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!

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

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:

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:

Orientation 2013

Fall 2013 Regular Decision Letter Release

As many of you discovered today, we’ve started to release our Regular Decision notification letters. Many of the letters sent Monday were for students who had been deferred from Early Action so don’t fret if you haven’t received a letter from our office yet. We will be sending Regular Decision notification letters on a weekly basis over the next several weeks/months. 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. Regular Decision is the first time we start releasing a range of decisions for fall applicants. With Early Action we admit or defer students, but during Regular Decision we are offering admission to some, wait listing others, and unfortunately, notifying some students we cannot offer them admission. Below is a bit of advice on decisions.

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.

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

Early Action Decision Letters Have Been Mailed!

Happy Friday! I am quite pleased to announce that Fall 2013 Early Action decision letters were mailed today. Early Action decision letters will include admission offers, as well as letters notifying students of deferral to Regular Decision. We will post an update on the blog next week on what our decisions mean (i.e. admission vs deferral), but please keep in mind that being deferred to Regular Decision does not reduce your chances of being offered admission to UMBC. Early Action is simply our more competitive application period.

Although letters were mailed today, we can’t guarantee when you will receive your letter. However, I would expect something to arrive to you in the next few days, or possibly up to a week. This was our largest Early Action applicant pool ever, and below are a few pictures of the staff with our decision letters. Have a great weekend!

Excited Admissions Counselors

Excited Admissions Counselors

Tired Admissions Counselors

Tired Admissions Counselors


November 1 Early Action Deadline

Due to inclement weather caused by Hurricane Sandy, we will be extending our November 1 Early Action deadline by one week. UMBC is closed on Monday, October 29, and up-to-date information on closings can be found on the UMBC homepage. We’ll work to respond to Admissions inquiries as soon as possible.

Stay safe!


Update 10/29 2:36pm: UMBC will also be closed on Tuesday, October 30.

UMBC Common Application Supplement Now Available!

Happy Friday! Just wanted to give an update and let everyone know that the UMBC Common Application supplement is now live! If you are a spring 2013 or fall 2013 applicant you will now be able to submit all parts of your UMBC application. As a reminder, to submit your Common App to UMBC you must click submit on all three parts: 1) application, 2) supplement, and 3) payment.

If you are applying for the spring 2013 term our deadlines are November 1 (priority) and December 15 (final). For fall 2013 freshmen applicants our deadlines are November 1 (Early Action) and February 1 (Regular Decision).

UMBC Student Researchers: Leaders in their Field

Last week was one of UMBC’s most exciting annual events: URCAD! What’s URCAD, you ask? The acronym stands for Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day and the event features research and creative work from UMBC Undergraduate students across our 42 majors. The Baltimore Sun profiled UMBC and URCAD recently, interviewing just a few of the 230 AMAZINGLY SMART student presenters. As you’ll read in the Sun article, UMBC has a strong focus on connecting our students with applied learning experiences, we even have an on-campus publication dedicated to Undergraduate researchers! What amazes me about URCAD is the range of research taking place with our students. As you glance through the presentation topics you see some fascinating project topics, including research in the arts, social sciences, sciences, and humanities. Be sure to check out the Baltimore Sun article and our website for more information.