Hello Everyone,

My name is Jason Scroggins and I am the newest addition to the team of admissions counselors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I would like to take this time to tell you just a little bit about me, that you may get to know me a little better. I am from the greatest city in the United States: Baltimore. I grew up in Northwest Baltimore area and attended the Boy’s Latin School of Maryland. I then went on to complete my undergraduate study at Stevenson University, where I earned  my B.S. in Business Communication in May of 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate experience at Stevenson because I was involved in so many different activities and clubs. I was the President of the Public Relations Club, the Black Student Union, and M.I.L.E. (Male Initiative for Leadership and Success). I was also a member of the Men’s Basketball and Cross Country teams. In addition, I was a student ambassador, summer resident advisor, and an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Atheltes) member. My best experiences during college were the different internships that I was able to complete. My freshman year of college, I was a student intern for the Baltimore City Public School System in the information technology department. My sophomore year I was a Online Marketing Intern for an IT staffing agency called Allegis Group Services. My Junior year I was a Marketing Intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The summer after graduating from college, I lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, where I worked as an Intern at Dillard University in their admissions department. I learned a lot from the many different internship experiences that I had and I was able to make indispensable connections while building strong friendships. I began working at UMBC in the beginning of January and thus far it has been nothing short of a great experience. In just three short months, I have been able to do a lot of things and learn a lot from my collegues as well. I spent all of last week in Upstate New York doing college fairs and recruiting students. More specifically, I visited the cities of Rochester, Syracuse, Ithica, and I will be visiting the cities of Hartford (Connecticut), and New York City next week.


All in all, I have been enjoying my chance to be a part of the UMBC community and I look forward to meeting many of you!

Kind Regards,




Shout out to juniors!

While visiting a high school this morning, I was reminded that it’s that time of year when high school seniors, having heard back from colleges, are making their decisions about where they will be attending in the fall. Meanwhile, juniors are just beginning the college search. So, congratulations seniors and we hope UMBC is the place for you! But this is a shout out to the juniors, who are about to embark on a ride full of standardized tests, road trips, and open houses. Here are a few tips for beginning your college search!

1. Do some online searching

College Board will be your best friend for the next two years, starting with the actual search. It has a great search engine where you can filter categories that are important to you and provide you with colleges that match! It will also be the place where you register for the SAT or ACT—save the dates now!

2. Plan a visit

Once you’ve made your list, go to the schools’ websites to see when they offer campus tours or visit days. You’re about to spend money and four years somewhere—you should try it on before committing.

3. Check the requirements

Schools will list their admissions requirements on their website and you can start preparing now. Find out if the school uses Common Application; if it does, you could create your account—even start your essay! But most importantly, learn the deadlines!

4. Make an application plan

A lot of people don’t realize that you don’t have to apply to every school that’s out there—for one thing it can get expensive. Decide for yourself, and maybe with your parents, just how many applications you’re going to submit. Then, possibly after visiting, make the final list.

5. Attend Just for Juniors! (and sophomores too!)

On March 29, UMBC will host its annual Just for Juniors, a day that provides juniors and sophomores with an introduction to the college search with workshops, panels, and tours that will help you sort through the process.

You might go through these steps a few times as your list grows and shrinks, and that’s okay—it’s a long process—but hopefully having them will help you along the way.

See you at Just for Juniors!

Getting to know UMBC before May 1st!

From staff out on the road kicking off spring recruitment season, to our events team preparing for tonight’s Baltimore Reception, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation is buzzing with activity today! For those admitted students and families from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, and Howard counties: we are excited to welcome you to an evening where you can hear from UMBC’s President Dr. Hrabowski and enjoy conversation with faculty and staff, all while enjoying delicious desserts!

For those who have recently been admitted, please keep an eye out in the mail and in your e-mail for upcoming events that will allow you to get to know UMBC on a personal level before May 1st. One such event, which is bringing an array of our campus community together for YOU, is our New Student Day program on Saturday, April 12th! New students and their families who attend will enjoy chatting with our student clubs and organizations in the morning before listening to our very own performing groups and Dr. Hrawbowski’s address. The rest of the day with consist of special presentations on topics of interest, including: campus connections, getting started, UMBC and beyond.

So, whether it’s at one of our campus events, out in the community, or even in another state; UMBC is welcoming our new students and their families from near and far! We hope that you will take the opportunity to get to know why our campus is so special!

Pleased to meet you!

Hello out there, it’s your friendly neighborhood Visual & Performing Arts Admissions Counselor blogging to you for the first time! My name is Gabrielle and it’s my job to help those of you who are interested in art, music, dance, and theatre. But more on that later, first I’m going to tell you how I got to UMBC!

I grew up in central New Jersey and have been involved in the arts for as long as I can remember—from singing, to sewing, to stage crew, and more. Honestly, I was all over the place and could never really do just one thing.

