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UGA sees new gains in early applicants

The university said it received a record number of applications for early admission.

ATHENS, Ga. — A record number of students decided early on that they wanted to be a Bulldog, according to the University of Georgia's applicant data. The university announced Tuesday that it has already accepted 8,900 students for the undergraduate Class of 2026 after sifting through the highest number of early applicants the school has ever seen.

UGA received 21,500 applications for early admission during this college admissions cycle, according to a news release. Last year 20,870 students applied early decision, a university spokesperson said.

The increase in applicants comes as many colleges and universities are struggling with enrollment numbers as a symptom of the pandemic. In an effort to avoid student debt and the uncertainty of learning with coronavirus on campus, many high school seniors and college students have opted for gap years or to delay pursuing higher education, according to education experts. However, UGA's enrollment is bouncing back and also setting records.

The university is crediting the rise in numbers to the Common Application, a service that allows students to apply to multiple partnering colleges and universities with one general application packet. 

UGA began accepting the Common App last year, which simplified the process for prospective students, according to the university. Leaders said a majority of their early decision applications were received through the Common App.

As the applicant pool was strong, UGA said 900 more students were admitted early action for the next fall semester. Last month, UGA announced it also had its largest student body on campus. 

The regular decision application deadline is Jan. 1. Final admission decisions are revealed in mid-March, according to a news release.