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29

The Most Active Posts Since Friday

by Jeff Steele last modified Jan 29, 2024 11:53 AM

The topics with the most engagement since my last blog post included University of Maryland early admissions, a teen who wants a Stanley water bottle, University of Michigan early admissions results, and a 17-year-old daughter who is having sex.

The most active thread over the weekend was titled, "UMD EA Results" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. I've written several recent blog posts on topics dealing college "Early Decision" admissions. But, that admissions round has passed and colleges are on to "Early Action" which is something entirely different. Students can only submit a single Early Decision application and must commit to attending the school if accepted. Early Action has neither of those restrictions but has the advantage of receiving an admissions decision earlier in the cycle than regular admissions. This thread is about Early Action decisions from the University of Maryland. However, the results being reported in the thread have a twist. Rather than being accepted for the Fall of 2024 as would be expected, many posters report being accepted for the Spring of 2025 or, in some cases, the Spring of 2026. Posters are understandably confused about this. Other posters note that these students will be eligible for UMD's "Freshmen Connection" program which allows students who are accepted for the Spring semester to live on campus and take classes in the preceding Fall. There is some discussion about the purpose of Freshmen Connection and I don't think there was ever an adequate explanation. Some posters suggested it is a way to manipulate admissions statistics. Posters whose kids went through the program praised it and assured those being offered the option that there is no stigma or other negative connotation attached to it. Other posters received admission for the Fall of 2024 and much of that discussion was about the specific program to which the students had been admitted. UMD seems to have a host of Living-Learning Programs which group students with specific interests together. This includes the Honors College and something called FIRE to which several posters reported being admitted. As always in admissions results threads such as these, there are posters who are thrilled because their kids were accepted and those who are disappointed because their children were not. Rejections normally generate complaints about the admissions process, in this case there was anger that in-state students are not being prioritized over out-of-state applicants. Both those accepted and those rejected were asked to provide statistics which were then analyzed as posters attempted to read the tea leaves for any insight into admissions decisions. Offers for merit aid or other assistance come later in the process which somewhat spoiled the news of acceptance for many because they were not sure what attendance would cost them. Every university discussed in the forum attracts haters and UMD is no exception. Though, in this case, the most vocal critic mostly bashed it for the quality of its housing, especially off-campus housing. Coinciding with the criticism was a discussion lamenting that UMD's prestige is not widely recognized outside Maryland.

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