• The Southern Sense: January

    Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 3.37.05 PMLet’s talk food, y’all. After all, we can’t go on much longer discussing Southern culture and customs without eventually running into two of their most iconic aspects: cooking and eating. There is wide belief that Southern food refers to particular types of food, like grits, collards, and fried chicken. Admittedly, there’s some truth to that. Such foods are indelibly tied to our region and our kitchens, and you’d be hard-pressed to find them better-prepared and better-tasting anywhere else in the world. That being said, there’s more that goes into “Southern food” than stereotypical dishes.

    Like many food-focused cultures, Southerners don’t just eat with a human instinct towards survival. We eat with an intrinsic desire to share time, stories, and a connection with others. And as enjoyable as it is to eat Southern food, you’re not having a real Southern meal unless there was some ritual and conviviality to get there. I was reminded of this during the recent holidays spent with family, where the family recipes used, secret ingredients imparted, and best-way-to-do-that practices demonstrated by multiple generations wielding utensils were all just as important to our experience as the food prepared and the fun of eating it.

    Make no mistake. Cooking in the South is more an experience than it is an art. Family recipes passed around rarely produce exactly the same results because everyone’s “dash” of this and “pinch” of that is different. And outside of the family, there is always the “secret ingredient” variable to keep in mind. Finding out the secret ingredient in a treasured dish (and then getting threatened with a grisly end should you ever reveal it outside the family) is a true coming-of-age moment in the kitchen. I’ve seen good friends happily trade their family’s recipes. But you would never find the secret ingredient on that card. And it makes sense in a way, because our food is linked with our history and our stories.

    For example, my grandparents’ fruit cake is not just the fruit cake we eat during the holidays. It is the fruitcake my grandfather’s mother made that was so wildly popular with friends that they would even order them during World War II to mail loved ones fighting overseas for a taste of home. She and my great-grandfather made and mailed over 100 fruitcakes every holiday season. And now whenever anyone in my generation complains about having to shell or shuck anything, we are smartly reminded that my great-grandfather hand-cracked enough black walnuts for all those fruitcakes every year and we have nothing to complain about. (The recipe, handed down over multiple generations, was a fiercely-guarded secret until my great-grandmother decided the work was too much for her. She then ceremoniously handed the yellowing, fragile recipe pages to my grandmother, who wasn’t afraid of a joke, even if it prostrated the elderly. “Oh, hooray!” my grandmother exclaimed. “I’ve been promising this to Southern Living for years. I think they’ll pay me for this one!”)

    Eating traditional Southern food is quintessential to experiencing our culture, and luckily, many wonderful Southern cooks have made a career of taking our flavor, history, and traditions into restaurants. If you’re visiting Emory, we certainly hope you have time for at least one Southern meal with us here in Atlanta. You won’t be sorry! Having grown up here, I’ve definitely developed my favorite spots for Southern food, so here are my recommendations.

    Mary Mac’s Tea Room

    Founded in 1945, by the talented Southern cook and business womanScreen Shot 2015-01-12 at 3.27.14 PM Mary McKenzie, Mary Mac’s is the only remaining “tea room” left in Atlanta. Don’t let that label fool you though, because you can get a full Southern meal and experience here, from iced tea to meat and sides to dessert. Calling a restaurant a “Tea Room” was the loophole that savvy, business-minded women of the post-World War II era found to get around the precedent against women opening a restaurant. Fondly known as Atlanta’s Dining Room (yup, according to Resolution 477 by The Georgia House of Representatives), Mary Mac’s offers a true Southern experience, from table to ambiance. And don’t be surprised when you look under the “Four Vegetable Plate” menu option (my top recommendation) and see that the vegetables available for you to select include macaroni & cheese, sweet potato soufflé, fried green tomatoes, grits, and many more sides that straddle the line between vegetable and starch. Let me just say, I don’t ever want to live somewhere that doesn’t consider mac & cheese a vegetable.

    The Flying Biscuit

    This is my top recommendation for a Southern biscuit. Add theScreen Shot 2015-01-12 at 3.27.20 PM collard green and ham omelet and a side of the famous “creamy dreamy” grits, and you can understand why this restaurant is beloved by its patrons. There are multiple locations, but I am particularly partial to the one in my old stomping grounds of Virginia Highland because it’s open late (sometimes you just need breakfast for dinner) and has patio seating looking out into Midtown Atlanta. The atmosphere and décor have real character and of course, the food is excellent!

    The ColonnadeScreen Shot 2015-01-12 at 3.27.31 PM

    Another historic marker in Atlanta’s culinary family tree, the Colonnade was founded in 1927, and to this day, still serves up some of the best Southern fare in the city. The Colonnade is so well known that it has become a bit of a tourist destination (most recently featured in the movie Identity Thief), and it’s rare you don’t see a charter bus in the parking lot dropping off a fleet of pro athletes in town for a game and wanting a substantial meal. I will admit that its traditional atmosphere and food are an interesting contrast against the backdrop of its location on Cheshire Bridge Road, which is another of Atlanta’s more eccentric neighborhoods. Just a heads up – you will be offered yeast rolls and corn muffins. Unless you’re just a big fan of cornbread, ask for “all yeast rolls”. Nothing against cornbread, but those yeast rolls are where it’s at.

