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BlueNahlchee

Frustrations with transcript requests

7 posts in this topic

Well, I will say that after applying to many PhD programs for 2017 admission, nothing has been more frustrating than transcript requests. The MOST frustrating part about transcripts is that there are still a ton of graduate programs that require us to request official transcripts to be mailed from their respective institutions after we submit our application (to be fully considered for review by the admissions committee, even if we have not received any unofficial admission offers), and often, these institutions will only accept hard copies via snail mail! Even when many universities are offering electronic official secured PDF options! Seriously, this is 2017...

Some institutions I request transcripts to be requested from have both first-class mail & overnight delivery options (though the second options always costs like crazy, but I always choose the second option if it's available, since the registrar office takes their sweet time to delay the delivery if a first-class option is requested), and some only offer their infamously sluggish first-class mail option. I find that first-class mail transcripts from their respective institutions sometimes take up to TWO weeks (or even longer) to get delivered, even though I requested them WELL IN ADVANCE! Some of these institutions' registrar office take FOREVER to process the transcript order and won't officially mail it until 2-3 days (or even longer) after initial request... simply ridiculous. Another frustrating part about these is that the admissions office of the graduate programs I applied to will email me (or nag me, if you can call it that, haha) to remind me that they still have not received the transcripts. I mean, what else am I supposed to do? I've done all I can by requesting transcripts to be mailed well in advance (as well as triple-checking that the recipient addresses are entered correctly). Sometimes I even had to order more copies because they were just taking so long to get delivered. And sometimes they were just plain lost in the mail! 

Does anyone else here found transcript requests to be the most frustrating part about graduate applications? Or does anyone have any transcript horror/annoyance stories to share? I'm relieved that more and more schools are only requesting official hard-copy transcripts (or ePDF) after an applicant is admitted, which makes this whole process SO MUCH EASIER. However, a large number of schools (including some I applied to) still require official HARD COPY transcripts mailed by snail mail to be fully reviewed by the admissions committee (even if you have not received an unofficial admissions offer), which I find it ludicrous, seeing that this is 2017 (and ePDF transcripts save so many trees). I will say that if it wasn't for all these transcript requests, I would definitely have saved a substantial amount of my savings that went to graduate applications... 

Edited by BlueNahlchee

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Anyone? I guess I'm probably the only one who had problems/frustrations with transcript requests during the admissions process haha...

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No, I had the same issue as well but ended up pulling my applications from last year's cycle for other reasons. I actually had to go down to my local branch of the post office and speak to them personally, because they rerouted two of my transcripts since the carrier simply "didn't believe my address existed." And we had lived there for 2.5 years at that point. Unfortunately, transcript issues seem like they are a necessary evil, but I doubt you are the only one. 

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13 hours ago, ClassicalEducator said:

No, I had the same issue as well but ended up pulling my applications from last year's cycle for other reasons. I actually had to go down to my local branch of the post office and speak to them personally, because they rerouted two of my transcripts since the carrier simply "didn't believe my address existed." And we had lived there for 2.5 years at that point. Unfortunately, transcript issues seem like they are a necessary evil, but I doubt you are the only one. 

Oh wow, that's gotta be super frustrating, especially having to go to the post office! :( I really hope all the universities and their respective grad programs transition to electronic transcript options in the next year or so - and hopefully our old schools will stop charging alumni ridiculous prices for transcript orders too... 

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Before I read this post, I had wondered many times if I was the only one getting hassled by this. As an international applicant, this is not just an inconvenience, it is a clear sign that the institution does not really care about international applicants or has even thought about the fact that things might be very different in other parts of the world (which to me, is mind-blogging in itself). I find it strangely arrogant or crazy that universities, of all the places, do this.
 
My undergraduate university is a large, old institution with tens of thousands people graduating every year. The official time required for transcripts to be issued is 60 days. The actual time required can be anything between that to 100+ days, with no clarity as to what is happening and when the darn things might actually ship. There is no system of e-transcripts. I find it insane that I have to suffer through the torture of doing this for multiple places and keeping track of what has gone out and what hasn’t. So I simply decided that I was not going to do this - I decided pretty late that I was going to apply this year, and my first filter for selecting schools to apply for was whether they required official transcripts. I decided that I’d rather spend that time reading more papers of potential POIs and writing better emails to them.
 
