It's been quiet around here for a reason. We're all tucked away in our offices so we can read files. I guess this debunks a popular myth...no one sits around waiting to read until the deadline hits. If we waiting until after January 1st to start reading, there's no way we'd be done by April 1st (the notification date). Well, wait. We could be done by then, but there's no way we'd be able to give all of the files the amount of attention they deserve. Even now, we are reading at a very fast pace. So fast that I'm thinking about the files I'm not reading because I'm writing this blog entry!
Our system is programmed to mark a file ready to read when the required components have arrived. As soon as the application (Common App + Supplement + payment) is complete, it gets sent to us by Common App. That's an important change for this year. You must submit all three components to get your application sent to us. When your school forms (your counselor's recommendation and related forms), transcript, official score report, and one teacher recommendation are checked in, your file moves to "ready to read" status. From there, it will get randomly distributed.
Now, a word about your status pages. We are now in the busy season, which means large numbers of documents are arriving in our office each day. If an item arrives electronically and the student's biographical data matches the data on their application (meaning, the same name, DOB, etc. is used), the item will be automatically matched and the status page will update fairly quickly. This isn't the norm, unfortunately. A lot of documents come in by snail mail or arrive with nick names and SSNs (instead of DOB, which is a big part of our matching protocol). Those items need to be scanned and matched to a file by hand. This can take a few weeks due to the volume of mail and the relatively small staff we have.
Please be patient. You won't see your status pages update for weeks. Do not freak out about them. We will contact you at the end of January or beginning of February if there are any problems.