Don’t Freak Out 2012-13

With the Richmond Scholars deadline upon us, I thought I’d follow in the tradition of previous years and tell all those applicants out there to take a deep breath and… relax. It’s going to take a few days for us to sort through the thousands of applications we’re receiving, so don’t pick up the phone to call us just yet. Here’s what to expect after you hit “Submit” on the Common Application.

1. You should very quickly receive a confirmation e-mail from the Common Application, telling you that your application was submitted to the University of Richmond. If you don’t, you should go back into the Common Application to check things out and make sure you actually submitted it. But note that even after you receive this e-mail, it doesn’t mean that Richmond has received (i.e. downloaded) or processed your application yet. (Think of the old days of paper applications. Dropping an application in the mailbox doesn’t mean it’s suddenly sitting in our office ā€“ it has to get there. So it is with electronic applications. We have to access the Common Application online and download everything that has been submitted, which we typically do once a day.)

2. Once we process your application, you’ll receive an e-mail from us telling you we’ve got it. This usually happens within two business days of your submission. This e-mail will also list everything else, besides the Common Application, that is required for a complete application to Richmond. This doesn’t mean we haven’t received these things ā€“ it’s a form e-mail that goes out to everybody, just as a reminder. To confirm that we’ve received everything, you have to wait for step #3.

3. Within about two weeks of applying, you’ll receive a letter from us in the mail (students outside the U.S. will receive an e-mail), confirming your application and providing log-in information for BannerWeb, the online system where you can check the completeness of your application and see exactly what we have on file. For December 1 applicants, you can also confirm in BannerWeb that your application has been flagged for Richmond Scholars consideration. (Why a letter, rather than a more expedient e-mail? Because, legally, we’re not allowed to share your log-in information via e-mail if you’re in the United States. A good, old-fashioned letter is the only way to do it.)

One note for Richmond Scholars deadline applicants: the date of the letter (#3) is irrelevant. December 1 falls on a Saturday this year, which means that the letters for students who applied on November 30 or December 1 will almost all be dated Monday, December 3. This date is simply the date we processed your application, so don’t freak out. Just log into BannerWeb and double-check that you’re being considered for Richmond Scholars.

If, after you have received all three of the above communications, you have any concerns or there seems to be something missing, that is the time to call our office. Even if it’s a few weeks later, we can go back down the paper and electronic trails to get things sorted out. If there are any mix-ups, it won’t be too late to fix them. And we’d much prefer to sort things out down the road, once the dust has settled, than try to answer questions now, when everything is still being processed and it’s harder to track things down. So hold off a few days, relax, and trust that we’ve got you covered.

One final note. As of this year, Richmond is officially processing all applications electronically ā€“ we no longer have a physical application folder for each student, as we used to. We still accept paper documents through the mail, but these need to be opened, scanned, uploaded, retrieved, and electronically filed before they join your application. What does this mean? Sending things electronically (via e-mail or your high school’s guidance office) is almost always going to be faster, in terms of the time it takes to get to your application. Just a tip, for those who are curious.

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