Are Colleges Responsible for Missing Application Materials?


I am so frustrated. I submitted all my materials to my top choice in November -- long before the January deadline. I am part of a College Confidential group where people announce whether they got in or not, and I saw that decisions started rolling out last week, and everyone seemed to have heard by yesterday except me. I called the admissions office and they said they were missing my SAT scores and transcript. I said I not only have digital proof that I submitted them in November, but also wondered why the school didn't notify me that anything was missing. This is a small program within the school and there is no separate application portal for it, so I wasn't able to track it the way you can normally do with a standard application. (For clarity, I was accepted to the university itself in the fall but was waiting to see if I got into this program, which only takes 25 kids). Anyway, they told me the person who makes the decisions is out of town at the moment but asked me to submit digital proof that I sent in my materials and they'll see if she will review it next week. Is this legal for them to just disregard my so-called incomplete application? What recourse do I have if they say they already accepted 25 students and I'm out of luck? Thank you.

I feel your frustration! You thought you'd met a deadline by miles and yet your test scores and transcript are still Missing in Action. However, “The Dean" has warned students for decades that it is YOUR responsibility -- and not the college's -- to make sure that all materials arrive safely. Admission offices are not obligated to notify their candidates when application components don't show up. If the student doesn't receive confirmation that an application is complete (via a portal, email, etc.), the student should follow up. You cannot take legal action against the college.

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