This would likely be your personal version of a Master Card commercial at the moment:
Creating an account with Common Application: $0
Stamp used to mail high school transcript: $0.41
Overnighting the application you completed at the last minute: $14.50
Application fee: $60.00
Clicking Submit: Priceless
Well, those of us on the receiving end of those applications have our own version:
Number of collective paper cuts received by those employees opening mail: 76
Number of paper clips retrieved from applications: 2500
Number of staples removed from submitted materials: Too many to count
Completing all applications: Priceless
Despite the advent of the on-line application, files are not so easily compiled. Once you click submit, we must print your application,
match it with any materials sent in by mail, and double check to be sure all required components have been received. This is no easy process. It takes a great deal of time, effort, and patience. All mail that comes in must be opened, alphabetized, and then run against all outstanding applications. Every day we receive at least 10 if not more crates of mail to be opened, sorted, and cross-referenced. If you do not believe me, just look at the visual evidence. These crates and folders are what makes up the bulk of our office’s physical space at the moment.
This blog is not meant to alarm you. Believe it or not despite what appears to be chaos is in fact a finely-tuned system of completing applications and each year we manage to find a home for all of these pieces of paper. It will take weeks but the end result is something upon which you cannot put a price.
– Wendy Livingston