During this time of year it is common for applicants to contact our office via email or by phone to see if documents sent to our office have been received. This is an extraordinarily busy time of year for us and we receive hundred of pieces of mail per day. It can take us up to three weeks to open, alphabetize, track, and file mail received. Here is a picture of a typical pile of mail received this time of year.
As you can see, we can get a few feet of mail per day. The best way to stay up-to-date is to check the application site where we track documents. It is important to understand that our office recognizes the receipt date of when mail is received. For example, the deadline for the receipt of admission documents this year is January 5th, 2009. If a document sent to our office is received on December 27th and we do not open and track it until January 10th this does not mean that the document is late. Documents will be tracked with the receipt date, not the date it was opened, tracked, and filed.
We have three general pieces of advice regarding mail that is sent to our office during this busy season. First, if you send something to us we recommend that you use a tracking number. When a document is sent with a tracking number we must sign for it and you will receive a confirmation from the delivery company when we sign for it. When requesting that your transcripts be sent to us, we recommend that you ask your school to use a tracking number and to include your email on the receipt list. Most schools will charge a small fee for this.
Second, the more time we can dedicate to processing mail the faster we can track documents on the application site for applicants to view. Time we dedicate to phone calls and emails regarding the receipt of documents takes away from our processing time. Thus we may not be able to respond to a request if someone calls asking about a specific document because with thousands of pieces of mail it may be impossible for us to search for individual documents. So do not be surprised if we thank you for your inquiry but ask for your patience in continuing to check the application site as we try to work as quickly as we are able.
Third, we do not begin to track documents until an application is submitted. Therefore, the sooner you submit your application the sooner we can begin the tracking process. When you submit an application it typically takes us a week to set up your file in the office so we can begin the tracking process.
The sooner you submit your application and send documents to our office the better. We encourage you to check the application site frequently where we track documents and we appreciate your patience as we work hard to update the application site as quickly as we are able. As long as documents are received prior to the deadline an application is considered to be on time. It may take us up until January 15th to catch up with the mail so please allow us to go through our normal processes and we can work with you after January 15th if something is missing.