Perspective

I like to do my best to keep people informed about what we are doing because I think it adds perspective and context.  I am a pretty transparent person and do not want the admissions process to seem like some kind of mystery or cloak and dagger operation.

A common topic that I want to continue to elaborate on is document tracking and file processing.  When I came into the office this morning I ran some reports and can share the following information. In the 24 hours leading up to the deadline . . .

  • Over 1,200 people submitted applications through our online system
  • Close to 900 recommendations were submitted in our online system
  • Several hundred emails were sent to our admission email box, many with attachments

As mush as we would like to be a paperless office, we have not gotten there yet.  When documents are submitted to our system we have to print them.  A high speed printer is sitting next to my office and it has been singing its printing song all morning and will continue to do so for likely an entire week.

Each application is a different length, but I guesstimate that we will be printing over 25,000 pages in the next week or so.  We do use a duplex printer in an effort to try and spare trees.  I am native of Oregon so I have much respect for forests.

In an effort to process applications as soon as possible we do set up a sort of assembly line.  In a nodd to Henry Ford, the assembly line mentality helps us to get through the process more quickly than if we just worked on trying to complete one application at a time.

So what’s the point?  Well, a few things . . .

First, you can see that with the volume of paper we are dealing with it is going to take a bit of time because we manually check each application to make sure everything is legible and complete.  This is why we ask for your patience in regard to marking your file as complete on the application site.  As stated in previous entries, it can take 10-15 business days after the deadline for us to get through this process, sometimes longer depending on individual circumstances.  Rest assured that we will work with applicants if anything appears to be out of order.

Second, if you do really need to contact us about something you feel is unique about your circumstance, email is the best way.  The address is sipa_admission@columbia.edu.  If it does deal with the receipt of a singular document in our office, we may be able to help immediately, but we might also ask for your patience as the assembly line continues to complete files.

In regard to this second point, I thought about a Visa card commercial I remembered seeing on T.V. Due to the power of the Internet, I found it in about one minute.  Some clever ad agency came up with a visual of the assembly line concept and how it functions in the most efficient manner.

Enjoy and thanks again for your patience and understanding.

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