When your application arrives….

One of the great mysteries of the college admissions process is what happens to the application when it arrives in the admissions office. I’d like to take you on a brief tour of that process at UVM.

Applications arrive electronically from the Common Application. They are loaded into our student information computer system every morning.  That process can take a couple of hours while we check to ensure all the information is loaded correctly.

Supporting information (transcripts, letters of recommendation, resumes) arrive both electronically and by snail mail. These pictures show what our mail room looked like soon after the Nov. 1 deadline (in past years, we would have had significantly more piles and stacks. Now those stacks are virtual!) Any supporting information that is received on paper is scanned in order to be connected with the application.

Finally SAT and ACT scores arrive electronically from the testing agencies. Those scores are loaded frequently (whenever they release scores to us.)

The role of our staff is to electronically match these three sources of application information and check it for accuracy. It is a much faster process than when we were working with paper (imagine handling thousands of applications that arrive around the November 1 deadline, opening mail, creating an application folder, matching an application, supporting information and test scores, alphabetizing and filing.) Around the deadline, this process can take a week or more to work through the applications. They typically are handled in the order in which we received them.

Here is where the paper goes waiting to be processed

Once all the parts of the application have been received, the last step is to ensure it is ready to read. This last check includes ensuring that there is information for our readers to understand a student’s grade point average/class rank within the context of the school. We do not recalculate grade point averages. We do ensure that our readers have consistent information in order to understand a grade point average or class rank.

This week, we will receive our 11,000th application for this fall.  This means that we have received approximately one half of the applications that we will receive in this application cycle. Are there any surprises or questions about this process? Stay tuned for a description of what happens when an application is read.


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