This all seemed kind of creepy—the student was sneaking into a gated backyard—and also not very smart, since if you leave a cake outdoors, you're going to make a lot of ants happy.
Dean of admissions and enrollment planning, Marquette University, Milwaukee
Missing deadlines: At Marquette we have one admissions deadline: It's December 1, and we hammer that point in every publication and every presentation we do. December 1 is almost like a mantra.
Several years ago, we had a huge snowstorm in Milwaukee, and the whole university was actually closed. I think we got about 15 inches of snow on December 1. And literally there were people who, you could tell by the footprints in the snow, were walking up the steps of our building, shaking the doors, you know, "Let me in! I have to drop off my application!" in a complete panic.
Our voicemail had hundreds of messages of people calling. So yeah, we did extend it one day, but waiting until December 1 was way too late.
Dean of admissions, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Disregarding directions: Whenever I give advice to students, I want them to be aware that admissions officers take care to hear their voice and get to know them, but our time is limited—perhaps 15 minutes per application. Through the Common Application and the Penn Supplement, we know where to find certain pieces of information. When an admissions officer needs to get to that information, seeing the term "SEE ATTACHED RESUME" on the application means we need to spend time searching instead of learning.
This is a minor annoyance for officers, but more problematic for applicants. Focus our attention in the areas provided, and utilize the supplemental information question of the Common Application or arts, athletic, or other supplements to provide greater detail and context.
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