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Articles / Applying to College / Do We Have to Synchronize the Submission of All Application Materials?

Do We Have to Synchronize the Submission of All Application Materials?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Oct. 3, 2019
Do We Have to Synchronize the Submission of All Application Materials?

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I am going crazy trying to synchronize my daughter's application materials. It is nearly impossible to get application, writing supplement (she is a creative writing major so there are extra writing samples she needs to send besides the essay), SAT scores and transcript all to each school at the same time. What happens if one is earlier or later than the other?


You don't have to stress about this issue — your daughter's application materials don't have to all arrive at the same time, whether you are talking about their arrival at multiple colleges or even at the same college. Admission officials are accustomed to seeing this stuff show up on all sorts of schedules. So even if an unsolicited writing sample should appear in an admission office before your daughter has sent any other materials (and thus she is not yet officially a candidate), the admission folks have a protocol in place to store the early-bird submissions until a file is created for the applicant.

So don't sweat the timetable. Just make sure that your daughter meets all deadlines. Beyond that, she (and YOU) don't have to worry about when all the various (and often confusing) components of an application are dispatched.

Once the college does get all of your materials, here's the journey that the application makes throughout the admissions process, just so you know what to expect going forward.

About the Ask the Dean Column

Sally Rubenstone is a veteran of the college admissions process and is the co-author of three books covering admissions. She worked as a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years and has also served as an independent college counselor, in addition to working as a senior advisor at College Confidential since 2002. If you'd like to submit a question to The Dean please email us at editorial@collegeconfidential.com.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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