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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hey, I applied. Now what?

(I posted a similar explanation several years ago, but I thought it would be helpful to re-visit this, update it to reflect current practice, and share with applicants....)

 As the application deadline approaches (and passes), we're bound to get lots of questions like:

"Can you tell me whether or not you've received my Supplemental Application?"

"Am I missing anything?"

"I'm worried that my application didn't make it to your office. Can you confirm if it arrived?"

"Did you get it? DID you get it? DID YOU get it? DID YOU GET it? DID YOU GET IT? DID YOU GET IT?"

(I picture someone sitting next to a phone, completely stressed out, because they've submitted their application yesterday and still haven't been notified whether it's been received or not. Oh, my imagined scenario takes place on a Sunday -- with the application being submitted on Saturday morning.)

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to explain the notification process a bit.

Let me see... where do I start...hmm....

There are two parts to our application:
      1.  PharmCAS Application
      2.  Supplemental Application

We have one database. (But it's a big one!) The database content is supplied by PharmCAS. We receive electronic data/applications via PharmCAS.

We do not send notifications out until we've received a PharmCAS application AND a Supplemental Application AND are ready to process both..

Keep in mind:

  1. Every university admissions process is unique. Because you receive immediate notification from one school does not mean you'll receive immediate notification from another school. It just depends on their process and system.
  2. We do not manually enter data into our database. We wait to receive information electronically from PharmCAS -- this allows us to send electronic mail (email!) to applicants through the database system, notifying them that we've received an application (and indicating whether any items are missing.)
  3. If we receive a Supplemental Application BEFORE we receive your PharmCAS application, we do nothing except file that Supplemental Application away. We wait to receive your PharmCAS application and then retrieve your Supplemental Application  and process your application -- including sending you an email.
  4. If you turned in your Supplemental Application a LONG TIME AGO but just now completed your PharmCAS, we wait to receive your PharmCAS application, then retrieve your Supplemental Application  and process your application.
  5. Just because you submitted your PharmCAS application yesterday, it does not mean they will deliver it to us today. It takes them several weeks to verify your grades once they have received your transcripts. Nothing in admissions is instantaneous.
  6. The closer it is to the deadline -- before AND after -- the longer it takes us to process applications -- because of the shear volume of applications. Your application is not the only application that we are processing. =)

In short:
We send an email notification confirming we have received your Supplemental Application only after we've received your PharmCAS application and we are prepared to process both. (But remember, just because you've submitted your PharmCAS application, it doesn't mean that PharmCAS has submitted it to us.)

(Another reason it's stress-relieving to get your application in early!)
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