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Correcting application errors after submission … or not

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Replies to: Correcting application errors after submission … or not

  • student838210student838210 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Hi Sally! I just submitted my ED Syracuse Application and I accidentally duplicated the first paragraph of my additional information essay 😥... now instead of two paragraphs, there are three and the first two are the exact same except for the first sentence which I reworded on one of them. I also sent this version of the common app to two less selective schools, UNH and URI. All of the four essays that I sent to Syracuse (common app, 2 supplementals, and additional info) are well written and I was proud of them but I realize now I made a careless error. I was so focused on combing through my supplemental essay on the pdf I barely looked at the Additional Info section. Should I email the school and own it? Does this ruin my chances?
    Thank you
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @student838210 -Don't worry about this at all. In a perfect world, it would have been preferable to have avoided the mistake. But, frankly, the Common App essay section (and the additional info section too) sometimes create tech glitches of their own. So the admission officials probably can't even tell if the error was made by you or by the technology. In any case, it's nothing to stress about. They'll figure out what you meant and it won't hurt your admission chances.
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  • bmb4bmb4 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Hello Sally,
    I inadvertently forgot to post my AP scores on the Common App for several top schools. I have 2-5’s, 1-4 and 2-2’s. Is it advisable to contact my specific admissions councilor or the admissions office to add the 5’s and the 4 to my application. I’m sure it is not advisable to add the 2’s. I did state that I am a AP scholars award winner on the awards section of the Common App.

    Thank you for your reply.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @bmb4 -At this point, I think that you should probably let this go. You said you have applied to several "top colleges." And, at the "top" colleges, it's common for applicants to earn 5's on 6 to 8 AP exams or 4's and 5's on even more. So if you write to your admission reps to report two 5's and a 4, you're basically saying, "Sorry that I omitted this from my application and am taking up your time now, but I wanted to let you know that I got some AP results that are very decent but probably below your medians."

    When you look at this from that perspective, it makes sense to do nothing. You've already reported that you're an AP Scholar, so that's enough.

    EXCEPTION: If you are a first-generation-to-college student and/or if you come from a disadvantaged background or from a high school that rarely sends students to "top" colleges, then it's okay to write to your regional reps and report your 5's and 4.

    ANOTHER EXCEPTION: If your 5's or 4 are in an area that you listed as your likely major on your applications, you can report them now.
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  • bmb4bmb4 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Thank you for your input. By “top”schools I mean top 40. I haven’t applied to any Ivies. I have a 4.11 and a 35 Act and have taken as many AP classes that my school offers that fit in a schedule. And yes the 4s and 5s are on my listed major. Sorry I should have give you the rest of my stats. My top schools are more like BC, ND, Emory, ect. Also I was never intending in using the 2s.

    Again, Thank You.
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  • nealspectrenealspectre 9 replies0 threads New Member
    I accidentally marked a one semester course for grade 12 as a full year course on the common and coalition app. I am currently taking the course during only first semester of 12th grade. Should I contact the colleges to inform them of the mistake or should I leave it? Please let me know.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @nealspectre -Unfortunately, this is one of those times when you SHOULD send a correction to colleges. Although your transcript should show the accurate listing, you might confuse admission folks if they see two different versions of your course selections ... one on the official transcript and one on your self-reported list on the applications.

    BUT ..,if the course in question is an elective that isn't likely to factor into your admission decisions (e.g., yearbook, ceramics), let it go.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @bmb4 -Thanks for the clarification. Go ahead and send your 5's and 4 to your colleges since they confirm your success in fields you plan to continue in college, and the colleges you've named, while highly selective, aren't the absurdly hyper-competitive ones.
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  • nealspectrenealspectre 9 replies0 threads New Member
    edited November 2019
    Ok thank you, and the specific class that I am talking about is theology. So should i reach out?
    edited November 2019
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @nealspectre -Let this go for sure.
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  • typiCAmomtypiCAmom 588 replies31 threads Member
    edited November 2019
    Ms. Rubenstone,

    Thank you in advance for your help. I have two questions I’d appreciate your advice on.

    1. My daughter is taking 6 classes at school this year, plus a community college class. However, one of the school classes is a TA position, and she did not list it in her common app as a class at all. The TA class is almost a free period - it was quite unplanned, the elective my daughter was supposed to be taking was cancelled at the last minute, there was no other elective she wanted to take available in that particular time slot, it was in the middle of the day, so the school couldn’t allow her to take only 5 classes, etc. Anyway, I suggested to my daughter she adds this TA class to the “additional information” section for the other schools she’s applying, but does this warrant a correction to the T20 school she has already applied REA?

