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Articles / Applying to College / Will My Transcript Arrive Too Late?

Will My Transcript Arrive Too Late?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | March 2, 2015

Question: I had my naviance account set up this past week and yesterday my counselor had said she’d get my transcripts out before the end of the day. I watched as she requested my transcripts for each school, and ever since then, the transcripts section on naviance still reads “requested”. I emailed her but I don’t think she’ll reply until it’s too late, after the weekend. I have a deadline tomorrow (Sunday).  Do you think the transcripts will be sent before Monday? Will the colleges accept them if I send them once I go back to school on Monday?

Colleges expect the part of the application that comes from YOU to arrive by the deadline (and this includes financial aid forms, too, when required). But if a part that comes from elsewhere (counselor forms, transcript, teacher recommendations, test scores) shows up a bit late, it will not be a problem for you. It always takes the admission office secretarial staff quite a while (as much as a couple weeks) to process all of the materials that arrive right around the deadline time. So even materials that do show up on time may not reach a student’s application folder until 10 or more days later.

Meanwhile, keep checking Naviance to make sure that the transcript status changes. If, after a few days, it still says, “Requested,” go speak to your counselor in person.

I also suggest that you wait until about two weeks after you think everything has been sent and then telephone the admission office to be sure it arrived safely. (Obviously you don’t have to do this if the college has some sort of Web portal or other way of notifying applicants about materials received and you can tell that you’re all set.) But if, after waiting two weeks, you are told (either on the phone or via an applicant Web portal) that you still have missing materials, you need to re-send whatever has gone missing. The college will let you replace the lost components without penalty, if you do so promptly.

So don’t sweat a slight delay in the sending of your transcripts but do stay on top of this to make sure that the transcripts … and everything ELSE … ends up where they’re supposed to be.


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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