    Community BBQ

    Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 3.34.02 PMI’ll just level with you: there is much contention about what is truly the best BBQ place in Atlanta. I have chosen Community BBQ for a few reasons. Known for offering an excellent meat selection and a great variety of sauces, Community also has super-fast service. It’s a good thing, too, because the amazing smell of BBQ pervades the parking lot so much, that by the time you get to the ordering counter you’re pretty much ready to eat the table. I’ve got a soft spot for this place though because I found myself there this past New Year’s Day, searching for the traditional fare of collards, black-eyes peas, and pork to start off 2015 right. It’s said that eating these three items bring money, luck, and good health (respectively) in the new year. Admittedly, I was cutting it close at 7PM on a busy day, but Community came through for me with a great meal, so now we’ll just have to see what 2015 brings!

    Happy New Year!

    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Senior Admission Counselor
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

    *Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.

  • New Year Update

    Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 6.06.36 PMA Happy New Year to all our faithful blog readers! We hope y’all had an enjoyable holiday season and productive first week of 2015. Here in the Office of Admission we dove into the processing and evaluation of applications and answering the bevy of emails we’ve received – just over 2,000 in the last two weeks sent to  admission@emory.edu. While there is a lot of work for our office in the coming three months, it is nothing we haven’t anticipated, and sprits continue to be high as we shape the Class of 2019.

    We know you are eager to ensure everything is correct with your application, and we need to request your patience. We have had a record number of applicants this year (great news!), but there is a lot that needs to be processed accurately to ensure continued progress.

    Here are some important things to help you understand your position:

    • OPUS is everything. To track the status of your application materials, check your OPUS account regularly. Due to the volume of application records, we are unable to confirm the receipt of application materials through email or over the phone. If you have not set up your OPUS account yet, review our OPUS Explained blog post now.
    • Processing is not automatic. Whether you or your school submitted application materials online through the Common Application, sent them through email to the Admission office, or you have tracked that the mailed documents have been received by our office, it takes time for all these documents to be processed. It can take up to three weeks for documents to be properly processed, accurately matched with your application, and the items to be removed from your OPUS to do list.
    • There is a process for completing incomplete files. We will let you know if you are missing anything via email later this month, once our office has caught up on processing materials. Students will then have one week to submit (or resubmit) any missing items. We have an Application Missing Items webpage to assist in the proper submission of any application materials that remain listed as “initiated” in a student’s to do list.

    The bottom line: we encourage you to

    1. Check OPUS
    2. Be patient
    3. Know that we will be in touch later this month if you are missing anything.

    If you have further questions, check out our End of the Year FAQs blog post or post a comment to this entry. Thanks for your patience!


    **New Year photo credit to Emory University.

  • End of the Year FAQs

    For our final blog entry of 2014, we thought it best to focus on answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive this time of year. The audience for our blog right now typically falls into one of three categories: last minute applicants, applicants who have already clicked submit, and prospective students for a future admission cycle just curious about Emory and the admission process. We are currently receiving and responding to more than 100 emails from the first two groups through our admission@emory.edu. To assist with these questions, we present these FAQs.Questions

    When is the application deadline?
    Prospective applicants who have yet to click submit have until 11:59 p.m. ET on January 1, 2015, to complete their Common Application. Both our Early Decision II and Regular Decision deadlines are January 1.

    Are all application requirements due at the deadline?
    To meet our application deadline, a student must submit their completed Common Application and request their official standardized exam scores be sent directly to Emory University by January 1. Supporting school requirements, including transcripts, reports, and recommendation letters, must be submitted within one week of the deadline date (by January 8, 2015) for a student’s application to be considered complete.

    How do I submit standardized exam scores?
    Students applying to Emory University need to have their standardized scores sent electronically by the testing agencies using the following codes:

    Testing Codes
    SAT: 5187
    ACT: 0810
    TOEFL: 5187

    Scores sent via these testing codes are shared by the Admission teams at Emory College and Oxford College. In fact, all application materials a student submits are shared by both Emory College and Oxford College.

    Though it is the preference of Emory University that test scores be sent directly from the testing agencies, the Admission Office will, in cases of financial hardship, also accept standardized test scores submitted by a high school guidance counselor in one of two formats:

    • Test scores are displayed officially on a transcript and all scores are displayed.
    • Test scores reports are attested by a student’s high school counselor and sent via postal mail or email attachment. Once again, all scores need to be submitted.

    We do not accept unofficial test score reports or scores submitted directly by the applicant.

    My counselor/recommendation providers are having difficulty submitting documents online through the Common Application. Should we mail the items instead?
    Any school forms or recommendations not submitted online through the Common Application should be sent by your school official or recommendation provider via an attached PDF to admission@emory.edu. Make sure that any application materials submitted through email includes the applicant’s full name as it appears on the Common Application, date of birth, high school name, and Common Application ID#. School records and recommendations submitted directly by the applicant are considered unofficial and will not be processed.

    After submitting my application, can I submit supplemental information, like a resume?
    Applicants to Emory University may submit supplemental information if they feel that the Common Application does not adequately provide the opportunity to detail their accomplishments. There are no additional forms that need to be completed when submitting supplemental materials. The Admission Committee requires that any supplemental information be submitted as an attached PDF document sent via email to admission@emory.edu. Please make sure the document includes the student’s full name exactly as it is listed on their Common Application, birth date, and Common Application ID#.

