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Would you fight about this?


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I applied to four PhD Epidemiology programs for Fall 16. This week my current school accepted me to stay for a PhD, I got an interview with (I suspect) my potential advisor at a big name in my field, and I heard from another school I've been very interested in for years that they can't review my application because it was never finished. As far as I knew, I submitted it in time for the priority deadline months ago.

Like many schools of public health, this place uses an external common app called SOPHAS. After some digging I found that SOPHAS either lost or never received *one* transcript so they never verified my whole app. I have proof that this transcript was sent to them. Obviously it was my responsibility to make sure they verified my app, but the thing is, I thought I did. The whole site was redesigned recently as a set of dashboards that are supposed to tell you about the status of all your programs, materials, etc., and I checked it regularly and used it for other apps. My program list said my app was complete and this information was buried elsewhere. The site claims to alert users of upcoming deadlines.

I contacted both the school and SOPHAS. SOPHAS sent what sounded like a form email only ruder. But the school was lovely, and the coordinator even offered to have their staff bother SOPHAS and advocate for me with the faculty. Part of me wants to pursue it because I'm in the right (or at least 80% in the right), I love this school and almost went there for my MS, and I just think the prudent thing to do is maximize my options before making a decision. On the other hand, I suspect I will already have a big decision to make and I don't want to waste their time when I know now that I may not go.

I'm interested in what others would do in this situation. Have others even been successful if their materials were lost? Am I just getting greedy?

Thank you!

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Definitely advocate for it. I had a similar situation happen in which the department said they had not received a letter of recommendation through an online system, I simply took a screenshot of my portal showing the loaded document and forwarded the email that the system sent me notifying that the document had been uploaded. Similar situation, I too thought that my entire application was uploaded and should have followed up, but with so many applications, emails, and documents it's understandable that one can slip through the cracks. The school seems great, and it doesn't hurt to know all of your options. Furthermore, this could have happened to several students, so your investigation could help aid the case of another student with the same problem (or at the least, force the external app to fix their bugs).

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