Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Anatomy of an Application: How It All Comes Together

The Common App and CFNC are now up, so many of you are already thinking about your applications. (If you're applying via the Common App, you'll notice our school-specific supplement is not yet available, but you can expect it to be up within the next week or two.) As you start working on your application, I thought it would be helpful to discuss in a little more detail the various parts of the application and how you will submit them to us. I'll start today with a big-picture explanation of how all the pieces of your application come together once they arrive in our office. 

When you submit your application either through the Common Application or through CFNC, we assemble all the parts together into an electronic “folder.” It really is just like the old days when we filed paper copies of all of your application materials in manila folders, except now we save lots of trees and we don’t have rows of filing cabinets in our basement! These days, most materials arrive in our office electronically, but we do still get a lot of paper mail, which is scanned and filed electronically. As you submit your application, transcript, letter of recommendation, test scores, and counselor statement, we link each of these documents to your electronic folder. When we’ve received all the requested items, the file is “ready to read” and goes off to the admissions committee for review.

So, how can you know if we’ve received all of your application materials? After you submit your application, we’ll send you an email with instructions on how to access your MyCarolina page. Through MyCarolina, you’ll be able to view your Admissions To-Do List, which will list any outstanding items. Please be aware, though, that in the busiest weeks of application submission, it can take us a few weeks to sort through all of the documents that students are sending and update your To-Do List. Please don’t stress if you see an item on your To-Do List that you know you (or your counselor/teacher) already submitted. We’ll catch up with you as soon as we can.

In the coming weeks, I’ll go into more detail about the various parts of the application, so look for more soon! As always, please leave a comment below with any questions you have.