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Waseda SILS application - transcript?

tiffychoi

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Hello everyone,

I'm a high school graduate applying to Waseda SILS for the upcoming year (April '17). I graduated in June and so I called my high school's office this morning to request a copy of my transcript so I could finish my application. I've included the information in the latest SILS admissions guide that I am referring to:

Submit a school transcript issued by your high school (or equivalent education institution) for the last three years of school (corresponding to three years of high school education in Japan).
* Students who have yet to graduated should submit a school transcript with school grades for the period until the first term (semester) of the last year of school.
* If you have been enrolled in more than one school, submit the school transcripts of all the schools that you have been enrolled in. If the school cannot issue the school transcript because you have not been at the school long enough, submit a document issued by the school that certifies so.
Be sure to present original documents.
* If you cannot submit an original document, ask the Admissions Office of SILS, your high school, or another appropriate office officially approved by the government to authenticate a copy of the document with the original before presenting the copy. Certificates must be prepared in Japanese or English.
* If the certificate extends over two or more pages (or both-sided), all pages (or both sides) of the certificate will need the school stamp or the signature of the person issuing the document.
As you can see, students are required to send in a high school transcript along with their other admissions documents. However, when I asked my school's secretary for one, she informed me that the school cannot give students official copies (any transcripts that students receive will have "unofficial" stamped across it). After I told her that I needed to have an official one sent for application purposes, she said that she could either give me a letter (stamped with the school seal) explaining that students are not allowed to be given official transcripts and that Waseda is free to contact my school for more information, OR I could ask for my school to mail an official one through DHL.

Both solutions seem kind of iffy because:
1) Even though I would have a stamped letter explanation, the transcript would still be unofficial, and I don't know if SILS would accept that.
2) The SILS application checklist explicitly states that an applicant need to include an official transcript for their application to be considered complete and ready for review.

Although I emailed the SILS office about it, I'm not sure if I'll get a response on time since their website says that they are on summer vacation from the 10th - 21st.

What should I do? Should I go ahead and have my school mail in an official transcript (I'm panicking a bit because the application period starts on the 22nd; the day after the SILS office's break ends), or should I include my unofficial transcript + registrar's letter in my application package and send that in?
 

Lawrence1

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Hello everyone,

I'm a high school graduate applying to Waseda SILS for the upcoming year (April '17). I graduated in June and so I called my high school's office this morning to request a copy of my transcript so I could finish my application. I've included the information in the latest SILS admissions guide that I am referring to:

Submit a school transcript issued by your high school (or equivalent education institution) for the last three years of school (corresponding to three years of high school education in Japan).
* Students who have yet to graduated should submit a school transcript with school grades for the period until the first term (semester) of the last year of school.
* If you have been enrolled in more than one school, submit the school transcripts of all the schools that you have been enrolled in. If the school cannot issue the school transcript because you have not been at the school long enough, submit a document issued by the school that certifies so.
Be sure to present original documents.
* If you cannot submit an original document, ask the Admissions Office of SILS, your high school, or another appropriate office officially approved by the government to authenticate a copy of the document with the original before presenting the copy. Certificates must be prepared in Japanese or English.
* If the certificate extends over two or more pages (or both-sided), all pages (or both sides) of the certificate will need the school stamp or the signature of the person issuing the document.
As you can see, students are required to send in a high school transcript along with their other admissions documents. However, when I asked my school's secretary for one, she informed me that the school cannot give students official copies (any transcripts that students receive will have "unofficial" stamped across it). After I told her that I needed to have an official one sent for application purposes, she said that she could either give me a letter (stamped with the school seal) explaining that students are not allowed to be given official transcripts and that Waseda is free to contact my school for more information, OR I could ask for my school to mail an official one through DHL.

Both solutions seem kind of iffy because:
1) Even though I would have a stamped letter explanation, the transcript would still be unofficial, and I don't know if SILS would accept that.
2) The SILS application checklist explicitly states that an applicant need to include an official transcript for their application to be considered complete and ready for review.

Although I emailed the SILS office about it, I'm not sure if I'll get a response on time since their website says that they are on summer vacation from the 10th - 21st.

