Different Scenery, Same Speed

I was asked today by a colleague if things were slowing down in the office.  I took a pause and thought about it, and responded by saying, “It’s still busy, just a different kind of busy.”  For me the entire year feels as if I am in a car traveling at the same speed, or in may case I really should say on a bike traveling at the same speed,  it is just that the scenery is constantly changing.

We definitely have seasons in the admissions office and although I am not spending hour after hour reading and deliberating on files, I am working on finalizing the fall class, preparing summer communications, ushering out our graduates, setting up summer and fall travel, and preparing to update our admission application for next year.  On top of that is the normal slew of end of year reports and wrapping up the fiscal year as well.  Anyway . . .

I just wanted to provide a quick update since the deposit deadline passed on May 3 and the proverbial dust is beginning to settle.  Our enrollment deposits are where I had hoped they would be and the Committee will not be making any more offers at the present time.  Each summer we do experience what is commonly called “melt” by admission directors.  This means applicants that have paid a deposit inform us that for some reason they will have to relinquish their seat in the fall class.  This may open up seats and I did recently send an email to those on the waitlist asking if they wished to continue to remain on the waitlist.  I will continue to send out updates to those on the waitlist as more information becomes available.

One topic that has been flooding our mailbox concerns the receipt of official transcripts and test scores.  We do not really start checking fastidiously for these documents until after the deposit deadline – the theory being that we do not need to be checking for documents for applicants that will not be enrolling.  Now that the deposit deadline has passed we are putting more effort into this process, however the staff member that directs this process is on leave and we are trying to organize ourselves to attack this process.

If you indicated our code when taking the GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL you should not worry.  We receive these records electronically but we have yet to import the majority of them into our system.  We  are working on this process now and it is going to take us a bit of time to track the scores as official.

As far as transcripts, we will be going through each individual file to double check, but if you did not send your original transcripts and have not ordered them yet, you should.  We do understand that some applicants will not have access to official transcripts until after the June 15 date we have specified for receipt in our office.  This is obviously understandable.  If you are in this situation, see to it that they are mailed as soon as possible after you complete your program.

Regarding both the transcripts and test scores, to be honest, there is no magic associated with the June 15 date.  The reality is that we need to set a date and that is the date we chose to ensure that we have the maximum amount of time to match the documents to the file to ensure that information was accurately reported when the application was submitted.  If documents are slightly late it is not a problem because we will still have time to finalize everything before classes start.  We appreciate your efforts to get things in by the June 15 deadline, but at the same time we are willing to work with those that face exceptional circumstances.

I thank you in advance for your patience and please do not panic or worry.  We will do our best to work as quickly as possible and we will also be forgiving if documents come to us late or are loaded in the system late.  The important thing is that you file is in order when classes start and we have a bit of time after June 15 to make sure everything is official and approved.  If you do need to send transcripts, here is the address to use:

Columbia University – SIPA

Office of Admissions

420 West 118th Street, Room 408

New York, NY  10027