Frequently Asked Questions

This is a repost from last year (and possibly from
the year before!), but as we get down to the wire with our January 1st
deadline, we in the Office of Admission wanted to answer some of your most
frequently asked questions. Please email us at if you have any
additional questions or if you need clarification.


Why do you keep
reminding me to apply? I already did!

you keep getting emails from us reminding you to apply, it's possible that you
haven't hit the "Submit" button yet. Doing so automatically takes you
off our "remind" list. This is more common that you might think.
Also, check to see if you got a confirmation email. If you haven't received an
email within 24 hours confirming the receipt of your application, please check
your spam box and then check with us.


How can I see
what materials you received from my teachers and what I still need to send?

keep the acknowledgement and account creation emails we send! They include
instructions on accessing the Portal, so you can see if we have received your
stuff. You will only get access to the Portal to check the status of your
application materials after you apply, so please make sure you apply in a
timely manner. Speaking of time......


Your deadline
isn't until January 1, so I'm going to ask my teachers for recommendations
before I leave for Winter Break. Also, I'm going to be taking the January SAT
and send you those scores. OK?

NOPE! Our January 1 deadline is very important to our office. Because of the
structure of our application process, we only have about 2 weeks to process and
read every application. If your application is not complete by the deadline we
might read it without all the pieces. This is NOT in your best interest. Also,
our decisions for Candidates' Weekend are made before you take the January SAT,
therefore, we cannot accept those scores as part of your application.


I'm enrolled in
a college class this semester in addition to my regular high school classes. I
won't get my grade until January- what do I do? / What the heck are Current
Senior Grades? I won't have grades until January!

need to know how you are doing during your Senior Year. A copy of your first
quarter report card is fine. If you won't have final grades until January,
please send us either a copy of your progress reports or have your teachers
give some indication of how you're doing.


My teacher wants
to send in my recommendation on her own. Is that OK? / If I send in my
application piece by piece, rather than in one big batch, is that OK?

that's fine. We will keep your materials together until they are
complete.  Just make sure they include your full name and birth date on
the forms.


If I wanted to
have an additional letter of recommendation, is that acceptable? Would that
person have to fill out a form?

is accepted, but not expected, for students to have additional letters of
recommendation. That additional person should simply write the letter and
include your full name and birth date on the letter. If you want, they can fill
out the Common Application form to go along with it, but it is not necessary.
They should mail it to us at Olin College Office of Admission, 1000 Olin Way,
Needham, MA 02492 or fax them to us at 781-292-2210.


It is 11:36 pm
on 12/31/11. I am going to have my mom drive fifty miles to the post office
through the driving snow and sleet to have my credentials postmarked in order
to make sure they are in under the deadline. OK?

If your credentials are postmarked on or around 1/1, that is fine.
Please don't have your poor mother go through any more than she already does.
If something is postmarked 1/2 or 1/3, we won't mind. RELAX!


Do you need an official score report of
my AP scores?

we trust you to fill out the self-reported AP test and score section of the
application accurately. Olin has an honor code and we expect our applicants to
be honest and truthful. We will be able to see the AP classes you are currently
enrolled in from your transcript, so you don't need to enter those in that
section. Please just enter the tests and scores of tests already taken.


How strict are
you about the essay word limits?

try to stay within the 500 and 300 word limits. However, if you go over by
25-50 words, don't stress. We'll still read your essays!


Do you combine
the best SAT scores from different tests ("Super-scores")? Or should
I just send in the best ones?

we do "super-score" SAT and ACT tests. You can send them all and they
will be automatically scored.


I built a 30
foot steel abstract representation of Franklin W. Olin/wrote a novel using only
adverbs/won the Olympic Gold in ice dancing.
Can I send you this abstract sculpture / novel / do an ice dancing
demonstration on the Oval?

we would love to see it, we don't have space for large items and we can't
return items. If something is large and you want us to see it, please take a
photo of it and mail it in. If it's one of a kind, please make a copy and send
it. Your best bet is to make sure that anything supplementary fits into a file
folder. If it is music or a DVD, please mail us a physical copy. We don't want
to open links or attachments (no offense).


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