Letter Release!

Letters!What a wonderful time of year for Admissions folks! I went from months of travel, spanning North Carolina to Virginia Beach and all over Maryland, to hours of reading YOUR applications. I have been impressed with this year’s applicants, and truly enjoyed reading about your personal stories, contributions to your communities and hard academic work! My favorite part about this whole process is getting to meet so many wonderful students and then helping them through this process. Having hours and hours of hard work culminate in a pile of about 4,300 letters sent to students accross the country and throughout the entire world, is quite the visual. See for yourself!

You have all been waiting patiently, and I am proud to announce that UMBC’s Early Action letters were released yesterday! Everyone in the Admissions Office has been working hard over the past several weeks to get these letters safely to your doors, and we thank you for your patience and diligence in the working with us through Common App troubles and residency updates!

When you start receiving your admissions letters, remember to share your excitement by using the hashtag #UMBCadmit on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram!

Coming Soon: Early Action Decision Letters

I’m seeing the question through phone calls, tweets, emails, and blog comments: When are Early Action decision letters coming?! Soon, my friends…soon.

I know you all worked really hard to submit your applications by November 1, and I promise we’ve been working hard to review those applications. Once your applications arrive we have to process your application and all supporting documents, then your file moves forward for review. Our admissions counseling staff reads every completed application that is submitted, and this year for Early Action that was over 4,500 applications. That means we’re reviewing all 4,500+ applications in a month and a half. Whew! Trust me, that keeps us quite busy.

Now, I tell you that number just to give perspective, not to make excuses. We definitely appreciate your patience, we all know what it is like to wait for those college decisions. Our official notification for Early Action decisions is through the letter we mail. For the Early Action review we send offers of admission, and notification that an application has been deferred to Regular Decision for further consideration. If you receive a deferral letter, don’t be discouraged, our Early Action application period is more competitive than Regular Decision. As I mentioned, Early Action letters are going out soon, and while we don’t provide an exact date you’ll here from us (since, ya know, we use snail mail), you can expect notification before the end of December.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your applications and getting to know next year’s potential class. If you’re still a little anxious, here is a link I’ve provided in the past to help ease a little stress. Enjoy!

When you start receiving your admissions letters, be sure to share your excitement on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram using the hashtag #UMBCadmit

November 1: Our Fall 2014 Early Action Deadline

Well we’ve reached that time of year again, our first deadline for Fall freshmen applicants- the November 1 Early Action deadline. I can tell by the number of calls and emails we’re receiving in our office that you’re anxious, which is normal, but I assure you that you’ll make it through the application process with flying colors. Below are a few of the inquiries we’re currently receiving:

Do all of my items need to be in your office by the deadline?
We require that your application and supporting documents be submitted via Common App by the end of the day on November 1 (technically you have until 11:59 p.m., but why wait that long), or if you’re mailing something to the office, it will simply need to be postmarked by the 1st.

I submitted my application and received your confirmation email, but my myUMBC account shows that items I submitted are missing. What’s up with that? Should I resend stuff?
Once we receive your application and supporting documents we’ll need time to process everything. We have to make sure all these application documents are where they need to be, and then we’ll have to update your online checklist. If you’ve sent everything (or had it sent from your school) you’ve done your part, now you just need to wait for us to process those items. Don’t resend anything (we’ll already have thousands of applications and documents), just allow a few weeks for processing, and if you still see an item on your checklist in mid-to-late November, reach out to our office.

Is there a Writing Supplement to apply to UMBC?
If you’re applying to UMBC you will only see a Writing Supplement on the Common App if you answered “Yes” to being interested in consideration for the Honors College. The Writing Supplement is the application to the Honors College program, and it can be submitted separately from your application for Undergraduate Admission. There are no additional Writing Supplements for the Undergraduate Admissions application.

What should I do if I’m having technical issues with my Common App account?
To resolve any technical issues with your Common App you will need to work with the Help Center of the Common App. Some students are not experiencing any issues and can submit just fine, while others have experienced minor issues like overloaded servers (try submitting at another time, but also a reason to not wait to submit) or other technical issues that need to be fixed by the Common App team. If you have an issue that the Common App team is fixing that prevents you from submitting your application, you can reach out to our office as well.

As you contact our office for assistance we’ll do our best to respond in a timely manner. However, given the increase in inquiries around our deadline, we thank you for your patience. We’re looking forward to reading your applications! Calm your stresses if you can and enjoy your senior year!

Be One Step Closer to UMBC

Hello from the Garden State!

We are just about half way through our busy travel season where we leave UMBC behind to visit high schools near and far and meet with our future Retrievers.

Hopefully you’ve gotten your first glimpse of UMBC from our admissions team at a high school visit or college fair.  So what’s next? In addition to conquering the Common Application (November 1st will be here soon), plan a trip to visit us on campus for one of our admissions events!

Below are two programs that we’ve created just for you.


Is UMBC the school for me? Come find out at our Retriever Visit Days! This program will get you on campus, in the classroom, and pumped about the possibility of becoming a UMBC student.

Event Dates:

Monday, November 11th

Friday, December 6th

Sign Up

Sample Schedule


Are you serious about STEM? Considering applying to one of UMBC’s Scholars programs for students who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math? UMBC’s  CWIT, Cyber, Meyerhoff and Sherman Scholars programs will be hosting a STEM Scholars Preview Day on Monday, November 4th.

