Don’t Freak Out 2009

This was a popular post last year, so I think it’s one worth repeating. (Also, as you may have noticed, the posts have been infrequent this year, so any chance I have to spruce up a previous post and throw it out there is a welcome one.)

With the Richmond Scholars deadline fast approaching (December 15!), we tend to have a lot of anxious students and parents on the phone, asking whether their applications are complete and everything has arrived. I know you want to confirm everything as soon as possible, but please take a deep breath and… wait. We’re dealing with thousands of applications, and, even after the different parts of your application arrive here, it can take a little while for everything to come together in the same place. We have an incredible operations staff who meticulously file everything away, but with the volume we’re receiving, it takes some time. So don’t pick up that phone to call us just yet! Here’s what you need to know first, and this can help make the process much smoother and less stressful for all of us.

When you apply, here’s what to expect:

• Shortly after submitting your application electronically, you should get an e-mail from the Common Application confirming your submission.

• Within three or four business days of our receiving your application, you should receive an e-mail from our office acknowledging that we have received it and reminding you of the other required pieces (transcript, letter of recommendation, etc.) This is not to say that we have not received those pieces already – it is a form e-mail that goes out to everybody who applies, not a specialized e-mail telling you we’re missing those things.

• Within two weeks of applying, you will receive a letter in the mail, which will give you a login and password for BannerWeb, our online filing system. Using that information, you can log in and actually see which pieces of your application we have received and which we haven’t. Make sure you keep that letter – while we do our best to let you know if we’re missing anything, it is ultimately your responsibility to check and make sure your application is complete. Note: the first batch of letters has just gone out, so if you applied in October or November, don’t worry. Your letter should arrive soon.

As long as all your materials are postmarked by the proper deadline, you should be good to go. If you receive the letter two weeks later, log into BannerWeb, and discover that something is missing, that is the time to call our office – and don’t worry, because even after the deadline we will be able to accept materials, if for some reason they did not make it here in the first place. We would rather you wait until you receive the letter, check BannerWeb for yourself, and call us after the deadline, than call us sooner, when materials might still be in the mail or in processing and we can’t confirm anything for you.

So the message is: don’t freak out. We’ve got you covered.

One important note: our office will be closed for the University’s winter vacation from December 24 to January 3. We won’t be issuing e-mails or letters during that time period, so if you’re applying in mid- or late December, factor that into the timeline mentioned above.

We look forward to seeing your applications!


  1. Alice
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the blogging! I assume the Oct./Nov. application were sent out yesterday? Cannot wait to hear from Admission.

    • Tom
      Posted December 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink


      We’re in the process of sending out confirmation letters for all applications that have come in up to this point. It’s taking a little time to process, but most should be on their way fairly soon.

  2. Ellen Woods
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Is this post just for Richmond Scholars applicants or for all applicants for Fall 2010, including Early Decision? My daughter applied Early Decision but did not receive any letter with login/password for BannerWeb. Just want to be sure all is ok.

    Also for Early Decision will she receive a letter or e-mail with decision?

    Thanks for your time.

    Ellen Woods

    • Tom
      Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


      Great question – yes, this post is just for Regular Decision/Richmond Scholars applicants. I apologize that I didn’t make any clarification in my post regarding Early Decision applicants. Because of the quick turnaround time with Early Decision, we aren’t able to send letters with BannerWeb login information; we do, however, send e-mails to any student who has applied ED but whose application is not complete – your daughter would have received an e-mail about two weeks ago if we were missing anything.

      We only notify students of decisions via letter. Most letters left our office on Friday, so be on the lookout – it should be arriving soon.



  3. nick
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    does UR release admissions decisions electronically? if so is there any way that I can find out my BannerWeb login/password if I don’t have a copy of that letter?


    • Tom
      Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink


      We don’t notify electronically – only the old-fashioned way, with a letter through the USPS. Most ED letters left our building on Friday, so ED applicants should be on the lookout.

  4. Alexandria Shinn
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    When I sent in my application in November through common app I received the conformation email, but I never received one from Richmond so I had no idea about the Banner Web situation, is there any way you can resend the email?

    • Tom
      Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink


      Did you apply Regular Decision or Early Decision? If you applied ED, see my answer to Ellen’s comment – we aren’t able to do the BannerWeb thing for ED students because of the quick turnaround time. If you applied RD, hang on for another week and see if you get a letter from us. If you don’t in a week’s time, give our office a call and check into things.


  5. Randy Witt
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Does this procedure also hold true for ED applicants? We were verbally told that UR had everything but we have never received any confirming emails or Banner Web login information. We’re hoping for an acceptance letter any day but now we’re concerned!

    • Tom
      Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


      See my answer to Ellen’s comment – and sorry about the confusion. We don’t have time with the quick ED turnaround to do the BannerWeb thing – if you got verbal confirmation, you’re good to go, and you would have received an e-mail if anything had been missing.

      Most ED letters are on their way, so watch the mail carefully. Sorry again for causing concern!


  6. Tom
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I’ve replied to a lot of comments here, but I just want to throw out one final clarifying comment: the “Don’t Freak Out” message is for Regular Decision/Richmond Scholars applicants only. Early Decision applicants should have done any freaking out a few weeks ago if they got an individual e-mail letting them know that something was missing. 🙂 Because of the quick turnaround with ED we send individual “you’re missing something” e-mails rather than the back-and-forth of status check on BannerWeb. I’m sorry if my “Don’t Freak Out” post caused you to freak out at all!

    And yes, for the record, most ED letters went in the mail on Friday, so they should start to arrive in the very near future. (And if you follow the uradmission twitter feed – also available on the admission homepage – you’d have known right away!) Best wishes to all ED applicants!

  7. Patty
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Thank you TOM. I just read your blog
    “Don’t freak out”.
    You answered all my questions at once.
    I am sitting here at my computer this morning, like every morning since the application process began, and I was literally FREAKING OUT.
    I was searching for the “application status” link, rereading the requirements,rechecking the Merit Awards section, and hoping everthing we sent arrived. Then I read your blog and now I am relaxed because “you have my back”.
    Thanks again.

    • Tom
      Posted December 21, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Glad to be of help, Patty!


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