    2. For the last two years, my daughter was volunteering at a local organization that is typically referred to by its four-letter acronym (no pun intended), not the full name. We don’t know how the mix-up came to be, but during all this time my daughter genuinely believed the first letter of the acronym stood for “International”. She wrote it out in her common app, and described it to her counselor the same way. Recently, when filling out an outside scholarship application, my daughter visited the organization website to confirm the supervisor’s name, and realized the actual name of the organization includes the word “Immigrant” instead of “International”. She also confirmed that the counselor too wrote out the organization name as “International” instead of using an acronym in her recommendation. I know this warrants no correction in the REA - the common app and the counselor rec match, if someone was to google the organization by the full name, the website would come up even with the wrong word in it, if someone calls they would confirm my daughter volunteers there, etc. My question has more to do with going forward. Should my daughter update the correct name in her common app for other colleges, considering the counselor and teachers have already uploaded their recs for all of them? If D updates her common app, it would be a mismatch with the rec letter(s), if she doesn’t, she would knowingly be submitting incorrect information. I am not sure it would look good for the counselor to reach out to colleges and update her recommendation letter with the correct word. What would you suggest? Thanks!
    edited November 2019
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    1. No correction needed

    2. Your daughter should correct the name of the organization for her future applications but she need not send a correction for the past mistake. IF college folks notice that the organization name on the application and the one that the counselor mentioned aren't quite identical, they'll just assume that a harried counselor made a very minor mistake. But, frankly, I'd bet the mortgage money that no one at any college will even catch this inconsistency.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @typiCAmom -I thought you might be interested in this new article by Janet Lorin at Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-20/u-s-colleges-step-up-admissions-spot-checks-after-scandal It's about new measures that colleges are taking to verify activity listings on applications.

    In light of this belt tightening, I would suggest that, if your daughter is admitted to her Early Action college, she then send a brief message to her admissions rep saying thank-you for the acceptance and then explaining that the name of the organization where she volunteers is slightly different than the one on the application. I very much doubt that the college will follow up on your daughter's application claim, but it can't hurt to amend the mistake ... just in case. (There's still nothing that your daughter needs to do about it NOW.)

    If, however, your daughter is DEFERRED in the Early Action round, then she can save this update for January. At that point, she should be sending a Letter of Continued Interest to this college, providing information about what's new in her life since she first applied. At that point, she can also mention the minor mistake on her Activity List.

    Trust me, her mistake is not a big deal, and any inconsistency with what her counselor has written is inconsequential. But, nonetheless, your daughter can set the record straight, either next month or in January, depending on the news that she gets from her Early Action school. Good luck to her.
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  • Hufflepuff20Hufflepuff20 3 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi, I just found this thread and I've looked at the previous threads/posts which have really helped me. I'm so sorry to bother you but I do have a couple questions in regards to correcting the mistakes I left out in the additional information section and my extracurricular activities from my submitted early decision application to one of the Ivy Leagues. The college I applied to allows applicants to update and submit "Additional Application Information and Materials" through the college's own portal site.

    At the time I submitted my application, I didn't think to explain why I seemed to suddenly drop off some of the extracurricular activities I've been participating in but I've heard that it's important to let admission officers know why you suddenly stopped participating in a sport halfway through high school so they're not left wondering what happened.

    For example, I participated in my high school swim team and my club swim team my freshman and sophomore year but stopped participating my junior year due to me wanting to focus more on my academics as I've been trying to focus on how to handle taking a one of the first college in the high school courses at my school. In addition, I stopped participating in horseback riding my sophomore year as well (although I put grade 9 on my application for this college because I didn't do it all-year round) because I wanted to focus on my swimming for high school and club and my academics. And I decided not to continue to take AP Spanish 4 even though I've already spent 3 years taking Spanish because I wanted to learn Spanish on my own time and at my own pace (my high school doesn't offer regular Spanish 4 only AP, otherwise I'd likely have taken it.

    Is this something I should explain and submit to the college portal?

    Another question I have is relates to how I thought I was going to continue to participate in Key Club my senior year but decided against it since I'm already in National Honors Society but I listed participating in Key Club for the 12th grade as well. Is this mistake something I should correct?