By the time I started my college search, my plan was to become a set designer for theatre. Well, plans change; thanks to the many opportunities that a liberal arts college offered me, I was introduced to the world of curating and designed my own major to pursue such a career. I graduated with a B.A. in Integrated Art & Communications with a minor in Art History from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA.

From there, I became a member of the inaugural class in the Curatorial Practice M.F.A. program at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.  In two short years I had my hand in five curatorial projects, one of which led to my appointment as the part-time Museum Coordinator at Evergreen Museum & Library.  (You can find me there on the weekends!) So—much to my parents’ relief—I did find a job in my field, two actually!

And that is the shortest way to tell you how I got to UMBC!


Now, because I’m a visual person, here’s a photo from my junior year of high school (stage crew for Into the Woods) and a photo from my MICA graduation.

Fall 2014 Regular Decision Letters Sent!

Last week we released the first of our Regular Decision notification letters, and we will continue to mail decision letters on a weekly basis over the coming weeks and months.  If you haven’t received a letter yet, don’t worry!  When you submitted your application, and also when you completed your application file, will affect when you receive a decision letter. Please check your application status through myUMBC and be sure to allow time for processing and To Do List updating.

Many students contact us to ask what their decisions mean.  Regular Decision is the first time we release a range of decisions for fall applicants. With Early Action we admit or defer students, but during Regular Decision we offer admission to some, add others to the wait list, and unfortunately, notify some students that we cannot offer them admission. Below is a brief explanation of the various decisions we render.  Many thanks to my colleague Josh who first developed this guide!

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, please let us know.

Wait List: In a way, being placed on the wait list is not a decision at all: 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 begin to get a better idea of our incoming class and 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; rather the wait list will be reviewed as a whole when the time comes to begin our review. We 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, it 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. We 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.  We discourage students from trying to do either of these things. First of all, 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.  It is also important to remember that students rarely do something “wrong.” As mentioned earlier, we cannot offer admission to all of our applications.  We only have so much space in our incoming class and as such we have to make the decision not to 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 important note: 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 or sending the email. We know parents want to help, but it’s time for our soon-to-be college students to take control of their education.

All the best,


Apply Online By Valentines- What You Need to Know About UMBC’s FAFSA Deadline

There are so many things to look forward to as we begin the month of February- The Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, and UMBC’s FAFSA deadline!

Whether you have applied to UMBC as a freshman back in October or you are a transfer student who intends to apply within the coming weeks, your FAFSA must be submitted by Valentine’s Day- February 14th.

FAFSAFAFSA which stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step in making sure that you are considered for financial aid at UMBC. For an explanation of the types of aid that you may receive at UMBC, visit our Financial Aid and Scholarships website here.  While you are exploring the site, don’t forget to check out UMBC’s cost calculator.  Even if you are in the early stages of figuring out how to pay for college, this tool will provide you with some useful insights on the cost of earning a degree at UMBC.

Over these next two weeks, familiarize yourself with these resources and remember… Apply online by Valentine’s Day!


Spring fever, retriever

‘Spring is the air’ and yet, it was a frigid 15 degrees when I stepped out of my car this morning. The second day of classes has commenced on campus and the admissions and orientation crew is working hard with other offices to make sure our newly admitted students are getting the help they need to begin their very own UMBC adventure. Mini orientations are under way for our recently admitted students and the admissions committee is hard at work reading, reading, reading for our Fall 2014 applicants!

Spring is an exciting time because it is a time of renewal and starting fresh! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Maybe your resolution was to turn a new leaf and improve your GPA, or maybe you want to get more organized and actually GO to those study sessions.  UMBC offers several opportunities to get set and make the most of this year! Check out the Learning Resource Center’s (LRC) website and get started on the right foot this semester http://www.umbc.edu/lrc/

Or maybe your resolution was to get involved to make a difference on campus or in the community! Check out all the opportunities that UMBC offers for students to engage by visiting the website for http://shrivercenter.umbc.edu/  or http://osl.umbc.edu/activities/.

Whether you’re a returning student, a brand new student, or a future retriever, UMBC works hard to make sure students are engaged in their education and in their community. Let the semester begin, UMBC is ready to SPRING into action.

Freshman Deadline Approaching

It’s an exciting time of year in UMBC’s Admissions Office.  Winter Session is coming to an end; the Spring semester begins next week; and prospective freshman continue to submit applications for Fall admission.  The regular decision deadline for freshman applications is fast approaching.  On February 1, the Committee will devote its full attention to evaluating these applications.  Like much of the region, we’ve been hit pretty hard by snow and wind this week, but we’ve kept reading and reading.  We hope your semester is going well, and we anxiously look forward to the first signs of the warmer weather to come!

Photo by Callison Sims '13

Photo by Callison Sims ’13.

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