New Student Day!!!

Good Morning Future Retrievers!

We are less than two weeks away from one of our favorite events of the year; New Student Day!  The invites are out and you can register through your myUMBC account.  Be sure to use the registration code sent in your invitation.

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New Student Day is the perfect opportunity to visit campus, fall in love with the retriever lifestyle and accept your admission! We will start the morning with our campus activities fair! The fair will have a portion of our 250 clubs present. Students will get to explore our wide variety of clubs, meet members and sign up to join. Throughout the day students will be attending sessions focused on student life, campus living, and academics. You will also have the opportunity to tour research facilities, tutoring spaces and a residential facility. Lastly, throughout the whole day, you will be able to interact with current students and professors in all departments.

I want to congratulate all of the admitted students! We can’t wait to see all of you Future Retrievers on Saturday, April 8th!



5 Things With Ed: Find Your Perfect College Edition

Happy 5th of July! Okay, so I missed by a day but it’s time for another 5 things. This post will hopefully help rising juniors and seniors find a college that fits them and their needs and navigate “the process” as many are calling it now.

  1. Do your homework! – I’m not talking about geometry or chemistry here (but still do that type of homework).  There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. You have a ton of options and all that choice can be overwhelming. For many of you, you haven’t had a say in your education to this point. Study up on a variety of schools that offer a few majors that you are interested in. There are a plethora of resources to help you such as the Princeton Review’s College SearchBig Future from the College Board, and US News Best College Search Tool. Check with your high school to see if you have access to Naviance. These will let you sort schools based on size, location, areas of study, cost to attend, and a number of other factors. Make a list of 10 or so colleges to put some additional work into once you have identified them as schools of interest.
  2. Start Local – We need to take some small steps before we really get running. Check out local area universities or colleges on a weekend that you are free. Explore a large, medium, and small school (keep in mind those are all relative to your preference) that are relatively close to home. You may not be interested in that particular school but it can help you gauge the scale of the university and if you would fit in at that university. Try contacting the Admissions Office at the school for tour dates/times.
  3. Attend a College Fair – Chances are, you will have a college fair in your area (or within an hour drive) this coming fall. College admission representatives spend months every fall bringing their universities to you. These fairs are great opportunities to ask a lot of different institutions about your future! Avoid pitfalls though (I may make a future 5 Things about college fairs) but talk to schools you haven’t heard of, gather information, ask questions that will help you past application requirements, and decide if the university requires more of your search time.
  4. Visit “Your Schools” – I really struggled with placement on this list item. Certain students may have this as a last step depending on resources or distance of a university from home. You can do all the research in the world on a school but until you step foot on campus, you will never really know if that place is going to be “home” for the next four years. This is called a lot of different things but most admissions professionals call this “fit.” The feeling a student gets where they are comfortable to study, live, explore, build relationships, and a 1,000 other things. Colleges and universities are a lot like people in the sense that they have different values and views on the world. Taking the time to visit your top universities is a critical step in the college search process.
  5. Pick Your 5 – This piece may be the most important (and I’m stealing it from a colleague of mine). I personally believe the single biggest pitfall in the college search is the concept of a “dream school,” or a single school that you are putting everything into. It creates a lot of negativity in the search where other schools are treated like inferior options and are in some cases labeled “safety schools.” The alternative I recommend is getting a “Fit Five” or five schools that you would be more than happy to attend if you are accepted and the schools financially work with your circumstances. These five schools can look very different as well, academically, socially, physically, and geographically. That is perfectly fine. It allows you, as a student, to focus your time, effort, and energy on a selection of schools that are manageable to visit, contact the admissions officer, plan a visit, and work on the application all while maintain a busy high school life. This approach gives you choice while avoiding a lot of the negativity associated with the college search process.

So this has been a bit longer winded than most 5 Things but I sincerely hope it helps. As always, you are welcome to contact us at UMBC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions with any question. Leave a comment below if you have questions or if you would like me to write about a specific topic for a future “5 Things With Ed.”


Happy belated Independence Day and enjoy this wonderful week!


‘Tis the Season for Orientation!

Hello all my Retrievers!


Today marks the very first day of Summer Freshman Orientation 2016! We are beyond excited to welcome you all to the House of Grit and your new home. We have decked campus out in black and gold for you, the campus is buzzing to meet its newest additions, and the faculty and staff cannot wait to start working with you!


School spirit is in this Summer Orientation!

So what can you do if you are still waiting for you orientation? Check out all the action on Twitter! @UMBCorientation has the scoop on what’s happening all over campus and be sure to check their hashtags. You can also visit for many helpful tips and tricks including what to bring, how to connect to the Class of 2020, and meet your OPAs, the Orientation Peer Advisors, at

Make sure you meet your new classmates, make connections, and get excited for the Fall Semester!


On behalf of the entire Retriever Community, welcome to UMBC Class of 2020!

The House of Grit!

Hello all,

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day!

If you haven’t already finished school, I’m sure you are counting down the days. For those who have already graduated, CONGRATS!

You should all be very proud of yourselves and more importantly excited that you have completed one milestone and will now be on your way to a new journey this fall! As you will soon learn, UMBC students are well known for their hard work, innovation, diversity, and creativity.

As you prepare yourself for Orientation and starting your first year at UMBC, I encourage you to discover where you fit in The House of Grit.

You may be wondering…what does this mean?! Well…click HERE to find out!

Once you’ve taken the brief survey to determine what kind of Retriever you are, feel free to comment on this post and connect with other future Retrievers!

As always, you can stay up to date and find out what’s going on with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by following us on our social media sites @UMBCadmissions!



