• The Southern Sense: February

    Southern Idioms

    welcome y'allLet’s talk Southern idioms. This aspect of our culture is often misunderstood or flat misrepresented. I blame TV, so please pardon my momentary vent. I can’t count how many times I’ve been watching a perfectly enjoyable TV show set somewhere outside this region, when suddenly a Southern character is introduced—usually with a glaringly bad accent, but I digress—who brings the comic relief by firing off nonsensical phrases (one recent strangler: “I’m busier than a one-legged cat in a sandbox”) that have no relationship to our graceful or gothic vernacular. This is not the way we speak! End of vent. Thank you.

    Southerners’ most commonly used idioms are actually short and sweet (well, sometimes sweet). I’m talking about “y’all” and “bless your heart.”  Here again, though, both have been so overused or misused in media, they’ve basically become parodies of themselves and Southern culture. That’s unfortunate, because they hold an important, functional place in our conversations.

    “Y’all” is a warmer, shorter way of saying “all of you.” This construct isn’t strange. In fact, many languages include formal and informal ways of saying “you” in the plural form, ¿Comprendéis vosotros? (Did you see what I did there?) “Y’all” is the same. You won’t hear it in a large, formal setting or when first meeting someone—at least you shouldn’t. And you probably won’t see it in written communication very often. But when you hear this term from a Southerner, you know he or she is comfortable in front of you, and that is a true compliment.

    Now, “bless your heart” is trickier to navigate, because its meaning really depends on context and tone. The phrase is used often in the South, sometimes as words of solace when witnessing another’s difficulties, sometimes to soften the blow of criticism, and other times in a delivery that you can tell is not a blessing but is so well-packaged there’s just no recourse to be had. The most deadly wielder of the last two forms is the elderly matriarch, who will lay them on you—in your presence or not—in conjunction with blunt criticism. My great-grandmother, a Methodist minister’s daughter and one of the gentlest individuals I ever knew, allowed herself the freedom of vocal complaints about the gaseous effusions, mental shortcomings, and unfortunate clothing choices of fellow assisted living residents by ending her commentary with a devout “bless her heart.” On one oft-quoted occasion she performed the hat trick of skewering herself and someone else at the same time by introducing us to a fellow resident thusly: “Honey, I want you to meet my best friend here. She doesn’t have a good mind left, bless her heart.” (Turning to the friend), “Now, tell me your name again?”

    In summary, don’t believe all supposedly Southern idioms you hear, don’t underestimate the time-saving economy and comfort of “y’all,” and for goodness sake, don’t fail to parse a “bless your heart,” especially if it’s coming from a Southern matriarch.

    If you find yourself visiting Emory University during February (we apologize in advance for the weather and swear it’s not usually like this), we hope you take time to explore Atlanta and get to know us. We’ve highlighted some events taking place this month to make your visit even more memorable. Safe travels, y’all!

    Gary Motley

    Gary Motley

    Emory Jazz Fest 2016: Big Band Night at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts

    February 13, 2016. Emory Big Band and the Gary Motley Trio are coming together for one night on Emory’s main campus in the famous Emerson Concert Hall to relive the greatest musical moments of Jazz history. Admission is free, so don’t miss this great opportunity to hear great music and see inside the Arts at Emory.

    Marc Broussard

    Marc Broussard

    Marc Broussard: In Concert at the SCADshow

    February 13, 2016. Here is another amazing, Southern-born singer and musician that could easily have fit in our country music review blog for his talent and expansion of the country music spectrum. If you haven’t heard his most popular hit, “Home” yet, then I know what is going to be stuck in your head for the next few days (trust me). I am so excited to see that SCADshow will be hosting Broussard and tickets are only $20! If you came to Atlanta to get to know us and you’re a fan of good music, then this is a can’t-miss show!


    African American History Tours at Historic Oakland Cemetery

    February 18–February 26, 2016. For those that have never visited Oakland Cemetery, it is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta (founded in 1850) and one of the few areas of the city to survive Atlanta’s burning during the Civil War. It also stands as one of the most honest depictions of Atlanta’s fraught history throughout segregation, war, and progressive rebuilding, all of which can be traced in aspects like the blatant separation of the burial grounds in the older areas of the cemetery, the variety and evolution of tombstones and grave markings, and the multi-generational Atlanta families and prominent city leaders. This month’s special tour will focus on the burial sites and lives of many African American Atlantans that played an integral part in the city’s history and evolution.


    Orchid Daze at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

    February 13–April 10, 2016. Whether your thumbs are green or not at all agriculturally inclined, a visit to the gorgeous Atlanta Botanical Garden, located at the edge of Piedmont Park in the heart of midtown Atlanta, will always be memorable and fun. This 30-acre plant sanctuary includes rose gardens, an orchid center, an edible garden and bar, the famous Storza woods with its canopy walkway, and much more. There is always an art exhibit or two in the gardens throughout the year as well. Right now the garden is welcoming the arrival of spring with a special exhibition of thousands of orchids and season-inspired events. You are also welcome to visit outside of events to enjoy a nice stroll through the gardens, which offer some of the best views of the Midtown skyline and surrounding park area.

