Top 10 Tips for 2012 Application – #9 Tracking and Communication

This is the 9th entry in our series entitled “Top 10 Application Tips.” I highly recommend that you take the time to slowly read this entry as it will answer many of the questions we have been receiving by email. I know it is a little long, but hang in there because this entry will help you to understand how you can track what is going on with your application after it has been submitted.

Do please note that you cannot change any information on your application after it has been submitted.

Also, and I cannot emphasize this enough, when an application becomes complete in our system has no impact on the decision. What does matter is that all application information is submitted by the deadline.

It is normal for us NOT to have all applications completed for up to three weeks past the deadline. We manually review each application for completion and this takes time.

Do not panic if you log in after you have submitted your application and see that it is not marked as complete. The Committee does not start to meet until three weeks after the deadline and there are “reading rounds” so to speak. By this I mean that not all readers read at the same time and thus not all applications need to be ready at the same time. Thus if your application is not complete until well after the deadline this is not something to be concerned about.

When your application is complete you will receive an email from us letting you know. If there is an issue with your application that needs to be addressed we will contact you.

Now on to the visuals . . .

#1 : You Are Working On Your Application But Have Not Submitted It

Let us start with what you see when you log in to the application system while your application is in progress and has not been submitted. This is what you will see when you log in. Note that next to Submission Status it says “Not Submitted” (at the end of the red arrow). In this example, the applicant has also entered the names of the three recommenders and they are displayed, along with the status.

#2: You Have Submitted Your Application

Now let’s move on to when you submit your application. When you log into your application after it has been submitted the main page will show the message “Submission Status: Submitted” (see arrow #1).

You will also notice in this example that one letter of recommendation has been submitted (see arrow #2).

At this point no documents will show up. Do not worry, this is because we have not printed your application yet.

#3: We Print Your Application – This Does Not Typically Happen The Same Day You Submit

The next step that will occur is that we will print your application for review. Do understand that it can take up to 15 days for us to print your application after it has been submitted. Please do not panic if your application has not been printed. The important thing is not when your application is printed, the important thing is that your application is submitted by the deadline.

If you look at this next picture you will notice two changes from the picture above. First, the status has changed to “Application Printed – Manual Review of All Information Submitted In Progress” (see the red arrow #1).

Second, arrow #2 shows that we have not marked your application as complete because we have not finished our manual review. We need to make sure we can read your transcripts for example.

Third, you will notice that transcripts, test scores, and other supporting documents now appear (see red arrow #3). Please note that the default status for the following documents, if you uploaded a document, at the time your application is printed is “Received – Official” –

  • Academic Resume
  • International Fellows Program Essay
  • Personal Statement
  • Standard/CV Resume

We find that the vast majority of our applicants submit documents that are legible and complete so the default status is “Received – Official.” Do note that in some cases there are issues with these documents and if so, we will contact you.

Special Note: the IFP statement or Lemann fellowship statement is not mandatory and if you did not submit an IFP or Lemann statement they might not appear, or if it does appear it could read Not Applicable, Not Received, or Waived.

Above the “Other Supporting Documents” section you will see test scores. Please note that the default status for the test scores at the time your application is printed is “Not Received” – even if you entered the scores. This is the same for transcripts – the status after we print will read “Not Received.” After we manually review your application this information will be tracked. If there is an issue we will contact you.

Please do not panic at the message “Not Received” even if you self reported your scores and uploaded your transcripts – this is normal.

We find that some applicants will not enter all of the information so we will perform a manual check to make sure we have all of the information we need. Also remember that we do not look for official test reports until after admission offers are made – WE ONLY USE SELF REPORTED SCORES to make admission decisions so please do not contact us at this point in time to see if we have your official scores on file.

In the above example the native language of the applicant is English so TOEFL is marked “Not Applicable.” If this were an applicant that speaks English as a second language this will read “Not Received.”

The last comment for this example is, please ignore the message on the bottom near arrow #4 that says “Submission Status: Not Submitted.” That references a part of the application we no longer use but it is hard coded into the system – it means nothing.

#4: Complete – All Documents Tracked But Not Sent to Committee

This next picture shows that we have everything we need. All the letters are submitted and we accept unofficial transcripts and self reported test scores for admission review. However the status shows “Incomplete” and above that you will notice is still says “Manual Review of All Information Submitted in Progress.”

A final sign off must be made before the file gets sent off to the Committee and this one is just waiting.

#5: Complete . . . But with a Question

This next shot shows you the message “Documents still pending – Application is Under Review” with the Application Status below that reads “Complete.”

This is a case where we have everything we need, however there may be an issue we feel we need to resolve before the file is sent to the Committee. There is no need for you to contact us if you are in this status. If there is a question we need to ask you, we will contact you.

#6: Complete – Sent to Committee!

This final shot is when you know your application has been sent to Committee. You will also receive an email from us when your file is complete in case you do not want to compulsively log into the system to keep checking =)

You can see on the top that it states “Application Complete – No additional documents.” As a reminder, please ignore the submission status at the bottom. Last year our application was in two parts and it is not possible for us to get rid of that message at this time. It means nothing so ignore it.

Thank you for your patience as we work to complete several thousand files in a short period of time. If documents were submitted by mail it will likely take us longer to complete your file. Again, when a file is complete has no impact on the decision of the Committee.

Please keep reading this blog for more details on the admission review process.