    How do I correct an error in my application after I have clicked submit?
    Error corrections need to be saved as an attached PDF and sent via email to admission@emory.edu. In addition to the information to be corrected, please save in the PDF the following details: Full name as it appears on the application, birth date, and Common Application ID#. Any updates and error corrections should be submitted no later than January 31.

    Does Emory University accept arts supplements? And if so, is there a recommended format for submission?
    Emory University values that many of our applicants are artistically talented and want to showcase those talents for the Admission Committee. Applicants who wish to submit supplemental arts-related information may do so if they feel that the Common Application does not adequately provide the opportunity to detail these accomplishments. There are no additional forms that need to be completed, as Emory does not accept the Common Application Arts Supplement. The Admission Committee strongly prefers that any supplemental arts information be submitted via email to admission@emory.edu. Students are encouraged to provide a link to a website where their materials can be listened to or viewed. All materials, including any web links, need to be saved in PDF form and attached in the email. We are unable to review three-dimensional items including CDs, DVDs, models, sculptures, books, etc. Finally, we request that student’s include their full name exactly as it is listed on their Common Application, birth date, and Common Application ID# on any submitted supplement materials.

    I submitted my application, but didn’t receive a confirmation that the Office of Admission received my application. I also have received no information about setting up an OPUS account. What do I do?
    Application received emails with instructions on setting up one’s OPUS account are sent a few days after the submission of your application. The emails go to the email address you entered on your Common Application. You should check your SPAM folder because sometimes our messages get sent to SPAM; if that’s the case be sure to mark admission@emory.edu as a safe email address through your service provider.

    Do note, the Office of Admission does not automatically download your application from the Common Application site once you click submit. If it has been more than a week since submitting your application, then send an email to admission@emory.edu to inquire about the receipt of your application. Make sure to include your full name as it appears on your application, date of birth, and Common Application ID# in your inquiry.

    I received information about setting up my OPUS account, but it is not working. Who do I contact?
    If you are experiencing trouble logging in or for other issues you should call the IT Service Desk at 404-727-7777 or email opushelp@emory.edu. If you attempt to submit a support request you will need to know your login information, so the phone is the best place for you to start.isolated faq button

    Can the Admission Office check on the receipt of an individual application item?
    Due to the volume of application materials received and processed by our office, we cannot the check application status or the receipt of individual application materials via email or over the phone. The point of the OPUS account is to provide the applicant the opportunity to monitor the status himself.

    How long does it take for my OPUS account to update missing materials?
    Please allow at least three (3) weeks from the time we receive a document for it to reflect in your OPUS account. This applies to documents received both through the mail and electronically. Does that seem like a long time? Maybe. But please keep in mind that we are receiving thousands of documents from thousands of applicants during this busy season. We do our very best to process each document quickly and accurately.

    I have questions regarding FAFSA, CSS Profile, IDOC, and/or Tax Returns. Who do I contact?
    The Admission Office is not involved in the processing of any sort of financial aid documentation. If you have questions regarding any of the materials listed above or for anything labeled Office of Financial Aid on your OPUS “To Do List,” please reach out to their office directly at 404-727-6039 or finaid@emory.edu.

    Should I wait until the last minute to submit my application?
    Absolutely not. Though to be considered an official applicant you have until 11:59 p.m. ET on January 1, 2015 to click submit, why test the system? You have a few more days to finish up your application, but one piece of advice we think you should strongly heed is submit in advance. Don’t procrastinate anymore. Put aside some time to finish up those last questions, do a final review, and then click submit, way in advance of the last moment.

    Time for us to get back to responding to questions in the admission@emory.edu in-box. Make sure to check out the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for even more answers. And as always, if you have any questions not answered here just post them in the comments section, and we will respond back.

  • Welcome Home, in 8 months!

    Gimagereetings newly admitted Early Decision students. First, let us take a few seconds to say, “Congratulations, we are so proud of you!” Applying to college while also going to school full time, and doing tons of extracurricular activities is not an easy thing to do—and you got in. YOU GOT IN!

    These next few months before college are going to fly by, so here are some things to remember:

    1. Take lots of pictures—yes everyone says that but when you are in your college res-hall missing home and feeling nostalgic, you will be glad you did.

    2. Complete your enrollment! To do that, you need to submit your enrollment deposit and complete the First-Year Student Acceptance Agreement. Full details can be found under the Decide header of the Admitted Student Website: <http://apply.emory.edu/admitted>.

    3. Figure out what time management system works for you. It doesn’t have to be a planner—to be honest I’ve spent an embarrassingly large amount of money on planners that I’ve never used successfully. Just figure out what works for you – a list, a notebook, a phone calendar, etc.

    4. Join the Class of 2019 Facebook group to get to know your future classmates, ask questions of current students, and maybe even find your future roommate!

    5. Graduate! That may seem like a no-brainer, but you still have to cross the finish line to make it to college!

    6. Remember to thank everyone who helped support you along the way. (I recommend a hand-written note—nothing can replace something you took the time to write with a pen and paper.)

