• 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

  • Why Oxford?

    0042306-13kh-f018-_raw_ (1)

    Why Oxford? This may be a question in the back of your mind that you are unable to articulate or afraid to ask. I’ll tell you why. First, know that I’m not here to tell you that Oxford is the perfect fit for everyone, as it goes with any college or university – but it may be for many of you, and you just don’t know it yet.

    Oxford College is one of two entry points to Emory University, which is an offering unique to any other university in the country. Two distinct entry points, resulting in two different experiences; ultimately leading you down one of three degree paths (Emory College of Arts and Science, Woodruff School of Nursing, or Goizueta Business School). You are afforded the option to truly personalize your Emory University experience.

    If you begin on the Oxford campus, you will 0032604-12kh-f063-_raw_spend your freshman and sophomore years here before continuing to the Emory campus in Atlanta for your junior and senior years. The Oxford experience combines academic excellence and the resources of Emory University with a tight-knight, diverse community. The nature of an Oxford education encourages scholarly inquiry, research, and interdisciplinary exploration all within a liberal arts setting. The small class sizes allow you to build relationships with your professors, not only inside of the classroom, but outside as well.

    Not to mention, because you’re not competing agains0030702-12kh-f305-_raw_t juniors and seniors, you are given the opportunity to jump right in and assume immediate leadership roles on campus– whether it’s becoming captain of the women’s soccer team, SGA president, or an RA (resident assistant). Students also have the unique opportunity to conduct one-on-one research with faculty members as freshmen or sophomores, whereas those positions are normally reserved for upperclassmen and graduate students on other campuses.

    Listen to what Maddie Monahan, assistant dean of admission, had to say about her Oxford experience:

    “As I recall my Oxford experiences 30 years ago, they are some of the same experiences that students talk about today: intimate classroom environments where you’re encouraged to express your opinions, leadership opportunities that allow you to shine and put your best foot forward, and faculty interactions that enable you to get to know faculty on both an academic and personal level (imagine playing a pick-up tennis match with your History professor two weeks into your freshman year…that’s exactly what happened to me…and I won!), and, finally, 900 amazing classmates who you’ll befriend and keep in touch with as all of you automatically continue to Emory’s campus in Atlanta for the last two years of your Emory experience, friends that you’ll ultimately have for life. If you want that type of environment for the first two years of your Emory experience, then Oxford College may just be the place for you.”

    You really get the best of both wholiorlds here – a small liberal arts college feel with all of the resources of a major research university. I am not an alumna of Oxford or Emory, but I can genuinely tell you that I have come to love the campus as if I were. The students are engaged, passionate, and driven to make an impact on campus and in the community. I encourage you to visit both Emory and Oxford if you have not yet done so, because a college visit is the best way to determine your fit on campus.

    Thank you for allowing me to share just a little bit about why I love Oxford, and I wish you the best in your college application process!

    Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 4.34.48 PMSarah Darden
    Senior Admission Advisor
    Emory University

  • Inside Application Evaluations

    How we evaluate your application

    As a staff, we are often asked by students how to make their applications stand out from the pack. Students want to know the ideal test scores or GPA they need to have. Or what the magic number of AP or IB classes they need to take. Some people think that we have a fixed equation or computer program to determine admissibility. Maybe it would look something like this:

    Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.45.12 PM

    I’m here to set the record straight. At Emory, there is no magic formula. There is not a secret computer program where we plug in a student’s performance data and it spits out an admission decision. We truly read and evaluate each and every application, essay, and letter of recommendation. We discuss, reflect, and deliberate together as we select our first year class.

    So if there’s no formula, what are we looking for?

    Last week the Emory and Oxford admission staf0022102-12kh-f042-_man_ (1)f gathered for a Reading Retreat to discuss that answer. (A Reading Retreat is a day or two together to prepare for Reading Season. Reading Season is the uber-creative name we call the next few months where advisors and counselors are reading through your applications. Genius, I know.) As part of the retreat, leadership delved into the traits Emory stands for as a community, and thus, what character traits we should look for in our incoming class. Notice I said character traits. Not what SAT scores we needed to look for. Not how many AP classes a student needs to have. But the characteristics and qualities that a student should embody. Don’t get me wrong. Academics are absolutely important. Emory University is rigorous and challenging. We look for the best and the brightest. But selecting the incoming class goes far beyond that.

    John Latting, dean of admission for Emory College, encouraged us to “… think about the person represented by the application. Do what you can to discover the student who will be most challenging to the faculty, the most exciting, and the most challenging to one another,” due to their skills, talents, and experiences. He reminded us that our job is not only to evaluate high school performance (those high level classes, test scores, and extra-curricular activities), but also do our best to predict college success and fit with the Emory ethos.

