Application FAQs… No need to panic

Applying to college is a lot of work. At times you may completely forget to ask a question or question what you remember. Below are some FAQs and a few words of advice. If you have a question, the answer is probably below.

Please keep in mind that our office will close for winter break at 3 p.m. (PST) on December 22. We will open at 8 a.m. (PST) on January 3. During our winter break we will not be able to respond to our phone messages. Emails to will be checked periodically throughout the break, but you may have to wait a couple of days for a response. We appreciate your patience.

Once we return, our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST).

January 5 is our application deadline

  • Submit your Common Application to us by this date (don’t forget to budget time for the additional HMC questions). Your application should be submitted by January 5, 2017, 11:59 pm of the time zone from which you are submitting your application.
  • Please do not panic about any missing school documents. While your school knows of our deadlines, we understand if not all of your school documents are submitted by that deadline. We know that they have a lot of requests and paperwork to process and understand if their pieces are submitted later. We DO NOT hold this against your file. Once we feel that we have processed the large amount of materials we receive over break, we will then send out a missing items emails
  • See our required materials page if you can’t remember them all.

Read your email

  • We will primarily communicate through the email you used in your Common Application.
  • Go through your junk mail and spam folders. At times, very important messages do end up there (i.e. when we announce that decisions are ready to view in the Hub).
  • Please pay attention to requests for missing items, but do not panic or call your school to demand immediate action. Most requests can be handled within a few days.
  • After our system registers that we have received your Common Application (which will not be the same time you hit “submit” on the Common Application website), you’ll receive a confirmation email from Instructions on how to access the HMC Applicant Hub will follow within four business days from

Log into your HMC Applicant Hub

  • You will receive your application decision in the Hub.
  • For those applying for need-based financial aid, access the “Financial Aid @ HMC” link in the Hub.
  • Use the Hub to check the status of required admission and financial aid documents.
  • For issues regarding access to the HMC Applicant Hub, read these FAQs.

Don’t forget to send your test scores

  • As a reminder we require the SAT or ACT, the SAT Math Level II subject test, and another SAT subject test of your choice.
  • The SAT Essay and ACT Writing Test are not required. There is no preference between the old SAT, new SAT, nor ACT.
  • Don’t worry, we superscore and concord your tests for you. This means we’ll mix and match the different components of each test (regardless of when you took it) and view this as your “best” score.
  • The final acceptable test dates are the December test date for Early Decision II and the January test date for Regular Decision.
  • If English has not been your primary language of instruction for the past 5 years, please take and submit your TOEFL or IELTS score.
  • We recognize that there have been delays in the delivery of test scores to colleges. Much like you, we will also be patient throughout this process, and we will work with you as much as we can.

We do not require arts supplements, resumes, abstracts, extra letters of recommendation, etc

  • We do not accept music CDs, art portfolios, dance videos, etc. Our campus is filled with artists of all sorts and we love them. We value your contributions and talents in the arts and this can be highlighted in the activities section of your Common Application. You may even choose to include a shortened link on your application. However, we cannot guarantee that we will view it as part of our review.
  • We welcome research abstracts and other examples of your scientific and mathematical endeavors. You can upload this in the writing questions section for HMC in the Common Application. The file must be a pdf under 500kb.
  • Don’t send a separate resume. It will not be uploaded into your file. Instead use the Common Application. The activities and honors section are a great place to showcase your commitments and accomplishments.
  • We require three letters of recommendation; one from a school counselor, a math or science teacher, and a humanities or social science teacher. If you need to send another letter, our system allows for one additional recommendation (this can be academic or non-academic i.e. supervisor, coach, etc.). We do not recommend that you submit additional letters given our volume of applications.
  • Remember more is not always better. In fact, it is rarely better.

No system is perfect and this includes ours

  • If you’ve taken a college course, include this information in the Common Application and share that a transcript is available. Then our system will add a college transcript onto your checklist in the HMC Applicant Hub. If this college course is included in your high school transcript, please send us an email to petition to waive this requirement. Otherwise, we expect a transcript. If you are not able to send a transcript, please email us to petition to waive this requirement.
  • If you are neither a US citizen nor a US permanent resident, and/or attend high school outside of the US, our system adds the TOEFL or IELTS as a testing requirement. If English is the language of instruction for your high school and/or it is the primary language spoken in your home, you may email us to petition to waive this requirement.  We’ve done what we can to waive this where we think appropriate, but if we’ve missed your application, and you don’t think you need to submit TOEFL or IELTS, please email us at

We like you, we really do, but don’t call us, we’ll call (or more accurately email) you

  • This may seem antithetical to the wonderful HMC spirit of community, but we get a lot of paperwork and it takes us some time to get all of it processed and tagged in our system.
  • A phone call or email in early January inquiring about the status or “completeness” of your application will get the response above and a prompt to check your HMC Application Hub
  • The Hub will list when we’ve processed a piece of your application. This may be the same date as when we received the material. At times it may be a day, or even a week after we’ve received it – particularly if it is sent in on paper. Don’t worry. As long as we have it we are good.
  • Try to limit your email updates to class schedule changes, change in family circumstances, new national level honors or awards, delays in test results, etc. Changes to your address or email can be handled in the HMC Application Hub.

Send us good vibes. We’re sending them to you with each application we read

  • We mean this.
  • You’ve put in a lot of work on your college applications and we’re going to commit the next few months to helping create the HMC Class of 2021.
  • Early Decision II decisions will be available on February 15 and Regular Decision decisions will be available by April 1.
  • Thank you for the trust you are putting in us and in Harvey Mudd.