What should I do? Should I go ahead and have my school mail in an official transcript (I'm panicking a bit because the application period starts on the 22nd; the day after the SILS office's break ends), or should I include my unofficial transcript + registrar's letter in my application package and send that in?
It is great that you will be applying to Waseda and it seems that your application is mostly complete ahead of the application submission period. Right now the most important thing is not to panic and take a breath of fresh air. Your concern is not uncommon and likely Waseda university will know what to do about this. Since the application period begins on August 22 and you are from South Korea, it shouldn't take very long for it to arrive after SILS has responded to your concern. When I shipped my application through DHL from New York, it only took two or three days to arrive (although to todai), so I think it should be even quicker for you. When I applied to todai (and even KAIST) it was not necessary for me to have my official transcript attached with my application document as long as they both were received by the school before the end of the application period. I would wait for the end of the summer break before asking your secondary school to ship out your official transcript since I would be worried about no one being able to receive your application forms at the university if it require signature or something. I know it is hard but I think it is best to wait and hear what your university has to say before doing anything more. If you want to send out your application documents as soon as possible, it shouldn't hurt to do both options simultaneously.
 
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tiffychoi

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It is great that you will be applying to Waseda and it seems that your application is mostly complete ahead of the application submission period. Right now the most important thing is not to panic and take a breath of fresh air. Your concern is not uncommon and likely Waseda university will know what to do about this. Since the application period begins on August 22 and you are from South Korea, it shouldn't take very long for it to arrive after SILS has responded to your concern. When I shipped my application through DHL from New York, it only took two or three days to arrive (although to todai), so I think it should be even quicker for you. When I applied to todai (and even KAIST) it was not necessary for me to have my official transcript attached with my application document as long as they both were received by the school before the end of the application period. I would wait for the end of the summer break before asking your secondary school to ship out your official transcript since I would be worried about no one being able to receive your application forms at the university if it require signature or something. I know it is hard but I think it is best to wait and hear what your university has to say before doing anything more. If you want to send out your application documents as soon as possible, it shouldn't hurt to do both options simultaneously.
Ah, I see! Thank you for the reply - I was really worried because I've never used DHL and wasn't sure if the shipping process would be fast enough for everything to arrive on time. I think I'll just wait until the 22nd (when the application period starts) and send everything I can then, and ask the Waseda staff what to do about my transcript. ^^
 

Lawrence1

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Ah, I see! Thank you for the reply - I was really worried because I've never used DHL and wasn't sure if the shipping process would be fast enough for everything to arrive on time. I think I'll just wait until the 22nd (when the application period starts) and send everything I can then, and ask the Waseda staff what to do about my transcript. ^^
Sure. Don't worry about it. Keep us updated about how your application holds up! :)
 

tiffychoi

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Hi @Lawrence1 !

Sorry for bothering you, but I'm applying to Sophia as well and had a question that I can't find the answer for anywhere. Could you (or anyone reading this thread!) offer some advice/thoughts?

I called the Sophia office a few days ago and talked to them about the official/unofficial transcript problem, and they said I could have the registrar mail an official copy with an attached note explaining why I was having my school send it instead of including it with my application materials.

I went to the registrar again today, and she said she would mail it out through DHL...
...but then I remembered that Sophia University's offices were on break until the 18th (three days after the estimated delivery date), and that the application period begins on September 1st.
And yes, this was (unfortunately) AFTER the registrar sent the package.

What do you think will happen to my transcript package? Will it be shipped back to my school (the sender), or will DHL keep it at their Tokyo office until Sophia's offices open again? And do you think they'll reject it since it arrived earlier than the given date? :(
 

Lawrence1

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Hi @Lawrence1 !

Sorry for bothering you, but I'm applying to Sophia as well and had a question that I can't find the answer for anywhere. Could you (or anyone reading this thread!) offer some advice/thoughts?

I called the Sophia office a few days ago and talked to them about the official/unofficial transcript problem, and they said I could have the registrar mail an official copy with an attached note explaining why I was having my school send it instead of including it with my application materials.