    What’s next? You will hear details about housing and orientation in March. Be sure to stay tuned for further details about admitted student visit events happening throughout April! We would love for you to share your stories of admission via Twitter, and images of your admit packets and celebrations on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #Emory2019 and #Oxfor2019 in your posts.

    As a 13C* alum, I am excited for you and what you will accomplish over the next four years of your life.

    Congratulations again—all my best,

    Brooke Thyng
    Social Media Coordinator, 13C

    *Emory University alumni use abbreviations to designate graduation years. For example, I graduated from Emory College in 2013 (13C). I have a friend who will graduate from Emory this year but went to Oxford first, so his abbreviation will be 13OX (for Oxford) and 15C. What will your alumni abbreviation be?

  • Live Blogging Early Decision I Notification Day

    The Office of Admission is quiet this early morning awaiting the release of ED1 notifications.

    The Office of Admission is quiet this early morning awaiting the release of ED1 notifications.

    7:45 a.m. Good morning! It is an exciting day for the Emory University Office of Undergraduate Admission as we will release decision notifications for our Early Decision I applicants later this evening. This is a milestone day as we invite our first group of students to join the Emory College and Oxford College Classes of 2019. Decision notifications days are not only important to the applicants, but to our Admission staff as well. This is a day for all of us to reflect on our hard work the past few months as we shape the future of Emory University.

    These days are full of anticipation, frenetic energy, and meticulous work. We want to share that with y’all through this “live blogging” and provide a peek inside the process and our offices. The purpose is not to hype the day but rather to provide access, advice, and reflection.

    Check back throughout the day for updates, pictures, and more. New updates will appear at the bottom of the feed with a time stamp. Best wishes.

    8:30 a.m. On a decision release days we tend to get a lot of phone calls and emails about how the process works. As we posted last week, Early Decision I notifications will be posted online at 6:00 p.m. ET tonight (Monday, December 15) through an applicant’s OPUS account. For all the details and answers to frequently asked questions, go back and read the Early Decision I Notifications Update blog post. Our staff is beginning to arrive in the office for the day, and we will be huddling in about an hour to go over the plan.

    9:10 a.m. Update by Direction of Communications, Daniel Creasy

    For the 15th consecutive year I am immersed in the release of Early Decision admission notifications. A lot has changed over the years related to the process, but the emotions and energy of the day are the same every year. One of the areas our applicants always find interesting is how we got to this day. So here is a bit of a timeline of the work of the Admission team over the last month and a half.

    • November 1: Early Decision deadline day. Processing of application materials in full effect.
    • November 5-6: Admission Staff Reading Retreat Days. In-depth discussions about how to tackle the evaluation process.
    • November 10: First reads on Early Decision applications begin. Will continue in earnest over the next three weeks.
    • Week of December 1: First reads are completed, and the review of data begins in advance of committee work.
    • December 5: Committee reviews begin.
    • Week of December 8: Committee week. Admission staffs meet in small committees to conduct second and third evaluations on applications.
    • December 10: COW – Committee of the Whole. A day when all staff review unique cases to determine final decisions.
    • December 12: Final tweaks by the dean and senior leadership
    • Morning of December 15: One last review of the overall classes. Then we wait for John Latting, Dean of Admission for Emory College, and Kelley Lips, Dean of Admission for Oxford College to seal the class and announce that we are done!

    That is where we are right now. Once we get the final go-ahead, the staff will kick into gear with a coordinated effort to confirm decisions, produce letters, and stuff the admit packets. While you wait for the next update, if you have not yet done so, I encourage you to read my colleague Lisa’s Inside Application Evaluations blog post.

    The stars of the day, our admit packets, are ready to be stuffed.

    The stars of the day, our admit packets, are ready to be stuffed.

    10:40 a.m. Just a mid-morning update! The energy is high, and our whole team is working together to make sure that everything runs smoothly!


    The mail bins that will be stuffed full with admit packets by the end of the day!


    Part of the admission team working hard to make some magic happen!


    Kate’s team discussing where to put the label on the packets.


    Oxford admit packets getting stuffed!


    Smiles all around on decision day!


    Smile–It is decision day!


    Another team working on the roster.


    Check out all of these envelopes!

    That is all we have for the mid-morning update! Be sure to keep an eye on the blog for more updates the rest of the day!

    12:21 p.m. Just a quick lunch-time update! We have finished the first step of stuffing admit packets, and we are waiting for the go-ahead for the second step! We are taking a quick break to eat some sandwiches and watch some funny viral videos.


    A box of Oxford only packets waiting for the second step!


    Dooley is lookin’ good!!

    We will be back in a bit with some more updates!

    1:15 p.m.  Update by Manager of Communications, Lisa Coetzee

    As we prepare to release decisions in a few short hours, it’s important to take time to reflect on the numerous applications read over the last few weeks. Every year we see amazing applications from outstanding, high-achieving students looking for a rigorous higher ed experience, and this year was no exception.

    Emily Simmons, Associate Dean of Admission, had this to share about our EDI applicants:

    I’m amazed at the strength of some of our ED1 applicants.  Many have been through difficult personal circumstances but have persevered in amazing ways, despite all odds.  They’ll bring their strength, dedication, and perspective to Emory.  We’re lucky to have each and every member of the Class of 2019!

