Monday, January 29, 2007

Women's Basketball Makes #1 in ESPN Poll

Jon (our athletics liaison and rep for the mid-Atlantic states) has wanted me to put this up for a while, so we're finally announcing that our women's basketball team is #1 in the USA Today/ESPN Division III Coach's Poll and #4 in the poll. Unfortunately they lost to Brandeis this weekend, so I don't know what's going to happen to their ranking. We all know how fickle rankings can be. But this is particularly amazing, given that we were ranked fifth in our conference at the beginning of the season. Read this fun blurb from the Sun-Times.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Interactive Photographic Magical Mystery Campus Tour

Dear applicants and other loyal readers,

Libby and I have noticed that people seem to enjoy posts on this blog which involve photographs, so we were jointly inspired. We invite our readers to propose subjects for our blog posts next week, which Libby and I will then go out and photograph.

If, for example, you have never been to campus and you want to see what the Regenstein library really looks like (and you are unsatisfied with the offerings on the virtual tour website), or if you have never seen the Seminary Co-op (the world's greatest bookstore), or want to know what the campus looks like in January (hint - cold!), or what Bartlett dining hall looks like at noon, or most other reasonable suggestions, you can let us know and we will do our best to take pictures to show you. To provide with a source for your suggestions, here is a link to a very good map of the campus.

So, let us know what you want us to show you and we'll try to get to it next week.

-Austin and Libby

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The journey continues... through the scanner

As of this morning, 3164 midyear reports have been submitted online! Great job, guys!

As a reward, we'll post the next installment of the Journey of an Admissions Credential. This one is entitled Part II: Revenge of the Scanner.

Remember all those documents and patch codes from the first installment? We bring them to the scanner and get them stacked up neatly. There are four scanners in the office running full-time, and we all take turns operating them. This batch looks ready to go!

Austin places them carefully into the scanning tray.

Whoops, a staple. We'll have to re-scan this one.

Though we are supposed to be watching your documents closely to make sure they scan correctly, Austin edifies himself with some light reading.

We also make use of the putting machine we got a few years ago.

Click here for a short video of credentials scanning. Fascinating.

The above two pictures are jokes. They may not be very funny jokes, but they are jokes nonetheless. We take our jobs very seriously.

We pushed back the date for opening the credentials site because, as you can see, we want to get as many credentials entered before we open it and subject ourselves to floods of phone calls and emails about missing documents.

If you're driving from Chicago to California, you aren't "lost" if you're in Utah. You're just not there yet. Similarly, if you see on the credentials website that there are some documents that haven't arrived yet, they aren't "missing" yet. Austin just hasn't scanned them.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Exciting News for Applicants and their Younger Siblings

Those of you who are not yet regular readers of the Chicago Tribune might have missed this article yesterday about Chicago's bid to hold the Olympic Games in 2016. While that may quite a long way off (hence the "and their Younger Siblings" part of the title of this post), we still think it's quite exciting. (A password may be required to view the page, but registration is free.)

You should definitely click on the "photo gallery" section of the Tribune article. We hope you will be especially excited about the proposed temporary stadium and even more excited about its location - Washington Park! If you don't recognize the area from the picture, here's another view from Google Maps. It's all of six blocks from the Admissions Office.

Right now we are competing against Los Angeles for the support of the US Olympic Committee. Philadelphia and Houston have already dropped out. Assuming we are selected (and we think we should be!), our competition internationally may include Doha, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. We suspect we already have the coolest logo of the many cities submitting bids:

Monday, January 22, 2007

Answers to questions from the last post

Can we send in additional letters or anything of that sort if we were deferred? ... or... Since the midyear report is filled out online, how should I go about submitting supplemental material?

Yes, please do. Just send them to the regular address (using the regular forms, which are still available on our website), have recommendation letters emailed to (make sure the recommender includes a subject line and a file that is actually readable... and not a virus!) or faxed to 773-702-8599 (domestic fax) or 773-702-4704 (international fax).

If you have a few comments or awards to note, just put them in the appropriate section on the midyear report.

I took two classes last semester via dual enrollment from two different colleges. Will I be able to report those grades on the form, or will I need to send a copy of the transcripts?

The beauty of our midyear report is that you can report grades from multiple schools at once. Just type in the name of the institution and the grade.

Honestly, how big of a difference does the midyear report make for people who were deferred?

It makes a pretty big difference. One of the only differences between the way we read your application EA and the way we read your application RN--besides the existence of 7,000 more applications--is this midyear report. Nothing about the midyear report (or anything in the universe, even really big atoms) can guarantee that you are admitted RN, but it contains information that is very valuable to us.

How bad do our final grades have to be for us to get rescinded? Like how easy or hard is it to get rescinded?

It's pretty hard for your offer to get rescinded, but if you were planning on doing anything foolish with your life, please wait until after July 1 to do it.

Are the Bears the best team in football?

I believe so.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Clearing up confusion about the midyear report

The midyear report is almost here. But what makes Chicago's midyear report different from other schools'? And why am I getting so many questions about it when it's not even available until January 22?

We do our midyear report online, and you the student fill it out. What we want you to do is to get your report card and your counselor's name, phone number, and email address, and log into the online application. Then, we ask you to put in your midyear grades, tell us if you have been convicted of a felony in the last two months, and put in any comments you want to, as well as your counselor's information.

Why do we do things this way? To save ourselves processing time and give you one more chance to communicate with us before we make our final decisions.

We will send everyone an email on January 23 with your username and other information about the midyear report. If you don't have a username yet or don't know yours, wait for that email.

Here are a few more notes about the midyear report:

1. When we say it will be available January 22, we actually mean January 23.

Yes, our skewed sense of time is at it again. We extended your deadline, so we'd be happy if you'd let us extend ours. We need another day to make sure that the midyear report is working for everyone, so it will open at 12:01 a.m. (not sure what time zone) on January 23.

