Contacing graduate schools and departments - how much is reasonable?

<p>Reasonable at this time of year and in the application process, I mean. Departments and graduate schools are exceptionally busy at this time but how much is reasonable (i.e. without seriously annoying some folks lol) to contact them concerning parts of your application, e.g. if they've received everything, why something is shown as missing on your application status, etc.?</p>

<p>Obviously I do not go out of my way to annoy folks but this is crunch time and I need to make sure my applications are in order. For example, at one school I've emailed twice to the graduate school and twice to the department in a 5 day span to check up on missing GRE scores even though they've been sent, and the issue is still not resolved. </p>

<p>I guess it is a fine line to walk but I have a lot at stake here.</p>

<p>I don't think it'd be a problem at all to call/e-mail to check that all of your materials have been received. Mistakes happen, and you certainly don't want to find out after the deadline that one of your application components were not received. I think in the case of the GREs as long as they know you've taken them and the results are on their way, it won't be too much of a problem if the results arrive a little after the deadline. But when it comes to the personal statement, transcripts, etc., you want to make sure all of that is received. I would call at least once a week to check on things until you get the okay that everything has been received and your application is complete.</p>

<p>Hey NovaLynnx, thanks for the response.</p>

<p>Maybe I overreacted because the GRE score issue has been resolved. Still, it would be nice to get other folks' take on this. I think my brain is messin' with me a little more than usual, ha! :D</p>

<p>philosopher7 it is considerate of you to think through this. Indeed it is paper cut season in admissions offices now and the more calls and duplicate emails that come in, the slower processing gets - for everyone. </p>

<p>Go with the probability of success for the GRE arriving safely - the system has been proven for many years. Get confirmation for any of the other items, but attach a second copy or unofficial version as security backup (pending receipt of pof the official versions). Then be patient. </p>

<p>Remember also that many schools still close during the week between Christmas and New Years so that is a deadline driving people to get through the piles of mail.</p>

<p>Everything will probably work out just fine.</p>

<p>Four times in a five day span is too much. The last thing on the admissions committees' mind is your application. It's the week before Christmas and I'm grading finals; I know most of my professors are grading final exams and final papers right now and preparing for vacations. Also remember that the online system sometimes takes a while to update. Even if you postmarked your stuff, say, 5 days before the deadline - when you factor in travel time, the fact that someone physically has to open your stuff and then put it in the computer, it may be a while before it gets updated.</p>

<p>Be patient. For stuff like GREs and recommendation letters, I would just let it go unless it has been like 1-2 weeks and still no updates. For stuff you submitted directly, I'd check a little earlier, but I definitely would not check four times in 5 days.</p>

<p>A note about the structure and flow of applications might be helpful. The people actually working with your materials are probably administrators. They might be in the university "graduate school" or in the department (admin support or secretaries). If it is a huge program or school (especially business schools), they might have their own admissions team. These folks are unlikely to be on the admissions committee and are trying to process paperwork and get files out for review by the appropriate faculty or committee.</p>

<p>Thank you for the additional replies y'all. </p>

<p>Yes, straightadmit, I am aware of this. What really irks me is when I don't even get a reply back and I think your point about the personalities of the folks who do the processing in my other thread is very on point. Some graduate program assistants are extremely responsive and I've found this to be the case for the more selective programs I'm applying to, the ones that get hundreds of applications but can keep on top of things. Some graduate program coordinators/assistants/secetaries don't even respond...is this normal?! </p>

<p>I don't think being busy is an excuse considering the fact that at some schools one or two people can handle the workload of putting together the dossiers AND addressing applicant inquiries.</p>

<p>Oh and juillet, the four emails were two directed at the department and two towards the graduate faculty. So 2 emails in 5 days each way does not seem excessive to me.</p>

<p>At any rate, though, I'll try to be more patient but you can perhaps understand why I am just a teeny tiny bit antsy at this point in time. :D</p>

<p>Sorry but it is excessive because they probably do talk to each other.... Graduate schools know that gre scores and LORa tend to be out of the applicant's control. Some programs will review your application as long as most of your materials have aimed and will follow up asking for scores for formality or to decide between candidates. Others won't bother. Sit on your hands and don't send any more emails until after mid-January.</p>

<p>"Some graduate program coordinators/assistants/secetaries don't even respond...is this normal?!"</p>

<p>Unfortunately, yes from time to time there are totally unresponsive people working with applicants. They tend to be in positions that are undervalued within the department and seem to pass along the vibe they get to applicants.</p>

<p>@ticklemepink - sometimes they do talk to each other and sometimes there is no communications at all. For example, a business or law school admissions office staff will likely talk to each other, but those staff will likely have little or no interaction with the university's "graduate admissions office". A department coordinator in science will likely interact with the "grad school" more often, but might be the only one processing applications in their department. Big departments may have more than one assistant working on it, but they tend to be administrators that also handle applications instead of admissions staff. When this is the case, there is less consistency about customer service and treatment of candidates can be really personality driven.</p>