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Correcting application errors after submission … or not

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Replies to: Correcting application errors after submission … or not

  • nineinchnailsnineinchnails 57 replies43 threads Junior Member
    My disastrous app mistakes that may(/will) destroy all my chances:

    1. My common app short answer got cut off....in the end it is like: ....also in our abil (instead of also in our ability to help). I tired to edit the last line minuted before the deadline, and I got no error message from common app when i pressed save.

    2. I have a " had began" in the same answer.

    3. I miss a "the" in my common app essay, and a "in". They are just gone..

    4. In my Princeton supplement, which is something I was very proud of, I have "year" instead of "ear".

    Have I royally screwed my chances? I am the worst proofreader in the world. ever. Period.

    I contacted 3 colleges about the common app missing words. One replied saying that I can submit a revised version. Others did not reply.
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  • valorianevaloriane 50 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Sally_Rubenstone: Woah. Thank you soo much. I just did this, it worked and I'm really grateful. Cheers!
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    You're welcome, valoriane. I'm glad this worked out for you.

    To everyone else ... yesterday I spoke with a friend of mine who is a Smith College admission officer. I asked her what she thinks about application corrections. Her response was what I expected: She only wants to see them if the changes are EGREGIOUS. The example she gave was, "If a student volunteered for 200 hours and, after sending the application, noticed that it said 2 hours (or vice versa), then it's worth a note to admission offices." But in most cases, she insisted, it's a pain to have to deal with post-submission corrections, especially for mistakes such as spelling. She also echoed my earlier advice which was NEVER send corrections more than once. If you do have some changes to submit, be sure to compile them in one email only.

    However, one common snafu I've seen that does cry out for correction is when the end of an essay gets cut off. (Students haven't properly previewed the app before sending or they may be unclear about how to tell when an essay is inadvertently truncated.) So my advice is that, if you do find that the version of the essay that colleges received is missing a couple final sentences (or even final words), then you should send a complete version of the essay to all your colleges with an explanatory note asking them to disregard the original essay and to use the new one.

    But, again, this is NOT something you should do if you catch a few typos or spelling errors. Only take this approach if some critical section of the essay was not properly transmitted.
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  • Athena01Athena01 3 replies1 threads New Member
    I accidentally self- reported on my application a higher SAT subject test score, by a 10 point margin to Yale. Should I just rely on the fact that I sent my (correct) scores via college board and not give a short e-mail to them, explaining the "typo"? Thank you.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    I accidentally self- reported on my application a higher SAT subject test score, by a 10 point margin to Yale. Should I just rely on the fact that I sent my (correct) scores via college board and not give a short e-mail to them, explaining the "typo"?

    Leave this one alone. Presumably you reported your OTHER results accurately (and, for Yale, this means at least four scores). So the admission committee members will not think that you're trying to pull a fast one on them. As you've noted yourself, they will use the official scores from the College Board, not the self-reported ones, when they decide your fate. Besides, a 10-point swing is not going to affect your outcome either way.

    If this continues to nag at you (which it shouldn't) and if you end up having a Yale alum interview in the next few weeks, you can mention the minor mistake to your interviewer. Just say that it's been bugging you a little that you accidentally inflated one score by 10 points and that you don't want anyone at Yale to think you were being dishonest.

    If there doesn't seem to be a good time to bring this up during your interview or if you don't have an interview at all, then just let it go. It's no big deal ... and not even a small one.
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  • Athena01Athena01 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for the reassurance and advice. I greatly appreciate the former and will be sure to heed the latter.
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  • josephsmithjosephsmith 15 replies8 threads New Member
    I realized that I accidentally used a word twice in the same sentence in one of my short essays. And then I used the same word again in the next sentence *facepalm*. Everything is grammatically correct. It's just a redundancy issue.

    I guess it's my mistake for proofreading that essay in parts. Should I just let this one go or what?
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    I guess it's my mistake for proofreading that essay in parts. Should I just let this one go or what?

    This is a clear-cut example of something that you should let go. It wasn't brilliant of you to overuse that term, but it would do more harm than good to call attention to it now.
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  • dchau503dchau503 248 replies63 threads Member
    On one of my college applications, I put in that I received A's in both of semesters for Spanish in my senior year. Problem is that I didn't finish my senior year yet. The admissions officer will probably notice this since I put in that my graduation date was in june of 2012, but I've already emailed the college about this mistake. They haven't responded. Are my chances screwed?
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    Are my chances screwed?