2. If your school is already sending a paper midyear report, you do not have to log in and fill it out.

You can, of course, to take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with your application reader directly. If you know that your school sends midyear reports automatically to all the colleges to which you apply, then you can rest assured that we will count those as your midyear report.

3. The midyear report will remain open until March 1, though you should fill it out as soon as possible.

Many students have marking periods that end February 6, later, sooner, or never. We're flexible. It is to your advantage to submit the midyear report as soon as you possibly can, and it is an application requirement, but if February 1 passes and you have not done it yet, do not worry. We will accept them any time.

4. The midyear report is required for everyone.

Whether you are 40 years old and have five children, are from Singapore and have already graduated as of December, or you are on the senior prom committee, you must log in and fill out the midyear report. The first thing we will ask you is 1) if you have graduated already, and 2) if you for some reason have no midyear grades. If you click affirmative for either of these things, we will just send you to the end of the form and make sure you are not a felon. There are parts of the midyear report that apply to every applicant.

5. The midyear report takes five minutes.

Trust me, I fill it out every year.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Scientists Create World's Largest Novelty Atom

The Onion reports on our laboratories' latest efforts. Your tuition dollars will be well-spent.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If you're visiting on January 15...

January 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There are many campus events scheduled, but classes will not be in session, and the admissions office will not be open. But come and visit anyway! If you want to see what's going on, click here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The journey of an application credential

What's happening with your application right now?

Look what today's mail has brought us -- 14 bins!

First, we open the envelope. What could be in here?

Then, we take out the staples that are inevitably in whatever we find, right over the "please do not staple" note at the corner of every page.

We use an Image Now Patch Code between each document, which tells our scanners that a new document is about to be scanned.

We put documents in different stacks depending on what they are -- applications, transcripts, recommendations, supplementals, or if they're a lot of things together.

Of course, this is more difficult when you have envelopes for hands, as Austin Bean does here.

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Applications from around the world

... even if the applicants aren't necessarily.

This year I noticed a return to Pago Pago. I learned that Alaska has its own time zone -- Alaska Standard Time. People from the East Coast moved to California. People from California moved to Alaska, Baker Island, and Pago Pago. The last people clocked in at 6:21 a.m. CST, just after the sun rose.

I've just submitted my application to UChicago, and... I'll say it was submitted under Pacific time.
- Arshabh

Aida reporting here, live from Puerto Rico. -salute- I was just emailing you to let you know that I'll be applying under the Baker Island time zone. (Hey, it's a few more hours to review my application and freak out over the fact that "YES, I HAVE COMPLETED IT! OH GOSH!", so why not? :D)

I am writing to clarify that I applied from the time zone in Tegucigalpa, Honduras as opposed to my local time in Jerusalem, Israel. Thank you and have a happy new year.
- Ross

I'm pretty sure that at midnight east coast standard time you may receive quite a few emails. Because of this I am writing in advance to tell you that I am applying in Samoan time relative to the capital of the country, Apia. It is currently around 5:30 P.M., Tuesday, Jan. 2nd there. On a side note, you must really like coffee.
- Nina

I was visiting some relatives in Meyerton, Baker's Island, only to find that they were driven off by the Japanese 65 years ago. Bad luck, huh? Anyways, I'm sitting here on Baker's Island with a laptop and 6 hours until January 3rd and I decided to review my application. As a result, I wish to apply under the Baker's Island time zone and not the one of my mailing address. Thank you for your patience.
- Eating a giant box of Nerds to stay awake, Brian

Sorry to add to your workload this evening, but my name is Andrew, and I submitted my application to the University of Chicago at near about quarter of midnight, Eastern time, from New York. Just for the sake of being safe, would you just report me as having submitted from some exotic Pacific locale? Choose someplace that would be pleasant compared to Upstate New York in January, that would be appreciated.

I'm applying Boise time! (earlier than I thought...)
- Thanks, Weyam

My name is Mattias, and I will be applying under the Pago Pago time zone for U Chicago's Undergraduate admissions.

Hello Libby. My name is Bharat and I turned in my application before midnight in the time zone of Unalaska, Alaska because that is just an awesome name for a city.

This is just a note to tell you that I'm applying under the Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time Zone, because it's still 11:07 pm on January 2 in Adak, Alaska, although it's 4:08 am here in Virginia.
- Kelly

I'm applying under the Pago Pago timezone. (I hear there's lovely weather there.)
- Yvonne

I've submitted my application to UChicago in the last few minutes, and would ask that it be considered as submitted under the timezone of Alofi, Niue (UTC -11), where it is as of this writing 10:39 PM on January 2nd.
- Sean

Hello Libby! Although it is after midnight in Fresno, California, it is still January 2nd in Suva, Fiji located in the UTC-12 time zone.
- Emily

I just submitted my University of Chicago application at the conclusion of January 2nd, 2007 on Baker Island. It is a very nice island, but it is very lonely ;-).
- Jay

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

UFO spotted over O'Hare, and other deadline mayhem

Here's the UFO story, courtesy of NPR.

The great thing about the digital information age is that inconsistencies in the information we publish (usually my fault) can be found immediately and discussed at great length on this blog and on College Confidential. Recently I've become aware that there's a little confusion about the deadline. The deadline to submit online materials (the application and essays) is tonight at midnight. Which midnight? There are 24 of them. You can submit your application on the latest midnight there is, in Baker Island in the Pacific, the last place the sun hits before it goes over the international date line. Read more here.

Also, students were discussing whether we award 20 or 30 College Honor Scholarships, our full-tuition scholarship. We award around 20, and they are renewable for four years. Students who were admitted early action will not hear about scholarship decisions until April.