Words from the admissions bins

November 22, 2006 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

Posted by Doreen

I came across this article in a newsletter my high school sends out every so often regarding college admissions.

Apparently this was compiled by a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling, or NACAC. Enjoy!

“Are you sure you sent my recommendation?”

It might help to know that colleges face a mountain of admissions mail every day–mail that requires very systematic and careful handling. As a result, there will be a very reasonable delay between the moment your application arrives at the admissions office and the time it is processed and placed into your file. Let’s hear from the experts on this:

From a large public university: 
“I wish I had a photo that I could send you of thousands of pieces of mail sitting in the mail bins waiting to be processed. Maybe this bit of information will help… we employ an ‘army’ of students to help us process the mail. We receive so much mail that all some students do is simply slit open envelopes, other students will date stamp the materials, and another student places the information in the proper bin (Part I-Early Decision, Part I-Regular Decision, High School Transcript-Early Decision, etc.) From the bins, our processing staff enters the information into the computer.”

From a mid-sized private university:
“We track mail received per day by app type. Last year in November alone, we received 900 frosh apps. It took us four days to get this mail open, let alone counted, stamped, and sorted. While we have pushed for a system overhaul, this will still happen because kids will still wait until the last minute to apply.”

From a large public university:
“This morning the U.S. mail delivered 30 tubs full of applications, counselor statements, and teacher recommendations to our office; two staff members spent all day just opening the envelopes, another fifteen concentrated on logging everything in, and yet our mail room still looks as though a paper bomb went off in it.”

From a private college:
“Typically we receive more than half of our applications right at the deadline. They are processed in the order in which they arrive, and it takes us about three weeks to get all of the applications processed and in files. We do enter quite a bit of data on each applicant into our student database, so for most of our data entry people it is physically impossible to process more than a certain number of applications in one day.”

From a large public university:
“We never receive a complete application all in one envelope since we require that ACT/SAT scores be sent to us directly from the testing agency. There always are sorting and matching processes that must take place daily since we receive hundreds (sometimes thousands) of applications, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc. each and every business day!”

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Entry filed under: ACT, Admissions, Application, College trends, Colleges/Universities, Counselor, Deadline, Early action, Early decision, Freshman, High school, Mail, NACAC, National Association of College Admission Counseling, Paper, Public schools, Recommendations, Regular decision, SAT, Teacher, Testing, Transcript.

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