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman
    Farish Jerman 11C*

    Assistant Dean of Admission
    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.

    Photos courtesy of Emory Arts, SCADshow, Historic Oakland Cemetery, and Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

  • Scholars Program Notification Day

    This year we had over 7,200 students apply to the Emory University Scholars Program, our largest Scholar applicant pool yet. The pool was competitive, and the Scholars Selection Committee worked day and night to review every applicant holistically and fully.

    Please refer to the Scholars Program Notification Release post for a reminder of what all Scholar applicants can expect this evening at (or slightly after) 6:00 pm ET.

    Tonight, approximately 300 students will be notified they are a Scholar Finalist for one of the three distinct scholar programs or that they are receiving admission and a scholarship award. Congratulations to these students!

    The reality of the situation is that many students will not be selected today and that can be frustrating. With such limited spots in these competitive programs, we cannot offer awards to all of the accomplished and intelligent students we’ve come across these last few months. We fully understand that not being selected can be disheartening. Each year, however, many students not selected as Scholar Finalists are admitted to both Oxford College and Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and these students become significant contributors to the campus community. Whether through opportunities like the Pierce Leadership Institute at Oxford College, serving on the Student Alumni Board, leading campus-wide events with the Student Programming Committee, or applying as a sophomore or junior to the Emory Scholars Program, there are countless ways to maximize your college experience.

    We invite you to explore a few of our student profiles as a great reminder of the opportunities that exist at both Oxford College and Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

    • Ami Fields-Meyer, 16C*, is a Dean’s Achievement Scholar at Emory College of Arts and Sciences, a leader on campus through the ground-breaking student group TableTalk, making positive change as he helps bring students from diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds together.
    • Addison Welch, 16OX 18C, is a Peer Assistance Leader at Oxford College, serving as a mentor to incoming freshmen. She is also an active leader with Pierce Service Corps, having completed nearly 500 hours of community service in her two years at Oxford, all as she pursues her career path to study developmental pediatrics in the area of Autism research.

    Remember that your Scholar decision in no way impacts your admission decision. Your admission application is still under review. You will receive your admission decision according to the admission plan you chose—Early Decision II by February 15 and Regular Decision by April 1. Stay tuned to this blog and your email for updates on how those decision releases will work.

    *Emory University uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Ami will graduate in 2016 from Emory College (C) with his bachelor’s degree.

  • Scholars Program Notification Release

    Helpful Information on How It Will Work

    scholars breakoutssprout circleNotifications for the Emory University Scholars Program will be released at 6:00 pm ET on Thursday, February 4. The Emory College and Oxford College Admission Committees along with the Scholars Selection Committees have attentively reviewed a record Scholars applicant pool. This year has been particularly competitive, with over 7,000 students in consideration. We appreciate each of you taking the time to apply for the Scholars Program this year and allowing us to get to know you better through your application.

    Please review the information below to better understand how the process of Scholar Finalist notification release will occur on February 4. Do note that the process has changed this year, so if you have read or heard elsewhere about how notifications work, please disregard that information and pay attention to the information contained here.

    It is important to understand that the notifications being released on February 4 will inform applicants who nominated themselves for the Emory University Scholars Program, and met the November 15 deadline, whether they have been selected as a Scholar Finalist or not. Notifications will not be sent via postal mail and cannot be released over the phone.

    Applicants to the Scholars Program will receive an email at (or shortly after) 6:00 pm ET on Thursday, February 4. The email will provide details on whether you have been selected as a Scholar Finalist to move on in the Scholars Program or not. It is important that applicants check the email account for the email address they entered on their application. If one does not receive the email, they should check their SPAM folder. In advance, please ensure that you approve admission@emory.edu as a valid email address from which you can receive emails.

    The email sent to those applicants selected as Scholar Finalists will instruct them to log-in to their OPUS account to review their official notification letter, indicating their admitted status to Emory College, Oxford College, or both, depending on their application. Once logged in to OPUS, Scholar Finalists should locate the Communications section on the right side menu of their Student Center. When the notification is available, (at or shortly after 6:00 pm ET on Thursday, February 4), admitted Scholar Finalists will find a red link for Unread Communications, which contains their notification letter.

    If you have not yet registered for your OPUS account, please do so now. Set up your OPUS account here. If you have any problems setting up your account, please contact Emory’s IT Service Desk directly at OPUSHELP@listserv.cc.emory.edu for help.