    Kelley Lips, dean of admission for Oxford College, encouraged everyone to “be conscious and aware of each student in that moment” and to identify who each student is as a learner in academia and also who he is in his community.  Is the student exciting? Determined? Courageous?  Intentional? Ethical? Genuine?

    At Emory, learning is clearly what we are all about. We are a highly-selective university with stellar faculty and high-achieving students. But more than that, we are a community of vibrant thinkers, engaged participants, and courageous learners. We are looking to challenge one another to be the best that we can be, and we are looking for students who will make a positive contribution to our dynamic community.   

    To those who applied Early Decision I, know that we are taking the time to thoughtfully and thoroughly reflect on your applications. To those applying ED II and Regular Decision, know that we will afford your applications the same care. We’ve taken two days out of our schedules to prepare for Reading Season, reflecting on the makeup of our incoming class. I encourage you to reflect on what you want us to know about you through your application.

    As always, feel free to engage with us, ask questions, and learn more. Comment here, tweet us, or shoot us an email at admission@emory.edu.


    Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.57.25 PM

    P.S. – You can hear from current students about why they chose Emory and Oxford on our #iamemory blog.

    P.P.S. – If you want a more in-depth look at how we shape our class, check out this recent story in Emory Magazine.

  • The Southern Sense: November

    “Is it true that Southerners consider road kill a delicacy?”56cf0d1c2aa211e2a84922000a1f8c0f_7

    That is the winning question I got as an admission counselor during this fall’s travel season. Every year I answer a broad range of questions about life in the South and about my own experience growing up here. Some questions are standard. Some are pretty disturbing. And some just make you want to laugh.

    The disturbing questions and the humorous ones, most often spawned from reality TV, do bring to mind the stereotypical perceptions of Southern behavior. What is a Southern man? Is he the epitome of a chivalry that never dies, holding doors for ladies, giving up his seat to the elderly, and always in possession of a handkerchief? Or is he a puppy-kicking redneck, always spoiling for a fight and never without a piece of straw in his mouth? What is a Southern woman? Is she the quintessential lady, devoid of character flaws and always in possession of a perfectly cooked casserole? Or is she a man-chasing hussy in Daisy Dukes, happy to grab that possum off the side of the road to save a trip to the Piggly Wiggly? Extremely high expectations and extremely low expectations living together in one stereotype.

    All that being said, the notion that Southerners have an affinity for road kill is one I can confidently and cheerfully squash right here. (On a related note, we don’t all shop for cars with the criteria of how big a deer we can strap to the hood either.) We are an outdoorsy crowd, partially because our weather is so fantastic most of the year and partially because that’s where all of the football, horse races, picnics, festivals, and other fun can be found.

    This comfort level with the outdoors can actually stand a person (Southern or not) in very good stead when she is, in fact, forced to deal with road kill while going about her own business, as happened to me once. I was on my first recruiting trip as a new admission counselor for Emory, in a state that will remain anonymous. As I drove to a particularly remote school, my GPS navigated me onto a one-lane dirt road where I came around a bend and encountered a wake of vultures chewing on something in the road (yes, “wake” is the term for a group of vultures feeding together, and yes, I looked that up). I drove slowly through them, assuming they would take off. Unfortunately, one ambitious buzzard stayed a little too long at the table, and when it rose up, it flew straight into my windshield. I gave a scream worthy of a horror film, while the vulture, equally startled, bounced off the windshield and disappeared – leaving its meal on the hood of my very clean, very white rental car.

    Aware of my approaching appointment and the importance of first impressions in my new job, I decided to venture outside in search of a stick to scrape the worst of the mess from my car before I arrived at my school visit (my tenure as an outlaw Boy Scout would carry me forward, but more on this another day). With one foot out of the car, I looked up and saw the entire kettle of vultures now circling above me (yes, “kettle” is the term for a group of vultures in flight, and yes, way too much of the English language has been dedicated to describing group vulture behavior.) I jumped back inside, and the next five minutes became a freakish combination of The Birds and Jurassic Park as vultures dive bombed my car while I flattened myself inside trying to figure out what to do. Just as it occurred to me that I could drive away (albeit with road kill laid out on my hood), a buzzard slammed on top of the car, shrieking at me through the glassed-in sunroof. My angry fellow traveler then slid down the windshield, skied across the hood of the car on top of its meal and haphazardly flew off with it, leaving my car animal-free but looking like the scene of a very bloody crime.

    And thus I arrived, 20 minutes behind schedule, for my very first school visit. The visit went as well as one could hope under the circumstances. I do not know if the startled people who watched me alight from the death-mobile with all the aplomb I could muster spread their story. But as we like to say in the South: Function in disaster. Finish in style.

    Rest assured that we don’t eat road kill. And I’ve never heard anyone else have the kind of road kill experience I just described. But we do love being outdoors and enjoying the scenery. If you’re in Atlanta this November, take a look at some of the events and programs below to supplement your time. I promise you won’t even need to dodge buzzards to have fun! 

