Lately we have been receiving many inquires about the submission of application documents to our office. Many people for example have asked if it is okay to send transcripts by mail rather than uploading them to the application site. We will accept documents mailed to our office as long as they are received by the deadline.
Do please note that we do not require official transcripts to consider an applicant for admission. We will accept unofficial copies and prefer that they be uploaded to the application Web site in Part 2.
The downside of mailing documents to our office is that it can take us longer to update the documents received on the application Web site. Let me provide an example of how document tracking takes place.
Let us say that Applicant A submits all of the documents via the on line application. Part 1 is submitted and we print the application and create a file. In Part 2 s/he uploads the transcripts to the site along with uploading all of the other required documents. When the time comes for us to print Part 2 of the application for Applicant A, all of the documents will print out in order. A member of our staff will then manually double check the file to make sure everything is complete and if so, check off the flags in the system to let Applicant A know that the application is complete.
Applicant A should note that the manual check can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Therefore Applicant A should not expect to immediately see that all documents have been received upon submission of the application. For example, test scores are self reported in Part 2 of the application and after the application is printed we need to manually confirm that the scores printed. We do this for each part of the application. If there is some sort of issue with the upload we will work with Applicant A, however for most applicants no additional work is necessary.
Let us say that Applicant B submits Part 1 and later submits Part 2 but chooses to mail in the transcripts. Applicant B should let us know by uploading a document in place of the transcripts that states his/her name and a brief note stating that they have mailed the transcripts to our office.
When we print Part 2 of Applicant B’s application, the manual check will show that the transcripts have been mailed to our office. We will set this application aside for matching. Matching means that we will comb through our files of received mail to try and locate the mailed transcripts.
As you might imagine, with hundreds of applications and even more pieces of mail, this can take some time. Perhaps the first time we run the match, the transcripts have yet to be received. Therefore the file would be set aside and approximately a week or two later we would try to run the match again.
The most important thing is that all documents be received by the admission deadline. For the on-line application this means that Parts 1 and 2 must be submitted by January 5th. Documents mailed to our office must also be received by January 5th, not mailed by January 5th.
However, please do not expect that your application will show as complete for review on January 6th. It can actually take two to three weeks for us to print all of the applications and run the matching process for those that have mailed in documents. For example, two of your recommendation letter writers might have submitted letters via the Web and one might have mailed a letter. In this case we will have to run the matching process for the letter that was mailed and this takes time.
Even if everything is submitted on the Web site, we must do a manual check of each and every file to make sure all of the information submitted is legible and complete. So even for those who complete 100% of the process electronically, the application Web site may not show that the application is ready for review until a week or two after submission.
During this time period please do not panic. We understand that there is stress involved in the application process and we are happy to work with applicants that have made the effort to get everything in on time. If there is an issue with a document, we will work with the applicant to iron everything out.
Each year shortly after the admission deadline passes we receive hundreds of emails asking very specific questions about the receipt of documents. This is completely understandable, but we also hope that you will understand that with several thousand applications we may not be able to respond to each individual request. More than likely we will send a reassuring response letting you know that we are working as quickly as possible and will reach out if we have any questions.
Also do note that as we receive mail, we do look to see if Part 1 of the application has been submitted and will try to match documents to Part 1. This is another reason why it is a good idea to submit Part 1 as soon as possible.
The time just before and after the deadline is very exciting for us here in the office and we look forward to making the process run as smoothly as possible. Keep checking this blog for updates!