    A few key points regarding Finalist selection and notification:

    • Scholar Finalists who applied Early Decision II or Regular Decision will also receive an early notification of admission to Emory College and/or Oxford College. This will be detailed in the letter posted on their OPUS account.
    • Scholar Finalists will learn whether they have been selected as a Finalist for the Emory College, Oxford College, or Goizueta Business School Scholars Program on the Scholar Finalist Registration Page. A link to this page will be provided in their OPUS notification letter. (Learn more about the three Scholar Programs in our recent blog post.)
    • Scholar Finalists are only selected for one of the three Scholars programs, based on interests shared in their original application. Each Scholars Program requires that Finalists attend a Scholars’ Campus Visit Program, the dates of which are included on the Scholar Finalist Registration Page.
    • Some of the Scholars Programs require an additional essay be submitted for consideration during the Campus Visit Program. Details about this, if required, will also be on the Scholar Finalist Registration Page.
    • Scholar Finalists must attend the appropriate Scholars’ Campus Visit Program in order to be considered for a place in the Emory University Scholars Program and any accompanying merit award.
    Scholars Habitat for Humanity

    Emory Scholars’ service programs include helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity.

    Students not selected as Finalists will not have any notification posted in OPUS. This is different from previous years. Those applicants not selected as Finalists will be informed of this in the email they receive on February 4.

    Please note that these students are still wholly under review for admission, and they will receive their admission decision according to the admission plan they chose—Early Decision II by February 15 and Regular Decision by April 1. Each year many students not selected as Scholar Finalists are admitted and become successful, engaged students in our communities.

    We understand that not being selected as a Finalist can be disheartening and frustrating. It is important to note the Scholars Selection Committees review each student comprehensively and holistically. The committees search for depth, intentionality, and meaning in each student’s authentic intellectual self. (Meet a few current Scholars.) This year’s pool of over 7,000 applicants was particularly competitive. Please be assured that each applicant’s credentials are carefully considered throughout the review process.

    A select group of students who are not selected as Scholar Finalists will be notified of their early admission to Emory College and/or Oxford College and that they have been awarded a Liberal Arts Scholarship (Emory College) or Emory Merit Achievement Award (Oxford College). Though these students will not move forward as Finalists in the Scholars Program, the selection committees felt strongly about their accomplishments and chose to announce the good news of admission and scholarship awards early. Students selected for these additional awards will be notified in the email they receive on February 4, and be instructed to log-in to OPUS to review their admit letter that also includes information about the scholarship award amounts.

    Congratulations to those selected as Finalists or receiving early news of admission on February 4! To those students not selected as Finalists, we understand the disappointment you may feel at this news. Once again, please remember that many students who are not selected as Finalists are admitted each year and have wonderful student and academic experiences here.

    If you have any questions about the Scholars Program release process, please post a comment to this blog, and we will respond back quickly.

  • 3 Outstanding Scholars

    Inside the Emory University Scholars Program

    scholars group

    sprout circleThis year we’ve had over 7,000 applicants to the scholars program, our largest scholar applicant pool yet! Applications continue to be dynamic and inspirational. The applicants have been highly competitive and uniquely accomplished, representing some of the top students in the world.

    Right now the Scholar Committees, consisting of admission staff, scholar program staff, and faculty from a wide range of departments, are in the thick of reading applications and meeting together to discuss top candidates for each of the selective scholar programs. (Read more about the three scholar programs on our blog.) During this busy season of reading, we are excited about the remarkable students we are “meeting” and hopeful for the Scholar Finalists we will notify in early February.

    We wanted to introduce you to a few students who were in your position just a few years ago—students who applied to the scholars program and rose to the top in a select group of Scholar Finalists. The biography of each of these students has been written by the admission counselor who read the student’s application during the Scholar Committee process. We’ve shared a bit about what made each student stand out, not only through their high school achievements, but also in their personal qualities and their life’s perspective and tenor. You can also learn a bit about what these students are accomplishing on each campus now as Scholars.

    Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on the Scholar Finalist notification process. We will be updating the blog with everything you need to know.

    An Appetite for Knowledge and Problem Solving

    Mehul Photo
    Mehul Bhagat 18C*
    Economics and Creative Writing
    Suwanee, GA

    Mehul Bhagat is the epitome of a Woodruff Scholar. I distinctly remember reading his application.

    It was one of those days reading file after file of really good students, many of which had similar academic interests and involvement in their communities. However, when I clicked Mehul’s application, it was one surprise after another. He had maxed out his curriculum in all subject areas at his large public high school. He was the Editor in Chief of his school’s multimedia magazine, led his school’s Jazz ensemble as a soloist, and even directed jazz combos. For most students, this type of academic and leadership would take quite a bit of time and energy, but for Mehul it was just the beginning.

