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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Save the Drama....

Since Desperate Housewives has lost its suspense (at least since the pharmacist overdosed on sleeping pills in the hotel room) and The Hills is a big fake (c'mon, you KNOW it is!) we've had to find alternative drama to talk about around the admissions office. I think we've found it in the form of applicants in panic mode over whether or not their applications have arrived in our office. We've received so many emails and phone calls recently that I thought I could use this space to clarify a few details -- in hopes that it would give you a better understanding of how things operate on our end.

It might be easily understood if I explained it in the form of scenario questions (like little dramatic conversations from Desperate Housewives and The Hills). Here goes....

"I submitted my Supplemental Application in the same envelope as my Fee Payment and sent it to the Fee Payment address. Ooopsie! I didn't follow directions. The Fee Payment people will forward my application to your office, right?"
Nope. They won't.

"I submitted my Supplemental Application and Fee Payment at the same time. I received a tracking notice from United States Postal Service (USPS) that my fee payment has arrived, but I've heard nothing from USPS regarding my Supplemental Application. What gives, people?"
The Supplemental Application and Fee Payment are sent to different addresses. Our office does not sign for either. The Fee Payment is sent to a Box # that allows the UCSF Registrar to directly access and deposit the payment. The Supplemental Application, like all mail sent to our office, is actually sent to a UCSF mail processing center. The USPS delivery person doesn't actually walk into our office, rather the mail is delivered by a UCSF mail center employee. In other words, mail is not delivered directly to our office, but is routed to and distributed from a campus mail room. I can't speak on behalf of the USPS or the UCSF mail center on why particular pieces of mail aren't signed for or confirmed. I've heard that sometimes a tracking number hasn't shown up as being delivered even though we received the package. That's why we encourage you to keep copies of all documents sent, along with proof that you met the mailing deadline. If there's an issue, we can work together to solve the problem. If you have no proof/copies, it makes it difficult to solve the problem.

"I submitted my Supplemental Application and Fee Payment at the same time. I know they both arrived, but I haven't received any notification from your office regarding my Supplemental Application. I'm stressing out!"
This is typical! Our notification system is based on PharmCAS Applications. We do not notify you of whether we have received your Supplemental Application until we receive your PharmCAS Application.

"Oh, jeeze, but I submitted my PharmCAS Application by the deadline and I still haven't heard from your office about my Supplemental Application!
This may be true but, as you know, it takes PharmCAS several weeks to process your application and verify your academic coursework -- and then send it to us. So while you may have submitted your PharmCAS Application, we may not have received it from PharmCAS yet. Have you checked to see whether PharmCAS has sent your application to UCSF?

"My Fee Payment check has been cashed but I haven't heard from your office about my Supplemental Application! What's up with that?"
Remember the Fee Payment is sent to a different address than the application -- so one is not dependent on the other. And if you haven't heard from us abut the Supplemental Application, perhaps it's because we haven't received your PharmCAS Application yet. Have you checked to see whether PharmCAS has sent your application to UCSF?

"I'm so confused -- I mailed my stuff in September, why haven't I heard from you yet?"
Again, perhaps it's because we haven't received your PharmCAS Application yet. Have you checked to see whether PharmCAS has sent your application to UCSF?

"Seriously, why can't you just email me to let me know that you've received my Supplemental Application?"
Well, because our email notification is based on an electronic system that is compatible with PharmCAS. Once your PharmCAS application is sent to us, we receive electronic information from them that enables us to enter you into a complex database. Once we have you entered, we are able to match your Supplemental Application with your PharmCAS Application and send you an electronic notification (email) that we've received your Supplemental Application. Until then, your Supplemental Application is in a BIG file drawer, waiting to be matched up with your PharmCAS Application.

"Why have some applicants been notified that their materials have been received by your office but I haven't? Is it because I kept calling your office all summer?"
We've received their PharmCAS application from PharmCAS, we matched it up with their Supplemental Application that was received by our office and we confirmed the payment was received by the Registrar's office. That applicant's file is now complete. Is it all starting to make sense now? I hope so...

"Okay, I submitted my PharmCAS application on November 3rd. I know that PharmCAS sent my application to schools recently. How long will it take you to notify me of my Supplemental Application? Immediately?"
We try to notify you by email as soon as we receive the hard copy of your application from PharmCAS -- which is usually about 3 days after we receive electronic notification from PharmCAS that it's being delivered -- meaning, it's in the mail!

Phew! I hope all that made sense.

Perhaps that clarifies how we process applications. As we always recommend, submitting your application early can potentially relieve stress (by having your application processed by PharmCAS and submitted to UCSF) as most of the drama comes from applicants who waited until the very last minute to submit their application -- both PharmCAS Application and the UCSF Supplemental Application.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish I found this blog earlier! At least, I didn't do any of the 'bad' things other students have done. Crossing my fingers for 2009!

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