    We wanted to take a moment to thank all of our applicants. Thank you for allowing us to get to know you through the application process. We know it’s not always easy, and we hope that you found it worthwhile on a personal level, regardless of the admission outcome. As we’ve holistically reviewed each and every applicant, we’ve been encouraged by who you are and who you strive to be!

    3:25 p.m. We are all done. All three rounds of checks complete and our admit packets now wait to be picked up by the post office. Time for some of the staff to head home early and getting back to reading applications, while the rest of the staff makes sure everything is set-up for the online decision release. We will be back in a couple of hours with some final advice.

    All set. Admit packets are ready for postal pick-up.

    All set. Admit packets are ready for postal pick-up.

    5:15 p.m. Update by Direction of Communications, Daniel Creasy

    The whirlwind of activity throughout the office has quieted down, and now our Operations and IT team make sure everything is set for the OPUS decision release at 6:00 p.m. As I mentioned previously, I have been involved in many admission decision release days over the year. Just before decisions are released I always share some advice that I hope you all heed.

    After you receive your admission decision, my strong suggestion is that you walk away from your computer or put down your phone or tablet. Go spend time with your family and friends. No matter what decision you receive, get out of the cyber world. This is a major milestone in your life, and you should share your initial reactions and emotions with your family and those closest to you. These people have been there since the earliest moments of your life, and they will be there forever. Your family is not some online community. Your family is not Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Your family is not some anonymous screen name. Your family is not this blog. Share this experience, your thoughts, and your emotions, in the real world first. The virtual world will be there later for you to provide a social media spin on your news.

    Best wishes to all of our applicants. We will have one last post later this evening.

    7:07 p.m. Update by Direction of Communications, Daniel Creasy

    Decisions have been live for about an hour now. As the news settles in I’d like to share some remarks in this final update to each of the groups of ED1 applicants.

    First, to those of you admitted, sincere congratulations from all of us at Emory and Oxford! This was a record ED year for us, and you should feel great pride in this accomplishment. We hope you are excited and will celebrate with friends and family over the coming days. August may still be nine months away, but it will be here sooner than you can image. It’s time to put the Emory or Oxford bumper stick on your car, and cherish your achievements. We look forward to connecting with you through the Class of 2019 Facebook group.

    To those of you who received a defer decision; the main takeaway is that this decision was not a “no.” Instead, it is a delay of your decision until the end of March. Since you probably have a lot of questions at this moment, we encourage you to check the Early Decision Deferred Student Information.

    Finally, to the group most disappointed, those not offered admission. Please know that we here in the Admission Office understand how difficult receiving such news can be. None of us take pleasure in not offering admission students, especially to those for whom Emory College / Oxford College is their first choice. Please do not receive this news as a judgment of your value and your ability, but rather understand the competitive nature of applying to a highly-selective institution. We are confident that there is a college uniquely enriched by your presence on their campus next fall, and you will have an amazing undergraduate experience.

    Thank you all for taking this journey with us. We wish you all the best. Happy Holidays!

  • Early Decision I Notifications Update

    No need to build anymore suspense. Early Decision I notifications will be released at 6:00 p.m. ET on Monday, December 15. The Emory College and Oxford College Admission Committees have been diligently working the last few weeks to review a record-breaking ED1 applicant pool. (See this recent Emory Report story for further details about our applicant pool this year.) We are working feverishly to finalize decisions and prepare decision letters for release.



    Oxford admission counselors going over applications as a part of our holistic approach.

    How will decisions be released?
    Decision notifications will be posted online through your OPUS account. At 6:00 p.m. ET on Monday, December 15, you will need to log-in to OPUS to receive your admission decision. Once logged in, scroll to the bottom of the Student Center main page and locate the Admission section on the left side. When available, you will find a link to “View Online Decision.” If you applied ED to both Emory College and Oxford, both of your admission notifications will display.

    What is OPUS?
    OPUS (Online Pathway to University Students) is the online portal where students track the status of their application materials and receive their admission decisions. Our OPUS Explained blog entry provides an overview of navigating this system. If you have not yet registered for an OPUS user name and password, you will need to do so in order to check your notification online. If you have any difficulty, please contact Emory’s IT Service Desk at OPUSHELP@listserv.cc.emory.edu directly for help.

    Can I receive my admission decision notification in another format?
    Decision notifications are only released through an applicant’s OPUS account. We do not send admission decisions via email, and we are unable to release decisions over the phone.

    Why are decisions posted at 6:00 p.m.?
    We believe that such important news should be experienced in the context of family. We also do not want students to receive admission news in the middle of the school day. We understand that this time does not work for all of our applicants, including many international applicants, but 6:00 p.m. ET is a time when the majority of our applicants are available and with loved ones.



    Emory College Admission counseling team in committee this morning. These are the people who help shape #Emory2019!


  • The Southern Sense: December

    night skyline“You must be from a Southern school.” I cannot tell you how many times receptionists and counselors have correctly deduced this fact when they find me waiting in a lobby for a high school visit. (I was raised by earnest WASP’s who believed that if you were on time, you were late; so it is best to be early.) I learned very quickly though, like many admission counselors, that when you arrive early to a high school it is best not to loiter in your car napping or answering email because there are few things more awkward than a bunch of students eyeing you warily through the classroom windows overlooking the visitor parking. So, when I arrive early to a high school, I simply read in the lobby. I have long wondered how these staff members knew I was from a Southern school when no Emory logo was visible on me, and I hadn’t even spoken to them yet. But I recently realized they’ve noticed my unique reading material.