    An avid musician Mehul reached All-State for his Alto Saxophone skills, was in the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony as a Section Leader who was thought of so highly that he managed personnel and set musical standards. He was also in the prestigious Rialto Youth Jazz Orchestra where he was lead Baritone Saxophonist. He also happened to be writer who had published his poems internationally and had been invited to attend two of the most coveted journalism and writing studios in the country.

    He was so inspired by his experiences at these events that when he realized there was a shortage of middle school students interested in writing, he founded a nonprofit organization to deliver free creative writing seminars to aspiring middle school writers and even got big time authors to join the fun!

    In the letters of recommendations from Mehul’s teachers, he was described as a humanist with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and problem solving. Hence, I wasn’t surprised to see that he had been selected as one of the youngest members of the Model Atlanta Regional Commission where he ultimately became a committee leader focused on improving regional transportation issues.

    On top of these very notable achievements, Mehul’s essay – which mentioned NOTHING of his accomplishments – had such a generous and insightful spirit to them. We had to meet this young man in person and selected him as one of the Emory College Scholar finalists invited to attend the Scholars Campus Visit. In person, he was even more personable and energizing than his application shared.

    Now a second year at Emory, Mehul has led a team that was a finalist in the Hult Prize which rewards entrepreneurs from around the world who innovate and revolutionize society’s treatment of the poor. The team developed nutritional spice blends as the basis for a sustainable and scalable social enterprise to help young children who live in slums. Within five years, they project reaching 14.4 million children in India, Indonesia, and Mexico. He went after this competition prize as a freshman!

    The thing about Mehul (and Woodruff Scholars generally) is that he never waits for opportunities to come to him. He is constantly searching, creating, taking risks, aware of his surroundings, thirsty to learn more and above all he never takes anything for granted. When I think of Mehul I can’t help but think of the famous Mahatma Gandi quote; “A sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have, but how many leaders you create.” Mehul has already created many leaders in our community just by living his story with meaning and purpose.

    Giselle F. Martin
    Associate Dean of Admission

    The Renaissance Man

    Luke Arnce Photo (2)
    Luke Arnce 17OX 19C
    Joplin, Missouri

    Luke came across in my initial read as a Renaissance man. He had established research interests in engineering after designing and building head lamps powered by body heat, all the while maintaining a variety of other interests as well as a strong academic record. These included biological research, orchestra and marching band, theater, creative writing, and soccer.

    Beyond his well-rounded resume and exceptional grades and test scores, I was most impressed by his deeper commitment to using his intelligence and natural leadership ability to develop new knowledge. When he was no longer able to attend high school soccer practice due to a broken collar bone, Luke decided to find a meaningful way to spend his extra time. He reached out to chemistry and biology professors at a local university and asked if they needed help in their labs. This showed me he enjoys ambitiously putting his intellect to use and doesn’t feel good wasting time when there are “problems to be solved” in the world.

    Since arriving on campus, Luke has found a number of activities to fuel his passions. He is currently involved in Pierce Service Corps, Student Admission Association, ChemOx club, and serves on the executive board of the MED Club (a club for students interested in pre-med). He will also begin conducting research with Dr. Gilbert Ross from the Winship Cancer Institute on cancer metastasis in the near future.

    Olivia Wise
    Admission Advisor

    A Leader on Campus

    Mustafa Hassoun Photo
    Mustafa Hassoun 17OX 19C
    Political Science
    Huntsville, Alabama

    When I first began reading Mustafa’s admission application, I saw many typical traits from many scholar applicants:  rigorous, college preparatory high school with a transcript full of AP classes, a strong GPA, impressive test scores, and a variety of extracurricular activities, including several leadership positions. As I dug further into his accomplishements, I noticed that he had been selected for as a speaker for several presitigious events including TEDxYouth and Youth Leadership Council. He had also won an award for Best Position Paper at Model UN. Along with these accomplishments, his personal essays were incredibly engaging and showcased his passion for civic engagement, awareness of social issues, and a drive to create positive change permeated his application.

    Just as he had been throughout his high school career, I knew Mustafa would be a leader on campus. But more importantly than that, I knew he would use the knowledge and skills he developed at Emory to pursue his passions on a global scale.

    True to form, Mustafa is now on the executive boards of the Democrat Club and the Academic Committee for the Student Government Association, a member of the Pre-Law Society, and has worked with the board of Model UN. He was recently accepted into the Pierce Leadership Certificate program and hired as a Writing Center tutor as well. As a sophomore at Oxford College, Mustafa has also jumped into a number of activities at Emory College in Atlanta. He is a member of the American Mock World Health Organization and won Best Delegate at the national conference last semester. He was also chosen as one of two Oxford representatives for the Global Health Institute Student Advisory Committee.

    Louisa Pinto
    Admission Advisor

    Scholars Program Helps Students Excel:

    *Emory University uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Mehul will graduate in 2018 from Emory College (C) with his bachelor’s degree.

