New Student Day 2015

Hello my Future Retrievers,

I know it has been awhile since you have heard from me; it’s been a little busy in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. But, I am back with some exciting news!

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This upcoming Saturday we are welcoming all Fall 2015 admitted students to the House of Grit, better known as UMBC!  Our New Student Day event invites students to experience our beautiful campus. This event allows us to not only celebrate your admission to UMBC, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about the University.

This day is full of activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prospective students and their families will have the chance to attend information sessions, meet current and newly admitted UMBC students, take a walking tour of the campus, and cheer the Retrievers to victory in lacrosse!

If you have not registered for this event yet, please do so by clicking here. You definitely do not want to miss out!

We are excited to see all of you on Saturday. Remember if you take any selfies about the event or at the event, be sure to use the hashtag UMBCadmit!


Christine :)


Spring Arts!

Hello out there–long time no see! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted so I’m going to make up for it by giving you so many reasons to come to campus this spring! And yes, I am convinced that spring is here, even if I saw snowflakes on my weather app this week.

Opening today is Out of Rubble, an exhibition in the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, that presents 17 artists’ responses to war.

Next Thursday, April 9, is UMBC’s 2nd Annual Brass Bash! This will include music performed by UMBC faculty, staff, and students…and I hear there’s a surprise guest performer! You’ll have to see for yourself to find out who it is (seriously, I have NO idea!).

The week after that on April 17, is the Senior Dance concert. Come see UMBC students dance pieces that were choreographed by our senior Dance majors!

And finally, to close out April, Leah’s Dybbuk, by our very own Susan McCully and directed by Eve Muson (written, directed, and performed all by UMBC!), will run from April 30-May 3.

All of the performances take place in our brand new Performing Arts & Humanities Building. And in case you can’t make it, here’s a peak of what UMBC faculty, students, and the building are capable of:


Hello Future Retrievers!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Holiday Break, and with the weather we’re having, enjoyed a couple snow days as well. It is now that time of the year where we are in our first week of classes and our prospective freshmen are continuing to submit their applications for Fall admission.

The regular decision deadline for freshmen applications is in TWO days. On February 1st, we should have all applications submitted. This is not the time to be a procrastinator. Please do not wait until 11:58pm on the date of the deadline date to submit your materials. I know that everyone knows to not rely on technology. Anything can happen!

The admissions office will be devoting their full attention to reviewing all of your applications, so keep sending them our way! Remember to finish your senior year off strong, and cross your fingers for the warm weather to grace our presence again!


Some Helpful Reminders:                                       

  • Make sure that you see all green checks when submitting your application through the Common Application Portal.
  • Complete the residency questions located in the Member Questions section in its entirety for all applicants seeking in-state residency for tuition purposes.
  • Double check with your guidance counselors to make sure they have sent your official transcripts.
  • If you have any questions, feel free to call the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 410.455.2292
  • DO NOT STRESS! This is an exciting time!rugrats excited

Be Proactive!

If you are a high school junior, chances are many of your classmates are either celebrating their college acceptance letters to their first choice schools, or awaiting the mailing of admissions decisions from the colleges that they have applied to. Lets fast foward; one year from now, this will be you!


Preparation is the key! Here are a few things to do now that will help you get a good idea of what you want out of UMBC, or any other school that you have applied to:

Determine your learning style. Are you drawn more to research assignments, or lecture based courses? Would you rather work on projects in groups or independently? Do you prefer to studey alone, or study collaboratively with your peers.

Colleges and universities have different philosophies, so figuring out which learning style is best for you will help you narrow down the schools that could be the right fit for you.

Pick a favorite subject. You will find that when you are in college, there is a lot of freedom and many more choices when it comes to class options. Figure out what intrests you and why so that your application can convey why attending a certain school will support you in following your interests.

Get out of the classroom. Go look for opportunities outside of your school walls to pursue something you’re interested in. Summer programs, classes at a community college, or research projects are all ways to apply what you learned in the classroom, to things outside of the classroom. Find something that you really enjoy, and explore it further!

Challenge yourself. Think about taking courses that will prepare you for the rigor that comes along with college-level academics. Our admissions officers are looking for students who have taken advantage of those high-level, challenging classes available to them at their school.

Go beyond academics. The admissions committee is looking not just for strong students, but also for students who will contribute to the UMBC community. Find opportunities (whether it be through clubs, organizations, or teams) to make an impact. Contribute to whatever it is you’re a part of—leading a membership campaign or fundraiser, organizing a team outing, or maybe even starting a new group in your school.


Apply Online By Valentines!

The beginning of the year is a very exciting time because there are so many things to look forward to- The SuperBowl, NBA Allstar-Weekend, Valentines Day, and THE UMBC 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!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Seasons Greetings Everyone:

It’s that time of year again! The time when we gather with our loved ones to deck the halls with boughs of holly and to roast chestnuts on an open fire! Since the holidays are right around the corner, our office will be closed from December 24th to January 4th and will reopen on Monday, January 5th.

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If you have any questions that seek immediate attention, please contact our office today (Monday, December 22, 2014) and tomorrow (Tuesday, December 23, 2014) between the hours of 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

Happy Holidays from the Admissions Office!

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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.*