    Prolonged travel can cause homesickness (and even culture shock in some places). Thus, I’ve begun to splurge regularly on the newest edition of the magazine, Garden & Gun, to read during my trip. It fits easily in my brochure bag, and it’s lighter than say, a Game of Thrones book, which is what I lugged around my first travel season (rookie mistake). It never occurred to me that reading this magazine would make an instantaneous impression about my culture, background, or even place of work.

    Given the title, one might assume that this magazine is about guns and gardens, highlighting the perceived Southern custom of gender-segregated pastimes where the men hunted, and the women gardened. Ironically, that’s not the case. Instead, you will find a wealth of information about Southern culture, traditions, craftsmanship, and cuisine, all supplemented by stunning photography of a gorgeous region of the country. It also doesn’t hurt that the writing is high-quality, colloquial, and witty. And it truly is more than just a magazine to read and toss. It’s not uncommon for it to find its way onto a living room coffee table for its amazing photography. Or tucked into a kitchen bookshelf between family heirloom cookbooks. Or displayed in a study just like you would a collection of National Geographic or your grandparents’ encyclopedias. As someone who has shared Garden & Gun magazines with relatives over vacations, friends during college, and really anyone planning a trip to a major Southern city, this magazine is a treasure trove of information about the best aspects of the South.

    Garden & Gun is also a great place for commentary on the South from the perspective of famous Southerners. One of my favorite editions of was from last fall and included an interview with the great Alfre Woodard, a famous actress who grew up in the South. Apart from being a fantastic interview (well worth the whole read), what resonated most with me was Alfre’s response when asked what she values about the South. She said, “The South is like a family. There is more social engagement. There are more real relationships between cultures, age groups, economic groups. The people are alive. The region is a huge, breathing organism.” This is such a beautiful way of describing what many a Southerner has tried to explain – that being Southern is not a role that can be played depending on the location of your hometown. Being Southern is a state of mind and a way of life that is lived every day.

    There’s a difference between being born in the South and really being a Southerner. There are Southerners here in the South who were born in other regions or other countries. And there are Southerners elsewhere in the world who have, for whatever reason (bless their hearts), moved away from the region in which they grew up. When I meet Southerners outside of the Southeast, they speak of the region with a unique sense of nostalgia and comfort that Alfre does a far better job of describing than I ever could. When asked if she is homesick, living and working so far from her roots, she said, “You can leave the South, but it never leaves you. And I think we feel confident because of that. If you are Southern, you never run out of company. Because it lives in your head and in your heart. It is a well inside you that keeps you from ever being lonely.” (Check out the full interview on the Garden & Gun site.)

    All that being said, you don’t have to be a born-here Southerner to experience the best of our culture and tradition. If your travels bring you to Emory this month, we hope you will be able to spend some time exploring Atlanta, whether it’s with a sense of Southern nostalgia or with excitement (perhaps because you will have read so much about it in Garden & Gun!). Here are some great events to check out while you’re visiting us.

    “Custom Glassblowing” at Decatur Glassblowing. Available all month.

    Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.51.11 PMThis little hole-in-the-wall gallery has way more going on than you might think standing in the gravel-strewn parking lot on the backside of Decatur. Locals fondly call it “Nate’s Place” in honor of owner, Nate Nardi, who has used his gallery and studio to make the art of glassblowing accessible to people of all ages, interest levels, and skill levels. He works closely with other local glassblowing professionals to create the beautiful pieces that fill the gallery. He also offers classes to people at all levels (even just one-time classes to make a single piece), and participants are encouraged to bring food and drink to enjoy while they work. You can call in advance to make a reservation for a class, or for this month’s special deal of a flat $30 rate, to make a Christmas ornament. You can also just drop by during open hours to observe these master craftsmen at work (they love an audience) and peruse the gallery. Who says you can’t do some holiday shopping during your college visit?!

    “The Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker” at the Fox Theatre. Available December 11-28, 2014.

    Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.53.05 PMThis performance of a long-beloved classic is only further enhanced by its iconic venue. For those that have never been, a visit to the Fox Theater is a must! The Fox Theatre has been an intrinsic part of Atlanta’s culture and the city’s work to promote the arts since its construction in 1928. It has served many purposes over the last almost 90 years, but this famous building in Midtown has always been lauded for its architecture, character, and hospitality for artists in a variety of industries from all around the world. This theatre is regularly recognized for its excellence in the arts by the likes of Billboard, Pollstar, and Rolling Stone magazines and is consistently ranked as one the top three theatres in North America as it plays host to more than 250 shows and a half a million visitors each year. If you can’t make it to the Nutcracker but still want to see the Fox, you can go on one of the many tours offered of its ballrooms and performing center.

