Imagine spending the past twelve years in school. You stayed up late nights to study and finish assignments and dedicated countless hours towards your causes. After four long, grueling years of high school, you graduated. You’re going to college! Only one thing left to do before you can officially enroll for the fall… send in your final transcript.
I was at this point about a month ago with my fellow Arcadia High School graduates. Having submitted my final transcript request a few weeks before graduation, I had no worries. Two full weeks after the last day of school until the July 1 deadline seemed like plenty of time, so I was at ease until the deadline crept closer and closer.
Thursday, June 25. My transcript hadn’t been mailed yet. Pomona College requires a letter, not a digital copy, so I needed it to be sent out as soon as possible because it would take a couple of days to reach the school. If colleges don’t receive the final transcript in time, students could be rescinded (their offer of admission is withdrawn). I decided to go to the Arcadia High School Records Office in person to see what was causing the delay. The receptionist there assured me that the transcripts would be sent out the next day or the following Monday.
Monday, June 29. No one had theirs sent out yet, and a state of hysteria gripped the Class. It was too late now because AHS had to first approve the transcript request before online educational credentials delivery service Parchment.com could process it and get it mailed. I went to Arcadia High again, but the Records Office was closed. I searched for Principal Dr. Forsee on campus, but with no luck. I went back home and made a few calls to AHS, but no one answered the phone. Finally, I called Pomona College’s Admissions Office to tell them about the situation and ask for an extension. The person who answered the phone said, “Sorry, but a deadline’s a deadline.” I panicked. Thankfully, I was able to contact Pomona’s Vice President, who cleared up the situation in a few minutes and assured me that a few days’ delay would be just fine. I got lucky, but I later found out that others were not so fortunate. It wasn’t until 3:55 p.m. June 29 that my request was finally approved. A regular shipment would take five days, which would be well beyond the July 1 deadline in 48-hours, so I immediately ordered an overnight shipment for a whopping $33 fee, hoping that it would arrive in time.
The transcript didn’t arrive until July 2, two days after the date I paid extra to have it delivered. Despite all the calls, emails and fees, it was still late. A few days ago, one student revealed that a similar situation resulted in her university enrollment being rescinded. Yes, a student couldn’t go to college because of the Records Office’s failure to do their job. I don’t know what happened at Arcadia High or why, but this has cost many and is a truly troubling concern that needs to be addressed.
A note to the AHS Records Office: using Parchment.com may not be the greatest idea. When my older brother attended AHS, the Records Office excellently handled the task themselves. By eliminating the middleman, the process would be expedited. From what I can see, it has caused more harm than good.
To future high school graduates, remember to keep track of your final transcript. Check in with your school’s Records Office and counselors and make sure that your college received it. Don’t let your hard work go down the drain because of this.
— By Emily Zheng