  • Scholars Programs Help Students Excel

    Scholarships at Emory University

    scholars group

    As we continue to read through applications for the Emory University Scholars Program, we wanted to take a few minutes to share more about the types of highly-selective scholarship programs available at Emory College, Oxford College, and the Goizueta Business School. When students check the box on their Common Application to be considered for the Emory University Scholars Program, these are the programs they are being considered for. (We invite you to meet current Scholars as well!)

    The Emory Scholars Program

    sprout circleThe Emory Scholars Program is a distinctive enrichment program that seeks members who are grounded in the Scholar qualities of intellectual curiosity, creative thinking, servant leadership, communication skills, and commitment to community.  The program is unique in allowing its Scholar members many choices in both programming and experiential opportunities, so that they can engage in what most aligns with their personal growth goals and career plans. Scholars regularly engage in events that help each Scholar understand opportunities available to him or her, make plans, reflect on experiences and personal growth and learning, and update plans accordingly. Scholars also benefit tremendously from meaningful engagement with a community of Scholar peers as well as alumni, faculty, and community members. Emory Scholars are full-time students on the Emory College campus in Atlanta and are active participants in the Emory community and beyond, giving of their time, energy, and talents to better their lives and the lives of others.

    All Scholars receive a merit-based scholarship such as the signature Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship, the George W. Jenkins Scholarship or other distinguished named scholarships. Most financial awards consist of full tuition, fees, room and board; some full or partial tuition scholarships are also awarded. Scholars are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA requirement (typically a 3.4), meet various expectations designed to enrich their growth and support their involvement on campus, and meet conditions specific to their scholarship type.

    MacKenzie Wyatt

    MacKenzie Wyatt 16C investigates songbirds and the implication of online motor control of vocal production both in summers and during the academic year.

    The Oxford Scholars Program

    The Oxford Scholars program encourages Scholars to grow in their academic and personal development as well as make positive contributions to the Oxford College community. The program includes activities such as dinners with faculty; lectures and discussions about significant literary, historical, or artistic topics; and other events of interest. The cultural component of the program exposes Scholars to a wide range of events in the local area and in Atlanta, such as plays and concerts.

    All Oxford Scholars begin their academic journey at Oxford College, in Oxford, GA, for their freshmen and sophomore years. Oxford Scholars continue to Emory College as juniors, where they join the Emory Scholars Program opportunities for their remaining time as undergraduates on the Atlanta campus. (Learn more about Oxford College here.)

    Oxford Scholars Program scholarship levels range from $18,000 per year to full room, board, tuition, and fees. All of the scholarships are four year awards and follow the student from Oxford College to Emory College or the Goizueta Business School. Oxford Scholar recipients must complete four semesters at Oxford College before moving to the Atlanta campus. Additionally, Scholars must adhere to the Honor and Conduct Codes and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.4 throughout their undergraduate career. Scholars are expected to be leaders both inside and outside of the classroom and active participants in Oxford Scholars events and discussions.

    MLK Day On

    Leah Michalove 16C and Alumnus Ernest Brown 13C work together to help clean up Oakland Historic Cemetery as part of Emory’s MLK “Day On” Day of Service.

    The Goizueta Scholars Program

    The Goizueta Scholars Program is awarded to exceptional students who have indicated their interest in pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) on their application. The Goizueta Scholars Program is run by the Goizueta Business School, but students begin their career in Emory College along with the incoming freshman class. Goizueta Scholars have the opportunity to enroll in special business scholar seminars, even as a freshman, and participate in an extensive array of leadership and professional activities. The Goizueta Scholars build a community that spans all four years and are in a position to interact with some of the most admired business executives in the world. Additionally, Goizueta Scholars are advised personally by the Dean of the BBA program and given access to a wide variety of ongoing Goizueta resources, including internships, mentoring, and other career services.

    The Goizueta Scholars award will support four years of undergraduate study, including study-abroad options, and ranges from half tuition to full tuition and fees. Goizueta Scholars also have guaranteed admission to the business school and priority access to business classes during class registration.

    We invite you to meet current scholars as you continue to learn about the scholarship opportunities at Emory University.

    Meet 3 Outstanding Scholars

  • The Southern Sense: January

    Fun Stuff to Do in ATL

    Ponce City Market

    Ponce City Market in Old 4th Ward

    Happy New Year, and welcome back, y’all! I hope you enjoyed the holidays and that you your January is off to a good start. If you’re wondering what’s going on in Atlanta, other than a temperate winter (sorry, I had to brag), I’ve got three words for you: Ponce City Market. This 2 million+ square-foot building has been a staple of Atlanta history since it was built in the early 1900’s, having served in many roles, including the Sears, Roebuck and Co. headquarters and the Atlanta City Hall. After falling into disrepair and closing to the public several years ago, the Atlanta community is all abuzz about its reopening as a mixed-use development centered on a food hall with an impressive culinary lineup.

