Updated: March 2016

This is the sixth entry in our “Top 10″ list for you to consider when communicating with our office and applying.

Number 6 – Use a private mail courier for snail mail

Columbia is a huge university with one central mail room.  All “standard” mail is funneled to the main mail room and it can take a week or more for mail to be sorted and sent on to us.

By utilizing a mail carrier the parcel will be sent directly to our office, avoiding delays.  Also, we highly recommend getting a tracking number whenever something is mailed to our office.  This way, the moment we sign for the package the courier will log delivery and you will be notified if you have signed up for email notification.

Better yet, 100% of your documents needed for admission consideration may be submitted on through your application portal so you may want to consider uploading your information rather than sending anything by mail.  We want to make the process of applying as simple as possible so we accept self-reported test scores and unofficial transcripts. Official scores and transcripts are needed if you are admitted, but both of those will come directly to our office from the testing service or your institution of study.

It may sound funny to applicants, but I cannot tell you how excited I get when we print an application and everything comes out in order.  When applicants upload all of the necessary documents and recommenders upload their letters as well, everything prints in one batch.  This means we can forward your application to the committee quickly.

If documents are mailed, after we print the application and review it we then have to go on a perilous search for missing documents.  The natural question you might ask is, “What is so perilous about searching for documents in an office?”  Well, I can tell you from a lot of experience that paper and staples possess the unique capacity to slice human skin.  During the application season band-aids and hand lotion are a must and often times my hands look as if I got into fight with a cat.