The College Admissions Process: After You Submit!
Once you submit your college application there are several things that will happen. If for some reason your application is incomplete, such as missing a transcript, letter of recommendation, or the special documents like the Student Self Academic Report (SSAR), your application will not be moved to review. It is best to always check with the colleges you are applying, either by phone, email, or through their application portals to ensure all your materials are there before the stated deadlines. Do not expect them to review your application after the deadline even if it is not your fault. It is your responsibility to check.
Once your application is complete they will either review it then (rolling admissions) or at a set time (deadline-based admissions). It will be reviewed by the admissions committee. Each college has their own way of reviewing applications, especially when they receive so many. For example, Florida State University received over 45,000 applications in 2018-2019 school year and University of Florida had over 41,000. Traditionally, your application starts with your area's representative, as they know your school and academic choices. There is a rubric or criteria that each college sets each year that they are looking for (See USF Initial Guideline on page 33). They review all of your materials and decide to either accept, defer/ waitlist or deny you as a student.
What many students do not understand is that at the point of application is when many decisions are made to move a student's accepted application to scholarship review. In Chapter 4, Institutional Scholarships will be discussed further, but note that when you submit a college application you are always applying for scholarships, so it is even more important to have everything exactly right.
For accepted students, they will be notified either by mail, email, or their application portal. It is important to check these things often so nothing is missed. As well, this will be how the college communicates any additional needs to review your application or to accept your spot!
If you are deferred/ waitlisted or denied, speak with the Office of Admissions directly to see if any additional materials (updated semester grades, new ACT/SAT scores, or letters of recommendation) could allow another review of your application. Unfortunately, many students do not follow up, where simple additional documentation could provide a yes!