Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Admissions and Grocery Stores

Imagine that you are in an admissions grocery store, and every cart is a student's admissions file. The shelves are stocked with different items to fill each cart, from transcripts to teacher recommendations, counselor forms to resumes, etc. Every time a student applies a cart is created. The admissions office then needs to go to the different aisles and pull down the items for that specific student, and then add it to the cart so that it is ready for check out (or to be reviewed for admission). Sounds pretty easy, right?

But now imagine the days surrounding a deadline. It is sort of like the scene in a grocery store when the threat of snow hits, with everyone scrambling to add milk and bread to their cart, suppliers racing to the stores to restock the shelves before the weather hits, and employees trying to calm the masses as the checkout lines get longer and the aisles get crowded.

Now add into this suppliers shipping thousands of items to the store before the shoppers even get there, or worse, sending items to the store that will never be picked up (every year, we receive about 40,000 items for non-existent applicants). These items clutter up the aisles, the back storerooms, and all around the store, making it difficult to match up items with the right carts. If items are shipped to the store after the application cart is created, we can just add the items straight into the cart, but if they are sent well before the app (or are send by paper prior to the app), we have to stock them on the shelves and wait for the cart to be created. That takes time.

It becomes a little crazy during the days and weeks leading up to our deadlines, so we ask for a little patience as we get into deadline season. It becomes especially crazy during the holiday times (and right after), as some materials can't be loaded into carts if we are all on holiday.

Here are a few suggestions to help calm the madness:
  1. Don't wait until the deadline to apply. Deadline applications only cause stress for you, your parents, your school officials, and us.
  2. If you are going to send in items, we prefer electronic documents. We are lucky enough to have a great electronic document auto-matching system, even to the point of holding them for about 40 days in an e-cloud until you apply. This allows for us to wait until an application/shopping cart is created, and then have the items flow right into your cart without us having to even touch them.
  3. If you are not sure if you are going to apply, don't have your materials sent to us, at least not until you actually decide to apply.
  4. Check your grocery list before you shop/apply. Don't wait until the last minute to check and see what you need to have in your cart. Seriously, don't do it.
  5. Make sure your name and date of birth on your materials and test scores match your application. If you tell me to find Trey Rogers' test scores, but your real name is Jonathan Rogers III, we will not be able to find these on the shelf.
  6. The only exception to sending things in prior to the application are test scores, as these are always held electronically and can be matched at the point of applying or after, as long as the full name and DOB matches.
  7. If you need to have something mailed to us, understand that it takes time for the postal service to get it here and allow for that. In addition, only have mailed items sent to us after you apply.
  8. Be patient. If you request an item, don't expect it to be on the shelf or in your cart in 5 minutes. Give the sender and the receiver time to do their job.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

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