    This might not be significant but I also joined a Statistics Club at my school that was started this year. We meet up about once a week to discuss and create surveys to hand out at school, then put the data together. Should I make an additional extracurricular update to my application through the college portal?

    I also realized I made a mistake in the sibling education portion of my family household information for the Common Application. Instead of putting that my brother received a Bachelor's degree from the university he graduated (4 years), I accidentally put that he received a Master's degree from the university. I got the 2 degrees mixed up and I don't want to come off as dishonest or careless. Should I include a correction for this as well?

    This question is in regards to a typo, I've seen the previous answers about this and how it's not worth calling further attention to but just to clarify would a typo in the college my mom attended make the college admission officer think poorly of me? My mom went to a college outside the U.S. which has now merged into another college (don't know which) and I typed "Shanhai Puto Education College" in China instead of "Shanghai Puto Education College."

    And lastly, I don't think I completely filled out one of the questions in the Supplementary writing for the college I submitted my early decision application to. The question was to "List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. (150 words or less)" I feel like I listed basic/generic words and/or phrases to answer this question that doesn't differentiate me from every other applicant and since then I had more I wanted to write down. Do you suggest to make an addition here and submit it through the college portal or leave it as it is?

    I also got a local interview opportunity from the college I submitted my early decision application to and I don't know if I should mention these mistakes to the interviewer instead or send in what you think I should correct along with telling the interviewer of my mistakes that have been bugging me in my submitted application?

    Again, I'm so sorry to bother you and anyone on this thread but I would really appreciate the feedback. Thank you so much.
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  • typiCAmomtypiCAmom 588 replies31 threads Member
    @Sally_Rubenstone, thanks so much for replying, and sorry I didn’t see your first answer. Yes, I too suggested she contacts the REA college unless she is denied to set the record straight. Again, I am sure if anyone decides to verify her community service and googles the incorrect full name, they’d still be directed to the correct organization, and would be able to get the needed confirmation.

    A quick question for you - she expects to hear from the EA school in December. If she’s deferred, should she still wait till January to send the letter continuing interest, or send it right away after the deferral? Thanks!
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  • Hufflepuff20Hufflepuff20 3 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi, I just found this thread and I've looked at the previous threads/posts which have really helped me. I'm so sorry to bother you but I do have a couple questions in regards to correcting the mistakes I left out in the additional information section and my extracurricular activities from my submitted early decision application to one of the Ivy Leagues. The college I applied to allows applicants to update and submit "Additional Application Information and Materials" through the college's own portal site.

    At the time I submitted my application, I didn't think to explain why I seemed to suddenly drop off some of the extracurricular activities I've been participating in but I've heard that it's important to let admission officers know why you suddenly stopped participating in a sport halfway through high school so they're not left wondering what happened.

    For example, I participated in my high school swim team and my club swim team my freshman and sophomore year but stopped participating my junior year due to me wanting to focus more on my academics as I've been trying to focus on how to handle taking a one of the first college in the high school courses at my school. In addition, I stopped participating in horseback riding my sophomore year as well (although I put grade 9 on my application for this college because I didn't do it all-year round) because I wanted to focus on my swimming for high school and club and my academics. And I decided not to continue to take AP Spanish 4 even though I've already spent 3 years taking Spanish because I wanted to learn Spanish on my own time and at my own pace (my high school doesn't offer regular Spanish 4 only AP, otherwise I'd likely have taken it.

    Is this something I should explain and submit to the college portal?

    Another question I have is relates to how I thought I was going to continue to participate in Key Club my senior year but decided against it since I'm already in National Honors Society but I listed participating in Key Club for the 12th grade as well. Is this mistake something I should correct?

    This might not be significant but I also joined a Statistics Club at my school that was started this year. We meet up about once a week to discuss and create surveys to hand out at school, then put the data together. Should I make an additional extracurricular update to my application through the college portal?

    I also realized I made a mistake in the sibling education portion of my family household information for the Common Application. Instead of putting that my brother received a Bachelor's degree from the university he graduated (4 years), I accidentally put that he received a Master's degree from the university. I got the 2 degrees mixed up and I don't want to come off as dishonest or careless. Should I include a correction for this as well?

    This question is in regards to a typo, I've seen the previous answers about this and how it's not worth calling further attention to but just to clarify would a typo in the college my mom attended make the college admission officer think poorly of me? My mom went to a college outside the U.S. which has now merged into another college (don't know which) and I typed "Shanhai Puto Education College" in China instead of "Shanghai Puto Education College."

