In September of 2008 I took my GREs. For those who don't know, those are the Graduate Record Examinations-- like the SATs, except you take them after college to get into grad school, and they are much harder. I arranged to have my scores sent automatically from the testing site to the three schools of my choice, one of which was Duquesne University. I got together all my other material-- writing sample, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, personal statement, everything-- and sent it all off in December, well before the January deadline.
Now, applying to graduate school is A LOT of work. You have to spend a lot of time and effort (and money) on these applications. DU's fee was $60, non-refundable. Heck, it's $130 just to take the dumb GREs.
Fast-forward to April. It is three weeks until I graduate, and I have gotten rejected from the other two schools. It's okay. Duquesne was my first choice. I had been waiting every day for the mailman for almost eight weeks like a kid who sent in his boxtops, and not so much as a peep from DU. In fact, I had heard nothing from them at all, except a "test e-mail" from their Admissions department in October. So I decide to take the initiative and call the admissions office, to see what's going on. A very bored-sounding woman-- we'll call her Gail-- answers the phone. I give her my name and ask what the status of my application is. She does not ask me how to spell my name, which is interesting because it is not spelled AT ALL the way it sounds, and clicks on her computer for awhile. Then she says: "We never received your GRE scores, so your application was never reviewed." My stomach drops into the floor. "Wh...What? That's not possible!" I say, unable to think. Gail sighs, pops her gum and says "They're not here." Just like that, flat as a pancake. I stutter "But I have the paper from the testing service RIGHT HERE that says they sent them to you!" She sighs again. "I don't know. They're not here. I sent you NUMEROUS e-mails telling you that your application file was incomplete." At this point, I am too bewildered to tell her "No you effing did NOT, I have ONE e-mail address and I never got anything from you at all" but that was the case. Instead, I whimper, "Well, what should I do?" "I dunno, you could resubmit them, but it's too late for you to get any financial aid." I cannot go to school without financial aid-- I don't have twelve K just sitting about. "Or you could call ETS and see what they say." Totally bored. Does not care at all. My life, meanwhile, is crumbling.
I call ETS. They say "Yeah-- we sent them two copies, actually, one electronically and a paper copy" and they give me exact dates that the scores were received, processed and sent out. I call back. Gail is not interested. I give her the dates. "Um... okay, yeah, well, we don't have them." Cracks gum. No apology. No sympathy. Nothing. I've had enough. "I need to speak to your supervisor, now" I say. "She's not in, you can send her an e-mail or talk to her tomorrow." CLICK. WTF. Totally unconcerned.
The worst part is, I type up a very polite yet very urgent e-mail to, let's call her Dr. Samantha Froward, the director of graduate admissions. It is long and heartfelt and details my plight. The next day, I get a two-sentence e-mail back saying the secretaries don't have the scores and there's nothing they can do, but I can resubmit the scores and not get financial aid. Nobody in that office gave two shits or a fuck that they had lost an important part of an applicant's... application. And I can't even get my $60 back.
I sure as hell won't be applying there again. If that's the way they run their administration, I am no longer interested.