Visit the CWIT website for more information on how to SIGN UP for this can’t – miss event!

See you on campus soon!


From Vacation to Orientation- Summer is Almost Here!

It’s been almost a week since my extended Memorial Day vacation ended. After spending the past two weeks on the picture-perfect beaches of Hawaii, I’m ready for summer.  Though I’m slightly depressed that I won’t be waking up every morning and climbing mountains that overlook the crystal-clear Pacific, I’m super excited that ORIENTATION IS LESS THAN ONE WEEK AWAY!

(Not a postcard) Took this gem myself!

(Not a postcard) Took this gem myself!

Yes, this is one of our favorite times of the year as we get to reconnect with the favorite familiar faces of our incoming students and your families. We’ve read your applications, welcomed you to our community at New Student Day and now you officially begin the next chapter of your life as a UMBC Retriever at orientation.

For those of you who still haven’t signed up, time is ticking away and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this great opportunity to get to know your future classmates and select your courses for the fall. You’ll meet with our OPA’s , take your first crack at belting out our fight song, and if you so choose, leave the day with a souvenir to commemorate your experience!

If you’re reading this thinking that orientation sounds fun but you can’t wait until September to begin your UMBC experience, check out our Freshman Excursion.  Complete with campfires, caving, and plenty of time to connect with your future classmates and some of the coolest people at UMBC (our orientation staff), this will be an experience that you will not forget. This three day program runs from July 23rd- July 25th and spots are filling up quick!

For information on how to sign up for these experiences visit our orientation site here!  Orientation 2013

See you soon!


Graduation Season!

The weather in Maryland can be pretty crazy. In fact this is the first week around here that I think we can all agree has truly felt like May. The combination of ninety degree weather, the sunshine, and the slight breeze has all of us in the office eating lunch outside and craving summer activities.

With the rain and chilly weather last week it was hard to believe that it was already late May. Which means that, like most years, graduation snuck up on us! Our latest class of graduates walked across the stage last week and are now preparing for their futures after UMBC. Some are staying in the Baltimore-DC area to begin jobs, internships, or graduate school, while others are taking off across the world to begin their futures.

Check out some of the amazing things our graduates are doing by checking out the Class of 2013 website. We’re certainly proud of all of our grads and wish them the best of luck in their futures. And to those of you who are graduating from high school in the coming weeks, congratulations!! You’re well on your way to an amazing future. And we’re here to help you get there.


New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania (Oh My!)

What a week! As usual this month is shaping to be very busy for us in the Admissions Office. I’m currently writing from Long Island where I just met many of you this morning (and will continue to meet you all throughout the next few weeks!).

I’m having a bit of déjà vu as I was just here last week. A bunch of us from the office traveled to New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to greet those of you from those areas. We heard a lot of great stories and questions and had a lot of fun at the receptions. Some of you are prospective students and some of you are already admitted to UMBC. Here are some pictures of the admitted students from the receptions with our director, Dale. Make sure you stop by our table at the various fairs throughout the next few weeks and say hi!

Dale and the admitted students in New Jersey.

Dale and the admitted students in New Jersey.

Dale and the admitted students in New York.

In Pennsylvania we had the reception at the Mercer Museum, which looks like a castle. It was really cool to walk around the interior and learn about some of the local history. I would definitely recommend it if you are ever near Doylestown, PA!

Mercer Museum/Hogwarts

Mercer Museum/Hogwarts

Financial Aid Packages Now Available for Fall 2013 Students

Are you a Fall 2013 admitted student? Did you apply for financial aid using the FAFSA by February 14? Yes?! Well then I have some good news: the Office of Financial Aid has posted financial aid award notifications. Your financial aid information can be accessed via your myUMBC student account, and if you have any questions feel free to connect with your Financial Aid Counselor.

Office of Financial Aid

Happy Spring!

So I know I haven’t written in a few weeks, but I swear it’s for a good reason! We’ve all been traveling a lot to college fairs throughout our different regions and – more recently – inviting you to campus for several events! The spring is always a fantastic time to get to know colleges better and we’re here to answer any questions you might have.

In the spirit of celebrating the admissions life, a bunch of us went to the opening night of the movie Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. This was most definitely not a documentary about our career field, but it was enjoyable anyway. Here’s a picture of us acting goofy before the show began:

Kena, Jaime, Julie, and I all thought we were on a roller coaster.

Kena, Jaime, Julie, and I all thought we were on a roller coaster.

We were of course super organized about this whole thing and all of us had our pre-printed tickets ready to go BEFORE we got to the theater. It was a fantastic time and the camaraderie really reminded us of why we love working in this field.

By the way, if you’ve seen the film, know that it’s not the most accurate representation of how colleges review applications. I can only really speak for our process, but we do review applicants as a whole person and most definitely do not drop them through trap doors in the floor. If you haven’t seen the film, it is a typical romantic comedy (which we here love), so we’d recommend it.

Happy spring and enjoy your Spring Break!

Summer 2013 Orientation Registration Now Available

Just wanted to check in with a short announcement: Orientation and Placement Testing registration is now available to all Fall 2013 admitted students! Admitted students can access the Orientation registration through their myUMBC accounts, or by clicking on the following link: https://secure.vzorientation.com/UMBC/

I would encourage students to take a look at our Orientation website. On the Orientation website you’ll also find a link to the UMBC Class of 2017 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UMBCClassOf2017

Orientation 2013