    And lastly, I don't think I completely filled out one of the questions in the Supplementary writing for the college I submitted my early decision application to. The question was to "List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. (150 words or less)" I feel like I listed basic/generic words and/or phrases to answer this question that doesn't differentiate me from every other applicant and since then I had more I wanted to write down. Do you suggest to make an addition here and submit it through the college portal or leave it as it is?

    I also got a local interview opportunity from the college I submitted my early decision application to and I don't know if I should mention these mistakes to the interviewer instead or send in what you think I should correct along with telling the interviewer of my mistakes that have been bugging me in my submitted application?

    Again, I'm so sorry to bother you and anyone on this thread but I would really appreciate the feedback. Thank you so much.

    Also, to clear up what I previously said. I stopped participating in my high school swim team and club swim after sophomore year. So as of right now, I'm not swimming for the high school and the YMCA and I'm not horseback riding but I plan to start horseback riding again in January (after SAT testing).

    Should I explain my reasons for dropping these activities and submit it my updated application?
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @Hufflepuff20 -DON'T update your application at all. None of this information will be significant in your evaluation process, and you will just annoy admission officials if you make a bunch of minor corrections during this busy time.

    When you have your interview, it's okay to mention BRIEFLY that you used to spend a lot of time swimming but gave it up to focus on other endeavors. But admission committees don't want to hear about what you AREN'T doing; they want to know what you ARE doing. So put very little emphasis on the fact that you used to swim. Instead, use your interview to focus on what excites you NOW and on how an education at this particular college will mesh with your current interests and with your future goals.

    The college folks understand that most teenagers don't pursue all of their extracurricular activities all the way through high school. They know that most students will drop at least a couple undertakings and pick up a couple more as the years go by. So usually there's no need to explain why an activity got dropped.

    Well, SOMETIMES it's appropriate to explain why you stopped an activity. But this is only true if the activity was all-consuming or if you were a real stand-out in it, so the discontinuation seems alarming. For instance, I once knew a teen who was a professional model who flew all over the world for fashion shoots and made a lot of money doing it. But then, as a junior in high school, she realized that she really wanted to be a typical teen and go to dances and football games and hang out with friends. So she suddenly ditched her modeling career. And that's the kind of change that college officials might want to see explained. Similarly, if a student is a huge success at a sport and seems destined to play at the college level or even the Olympic or professional level but then the student suddenly drops out of the sport, the admission committees will want to know why. But, more routinely, when students who are good at sports but not amazing decide that they don't want to continue, the admission committees don't need a reason.

    Your other corrections are minor, too. So, again, I urge you to leave this application alone. If you aren't admitted to your ED school, I promise that it won't be because you didn't make these updates in the portal.

    Good luck!
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @typiCAmom
    If she’s deferred, should she still wait till January to send the letter continuing interest, or send it right away after the deferral?

    Most admission offices are shut tight over the holidays, and then admission folks are flat-out with the Regular Decision applications. So if your daughter were to write a Letter of Continued Interest in mid-December, there's a good chance it won't be read for many weeks anyway, because it will just be added to her file and then will be read once she's being reconsidered, which probably won't be until some time in February.

    So ... if your daughter feels motivated to write immediately if she's deferred in December, she can. BUT ... her letter will probably be stronger if ...

    1. She's not working on it when classes (maybe even finals?) are still taking place

    2. She waits until the end of January when she may actually have some updates to report. Most seniors really don't have a lot of new news between their November application submission and a late-January update. But at least by waiting till then, your daughter may find there's SOMETHING she wants to tell colleges about (an improved grade? an award? a published poem?) that may not have happened by December.

    So there's no down side to waiting, and there may be a few pluses.
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  • Hufflepuff20Hufflepuff20 3 replies0 threads New Member
    Thank you so much for the quick and extremely helpful reply! I will definitely take your advice and I'm so relieved to know what to do. Thanks again for your time.
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  • nealspectrenealspectre 9 replies0 threads New Member
    Do I report multiple theology courses taken throughout high school semesters (5 semesters each with different course content around religion) as a single item under activities/other courses in the UC application or should I report each semester individually?

    Also, would it look bad if I utilize all 20 items on the UC activities/awards/other courses/work experience/educational program list even though I have genuinely committed time to each of them. Please advise. Thanks!
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