    “Ice Skating” at Centennial Olympic Park. Available now through January 19, 2015.Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.55.43 PM

    In case you forgot, Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics, and to this day, Centennial Olympic Park remains one of the top tourist destinations in the city. It keeps great company as it is surrounded by The Coca-Cola Museum, The Georgia Aquarium, The CNN Center, Philips Arena, and many other famous Atlanta venues. Throughout the year, it is the site of many concerts and cultural events, but in the winter it becomes the home of the celebrated lights display and an ice skating rink. In fact, one of only two ice skating rinks to be found inside the perimeter (aka the 64 mile ring that I-285 makes around the city). Snacks and hot drinks are available next to the rink should you like to stroll through the park before or after skating. Many Atlanta natives have made visiting the rink an annual tradition (let’s face it. Down here, if it’s not man-made, it’s not happening). And many college students have made it a tradition as well to take a break from finals prep. Whether or not ice skating rinks are common where you live, we recommend you visit ours in Centennial Olympic Park. Don’t forget to visit the famous Olympic Rings fountain while you’re there!

    ‘Til next month,
    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Senior Admission Counselor
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

    *Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.



  • FAQs for International Students

    cropped-picture-21.jpgComing to Emory University means joining a community which is a microcosm of our world. We have students from all over the world, who speak more languages than we can teach! Our classrooms and residence halls are like the United Nations, and as I walk around campus, I can’t help but feel wonderfully thankful to be in such a scholarly, diverse community.

    I spend a critical portion of my time searching for talent across the globe. All 21 admission representatives have a territory of which they take care. Specifically, I work with applicants from high schools in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. Each year, I spend about four to six weeks in my territory speaking to students, families, and school counselors about the opportunities available at Emory as well as our admission guidelines and process.

    I wanted to take a few minutes to address some of the most frequently asked questions about the admission process for international students.

    How many international students are at Emory University?

    About 20% of both incoming classes at Emory College and Oxford College are students who are not US Citizens or US Permanent Residents. In our current freshman class, we have students from Antigua to Zimbabwe – all sharing the same classes, residence halls, and dining halls.

    How do I know if I’m considered an international student?

    In this day and age, who is international can be a complicated question. I have met students with US Citizenship who have never been inside the US and I have met students without US Citizenship who have no recent memories of ever being anywhere other than the US. So who is international and who is not? Well, we define international students based on citizenship – it’s pretty straight forward that way. But, regardless of which passport a student may hold, we recognize the cultural and personal experiences that all students bring to the entering freshman class!

    How will my application be reviewed, and am I eligible for financial aid?

    In every case, students are reviewed in the context of their high school and the curriculum that is offered there. But, when it comes to the financial aid piece, domestic students (US passports & US Permanent Residents) are eligible for financial support from the US Government, whereas international students are eligible for financial support from the university only. Here’s a little chart which can help visualize:

    Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 4.39.35 PM
    Emory Scholars Merit program*
    Submit FIF and ISFAA Document*

    Do I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

    We have a policy regarding this exam. Applicants who do not use English as their primary language must demonstrate the ability to be successful in a rigorous English-medium academic curriculum. Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English at the time they apply to Emory University. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is highly recommended when English is not the native language of the student; however, students for whom English is not the native language can also demonstrate exceptional command of the English language through the following criteria:

    * The student achieves a 650 Critical Reading score on the SAT Examination

    * The student has spent the most recent four years of high school where English is the language of instruction for all academic subjects (excluding foreign language.)

    More on this policy is available here.

    How can I learn more about campus, especially if I can’t visit in person?

    One of the challenges for students 0092201-10KHoverseas is learning about Emory. Because many students will never get the opportunity to visit campus before they apply, the web is probably the best way to get to know the university. Our International Student and Scholar Services Office provide a wonderful set of resources for students coming from abroad. I highly encourage students to spend time on this website and becoming familiar with the resources available! Also, I highly recommend watching the following video: The Emory Undergraduate Experience

    Emory is a great place for students coming from overseas. Students are just as likely to meet someone from their hometown as they are someone from the opposite corner of the globe. We, at Emory, see value in classrooms of global perspectives and ideas. We hope to foster discourse which takes place not from one side, but multiple sides showing deference to global cultures and points of view. We hope students develop and shape themselves into global citizens who hold themselves to the highest standards of social responsibility and who make decisions with care, concern and thoughtfulness that extend beyond geographical borders. We look forward to welcoming you to our global community, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more insights into life at Emory University.




    Mark E. Butt
    Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission & International Recruitment
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

  • A Letter to Our Scholar Applicants

    Dear scholar applicant,

    It’s 8:30 am, and I just finished my morning coffee with 1292079_10100629074810959_1630819063_oone of my best friends from college. Every morning we meet for coffee at my house – one of my favorite parts of the day. My husband has already had two conference calls, grabbed his Cliff bar, and headed to his office. All has fallen silent in the house, and my dog, Sol, a three year old spunky Great Dane, beckons me to head upstairs to her favorite spot, which happens to be right next to my reading chair in my home office.

    This time of year you can usually find me at home, in my robe, any hour of the day, engrossed in your stories of reflection, perspective, and observations about the world around you. With the November 15th Scholars’ deadline behind us, our team is immersed in searching for Emory’s next thought illuminators, inquiry drivers, and ethical game changers among this year’s Emory University Scholars’ pool.

    Scholar applications are some of my favorites to read, and I get the feeling Sol enjoys them too (as long as they don’t infringe on her naps and walk, of course). Personally, I view the stories that you weave not as a single moment in time, but a semblance of your inner-most thoughts. A manifesto that highlights a personal code of ethics and claims that, at this point in your young life, is what you stand by. This is who you are, and this is what you dream about.

