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!

What’s The Point Of It Anyway!?

What is the point of filling out a college application? If you have already finished your college application or are still working on them for that matter, you may have already asked yourself this question before whether it was out of reflection, curiosity, or just sheer frustration. We ask each applicant to fill out an application because we want to get to know you and get a sense of how you may thrive personally and academically at UMBC. We don’t get time to sit down and talk to each applicant one on one so we ask you to give us a variety of information to try and gain a sense of who you are. As you complete your applications, ask yourself this question: Does this information reflect who I am? Just as a student, or as a student and a person?

Writing a personal statement can be a tough thing to do for some students. Up until this point in life, most applicants have only written academic papers. All throughout high school you have been asked to analyze works of fiction, economic trends, historical events, etc. but likely no one has sat you down and asked you to write by yourself. Given that the goal is to give admissions counselors a sense of who you are, be authentic and genuine. Write about things that are significant to you.

Another crucial aspect is to show that you are interested and a good fit for the school that your are applying to. As previously stated, you should have specific reasons why you are excited about applying to UMBC… convey that in your supplemental documents. Even if you have yet to visit a college, you can find out ALL that you need to know through researching the college’s website, admissions blogs, and publication.

Five years ago when I was applying to college, I heard my admissions counselor talk about an application being like a museum. You get to curate the museum to show us all of the awesome things about yourself. If you wanted someone to get to know you by walking through the museum, what important things would you show them? Lots of times, people are uncomfortable talking about themselves. The personal statement is not about bragging, but rather showing UMBC admissions counselors who you are as a person. It’s okay to show us your accomplishments, but more importantly, why do they matter to you? UMBC admissions counselors are not looking for one specific thing, or one specific type of person. My favorite thing about working at UMBC is the DIVERSITY! I get the opportunity to work with many different types of students who are unique in their own way.

With our Early Action (December 1) deadline having passed, hopefully those applicants can relax and await their admission decision.

                   For those who are applying Regular Decision, lets make an agreement!

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                             Lets agree to take the time to put together a UMBC application that                                              presents us in the strongest and most veracious light!

Kind regards from your most awesome admissions counselor,


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.


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!