    Many of Atlanta’s best chefs and dining establishments have opened a stall at PCM (that’s what the locals have dubbed Ponce City Market) in an effort to be part of what has fast become the top to visit in Atlanta. No matter what time of day you visit or the type of food you are craving, you are guaranteed to find something great to sink your teeth into in the food hall. Holman & Finch are offering their world famous burgers all day, Farm to Ladle sources local ingredients to make their daily changing soups, and Bellina combines a great Italian market with sit-down dining to serve you. That’s just a few of the many great dining options available at the PCM food hall.

    beltlineWhat also has Atlantans falling in love with PCM is its accessibility. In keeping with the city’s push to cut down on traffic, PCM is within walking distance of public transit stations and is conveniently located right next to the much lauded Atlanta BeltLine (we cannot stop gushing about this amazing initiative that has tied our communities together again!). PCM has also partnered with Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to offer complimentary valet parking for bikes. There is also public parking inside the back of the building in case you can’t avoid driving!

    I think it’s also important to acknowledge PCM’s efforts to integrate the building’s history into its current day use. As you traverse the food hall, you’ll notice cordoned off pieces of industrial machinery, like an early era switch-board, that were rescued and restored with accompanying write-ups that immortalize this building’s immense and varied history.  Architects and interior designers have worked hard to maintain the building’s original walls, floors, and support columns while creating a modern space meant to appeal to any and all.

    If you’re in Atlanta visiting Emory University this January, we hope you plan time in your trip to get to know our city. In addition to visiting the amazing Ponce City Market, we also recommend the events below to make your visit even more memorable!

    Free Admission at Atlanta History Center

    January, 18 2016. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, admission is free to The Atlanta History Center, an iconic member of the city’s culture and community with multiple sites throughout the city. Its 33-acre “main campus” in Buckhead actually hosts several historic venues and buildings, including the Atlanta History Museum, Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Swan House (major film site for the Hunger Games movie), Smith Family Farm, Goizueta Gardens, and the Kenan Research Center. On the Midtown campus is the Margaret Mitchell House (author of critically acclaimed novel Gone with the Wind). Originally chartered in 1926 as the Atlanta History Society by fourteen Atlantans with sizable manuscript and photograph collections, the organization has witnessed and recorded the amazing evolution of our city in the form of sweeping generation exhibits, like the signature “Turning Point: The American Civil War” exhibit, and snapshots in time through its constantly changing temporary exhibit wing.

     Callanwolde Arts Festival at the Callanwolde Mansion

    Saturday, January 23–Sunday, January 24, 2016. This two-day, indoor arts festival is one of the best festivals of its kind in Atlanta, featuring over 86 artists of various media. Live music, food trucks and artist demonstrations will punctuate the schedule of art exhibitions. Even if arts festivals are not your jam, you should make a point to visit the Callanwolde Mansion and explore one of Atlanta’s most historical homes. Originally the family home of the esteemed Candler (Coca-Cola founding) family, this beautiful Druid Hills estate has seen its fair share of history over the years, serving in a variety of capacities, including as a home for the Italian Olympic Committee (which included the likes of Luciano Pavarotti and Prince Albert of Monaco—i.e. Mr. Grace Kelly) during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, as a filming location for several major motion pictures, and as the site of countless weddings and Atlanta society events. Throughout the year it offers a variety of events, tours, and exhibits for local artists.

    Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain

    Now through February, 28 2016. Stone Mountain Park and the surrounding city are rife with history and activity. You can explore the 3,200-acre park via the hiking trail up Stone Mountain itself, one of the largest pieces of exposed granite in the world, or you can explore the mountain and park via a scenic train ride or on SkyHike, the largest adventure ropes course in the US. Feel free to bring a picnic, grill out, fish in the lake, or walk/run on the numerous trails throughout the park. 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. Five football fields worth of actual snow play host to all kinds of snowy activities, from tubing to snowman building. Stone Mountain Village also offers great seasonal foods and gifts to make your visit that much more memorable.

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman
    Farish Jerman 11C*

    Assistant Dean of Admission
    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.

  • Apply Now: Last Minute FAQs

    As 2015 comes to an end, we thought it best in our last blog of the year to focus on answers to the most frequently asked questions we are currently receiving. We are responding to more than 200 emails each day through our admission@emory.edu account. To assist with these questions, we present these FAQs and answers.

    When is the application deadline?
    Prospective applicants who have yet to click submit have until 11:59 p.m. ET on January 1, 2016, to complete their Common Application. Both our Early Decision II and Regular Decision deadlines are January 1.isolated faq button

    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, school reports, and recommendation letters, must be submitted within one week of the deadline date (by January 8, 2016) 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 on an official transcript, when all test 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.