    “Atlanta Movie Tours” throughout the city of Atlanta. Available all month based upon tour schedule.amtlogo

    Maybe you’ve noticed the increase in Atlanta’s appearance in both movies and TV shows recently. It’s been great seeing our beloved, albeit quirky skyline in recent Rom-Coms, like Life as We Know It and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Our downtown streets have been made into zombie-stomping grounds by The Walking Dead. Our Westside was transformed into District 13 and our historic Swan House became the headquarters of The Capitol in the juggernaut Hunger Games series. The historic area surrounding our Oxford College campus (and occasionally the campus, itself) has even played host to The Vampire Diaries, and most recently, the next installment of the National Lampoon Vacation series. Of course, Atlanta is no novice when it comes to being a playground for the film industry since its scenic presence in iconic movies, like Gone with the Wind and Driving Miss Daisy. So whether you consider yourself an industry buff or your favorite show is filmed here, we encourage you to get a behind-the-scenes view through one of the many tours offered.

    “Garden Lights  at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Available November 15, 2014-January 3, 2015

    Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 7.23.34 PMIt may seem redundant to be talking about the Botanical Gardens (featured in the October entry), but it’s really an indication of what an established institution the gardens are in the city and an ode to their great seasonal offerings. Fall’s scarecrows and pumpkins have been replaced by nearly 1 million energy-efficient bulbs that light your way through the 30-acre plant sanctuary. Debuting in 2011, this spectacular exhibit has quickly become a must for Atlantans and a favorite sight-seeing activity for travelers. Exploration of the extensive grounds is punctuated by fire pits and on-site S’more kits, hot chocolate and cider stations, and seasonal music and shows. If you’ve never experienced the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, this is a great time to do so. And if you have visited the gardens before, a return trip under these well-lit conditions will not disappoint.   

    “Castleberry ch_artstroll_mark_600px-02-300x186 Art Stroll” through Atlanta’s historic arts district, Castleberry Hill. Friday, November 14, 2014 from 7pm – 10pm

    Every second Friday of the month, galleries and restaurants throughout Castleberry Hill welcome residents and visitors alike into the underground art scene of downtown Atlanta. If you like great art and great food, there’s no better way to spend your evening. Whether you’re coming from across town or across the country, everyone is welcome! 

    Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 7.18.46 PM“Snow Mountain” at Stone Mountain. Available November 22, 2015-February 22, 2015

    Similar to the Botanical Gardens, Stone Mountain (featured in the October entry) is also well known for its seasonal transformations. While it’s true, we don’t get much snow in Atlanta (and frankly, we like it that way), all bets are off when you enter Stone Mountain during its winter season. Gone are the pumpkins and in their place is five football fields worth of actual snow, playing host to all kinds of snowy activities, from tubing to snowman building. The Village also offers great seasonal foods and gifts to make your visit that much more memorable.

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

    picture credits:





  • #askEmoryAdmission Twitter Chat–Early Decision

    twitterchat1Join us for a Twitter Office Hour this Thursday, October 30th, at 7:00 pm EST. We invite all students applying Early Decision (ED) – or thinking about applying ED – to join us. We will focus on what ED means, offer last minute application tips and advice, and answer your questions.

    When: Thursday, October 30, 2014, 7:00 pm EST How to participate: On October 30th, 7pm EST, log on to Twitter and follow @EmoryAdmission and hashtag #askEmoryAdmission! To ask a question or share an answer, add #askEmoryAdmission to your tweet.

    Q1: Can I apply ED to more than one college/university?
    Q2: If I apply ED, can I apply Early Action somewhere else?
    Q3: What does “binding” mean?
    Q4: What are the pros of applying ED?
    Q5: What are the cons of applying ED? Q6: What is the last SAT/ACT test date possible for ED1? ED2?
    Q7: Can I apply for financial aid if I apply ED?
    Q8: Can international students apply ED?
    Q9: When will I learn of my decision if I apply ED1? Q10: If I’m not admitted ED, can I still apply Regular Decision?
    Q11: If I already applied ED, how do I check my application status?
    Q12: If I don’t apply ED, what are my chances of admission?
    Q13: When is the absolute last minute I can submit my ED1 application?
    Q14: What is some last minute advice for the ED application?

    Remember that our ED1 deadline is Saturday, November 1, 2014. Our ED2 and RD deadline is January 1, 2015

    Share this! Follow @EmoryAdmission and help us promote the Twitter Office Hour using the following sample tweets:

    .@EmoryAdmission is hosting #AskEmoryAdmission on Thurs, Oct 30, 7pm EST! Be sure to join us! http://tinyurl.com/EUED1

    Want to learn more about early decision apps? Join @EmoryAdmission on Thurs, Oct 30, 7pm EST for #AskEmoryAdmissionhttp://tinyurl.com/EUED1