A sense of relief is felt when a student clicks ‘submit’ on a college application. The process then changes hands to the college or university to make a decision. But wait, the application is still incomplete! Sometimes a sense of panic sets in because deadlines can be strict, information has to come from a variety of sources, and the action is out of a student’s control.
I want to share a few insights about how the process works at UVM and some tips for completing an application (including when to wait and when to take action!)
How does information arrive in the admissions office?
Transcripts and other supporting material sent electronically through Common Application or other secure sources such as Naviance are uploaded each day. As soon as we download this information, it is connected to the application and a student can see that it has been received on our application status website. This process is also true for letters of recommendation that are sent through the Common Application or Naviance. Please note that we will not receive this information from the Common Application or Naviance unless an application (supplement and app fee or waiver) has been received. We receive calls regularly because a student thought an application was submitted when actually only the supplement and fee were submitted.
Transcripts and any other supporting information such as letters of recommendation sent in the mail go through a similar process but will take longer since the automatic connection can’t occur. Mail is opened and then scanned and saved as a pdf image. These transcripts are then connected with a student’s application as soon as our staff accesses each student’s record and “matches” the application and the transcript or letter of recommendation. Any non-required information (such as resumes) are also scanned and connected with a student’s application record so that this information can be included in the application review.
Test scores come to us electronically from the College Board and from ACT, and are loaded each day by connecting scores with a student’s application based on a matching process of things like name, address, and birthdate. The scores will show as being received on the application status website once loaded on a student’s record.
Around the early action deadline, we receive supporting documents, test scores, letters of recommendation, and resumes from nearly 11,000 students. As you can see from this description, the process moves smoothly. However, especially for information sent through the mail, it does take time, sometimes up to two weeks, for every transcript to be connected with the application. We work with information in date order. Currently we are working to match transcripts and other materials received through the mail last week.
When should a student follow up? If it has been two weeks since information was sent by the school, verify the date sent and then follow up with our office. We can help troubleshoot to determine if it was received or whether it needs to be sent again. We encourage schools not to fax credentials to us (they are not considered official.) Test scores can be sent regular delivery (no need to pay for rush processing.) Our staff is always available to assist with questions and problem solving – give us a call or send us an email!