I want to provide a quick update on a few things based on my work in the office the past few days. I have been doing a bit of everything related to processing applications. Here are a few personal notes on some of the tasks, under the theme, “I am always amazed . . . “
. . . at how dry my hands get when opening mail (and we get a lot).
. . . at how extremely hot printer parts get. Note to self: When you are printing thousands of application documents and there is a paper jam, do not just randomly grab metal parts . . . touch them first to determine if they are white hot.
. . . at how quickly our email in box fills up. We get it close to zero, step away for a few minutes, and upon returning it is once again filled with messages.
. . . at how many countries and schools are represented in our applicant pool each year. Last year we received transcripts from close to 900 different colleges and universities from over 100 countries.
Now to some information that really is important to you.
First, I cannot emphasize enough that it is not important for an application to be marked as complete in our system the day after the deadline. What is extremely important is that all of the required information is received in our office or uploaded to the server by the deadline. Thus, it is completely normal for an application record to remain incomplete for two to three weeks after the deadline. We have several thousand printed documents and mail to get through and Admission Committee meetings do not start until late January.
Please do not let the fact that it will take us time to match and track everything concern you. The date an application is completed in our office has no bearing upon an admission decision. When your file has been forwarded to the Committee, you will receive an email from our office.
Second, please remember that when you submit Part 2, transcripts and test scores are not automatically marked as received. The personal statement and résumés are tracked as received immediately because we rarely have problems with the submission of these documents. But as far as the transcripts and test scores, we need to make sure that the correct information is entered and legible. Thus we will perform a manual check and then code them into the system as appropriate.
Third, as much as we would like to respond to individual requests concerning the receipt of documents, this does not allow us to work efficiently and quickly. Each person in the office has a job and we are set up as a sort of assembly line. If one person in the system tries to go around the process and look for a specific document, it slows the process down and complicates matters. As much as I can understand emailing or calling to ask for the status of a specific document, we would much rather you wait to hear from us.
I know the stress that accompanies admission deadlines. As someone with a graduate degree I have been through the process as an applicant, and as an administrator I have been through close to fifteen years of deadlines. We strive to provide the best service possible and by far the best thing you can do is follow this blog for updates on the process.
Rest assured that if we encounter a situation where a document is missing, we will work with applicants if we believe a good faith effort was made to supply the necessary document by our deadline date. There is no need to send a document a second time to us unless we reach out to you first (we will do so by email if necessary).
Thank you again for your attention . . . it is now time for me to find some hand lotion . . .