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a student blog

Happy (belated) New Year!

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Welcome to 2013! It’s been a while, I know, but that’s one of the many benefits of starting school in late August–you get a full month off for Winter Break. But unlike me, I’m sure many of you have been quite busy, especially with *drum roll*…………………….college apps! Hopefully to Whitman. And hopefully you turned that application in already, as it was due on Tuesday.

As I’ve mentioned before, I work as a clerical assistant in the Office of Admission, so I’ve been seeing the absolute chaos surrounding the office in the past week. It’s madness. Carefully organized, methodically thought-out chaos/madness, but chaos/madness all the same. It’s busy, hectic, and frantic. I promise, everyone is working insanely hard to get your applications in, sorted, processed, read, and decided upon. But, in the meantime, we’ve been getting a lot of calls with questions about applications. So, here’s a quick FAQ about your application!

Q: Did you get my stuff??????????????

A: I’m not sure how many applicants we have to the Class of 2017, but you can see the profile for the Class of 2016 here, and you may notice that there were nearly 3,000 applicants last year. Which (hopefully and probably) means we have even more this year. Essentially, what that means is that we have a lot to process in a short amount of time. And consider how many pieces each applicant sends in: Common App, fee (or fee waiver), school report, high school transcript (sometimes multiple ones if a student has been at multiple schools), teacher recommendations (1-2 per applicant), SAT scores, ACT scores, Whitman supplements, CSS profile, FAFSA, and, for some, an Early Decision agreement. In total, about 10 pieces of information per applicant. With 3,000 applicants, that’s about 30,000 different, separate items to find, scan, file, upload, download, process, combine, read, etc.

And I don’t mean this in a patronizing way at all–I didn’t even realize how much stuff Admissions has to deal with until I was actually sitting at the front desk, answering applicants’ questions, combining their applications into one big packet, and watching a massive stack of mail get plunked down in front of me to be sorted.

So, the easy answer is: probably, but we may not have processed it yet. We will send you a letter the second your application is complete, and you can watch the status of your application at WebAdvisor, here. I promise that we’re working as fast as we can!

Q: I forgot to send something in! Ahhhhhh! Is it too late?!

A: While I don’t actually know the answer to this question, your admission officer will. All their e-mails are here.

Q: Can I still come visit Whitman, even though I’ve already applied?

A: Absolutely! We’d love to have you! Schedule a visit here. You can schedule a meeting with an admissions officer, have lunch with a student, take a campus tour, come to an information session, spend the night in a real live Whitman dorm room, just explore Walla Walla, or any combination of those. If you can’t make it by during the school year, you can visit in the summer as well (that’s how I did it).

Q: Chance me?

A: No. Avoid asking for “chances” at all costs. Nothing guarantees you admission, or disqualifies you, for that matter. Asking other people for your “chance” will ultimately just freak you out more. Don’t do that! Unfortunately, and I hate myself for saying this right now, you’ll just have to wait for admission decisions to come out.

Q: Speaking of decisions, when will they come out?

A: EDII is January 25, RD is March 29. And you could even get them earlier!

Q: What should I do while I’m waiting for my decision? The suspense is killing me!!!

A: Keep working hard in school (though senioritis is extremely contagious, I know for a fact). Keep busy. Read a book. Watch a new TV series (I have recommendations if you want them). Start a blog, maybe. Learn how to underwater basket-weave, I don’t know. But I wish all of you not only a happy new year, but the best of luck as well!

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