Jan 4, 2016 | Atlanta, GA
This week, thousands of students will find out if they were accepted to Georgia Tech during the early action round of applications, and thousands of others will apply for admission during the regular decision round.
This year, more than 14,500 students applied during early action — a 27 percent increase over last year. With Georgia Tech continuing to get more competitive, the Office of Undergraduate Admission has been looking for ways to better evaluate the growing pool of candidates.
For the second year in a row, faculty members are being brought in during the final round of conversations — called “cohort review” — to help identify the best candidates for their academic programs.
“The goal is to help people around campus understand how admission decisions are made, and to bring people into the process who look with a different lens and will help us make the best decisions,” said Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admission.
This year, faculty members from four of Tech’s six colleges will participate in cohort review. The students who are evaluated during cohort review are already academically qualified, so faculty are there to take a more nuanced look at applications.
Bringing in others from outside Admission adds time to the process, which already calls for long, caffeine-fueled days during the review period, but Clark and his team know the long-term value to the Institute.
“It’s a challenge given the high volume of applications, but we’re committed to building a class that reflects Tech’s mission and values,” he said. “As we become more selective, the numbers can fail you more and more. We have to look at the nuances and fit outside of just being academically capable.”
On Jan. 9, students who applied to Tech by the early action deadline will receive notice of whether or not they have been accepted. The next day is the regular admission deadline. All applicants will be notified with a decision on Saturday, March 12. Faculty will also be included in cohort review for regular decision applications.
Faculty and staff who know students in the applicant pool can put in a good word for those students by completing a Faculty/Staff Recommendation Form, which will go into the applicant’s file. The form is not meant for immediate family members, but for those with whom the applicant has had some other kind of direct relationship.
“As our application numbers continue to grow, we felt it was important to make this process more streamlined and formal,” Clark said. “Recommendations should be for someone for whom you can actually speak to their character.” The form goes in the applicant’s file, and everything in the file receives at least three reviews by Admission.
Legacy students are able to identify themselves on the application itself. Legacies are those whose parents, grandparents, or siblings either attended or work at Georgia Tech. Those in this group who are not accepted as freshmen may consider applying as transfer students through the Conditional Admission program.
All aspects of the application are there to help Admission get a complete picture of the prospective students.
“When we talk about having a holistic process, the responsible thing to do is look beyond ourselves and have others weigh in,” Clark said.