Archive for online application

trouble submitting documents

In order for your application to be considered “complete” and ready for review, we must receive all the required documents, which include your resumes, recommendation letters, and transcripts.  We prefer documents be uploaded through the online application.  However, we have received a number of inquiries on what to do if you have trouble uploading these documents to your online application.  If the advice you received from the application technical support team (presuming you contacted them)  was insufficient and you continue to have problems uploading your documents; you may email  the documents to us (sipa_admission@columbia.edu) as an attachment.

If you need to mail us documents; it is preferred that they be mailed together to expedite the process.  But we understand that it may be easier to just mail documents individually (such as recommendation letters) too.  Regardless, if you mail us a big packet or a small envelope, please have it sent to:

Columbia University – SIPA
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
420 West 118th Street, 4th Floor
Mail Code 3325
408 International Affairs Building
New York, NY 10027 USA

All documents must be in English or accompanied by certified translations.  Please make sure these documents arrive to us by the application deadline, February 5th, in order for your application to be considered complete.  Please also note that this is our heaviest processing period so it can take up to two to three weeks to process information that was sent by mail.

You may track the receipt of your documents online (by logging into your online application) without having to call or email our office.

 

Rehash an oldie but goodie… what’s my status?

We get several inquiries from applicants each year asking about the status of their application…  I would wonder too if I had to wait weeks (sometimes months – depending on when you submitted your application) for an admission decision that could change my future plans… hopefully for the better.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, we bring back to you an old post that’s definitely still applicable to this year that provides some tips on tracking your application.

Tracking your application … after it’s been submitted.

Please note that you cannot change any information on your application after it has been submitted.  Also, the date the application is recorded complete in our system has no impact on the admission decision.   What does matter is that all required application information is submitted by the deadline.

Do not panic if you log in after you have submitted your application and see that it is not marked as complete.  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.

The application deadline is not the start and end date of when files are reviewed.  Applications are not all read at the same time – it’s just physically not possible.  The Committee reviews and discusses files until the end of our cycle.  So don’t worry if your application status does not indicate “COMPLETE” on February 5th.  If there is an issue with your application that needs to be addressed we will contact you.

Now on to the visuals . . .

Scenario 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.

Below 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.

 

 

Scenario 2:  You Have Submitted 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.

Scenario 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 (yes, PRINT) your application for review.  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 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, Lemann, and Harriman statements are not mandatory so if you did not submit a statement, your status may show: Not Applicable, Not Received, or Waived.

Above the “Other Supporting Documents” section you will see test scores and transcripts.  Please note that the default status for the test scores and transcript(s) when your application is printed is “Not Received” – even if you self-reported/entered your scores.  This is the same for transcripts.  We will perform a manual check to make sure we have all of the information we need and track any missing items.  If there is an issue we will contact you.

Please note we do not verify 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 now 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 English is your 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.”  It references a part of the application we no longer use but it is hard coded into the system and cannot be changed – it means nothing.

 Scenario 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.   Your unofficial transcripts and self-reported test scores are in the system and used 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.” Once a final sign off is given then the file is sent to the Committee.  This example is awaiting the sign off.


Scenario 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 when 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.  This may be an internal application processing flag.  There is no need for you to contact us if this is your status.  If we have a concern, we will contact you directly.


 Scenario 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 the status!

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.  It has nothing to do with your application, so ignore it.

 

 

Thank you for your patience as we work to process 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.

Just one final reminder if you missed last week’s post… The fall 2013 application deadline has been extended to February 5th – so if you need more time to pull together your application, you got it.  However, if you wish to be considered for one of coveted first year fellowships, please make sure you complete and submit your application by January 5th.  Applicants, who submit after the January 5th deadline, may submit a separate scholarship application for one of the 13 SIPA Named Scholarships offered.

Good luck!  We’re looking forward to reviewing your application.

 

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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