admissions applications – important tip

As we approach many early action/early decision deadlines, I think it’s important to keep in mind a few relatively new issues that are crucial to your admissions success. 

Many many students are getting caught up in red tape because admissions offices have trouble matching their transcripts and other documents to their applications. A few reasons for this:
1) the proliferation on online applications – in the old days all your documents came in together – now they tend to come independently.
2) the increase in volume – so MANY applications
3) the lack of social security number – as a universal identifier, SSN was great. All the identity theft stuff caused universities to stop using them. As a result, we have to go by name, leading to:
4) You all have nicknames, multiple spellings, and worst of all – some of you share the same name!!! Yes, it’s true – you may not be quite as unique as you think.

As a result, colleges misplace documents ALL THE TIME. A few things to help you avoid these situations:
1) Submit your application before you start sending other documents. This means you need to get your application in well before any deadlines (Mason’s December 1 deadline for scholarship consideration is almost here! Don’t Panic!).
2) If the college or university gives you any kind of student number during the application process, include it on any documents you are sending.
3) Try to make sure the name on your application is the same as the one that you give for the SAT or ACT and the one on your transcript. If they don’t match, they might not be found.
4) If you do have different names (hyphenated last names, changed order, used a stupid nickname when you took the SAT) include the other names as Previous Names on your application.

Of course, keep copies of everything you send and a record of the data you sent it, and check in with the college to make sure they get them (please give them TIME – Mason will receive over a million documents around our deadlines – it’ll take a few days to catch up – AT LEAST!!!).

Follow these rules and you’ll be all set – to be considered. Then you just have to worry about being good enough to get in!

Be seeing you.


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