As it happens, I’ve been accepted into my first choice school, which would very likely still be my first choice school even if I’d applied to half a dozen more places, so it worked out well for me. I guess if I hadn’t made it into this place, I might have regretted a bit. I have half a mind to write to some of these schools which I didn’t apply to and complain about this official transcript requirement sometime over the next few months, but then it’s quite likely that nobody will care a damn. I do hope things change, and I guess they do have, bit by bit. I also hear that many places say that they need official transcripts but are ok with unofficial ones if you send them a nice email explaining the situation. So I guess in about 20 years or so, things should be ok :P

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Posted (edited)

On 3/23/2017 at 7:17 AM, Forest Owlet said:
Before I read this post, I had wondered many times if I was the only one getting hassled by this. As an international applicant, this is not just an inconvenience, it is a clear sign that the institution does not really care about international applicants or has even thought about the fact that things might be very different in other parts of the world (which to me, is mind-blogging in itself). I find it strangely arrogant or crazy that universities, of all the places, do this.
 
My undergraduate university is a large, old institution with tens of thousands people graduating every year. The official time required for transcripts to be issued is 60 days. The actual time required can be anything between that to 100+ days, with no clarity as to what is happening and when the darn things might actually ship. There is no system of e-transcripts. I find it insane that I have to suffer through the torture of doing this for multiple places and keeping track of what has gone out and what hasn’t. So I simply decided that I was not going to do this - I decided pretty late that I was going to apply this year, and my first filter for selecting schools to apply for was whether they required official transcripts. I decided that I’d rather spend that time reading more papers of potential POIs and writing better emails to them.
 
As it happens, I’ve been accepted into my first choice school, which would very likely still be my first choice school even if I’d applied to half a dozen more places, so it worked out well for me. I guess if I hadn’t made it into this place, I might have regretted a bit. I have half a mind to write to some of these schools which I didn’t apply to and complain about this official transcript requirement sometime over the next few months, but then it’s quite likely that nobody will care a damn. I do hope things change, and I guess they do have, bit by bit. I also hear that many places say that they need official transcripts but are ok with unofficial ones if you send them a nice email explaining the situation. So I guess in about 20 years or so, things should be ok :P

Oh man... you have my sympathies :( it's super frustrating to get application process be hindered by transcript requests, which should be the simplest of all the application components... and 60 days?!? That's insane... 

Let's hope that all universities will offer e-transcripts (as well as accepting those) in the next not 20, but 2 years! Glad to hear that everything worked out for you and that you got admitted to your first choice. Congrats!

Edited by BlueNahlchee

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Oh man, I'm planning on applying to a master's for fall 2018 and my first choice university requires official transcripts OR instead of that, an official course by course evaluation from WES. But here's where the problem is: WES also requires official transcripts (that is, diplomas and transcripts in an envelope sealed and signed across the seal by the university, AND on top of that they also want these documents to have an official apostile from the Ministry of Education in my country...) And in order to get all these things released to me, I probably have to be there in person, which I obviously cant, or send someone in my place with a special document signed by me and legalized by a notary authorizing that person to act on my behalf.

It's going to be tough, I dont even want think about it. I graduated from a foreign country in 2012 and then moved to the US in 2014 and I have all my original diplomas and transcripts with me(I have a BA and MA already) and they do have the seal of the university and signatures on all pages and it is one of the oldest, most prestigious universities in my country so there should be no shadow of a doubt as to the authenticity of my documents. But of course, they're not in an envelope sealed and signed across the seal by the university and they dont have a apostile,. I wrote to the school I want to apply to and explained the situation but they dont seem to care very much as they keep up their tune about official transcripts directly from the school OR WES official evaluation (which again requires me to get the official transcripts in an envelope and apostile anyway)

Deadline for my application is May 2018 so I have plenty of time, I know but I cant help freaking out already reading about how unecessarily complex they make what should be a pretty straightforward, easy process.

Is anybody here from Romania, by the way, who went through this process already and can help me with some pointers/clarifications on what exactly is the best route to go about submitting the transcripts?

Thank you,

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