I have spent a good portion of this week in recruitment training. It’s an opportunity for areas of the university to present to all of the admissions counselors, so that we’re informed of any changes. One of the presenters was in charge of processing applications (matching the application to the supporting materials, like transcripts, etc.). Processing applications may seem like a simple task, but when you get thousands of applications and each of them has supporting materials that arrive separately, this task becomes extremely complicated. So, our presenter gave us a list of the top ten things applicants should know and I thought it definitely should be shared with you, as it applies to people of all majors. So, here it is, along with some additional explanation from me.
1) There are deadlines! Make sure you know what they are and don’t wait until the last minute to submit. Apply well BEFORE the deadline. If you miss the deadline, you typically won’t be considered.
2) After you’ve applied, check the email account you used on your application frequently. If you created a special e-mail address that you don’t check very often, forward it to one you use regularly. Typically, if you’re missing something or if we have a question about your application, this is where we will contact you, so check it often.
3) If you use an online application, many universities give you the ability to check your own status, so you can see exactly what materials we’re still missing. It is your responsibility to make sure that everything gets to us. With thousands of applications, we may not be able to contact you to tell you you’re missing something, so make sure you check. If you’re unsure, you can always call your admissions counselor. At least here at VCU, I have the ability to check the status of applications and see what is missing, if anything.
4) Use the name on your Social Security Card for everything: application, SAT/ACT tests, etc. If there is a chance that your name differs in any way on your test report, high school transcript or application, we may not get your documents matched. For instance, if your legal name is Meghan, but you go by Meg, make sure you use your legal name.
5) List the university as a recipient of your test scores at the time you take the test. That way, you don’t have to go back to CollegeBoard to have them sent after the fact. Most universities only consider the best score, so go ahead and send all of them.
6) Don’t rely on your high school to send your test scores. Just like your transcripts, your test scores must be official. Sometimes the high school transcript doesn’t provide enough information for the test scores to be accepted.
7) Many times, college applications still ask for your Social Security Number, because having it upfront prevents issues with Financial Aid later. Here at VCU, we go to great lengths to safeguard your information.
8) If you’ve attended more than one high school, we only need you to enter the high school from which you will graduate. In most cases, that school will have transferred your grades. But, you should double check to be sure.
9) If you’ve taken dual-enrollment classes while in high school, you are still considered a first year and the first year deadlines apply. You are NOT a transfer student. At least here at VCU, we don’t even need the transcript from the dual enrollment; and, if we do, we’ll ask for it later.
10) If your information changes (you move, get a new phone number, e-mail address, etc), TELL US! You’d be amazed how many times we need to get information from or to an applicant and can’t get in touch with them.