    Can I submit test scores after the application deadline?
    As stated on our Standardized Exam Policies webpage, Emory University requires that applicants need to complete and request their test scores be sent directly from the testing agencies prior to our stated application deadlines (January 1 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision). Scores may arrive in our office after the application deadline but must be completed and requested in advance. We are unable to guarantee that test scores sent after the application deadline will arrive before the Admissions Committee evaluation.

    Applicants may submit additional scores from tests taken after an application deadline, and, if the scores arrive before the evaluation, then they will be considered with one’s application. Once again, we do not guarantee that scores sent after our application deadline will be processed in time to be reviewed with one’s application, and we do not delay the review of an application to wait for scores sent after the application deadline.

    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 a single 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, high school name, 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 a single 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, high school name, 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 requires that any supplemental arts information be submitted as a single attached PDF 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, high school name, 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 3-5 business 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 Undergraduate Admission does not automatically download your application from the Common Application site once you click submit. If it has been more than 5 business day 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.

    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 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 does my OPUS account work?
    After you submit your application, OPUS is the tool you will use to track the processing of your application materials and ultimately receive your admission decision notification. As a reminder, due to the volume of items our office processes, our office is unable to respond to individual requests for tracking status. Students must track their application through OPUS.

    It is very important to note that 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 your mailed documents have been received by our office, it takes time for all these documents to be processed and OPUS to be updated. It can take up to three weeks for documents to be properly processed after their receipt, accurately matched with your application, and the items to be removed from your OPUS to do list. Does that seem like a long time? 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 accurately and efficiently.

    Finally, if items are appearing on your OPUS to do list as initiated, that means the items have not been processed and added to your application file. If you have not yet submitted the required materials, or it has been more than three weeks since their submission, you need to resubmit. Our Application Missing Items webpage provides instructions on how to submit missing application materials.

    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, 2016 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.

    As always, if you have any questions not answered here just post them in the comments section, and we will respond back.

  • I Was Denied from My ED School

    When You Have to Apply RD Somewhere Else

    Grace is currently a second year student at Emory and works in the Office of Undergraduate Admission. While she loves being a student here, Emory was not her first choice initially. She applied to a different school in Early Decision but was not admitted. There are many amazing students who apply to schools across the country. Most colleges do not have enough spots to admit everyone they want to. Hear about Grace’s Emory journey and the lessons she learned along the way through an ED denied decision.


    I had literally checked all the boxes. It was the fall of my senior year, and my college application was finally ready to submit. I clicked “send” and my anxiety kicked in as I awaited an Early Decision admission decision…but not from Emory.

    During my college search, I visited eleven schools (my brother is a year older, so I was dragged on his visits as well), and Emory was among those. The summer before my senior year of high school, it seemed that everyone had chosen “their” school. I began to associate friends with the colleges and universities to which they planned to apply, as they decided to declare their resolute interest by applying to these schools using an Early Decision admission plan.

    I followed suit and picked a college that was not Emory to apply Early Decision; frankly, because it was one that no one I knew had “claimed,” and I, too, wanted to apply to a school that could be mine. Months later, I received a “deny” admission decision that was, at once, both incredibly upsetting and surprisingly relieving.

    No one likes rejection, but I’ve come to respect it, because it led me to Emory. When I was admitted to Emory the spring of my senior year, I realized how valuable that Early Decision experience had been for me. The prospect of attending Emory University, a school that I knew for its marble buildings, passionate student body, and sense of school spirit centered around a beloved skeletal mascot, Dooley, made me realize how this school, not the one I had somewhat arbitrarily chosen in the fall, was the place for me.

    Grace & pals

    Now in my second year at Emory, I tell my family and friends all the time how happy I am that I ended up here. My perspective, no longer clouded by senior year stress and a flurry of Common Application submissions, is fresh: Emory is the school for me, regardless of the fact that I didn’t realize it early on.

    I have found my place here, passionately connecting to the community through my academic and extracurricular life. I found a place in the classroom, with Emory’s world-renowned professors, small class sizes, and strong emphasis on a process of critical inquiry and the pursuit of life-long learning. I found my place in extracurricular activities, joining five very different organizations in which I have pursued community and leadership. I found my place in social life, cultivating relationships with empowering friends who celebrate each other’s successes here at Emory and beyond. As I look back on it now, these are not things that I necessarily would have found at my Early Decision choice, but I’m so grateful that I have found them here.

    I am so proud to be an Emory student and so fortunate to have found my own perfect fit, even if it took a rejection to make me realize that. I know now that one “deny” decision opened the door to a four-year experience at Emory that has become an indelible part of me. There is nowhere I would rather learn, engage, lead, and grow. To those who may not receive an acceptance letter from your Early Decision school, my advice to you is to actively search for the right fit. And if it’s Emory, your journey, too, was absolutely worth it.

