacting and helping people. I mean of course we do, we’re all in admissions! So overall, I am having an amazing time on the road. Being able to cultivate relationships with people has made this chapter of my life very rewarding. You never know how these relationships will benefit my future.

Below is a picture of the group counselors at the end of one of the PACAC college fairs. The University of Massachusetts Amherst counselor had to fulfill one of the requirements for her office’s travel challenge, which called for a “selfie” with the most admissions counselors in it. Hope you enjoy!

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You’re Invited!

Future Retrievers… Are you looking for something fun to do next Friday? Mark your calendars because on Friday, October 17th I’m inviting YOU to Retriever Day! Get your first look at life at UMBC by spending the morning with our amazing students, award-winning faculty, and our awesome admissions staff!

Come early! We have breakfast covered and our A-Team will be here to greet you when you arrive. Jump on a campus tour, attend one of our classes, and learn more about our programs from the experts at one of our many information sessions. These are just a few opportunities that will be available to you on Retriever Day, don’t miss your chance to visit our campus and discover all that UMBC has to offer! Sign up here!

Tour Guides

See you at Retriever Day!

-Lisa

A UMBC Admissions Tradition

Today I went from Baltimore to Carroll to Frederick to PG County for high school visits and college fairs, and it’s been great to meet so many awesome students who want to learn more about UMBC.

We talk about campus traditions a lot—from Convocation to rubbing the nose of the True Grit statue on campus—but today I thought I’d share a tradition that most people don’t hear about.

In UMBC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Orientation we have the tradition of passing off a stuffed animal True Grit at our full staff meeting to a member of staff who’s done excellent work or really stood out in the previous month.

The fun part is that we decorate True Grit to match the recipient’s personality. So when Mito, who’s originally from Waco, TX, received True Grit a few months back, the little guy was holding a Lone Star flag and an avocado (Mito’s guacamole is universally recognized at the absolute best around). When Terisa passed on True Grit to me last month, he had a cool UMBC button and some truly outstanding socks (my sock game is strong).

Yesterday it was my turn to pass True Grit on and the choice was obvious. You already know Christine from her wildly upbeat and always interesting blog posts; the cool thing is that she’s like that in real life, too!

Gabrielle and I put together a little costume for True Grit to pay tribute to what a great dancer Chris is. We’re so happy Chris is with our office and look forward to all the great work she’ll do as our newest Admissions Counselor.

Here's Gritty all dolled up for the ballet.

Here’s Gritty all dolled up for the ballet.

Way to go, Chris! The ball’s in your court for next month :)

LIFE ON THE ROAD

I am enlightened! Being on the road gives me a new perspective on life. Being alone for the majority of the time has made me find a new best friend . . . ME!  I never thought that I would find pleasure in the small things, like going to Barnes and Noble to purchase a book (I’m reading Fool Me Twice by Robert B. Parker), sitting outside to look at the scenery (especially in the rural parts of Pennsylvania),  and so much more.

I am in week four of my first recruitment travel season! I am almost half way done. HOW CRAZY IS THAT!! It’s going by fast, and I feel like in a blink of an eye, I’m going to be back in the office. I know they’ve missed me.  I have truly begun to come into my own in the world of admissions, and have made relationships with other admissions counselors, high school students, and most importantly, guidance counselors at most of the high schools that I have visited. Every day I notice that I am making a difference in these students’ lives. When I see their eyes light up while I am giving a presentation, when they are eager to ask questions, when I am finished my presentation and they clap, it makes my heart flutter and I feel fulfilled.

I am blessed to have this opportunity to effect change in other people’s lives. My main purpose in life is to give back to those in need or who are seeking guidance.  Below you’ll see a picstitch of some of my favorite moments on the road. Don’t forget to follow the admissions staff on Twitter and Instagram @UMBCAdmissions and look at “The Selfies of Christine’s Life on the Road Adventures.”

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I’ll get better at my selfie taking I promise!

#FlashbackFriday – Study Abroad Edition

It’s September and for us admissions counselors that means it’s time to leave UMBC and hit the road! For me, the new school year comes with a new recruitment territory and new adventures.  Instead of traveling back to my home state of New Jersey, I’ll be roaming the roads of Northern Virginia and Washington, DC hoping to meet all of you!

In the spirit of #FlashbackFriday , I thought I would go way back to one of my favorite college memories – studying abroad in Paris in the fall of 2007. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I woke up every morning to a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower , traveled all over Europe with some of my best friends, and completely immersed myself in the culture of a city far from home .

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That was a small snapshot of my study abroad experience. Now I’m daring you to discover your own right here at UMBC!

Our Study Abroad Office is committed to helping UMBC students find programs that best suit their personal and academic to interests. It’s never too early to start looking at what we have to offer. Check out the Study Abroad Office website here .You can also follow the office on Twitter @UMBCStudyAbroad for instant updates on all things study abroad at UMBC. Have a question? Contact your admissions counselor or visit us on campus at one of our admissions events . You never know where your UMBC journey might take you. It’s time to get started!

-Lisa