P.S. I am a UNITER!

The Commons

The campus has gotten pretty quiet over the past few days.  Some students wrapped up finals a couple of days ago, and others attended Winter Commencement on Thursday.  The Undergraduate Admissions Office would like to congratulate these recent graduates and wish them luck in the future.

One place on campus that is ordinarily not quiet is The Commons.  Here at UMBC The Commons is our student center, and a ton of student life activity take place here.  In this facility you will find eateries, the Bookstore, a game room, the SGA, offices used by many of our student organizations and clubs, and even a pub known as Flat Tuesdays.  The Commons is a must see location when you visit the campus.

Check out these pictures of The Commons:

[Every Freakin’] Friday

It has been awhile, my dear readers, since any of us blogged about the various social events we have going on here at UMBC every day. I hope you’re not sick of our bragging, but I feel it is truly important for prospective students to know they will be thoroughly entertained each weekend so long as they step outside their cozy residence hall rooms or venture back onto campus from home. Allow me to highlight one example of an event that proves there are not dustballs rolling down Academic Row every Friday after students finish their last classes of the week. This is an event that recently caught our eye here in Undergradute Admissions simply because of the catchy title: “Every Freakin’ Friday.”

The Student Events Board, or SEB as they are known here on campus, has created an event that will be held, well, every freakin’ Friday! It’s an event that includes something for everyone: games, movies, music, food. This weekend EFF features local rockband No Compromise (aka “NoCo”)–they’re playing for FREE in the pub on campus called Flat Tuesdays. If you’d prefer a game of bingo and eating breakfast foods at 9:00 at night over a rock show, you’ll be happy to know that these activities are available for students at the same time as the NoCo concert. If you’re still not satisfied with these events, you can always catch the weekly SEB movie (this weekend it’s the latest Indiana Jones flick). By the way, I know we’ve mentioned it before, but SEB movies are only $2 for students!

If you want to check back to see what’s going on here at UMBC Every Freakin’ Friday, check out the schedule. Of course, there’s always lots more going on here on campus throughout the week and every weekend–we’ll blog more about other events that catch our attention all fall. Cheers everyone!

p.s. Essay tip of the week: Note how in the first ‘graph of my blog I wrote “every day” as two words and not one. If you’re saying something happens every day, it’s two words; if you’re using the phrase as an adjective (e.g., it’s an “everyday” event) it’s one word. l.t. 🙂

Student Clubs and Organizations

Let’s be honest, college students do more than just study.  That is a good thing!  Students are involved in sports, clubs, fraternities and sororities, volunteer activities, and well, just plain ol’ being college students (this can include lounging around dorm rooms and throwing Frisbees; also see picture below).

Of these goings-on some of the most popular things to do involve student clubs and other student run organizations.  I don’t know how many clubs we have here at UMBC but it is a lot!  I’ve been told that we have over 200 clubs and organizations so there is pretty much something to do for everyone.  These clubs can range in interest from athletic clubs to political and religious organizations to honors societies and art clubs to about anything you can imagine (we have a Skydiving club and a Cricket club!).  Club activities are a great way to meet your fellow students while getting involved on campus.  You can even start your own club if it doesn’t already exist!  Joining clubs at UMBC is also very easy.  Each year at the beginning of each semester there is a club fair in which the various student organizations set up tables and invite students to come out and join.  I definitely suggest getting involved when you are in college; it is an important part of the college experience!  Besides, who wants to spend their entire college career just studying 🙂

Odds and Ends…

With Spring Break right around the corner(woohoo!), my thoughts are scattered in a million different places (i.e. spring recruitment travel, applications, up-coming programs and events, and my first trip to Phillies spring training!!!). So, this blog will be a reflection of my “scatter-brain”! Excited?!? I knew you would be!

To start, our basketball team is America East Conference regular season champs!! I know Josh already wrote a post about our amazing basketball team, but being a champion doesn’t get old. 🙂 And, UMBC’s Jay Greene is one of three finalists for “America East Men’s Basketball Fans’ Choice Player of the Year” (what a mouthful!). The winner will be announced tomorrow (March 6) and the results will be posted on the America East website. Check it out,

Next, I’d like to extend a big congratulations to Philip Graff, UMBC’s most recent Gates Cambridge Scholar. Philip was among an applicant pool of 600, and is one of only 45 U.S. recipients of the prestigious scholarship. Philip will follow in the footsteps of other notable scientists such as Issac Newton, Stephen Hawking, and UMBC alum Ian Ralby! As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, Philip will be fully funded to complete one-to-four years of graduate study in any field at Cambridge University. Best of luck Philip!!

Here’s a little pop quiz. What are UMBC’s colors?? Black and gold, you say?? Well, that would normally be correct, but currently UMBC’s colors are black, gold, and green!! Yup, green! I know, not the best combination of colors, but it’s for a good cause. UMBC is currently participating in Recyclemania, a contest that includes over 400 other colleges. Recyclables will be collected from bins around campus, weighed, and reported to the Recyclemania Headquarters. So, reduce, reuse, and most of all, recycle!!

Looking for something to do? Why not check out the IN10 theatre festival. The IN10 festival is being presented by UMBC’s Department of Theatre and features new theatrical works for young actresses and all audiences. Each performance offers four different plays and Thursday’s performance is free for all UMBC students. If you’re not a UMBC student, general admission tickets are only $10, which averages out to $2.50 a play (impressive math skills, huh?) . Hurry up and get on over to UMBC’s Theatre because the festival concludes March 9.

Well, that about does it for me. My brain has “scattered away” from blogging…