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When A School Loses Your Application...


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Hi all,

I'm in kind of a weird situation here. I still had not heard back from one of the schools I applied to, and I'm pressed for time because, obviously, I only have about two and a half weeks to make a decision about what I'm doing next year. (A rejection would be a fair assumption, considering I hadn't been contacted by anyone for an interview or anything, but still I just wanted to make sure.) I emailed the admissions office asking about the status of my application, and something weird happened... they replied telling me that they had no record of my application whatsoever. It just wasn't on file. They said they never received an application in my name. However, I know that all of my application materials were received (including my $100+ application fee, which is strangely the only part of my application that seems to have been processed) because I received a confirmation email telling me so. In addition, I checked my status shortly after I received that email and it said that all of my materials--my transcripts, writing samples, personal statement, etc--had been received. (I have a print-out of this page for my records, thankfully.) I also have bank records proving that my check was cashed by the school.

Here's my question: I know that most schools say that the application fee is non-refundable, but If the fee is paid specifically for the service (the service being the processing of my application, regardless of the outcome) and then that service is not provided, shouldn't I be legally entitled to a refund? I know it sounds silly to make waves about such a small amount of money, but that money was still valuable to me. Has this happened to anyone before? Do you think I have a legitimate case for getting my money back?


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Sounds pretty weird to me and I am sure it doesn't happen that often (your situation specifically). I would contact them again and ask to speak to someone who actually makes decisions around there. Possibly an administrator or someone higher than the person you spoke with. If they tell you again that there is no record, politely explain your situation and concerns. If it comes to the point where the deadline actually passes (should be listed on the application site) just go ahead and ask for a full refund. On the grounds that you paid for a "yes or no" response from the college. You didn't pay them to lose your materials. It may be someone internally from the college lost it and responsible but just doesn't want to be held accountable for the loss. After all, they are processed manually and humans make mistakes.

Give it a try and wait it out. You may receive an email out of no where saying you were accepted or denied from a completely different department (maybe it would up at a different department). In either case I would wait for the deadline to pass, then contact them.

Good luck!

Edited by ccarmona
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Ccarmona, that's a good idea to wait for the deadline. (If I bring it up sooner, I'm afraid they might scramble to send me a last-minute rejection and cover their butts by saying, "See? Your application was processed!") If I get an acceptance/rejection from a different department, I'll definitely have a good laugh! Thanks for your advice :)

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No problem, if another dept. ends up saying they received it post it! That would be a good laugh! Let us know if they try to cover their butts too! I doubt they will considering its a $100 bucks, but you never know. Which by the way the fee is a little outrageous.

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