Behind-the-scenes look at your application

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…

Bins and tubs of mail

We received 12 bins of small envelopes, and 6 large tubs.

One bin

One small bin holds almost 500 pieces of mail!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Sorting

Our festive mail room staff hard at work sorting the mail.

Creating piles

The mail is then date-stamped and split into separate piles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

These neat piles of documents are waiting to be scanned.

These piles of documents are waiting to be scanned.

Our awesome scanners hard at work!

Our awesome scanners hard at work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piles of scanned documents waiting to be linked to an applicant.

Piles of scanned documents waiting to be linked to an applicant.

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.

These documents are waiting to be checked to see if high school course requirements were met.

These documents are waiting to be checked to see if high school course requirements were met.

After requirements are checked, we add the key required courses to your record.

After requirements are checked, we add the key required courses 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!

Our cheerfull fileroom staff preparing folders for review.

Our cheerful fileroom staff preparing folders for review.

Here is international admissions counselor Audrey reviewing applicants for 2014!

Here is one of our international counselors, Audrey, reviewing applicants for 2014!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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