One of Emily’s best friends, let’s call her Zoe, had a total “oh, no” moment this week. Zoe got an email from one of the colleges she is anxiously waiting to hear from — one of her “reaches.” The college told Zoe her application was incomplete; the school had not received her SAT scores. Zoe freaked. She was certain she had sent them! She had been very careful to double check her application “To Do” list before that magic December 31 date, and everything was done. Or, so she thought. But she didn’t have any proof — no confirmation sheet, no credit card receipt. Now, she feared, her applications would not be accepted, and because of one stupid mistake, she would be out of the running.
To request SAT scores be sent to a particular college, a student needs to tell the College Board when registering for the test where the scores are to go. If applying to more than four colleges (the number included in the registration fee), the student can make the request for reports online, which is what most kids do. It is what Zoe did — she requested her scores be sent to nine colleges. Unfortunately, sometimes the College Board doesn’t send them — thus, Zoe’s moment of crisis.
As it turns out, Zoe is not the first person to have this blood-draining, hyperventilating moment of panic. And the solution is pretty simple. Zoe got in touch with her college counselor at school, who contacted the seven (!!) colleges that had not received her scores by the application deadline. I guess it’s not the first time they have heard this story, because the colleges said the counselor could send a copy of Zoe’s “unofficial” score report which could be used until the “official” report arrived from College Board. No problem. She re-ordered the scores.
But in the intervening moments, Zoe was sure her future was derailed. She feared that the colleges would surely evaluate that if she couldn’t even get her scores in on time, she wouldn’t have what it takes to succeed at their school. She thought that one stupid mistake could spell disaster for her entire admissions process. If only she had printed a confirmation! If only she had double checked the next day to make sure the scores had been sent! Good news for Zoe, though: College Board’s reputation precedes it, and a little leeway is afforded. What I say to Zoe: cheap lesson. Next time, though, print the confirmation page.