So Your Student Wants to Be a Terp

haveuheard terp umd

Who Wouldn’t Want to Be a Terp?

That’s understandable-a Terp, or a student of UMD, is the state of Maryland’s flagship university and amongst the top 25 public schools according to U.S. News & World Report in 2020. The University of Maryland is a great university right down to the beautiful red brick buildings and deep-seated traditions and is brimming with opportunity. The question is, how does your son or daughter become a Terp?

UMD is a school that gets more and more competitive each year, and today they are very selective looking not only at grades and test scores but student involvement, leadership roles, and an essay that stands out.

The Terp Truth…

This past year, around 40% of freshmen who applied for the fall semester were admitted into UMD. For the Fall 2019 freshman class, UMD received over 33,000 applications and took a class of 4,300 students. For the students admitted for Fall 2020, the middle 50% of SAT scores ranged from 1340 to 1510, and 30-34 on the ACT. Grades for the students admitted were primarily As and Bs. Accepted students also have earned an average weighted GPA of 4.32 on a 4.0 scale.

UMD employs a holistic review of every application and takes everything on your application into consideration when deciding if you meet the criteria to be accepted.  There are 26 unique factors that they take into consideration during the admission process. A competitive freshman will not only have high grades, but they will also be enrolled in challenging courses that are available to them, including honors, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate courses. While A’s are really nice; it can be better to get a lower grade in a class that shows they are challenging you, (and by lower grade, we mean B’s and C’s). So, don’t rule out AP Physics or AP Spanish.

Another major aspect of the application is the main coalition essay and a series of five additional short response questions. The University of Maryland is one of the five colleges and universities that accepts only the Coalition Application, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the website and the essay options.

If you do not wish to use one of the Coalition essay prompts, students have the option to submit an essay on a topic of their choice. The essay is the part of the application that applicants can utilize to really stand out and show who you are and what you are going to contribute to the University. This essay needs to be amazing and unique considering they are reading over 33,000 others. If you need help with the essay we recommend Essential Essays College Essay Consulting. They assist students with brainstorming, planning, and writing college essays that will reveal their personality and give their applications a positive edge. This year, with a lack of testing opportunities, the application essay could count more than ever.

After completing the main essay, it is time for the five supplemental short responses. These questions have a maximum character limit of 160 for each response, so they will be very short and essentially fill-in-the-blank. These questions allow the university to better understand you as an individual and a potential student at UMD. The questions are:

  • If I could travel anywhere, I would go to…
  • The most interesting fact I ever learned from the research was…
  • In addition to my major, my academic interests include…
  • My favorite thing about last Wednesday was…
  • Something you might not know about me is…

The best way to approach these questions is to think of unique responses that show what kind of person you are. Do not think too deeply into these short responses, they are not looking for a specific answer. One tip is to look into what the university values such as their mission statement and what they are looking for in a competitive applicant. Use these questions to show how your own values and beliefs line up to the University of Maryland’s values and beliefs. When applying to UMD, you should know what majors they offer. Unless you are looking into Pre-med, Business, or Engineering, consider not putting down a specific major. There is plenty of time to decide on your major, so there is no need to stress if you do not have an idea of what you want to do yet.

Another thing to take note of is to be open to Freshman Connection. Freshman Connection is for students that have been admitted for the spring, but take their classes at UMD in the fall with other spring admits. Freshman Connection is a program that is only one semester, and after completion of the Fall semester, these students will be regular UMD students and you would never know otherwise! The main difference between Freshman Connection students and regularly admitted fall students is that Freshmen Connection students’ classes are taught from 3-9 p.m. While it may seem that classes later in the day are undesirable, many students come to love later class times and it gives them a good period to adjust to their new life on campus.

If UMD is their dream school and they don’t get in, they should consider re-taking the SAT or ACT and reapplying to show their new scores. Also, consider attending a smaller school or community college and then transferring when those requirements are met.

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2020-10-28T12:42:56-04:000 Comments

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