    For many, college applications are the first time you have been asked to not only look deeply within yourself, but share it with a perfect stranger. And for some of you, I imagine this process came with some fear. Fear is such an interesting animal, a chameleon of sorts that creeps and hides in the depths of our inner thoughts. Daunting as it may seem, when we wield the strength or the willingness to allow our fears to be exposed in their sheer, thorn-enlaced naturalness, they are by all means the most splendid of journeys on which to embark. Finding our fears, speaking to them openly, can allow us to discover ourselves in ways we’ve never imagined.

    Have you found what is meaningful to you? What has gotten you there? Have you listened to the world around you passively or have you been a catalyst for change? Have you thought about what you hope to accomplish? Have you examined your goals or considered the obstacles in your way? Have you challenged yourself to be true to yourself, kind to yourself and to those around you? Are you compassionate?

    I’m totally with you. It’s kind of scary if you think about…IMG_0081 to put yourself out there and let people really see you as you see yourself.Know that we read your stories with care and respect, unwrapping each detail without tearing through the pages. (We also read applications online, so no pages to tear!) I am reading your life as you have chosen to share it. I search for clues that extrapolate how you have been living your life thus far, knowing the potential of what is yet to come is the most exciting part of all.

    A scholar applicant once shared the quote “Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you.” (Rashi) I like to think of this as a reminder that we are constantly in a state of learning and understanding. We’re never fully “set” in who we are. I say all of that to encourage you. Continue to do good things. Carry on asking yourself hard questions. Remember that the expert in anything was once a beginner (Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States).

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us and opening yourself up to the discovery of knowing yourself. My colleagues and I look forward to getting to know you throughout the selection process for the Emory University Class of 2019. Remember that Scholar notifications will be released by January 31 through your OPUS account. (Learn how to set up your OPUS account here and learn more about the selection process here. ) In the meantime, continue to enjoy your senior year with full confidence of how far you have already gone!

    All my best,
    Giselle F. Martin
    2:17 am (yep, still in my robe)


    Associate Dean of Admission
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

  • Deadlines, Updates, and FAQs

    0110102-11bm-f025-man (1)As we near the end of November, many of us will pause this week to give thanks and enjoy a few days off with family and friends. In fact, I am writing this blog from Florida, enjoying some much-needed time with family. It is actually half-time in my Lego building contest with my nephew, so I thought it best to catch up on a little work.

    Depending on where you are in the application cycle – submitted and waiting versus in progress and contemplating – hopefully the information in this post will answer your pressing questions. If not, always know you can post a comment, and we will respond quickly.

    Early Decision Update

    A record number of applicants applied Early Decision 1 to Emory College and Oxford College this year. [See this recent Emory Report story: Early Decision Applications Increase for Class of 2019] For the last couple of weeks the admission staff has been busy evaluating these ED1 applications. The reading and assessing will continue through Thanksgiving week and into early December. The second week of December will include a series of admission committee discussions all leading to decisions being finalized by December 15. Notification day for ED1 will be December 15. ED1 applicants can anticipate receiving an email prior to the 15th with full details about how notifications will be released. Until then, we encourage ED1 applicants to sit tight, and enjoy the holidays!

    Emory University Scholars Program Update

    Another0042404-14kh193-_raw_ interested audience that can sit tight and enjoy the holidays are those who submitted their applications by the Emory University Scholars Program deadline of November 15th. We are currently downloading and processing all of your application materials, transcripts, test scores, etc. As you check your OPUS accounts, please be aware that it can take up to three weeks for materials to be processed and removed from your OPUS to do list. Be confident that we are processing everything as quickly as we can, and we will be in contact if any information is missing.

    Are you unsure if your application is under review for the Scholars program? You are a Scholars program applicant if

    1. You submitted your application by the November 15 deadline.
    2. You checked “Yes” to the Emory University Scholars Program question under the General section of the Emory University Member page on your Common Application.

    Your application status is always based on the date of application submission, not on the date we processed your materials.

    What’s next for Scholars applicants? You will learn whether you are selected as a finalist by January 31. Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision applicants selected as finalists will also learn or their admission decision at this time. (Early Decision 1 applicants learn of their admission decision on December 15. ED2 and RD Applicants not selected as finalists will learn of their admission decision on the notification date for the admission plan they chose. We will post further updates about this in January.

    In Progress Applicants

    Finally, a large group of you have yet to click submit on your application. That’s OK. But don’t procrastinate too much as you have a month left until our January 1st deadline for Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision. As you work on your application, there a lot of resources that can assist, including:

    Thanksgiving break is a great time to finish up your applications and make those last tweaks.

    No matter where you are in the process, I always encourage learning more about Emory University. If you haven’t yet checked out our #iamemory blog – http://iamemory.blog.emoryadmission.com/ – I encourage you to do so. It’s a great look into the lives and experiences of current Emory and Oxford students. If the admission selection process is all you can think of right now, then I suggest reading my colleague Lisa’s recent blog entry on how we evaluate applications.

    A Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    Best wishes!

    Daniel G. Creasy
    Director of Communications
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

    0111705-11KH Shots from Woodruff Library 10th floor. Skyline