    Not in the least. Your error is totally minor. The admission folks will not notice your error, or ... if they do ... they may admire you optimism. ;) But, seriously, this is not a problem at all. The college may contact you to acknowledge your correction, but they probably won't. In any case, stop worrying!
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  • kellyinaurorakellyinaurora 44 replies11 threads Junior Member
    My D submitted her Common App on December 18, only to realize after reviewing her application on December 29 that one of her essays was uploaded twice (the Additional Info) and the Personal Essay not at all. She faxed and snail mailed the colleges the Personal Essay before the deadline.

    Then, she was horrified to notice that the last 3 words of her Short Answer essay were cut off, so she emailed a revision on January 3....

    Two corrections may mean she's doomed for rejection... oh well, I suppose it's in Fate's hands now.
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  • penguin25penguin25 19 replies5 threads New Member
    Last year, I forgot to add my Precalculus course to my list of senior year courses on CommonApp. I simply emailed all of the admissions offices personally and apologized for the mistake. Yet, I thought that one was critical enough to demand attention. That's basically all you can do, just calmly state that there is an error in your application and that you apologize for the inconvenience.

    It was NOT a big deal, and I was still accepted to 9 schools. I was absolutely freaked out and panicked to my college counselor, who basically laughed in my face for being so worried. Looking back, I would've laughed in my face too. We're all human beings.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    kellyinaurora--As penguin25 has said, "We're all human beings." Most students get a lot more wiggle room for application oversights than they realize. But because we are all indeed human, there is bound to be some variation in how different admission officials react. Some, for instance, might view your daughter as a little bit of a flake for her double-header revisions, but others won't even notice at all. In any case, fear not ... she isn't doomed.

    Keep in mind, too, that students can do everything perfectly on their end and yet there still may be technical errors on the other side that cut off essay endings or duplicate downloads. So admission folks are used to expecting the unexpected. I hope that this makes everyone sleep a little better tonight.
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  • dariceguy13dariceguy13 49 replies11 threads Junior Member
    I accidentally put that my math team won 1st place at state in 2011 instead of 2010. We did not win in 2011. Is this egregious enough to email colleges about?

    Thanks
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    Is this egregious enough to email colleges about?

    If your team did win once (2010) and you only indicated one victory, then don't bothering correcting the error. (If you put two victories instead of a single one, then you should.)
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  • kgoodwin18kgoodwin18 187 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I know I said my last question was eons ago. But I actually just remembered something. I received the QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship last year. I was invited to the conference in Yale and a nomination for an all-expenses paid college visit. Would that need pointing out?
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  • Time2Time2 675 replies33 threads Member
    If it is something like a typo or missing/extra words, I would not advise them. You will simply draw needless attention to the error which might have otherwise gone unnoticed. I doubt that colleges read every word of every application and even if they do read it, they may overlook simple errors or never notice it themselves.

    Always proof-read your application and use spell check before submitting. Obvious errors can be eliminated before submitting. Have someone else read your essays since it is easier for someone else to catch obvious errors.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    I know I said my last question was eons ago. But I actually just remembered something. I received the QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship last year. I was invited to the conference in Yale and a nomination for an all-expenses paid college visit

    This can be put under Honors/Awards (or the like) on your activities list. However, it is definitely NOT something that you should contact colleges to add to an application that's already been sent.
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  • WarticleWarticle 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi Sally, is a wrong date of birth serious enough an error to warrant emailing the universities I applied to? I swapped the day with the month.
    Thanks in advance.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3065 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    Warticle--While it certainly doesn't qualify as "egregious," your birth-date switcheroo might cause confusion if there are multiple candidates with the same name as yours or if you are applying for financial aid and the financial aid staff needs to cross-reference your DOB and SS #.

    So here's my advice: If the day of your birth is a number higher than 12 (i.e., the 13th through 31st), admission officials will immediately figure out the mix-up. For instance, they will know that the month of your birthday couldn't be "17," even if that's what you put on your application. But if the day of your birth is the 1st through the 12th, then you should send a quick correction.

    In countries outside of the U.S., it is common for people to list the day ahead of the month when citing a date. So admission folks are accustomed to seeing such reversals. It really isn't a big deal but it still makes sense to send the correction if your mistake won't look like an obvious flip-flop.
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