Preparing for College

Should We Send Application Materials as Certified Mail?

Question: Should my daughter send supplementary materials to colleges via Certified Mail so that she will know they have been received?

No! Most colleges don't like having to deal with certified mail at a time when a gazillion other envelopes are pouring in ... and even when the stuff is received, it can get lost in the filing process afterward, so any peace of mind you get from springing for certified mail could be premature. What I recommend, instead, is to wait 10 days to two weeks after you've mailed materials (or submitted them online) and then telephone colleges to confirm that everything arrived safely and made its way into your daughter's folder. Don't worry if those 10 to 14 days take you beyond the application deadlines. If materials are missing, and your daughter replaces them promptly, she will not be penalized. Also don't panic if you're told that something that you're sure was sent never arrived. This happens all the time. Usually it's due to admission-office backlog, and the materials do turn up eventually. But, again, don't freak out if you get a missing-materials notice.

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