So, you’ve done it! You finished the online application, had your test scores sent, and are sure your high school counselor sent us your transcripts. Why does it take some time for your MyPennState profile to say that your documents are here?
We thought we’d give you an inside look at what happens to your documents when we receive them, to help explain why we need at least a week or two for the documents to be added to your application.
It’s Monday after Thanksgiving Break. The mailman arrives with what seems to be a full truck of mail for the Admissions Office. Though it may not seem like a lot, each bin holds between 200 and 500 pieces of mail. This is about 7,000 different documents over a 4-day weekend! And, we will get more on the next day…
After we receive the mail, we begin the process of sorting it into different piles. We separate high school transcripts from college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and documents from international schools.
Once the mail has been sorted, date-stamped, and separated into piles, it goes to our “file room.” The next step is to scan the documents so any counselor can access them, from any campus, at any time. Because of the volume of mail that we get, we are usually scanning documents that we received about 3 days before.
After the documents have been scanned, they must be linked to you! So we send them over to our “committing” station, and link each individual scanned document with an applicant’s name. Yep, we do this for every single document!
But we’re not done! The amazing people in our file room try to make the application review process as easy as possible for the counselors. So they look at every single document, and make some quick notes about high school course requirements, class rank, and GPA. These quick notes are jotted down on the document so that we can “code” the document and add this key information to your record.
At this point, the documents are ready for evaluation. For first-year applicants from the United States, we use the electronic copies we scanned, and for transfer students and international students, we place all the original documents in a folder to be reviewed by a counselor on paper.
Finally, each morning, we pull a list of applications that were completed the previous day. If we have a paper folder for the applicant, we pull them from the wall of folders and bring them to a counselor’s office. Our counselors review over 100 applications per week!
And there you have it! When your documents are sent, it takes about 3-4 days for them to be delivered to us depending on where it comes from, 1 day to be sorted, 2-3 days to be scanned, 1-2 days to be committed, 2-3 days to be checked, and then depending on volume, between 2-6 weeks to be reviewed by a counselor.
The best advice we can give is: Keep checking your MyPennState profile. It will update as soon as we have attached a document to your name so you know we have received it. Then, we also need some time to review your application. With over 60,000 applicants (how many documents is that?!) a year, it is no easy feat!