    Grace Cleland
    Grace Cleland, 18B*
    Bachelor of Business Administration, Strategy & Management Consulting and Marketing

    Washington, D.C.


    *Emory University uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Grace anticipates graduating from the Goizueta Business School in 2018 (18B).

  • Early Decision I Notification Day


    The ides of December are upon us, and that means in just a few hours the Emory University Office of Undergraduate Admission will release our Early Decision I admission notifications. At 6:00 pm ET, this evening (Tuesday, December 15), Early Decision I notifications will be posted to OPUS, and the first part of the Class of 2020 will take shape.

    Since the November 1 deadline, the Emory and Oxford Admission staff have worked diligently to review record applicant pools and make critical decisions that will shape Emory University in the years to come. Notification days are milestone days not just for the applicants, but the Admission staff as well. Today is a day for the staff to finish crucial work and reflect on reaching one of the first sign-posts on the journey of creating the Class of 2020.

    These days are full of anticipation, energy, and meticulous work. The purpose of this blog post is not to hype a day that ED applicants have anxiously been awaiting, but rather to provide access, advice, and reflection.

    Reminder: How Decisions are released
    Full details and answers to frequently asked questions about the Early Decision I notification release process can be found here: Early Decision I Notifications Update. The short version is decisions go live at 6:00 pm ET through your OPUS account. Decisions are not released over the phone or through email.

    What is going on in the Admission Office today?
    A lot. First thing is that the leadership is finalizing decisions for both Emory College and Oxford College. The Deans, John Latting and Kelley Lips, are making sure that everything adds up and these are the ED classes they want to admit. Today is the day that everything gets reviewed and double-checked. Got to make sure all the proverbial “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed. While the Counseling teams review the decisions one last time, the IT and Operations teams are working hard to make sure that all decisions will be correctly posted to OPUS. And in another corner of the office, the Communications team is confirming that websites are updated, a social media plan is in effect, and that this blog is written.

    Some Advice as your Prepare to Receive Your Decision
    Attempt to keep yourself distracted today. Try not to constantly look at the clock. Pursue activities that you enjoy and will keep your mind off of 6:00 pm. More importantly, after you receive your admission decision, our 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 to share first with those closest to you, those who have been there since the earliest moments of your life and who will be there forever. Your family is not Snapchat or Twitter or Instagram. 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.

    Know that the entire admission staff appreciates 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.

    Post-Decision advice for those not admitted
    Please know that we understand how difficult receiving such news can be. We do not take pleasure in not offering admission to students, especially to those for whom Emory College or Oxford College is their first choice. Please do not receive this news as a judgment of your value or your abilities but rather understand the competitive nature of applying to a highly-selective institution. We are confident that there is a college that will be uniquely enriched by your presence on their campus next fall, and you will have an amazing undergraduate experience.

    Post-Decision advice for those deferred
    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, we encourage you to review the Early Decision Deferred Student Information webpage. The Admission Committee has supplied thorough answers to the most frequently asked questions from deferred students, and we also provide some advice.

    Post-Decision Advice for Those Admitted
    Sincere congratulations! You should feel great pride in this accomplishment. Make sure to login to the Admitted Student Website linked in your decision letter and review all the content available to you. Celebrate with your family and friends over the coming days. August may still be nine months away, but it will be here sooner than you can image.

    As always, if you have any questions, comment on this blog, tweet us, or email us at admission@emory.edu.

    Happy Holidays and best wishes to all!


  • How to Survive Early Decision Day

    Advice from an ED Student

    Jacob was an Early Decision applicant to Emory University just last year, so for our ED applicants out there, he’s been in your shoes! Here’s his advice on how to survive Tuesday, December 15, when ED decisions are released. (And for a reminder on how Decision release will work this year, read this update.)

    Spend time with family and friends

    This day is an important day in your life. Those who have been with you through it all should be with you. Be with the people who you are happiest with, and share this day with them.


    Keep busy

    Why waste your day thinking about what is going to come? Be active. Go to a few of your favorite places alone or with your friends. Plan out your day a few days before of what you’re going to do.

    Do what you love

    Stay positive and enjoy your day. Make a list of the things you love to do and pick a few to day. This is part of staying busy and not stressing.
    Treat Yo Self


    Distractions aren’t always bad

    You down? Keep your mind off the stress with something like Netflix. The day can become a stressful waiting game. Put on your favorite show, have a good laugh, and keep your mind elsewhere.Home Alone

    Breathe. It will all work out.

    Relax. Everything happens for a reason. Don’t be too fixated on the future, and just live in the moment. This day is important and stressing will not help. Take deep breathes and relax.


    Jacob Headshot
    Jacob Robbins 19B*
    Business and Dance
    Trumbull, CT


    *Emory University uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Jacob will graduate from the Goizueta Business School (B) of Emory University in 2019.