Oberlin Blogs


January 8, 2010

Elizabeth Houston ’06

As you're probably aware if you're a high school senior reading this, our Regular Decision deadline is January 15th. That's next Friday!

If you have any questions about your application, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Meanwhile, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:

Do my application materials need to arrive or be postmarked by the deadline?
Postmarked. Please do not go to the extra expense of overnighting application materials. It's really not necessary. Really. Save your money for something more enjoyable, like eating ice cream in a snow storm.

What if some of my materials (teacher recs, test scores, etc.) don't arrive until later?
We understand that the parts of your application coming from other people are beyond your direct control. It's probably not your fault if your teachers don't send in their recommendation letters until after our deadline. It might be, if you requested recommendations unreasonably late, but we'll give you the benefit of the doubt. If all of those extra materials sent by others arrive by the end of January, we won't get upset.

Did you get the application materials I sent in a week/two weeks/two days ago?
Yeah, probably. Our mail system is pretty reliable, as is the Common App online submission process. But it takes a little while for us to process all of the application materials we receive this time of year, so we probably don't have your materials marked as received in our database yet. (This means the person answering the phone will not be able to tell you if we've received it.) It's okay, we'll let you know eventually if we need anything from you. Please wait until the the end of January before calling us to ask whether or not we've received something. And don't feel obligated to call us at all, unless you have a really good reason and/or are exceptionally paranoid. It's not that we don't want to talk to you, really. Call us and ask other questions, if you like ("what's the most awesome thing about Oberlin?" or "what is the air flight velocity of an unladen swallow?"), but please try to refrain from asking us if we've received your recently submitted materials. Right now, we probably can't tell you.

Will you let me know if my application is complete?
Yes. We'll start sending out emails next week letting people know their apps are complete. And by we I mean me, because I'm in charge of that. Don't freak out if you don't get a notification right away--as you may have noticed from the above answer, it takes a little while for us to process things. And we'll only send out notifications once a week. So it might be a couple of weeks after we receive all your materials before you receive a notification.

Will you let me know if my application is NOT complete?
Yes. In early February (once we know all of the materials we've been sent have been processed), we'll start notifying people if we're missing things. Sometimes, once an admissions counselor starts to review your file, we may notice something extra missing, or want to request additional materials from you. If that happens, we'll let you know.

Oh yeah, interviews...can I still request one?
Probably not. Off-campus interviews are no longer available, with the exception of our Regional Interview Days (hosted in DC, LA, San Francisco, NYC, Boston, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle). Slots are still available for some interview days, but call us right away if you're interested--some locations are already full! We'll still be doing interviews on campus through the end of January, but those need to be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. So, chances are, if you're just thinking about interviewing now, you're probably out of luck. The good side is that interviews are not required, and we won't hold it against you if you haven't had one.

One Exception: if you are a homeschooled student or are graduating early from high school, you are required to complete an interview. If you haven't already had one, call us and we can work something out if you ask nicely.

Responses to this Entry

Someone in the office told me that it takes up to three weeks to get materials processed from the time they come in. And yes, since I've been answering phones and e-mails, I would love to be asked about how awesome Oberlin is (make me prove it to you) or the air flight velocity of an unladen swallow. If you ask one question that I've heard already that day, I'd love one that I haven't.

Posted by: Brandi on January 8, 2010 3:50 PM

Interested applicants can sign up for the Interview Days at /admissions-and-aid/visit-and-connect/college-interviews [link has been updated].

There's also information (including MAPS of each interview site!) at the "Oberlin Hopefuls" Facebook group, which you're all invited to join.

Posted by: David on January 8, 2010 4:32 PM

Hey, how strict are you guys about the deadline? I think I'm about 50 seconds late with the supplement.
I submitted the common app a week back.

Posted by: Nuhash Humayun on January 16, 2010 12:41 AM

If you submitted your application just after the deadline, we will still accept it.

Posted by: Elizabeth on January 19, 2010 8:43 AM

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