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.


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.


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


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.


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:



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!




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.




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?


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!


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

Q&A with UMBC Admissions

Much obliged to you to the greater part of the first-year candidates who have been working so hard to finish their applications by November 1, our early action due date, is just two weeks away. We do ask that you remember that this due date is not our last due date. So by the chance that you aren’t able to meet this due date, we are fine with you applying for our February 1, regular decision deadline. Either way, we look forward to receiving and reading your application.

Over the past five weeks I have received a large amount of questions regarding admissions and also early action. I think it would be a great idea to address the more frequent questions that I have been receiving at  each school I visit. I have enjoyed speaking with each of you over the past few weeks and I hope that this following Q&A will be helpful to you all.

What is expected by the due date? We expect your Common Application and application fee. As we understand, SAT’s are being offered on October 25, which leaves only a few days until the EA deadline. To answer a question that I have received during the majority of my visits this month, we will accept your scores after November 1 as long as your application is submitted by the deadline.

Which due date would it be a good idea for me to pick? Early action or regular decision? We offer two admissions dates in respect to the fact that UMBC likes to provide you with alternatives. Not one of the other due dates will affect your chances of being accepted, and both have the same May 1st enrollment date. Pick whichever due date best fits your timetable.

When will I receive my admission decision? Early Action candidates will get their choices in mid-December, early January at the latest. Regular decision applicants should expect to receive their admissions decision in mid-May to early June.

Will you acknowledge more than one letter of recommendation? UMBC requires two letters of recommendation. We will not fragment your application for having more than two letters of recommendations. If there is any confusion on the application process or the requirements, feel free to email us at ADMISSIONS@UMBC.EDU.  Likewise please ask your recommender to include your complete name and birthdate on the recommendation.

What is your email address? ADMISSIONS@UMBC.EDU

Whom do I contact on the off chance that I have an inquiry regarding the Basic Application? The Common Application gives help through their site. However, for help or any other questions regarding the application, feel free to contact me or the admissions main office. My information is listed below.

Jason Scroggins | Admissions Counsleor

Direct Line: 410.455.1729

Main Office: 410.455.2292

It would be a great idea to regularly check your personal and UMBC email account for any updates and the status of your application. In addition, check your MyUMMBC account to see the complete status of your application as well. Accordingly, for the most recent news from our office, please continue going to the University website and follow us on social media as well. (@umbcadmissions on Twitter and Instagram.) Meanwhile, please let us know whether we may aid you in any capacity.


Kind Regards,






“We choose the arts and humanities.”

Friday, October 17 was not only our second Retriever Day of the year, but it was also the greatly anticipated grand opening of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building! And indeed, it was a grand day—complete with representatives from the university, the arts community, and policy makers. I was so moved by the event that I’m just going to share with you what other people had to say.

Scott Casper, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, welcomed us all and declared that this building was going to be a place where we could all ask the important questions, “Who are we? Where do we come from? And, what matters?”

Next, was senior Music major and Linehan Artist Scholar, Erika Koshco who spoke about the shared “hunger to create and grow,” and who has already discovered that the PAHB is a place that will “allow our craft to come alive.”

We received sincere congratulations and recognition for our commitment to the arts from the House of Delegates, with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz foreseeing that UMBC will “quickly become the hub for arts for the region.”

 I learned that Maryland recently passed a law stating that any new building must include a public art installation in its construction plans. UMBC is the inaugural location to enact this legislation, with the help of artist Thomas Sayre and his sculpture, Forum. Sayre was selected from a national search led by UMBC and the Maryland Arts and Humanities Council. Sayre shared that he hopes his sculpture will become a destination and our community will begin to say, “meet me at the earth cast arches.”

The earth cast sculpture by Thomas Sayre.

The earth cast sculpture by Thomas Sayre.

Jeannie Howe, Executive Director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, applauded UMBC and Dr. Hrabowski for making the arts such a priority; “You have placed the arts and humanities on a pedestal at equal footing with STEM programs, right where it should be.”

Just before the official ribbon cutting, and as he proved the practically perfect acoustics of the grand recital hall by not using a microphone, Dr. Hrabowski left us with these words, “Choice, not chance, determines your destiny. We choose the arts and humanities.

some highlights from the event

Dean Casper, Erika Koshco, President Hrabowski, and the Ribbon Cutting!


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!



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!


I’m On My Way!

Happy Tuesday! It has been a very interesting and fun recruitment travel season thus far! Prior to this week, I have visited many different high schools in the cities and states of Connecticut, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Westchester and Rockland County. In addition, I am currently recruiting in Long Island (Nassau County), New York and I thought it would be a great idea to share the schools that I will be visiting!

It is extremely rewarding to see students in these states make the decision to apply to UMBC! Within the next two weeks, I will be visiting many public and private schools in Long Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Westchester County.  If you haven’t seen me in your area, keep an eye out for a visit in the coming weeks!

In the next few days, I’ll be visiting

  • Baldwin High School
  • Stuyvesant High School
  • High school for Env. Studies
  • Columbia High School
  • Saratoga Springs HS
  • Bethlehem Central High School
  • Niskayuna High School
  • Fayetteville-Manilus HS
  • WestHill High School
  • Clinton High School
  • Fairport High School
  • Hilton Central High School
  • Webster Thomas High School
  • Spencerport High School
  • Victor Central High School
  • Clarkstown High School South
  • Nyak High School
  • Holy Trinity HS
  • Massapequa High School
  • White Plains High School
  • Freeport High School

I will be visiting all of these schools over the next two weeks!

If you are a student at one of the schools I’m visiting, I’m sure you know that there are procedures to follow for coming to the visit. BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR GUIDANCE COUNSELOR IN ORDER SIGN UP FOR THE VISIT! I hope to see you there!

Also,  for those students at the schools that I have visited, if you are interested in visiting campus for the Retriever Days that I mentioned, click HERE to register!

All Packed!

Posters, boxes of materials, and my nifty roll-y bag!

Posters, boxes of materials, and my nifty roll-y bag!

I’m all packed up and have so many places to go! Monday morning I’ll load up my UMBC car and head for Philadelphia, with a pit stop in Delaware for a high school visit. While in the city of brotherly love I’ll be at the NACAC Performing & Visual Arts College Fair, spend one short night, and then hit the road for New York City, center of the universe! (what self respecting Visual & Performing Arts Admissions Counselor can’t make a Rent reference when talking about New York?)

Anyway, first stop in New York is another NACAC Performing & Visual Arts College Fair. By Wednesday morning I’ll be visiting a high school and in the evening a college fair at a high school (it’s like an Admissions BOGO sale or something)! Thursday will be another high school visit and my last night in the city. By Friday morning I’ll be back in the car headed to UMBC, with one last stop in New Jersey on my way down.

In between all those visits and fairs I’ll be catching up with old friends, eating some excellent food, and hopefully seeing an exhibition or two. So keep an eye out for me in Delaware, Philly, New York, and Jersey. And if you’re not in the northeast, keep up with us through Instragram, Twitter, or Facebook!

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 :)