UGA Culture?

I’m currently a junior in high school and I’m in the process of searching for colleges. UGA really caught my attention and has almost everything I want in a school. (nice campus, college town, party scene, academics, big sports school, good size) Also, I’m interested in finance, Econ, and information systems, all of which UGA seems to excel at. However, I know that UGA is made up of mostly kids from Georgia. Honestly, I’ve never met anyone from Georgia (or even been) so I don’t know much about Athens culture. I’m from upstate New York. DISCLAIMER: For people who don’t know, upstate ny(Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo) is NOTHING like NYC. I live outside of Albany. It’s very rural and while New York is seen as liberal, a large portion of upstate ny is conservative. I’m not too worried about the change in culture if I attended UGA, however, my main concern is making friends and being excluded based on where I’m from and NY’s reputation. Also, I would want to join a frat and I am concerned about how being from the northeast will affect me getting a bid. Any input is very much appreciated!

Being from out of state won’t be a problem at all. It’s a friendly school. I suppose many initially remain friends with high school classmates, but all students eventually branch out and meet new people. I suggest you ask your question over on the sub rddt for UGA, which is far more active.

My DD has had no problem making friends with students from GA and other out of state students. Having GA friends has been very nice, as folks will offer to keep her car at their place over break, store stuff, etc.

Apply! It’s a great school!

Most of UGA’s instate students come from the Atlanta area and they don’t have deep ties to the state. Generally their parents moved to Atlanta for work. This means that UGA isn’t very “southern” compared to other SEC schools.

The University of Georgia has a fairly sophisticated student body, therefore you should have no problems whatsoever adjusting to the great academics, incredible weather, and attractive students.

Hi, my family relocated from New York to a suburb of Atlanta (exactly as @AlwaysMoving described, for work) and we were very worried about fitting in socially in the south as well. I can tell you that Atlanta in general is made up of a very high proportion of transplanted people from all over the country/world. Atlanta is a growing city with many corporate headquarters which are attracting more and more transplants every year. In fact, bumping into a person who has a long history of living in Atlanta is the anomaly in the suburb where we currently live. I’m assuming “AlwaysMoving” has made a lot of moves, so have we - and Atlanta is absolutely my favorite place our family has lived so far. As stated, our family was welcomed with open arms.

Additionally, my student is a high school senior and we were shocked at the number of out-of-state students who were visiting UGA when we went for the honors program information session and campus tour. My feeling is that the university is becoming more competitive and since MOST scholarships and admissions are not heavily favoring in-state applicants, UGA is starting to get a bigger draw from around the U.S. and the world. While you will certainly bump into the student who is from rural Georgia, who might be more “stereotypical southern” our impression is that those students actually are the ones who are adjusting to the culture at UGA, rather than the other way around. I would have no hesitation recommending UGA to you as a former New Yorker, who retains my NY accent, fast rate of speech, and other stereotypical NYer traits. Being from upstate, my guess is you will be particularly fond of the weather - no underground tunnels needed, like U. of Buffalo.

Finally, I can’t speak specifically about the fraternity situation, but one other statistic we were very surprised to learn when we visited UGA is that as the school has become more competitive over the years, participation in Greek Life has decreased. Thus, you are not looking at a University of Alabama situation or even many private southern schools where the majority of students are attempting to go Greek and many do not receive bids. I can’t be sure, but I wouldn’t assume getting into a fraternity would be a huge hurdle at UGA.


I also had the feeling that UGA is not a typical southern school. We live in SC but moved there right before High School from Texas. My daughter is not interested in greek life at all and we are hoping she will fit in there since she really thinks she wants to go there. We finally visited USC in Columbia last weekend and I was hoping she will fall in love since it would be a lot cheaper for us but unfortunately UGA is currently her top choice of the schools she got admitted to.

My D is a second year OOS honors student at UGA and is not in a sorority. She easily found many friends at UGA and is active in many activities in and around campus in addition to her classwork. Some of her friends in clubs are in sororities and they are fine. I would not be concerned unless you have an extremely socially awkward student.

@UpstateSCmom My daughter also has no interest in Greek life, and the lower participation numbers at UGA versus many other southern schools is one of the reasons she likes UGA. We were told UGA’s Greek participation rate for girls is around 30% while her other possible university for girls it’s closer to 60% joining sororities.

I note that each time you post there seems to be some kind of similarity between our girls. Hoping that extends to both getting scholarships too. Good luck!