I went to the registrar again today, and she said she would mail it out through DHL...
...but then I remembered that Sophia University's offices were on break until the 18th (three days after the estimated delivery date), and that the application period begins on September 1st.
And yes, this was (unfortunately) AFTER the registrar sent the package.

What do you think will happen to my transcript package? Will it be shipped back to my school (the sender), or will DHL keep it at their Tokyo office until Sophia's offices open again? And do you think they'll reject it since it arrived earlier than the given date? :(
No worries. I don't mind giving advice on anything (although I only applied for graduate school admissions so my knowledge is also a little limited). For that case about the transcript package arriving during the holiday, I really don't think it will be a big problem. There may be someone in the university to pick it up but if there is no one, then it might get left at their DHL tokyo office. If you call DHL and know the tracking number, I think you can arrange the delivery date to be later (after the holiday or when the application period begins). I would look at the DHL website for their phone number (I believe you can also arrange the change of delivery date online using their website but I never tried it so I think calling them may be the best course of action). If this doesn't work, you can always just send them an email after the application period opens to see if they received your transcript and then send your application package.

For the case about the sending your transcript early, it doesn't hurt you to send it early although it totally depends on the admission staff whether they will choose to accept it before the application period. That is why I recommend you not to send your application package ahead of the application period. If you decide to send Sophia University another transcript when you send your application package (if they don't tell you if they received it and you want to be extra sure), I don't think it will cause any major problems. When I was applying for another graduate school in Japan, I sent them my transcript (and they emailed me saying they received it) but in the end I decided not to apply to that school and there was no issue.
 
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tiffychoi

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No worries. I don't mind giving advice on anything (although I only applied for graduate school admissions so my knowledge is also a little limited). For that case about the transcript package arriving during the holiday, I really don't think it will be a big problem. There may be someone in the university to pick it up but if there is no one, then it might get left at their DHL tokyo office. If you call DHL and know the tracking number, I think you can arrange the delivery date to be later (after the holiday or when the application period begins). I would look at the DHL website for their phone number (I believe you can also arrange the change of delivery date online using their website but I never tried it so I think calling them may be the best course of action). If this doesn't work, you can always just send them an email after the application period opens to see if they received your transcript and then send your application package.

For the case about the sending your transcript early, it doesn't hurt you to send it early although it totally depends on the admission staff whether they will choose to accept it before the application period. That is why I recommend you not to send your application package ahead of the application period. If you decide to send Sophia University another transcript when you send your application package (if they don't tell you if they received it and you want to be extra sure), I don't think it will cause any major problems. When I was applying for another graduate school in Japan, I sent them my transcript (and they emailed me saying they received it) but in the end I decided not to apply to that school and there was no issue.
Hi, thanks for the quick reply!
I tried contacting someone at my local DHL office but no-one picked up, so I'm planning on trying again tomorrow. I hadn't realised my registrar would send my transcript so early (which was a big mistake on my part; I had stupidly assumed that she was too busy this week with back-to-school preparations and would put it off until later), but a friend of mine enrolling at Sophia this fall said it would probably be okay and that "at the very least, I don't think they'll throw it out." ^^;
 

Lawrence1

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Hi, thanks for the quick reply!
I tried contacting someone at my local DHL office but no-one picked up, so I'm planning on trying again tomorrow. I hadn't realised my registrar would send my transcript so early (which was a big mistake on my part; I had stupidly assumed that she was too busy this week with back-to-school preparations and would put it off until later), but a friend of mine enrolling at Sophia this fall said it would probably be okay and that "at the very least, I don't think they'll throw it out." ^^;
Yeah. I don't think they will throw it out but it is really up to the admission staff since it is ahead of schedule. Just not to take any risk, I would still try to push the delivery date or call/email the admission staff to verify if they received it and will hold onto it. If you have any further questions. Please don't be shy to ask. At least for me, applying to a Japanese school took me a lot of time because I had to do a lot of research on the schools, areas, reputation, and application guidelines. ;-)
But I heard Sophia University is decently well known in tokyo and has a good english international program.
 
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