You may have noticed that some of your Common App previews show all of the information you entered for some colleges – except your test scores. (Assuming you entered test scores in the first place.)
That omission in the previews is causing some panic among applicants. And that's totally understandable! It is very unsettling if they're not telling you why it's missing. Will they see the information anyway? Is it a glitch? That's left up to your imagination. We've seen that happen with Penn State and UChicago, for example, but those aren't the only ones.
We've been told that even though test score information is "suppressed" in the previews for those applications, these particular schools will still see the test score information on their end if applicant chooses to enter it.
That's all well and good, but... we're feeling risk-averse around that. Here's the guideline we're recommending until schools clarify expressly that they are in fact receiving test score information that you had entered and that is not showing up on the preview:
If you don't see certain information on the preview that you in fact entered (and it's important information), don't assume that it will be flowing through to the admissions side, because you have no evidence of that. Assume that you need to communicate that information to them in a different way, for example by email or some other method that the college makes available to you.
This year has been a bit of a mess because of all the new test-optional policies in flux and that are, frankly, not being communicated well by many schools. We're hoping that things will be settled and corrected by next cycle, but for this one, the burden is very much on you to understand policies are and figure out work-arounds. We're updating our advice in real time.
If instructions are unclear, you can always contact colleges to ask, especially in situations where online instructions conflict with application supplements. That way, you can ensure the admissions department receives the test scores you want them to have (or that they don't get the scores you don't want them to have).
Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the college admissions bible How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.