It’s astonishing just how disorganized the undergraduate admissions department of the engineering school (SEAS) at GWU is. My graduation has been a pain in the ass.
We were required to fill out pre-graduation clearance forms back in January (essentially, right at the beginning of the last semester we were to take before graduating). They are forms signed by your advisor, confirming that you have fulfilled all requirements and that you can graduate. I had mine completed, signed, and turned in, and all paperwork completed. I asked the person handling my records twice: “Everything is ok now, right? I’m done?” And got an affirmative answer. Meaning I should have graduated.
Fast forward to May. It was a Sunday, one day before a job interview I had out in Virginia, and two days before I was to move out of my dorm room and back home. I get an email from my school’s undergraduate department, saying that I don’t have a pre-graduation clearance form turned in.
What the hell?
Knowing that my schedule was busy for the next couple days, and that I would not have the chance to do this later, I stood right up and walked over to the undergraduate admissions office that second. I mention that I was told I’m missing the pre-graduation clearance form, so they pull my file and open it up.
“I don’t see it here…” they say.
Then they flip a couple sheets through the stack of papers in my file.
“Oh, here it is.”
How do you fuck that up? Either someone is a fucking retard and sent me a false alarm by mistake, or someone is a fucking retard that didn’t bother to actually look through my file for the form – just saw that it wasn’t on the top and thought I had it missing. Either way, someone is a fucking retard.
At that point, before I left, I think I must have asked about four times if I was done. ”So that’s it, right? Everything’s ok? I’m all done now? I can move back home now, right?” Again, affirmative answers to all questions.
So I move back home in May, thinking everything’s ok.
June 20th. An email goes out to my advisor from the undergraduate department, cc’d to me, saying that I’m missing two courses (an Applied Science course and a Math course), and one of my Spring courses as an humanities elective needs to be approved.
What the fuck?!
I actually beat my advisor to the punch on this, responding to the email and cc’ing my advisor. I understand the confusion with the two missing courses; I explain that in the computer science curriculum, the Applied Science course can be replaced with a Statistics course, and the Math course can be replaced with a Philosophy logic course. This is a common switch but is actually not publicized officially. I also note that a music course I took was approved as my elective. My advisor chimes in and agrees that the way I stated it is the way he remembers it. Having the advisor’s word of approval straight from him, I assume everything is ok now.
Four days later, I get another email. This time addressed to me, cc’d to my advisor. It says once again that I’m missing an Applied Science and a Math course – the same exact thing that we just dealt with four days ago. It also says, now, that I’m missing two humanities electives.
Apparently my last email four days beforehand was completely ignored, or undergraduate admissions can’t read, or something. This time, I respond, again reiterating that the Applied Science and Math courses can be replaced. I also do a full breakdown of every single Humanities and Social Science elective I have taken through all my years of college – showing that in fact, I have three Humanities electives, and three Social Sciences electives, fulfilling the requirements. I also point out that if that’s not enough, I have taken THREE MORE Humanities and Social Sciences electives, meaning I have a total of nine H/SS electives taken when six were required. There is no way I don’t have enough.
My professor sends both of us an email, saying, “I thought we’d sorted this weeks ago.” I thought it was sorted too – four days ago, although it felt like it should have been weeks.
I get an email back, saying that the Statistics course (Applied Science replacement) I took was used as a Math Elective, and the Philosophy course (Math replacement) I took was used as an unrestricted elective.
WHAT THE FUCK?!?!
Considering the fact that the Statistics and Philosophy courses are required by my curriculum, why the hell would I take them as electives? That would be like saying, “Oh, CS156 is required. I’ll take it, but I’m going to take it as an elective. Then, later on, I get to take it again!”
So I break down every single Math/Science elective I’ve taken, and every single unrestricted elective I’ve taken. Essentially, through the course of two emails, I detail and categorize every single course I’ve taken in my entire college curriculum and what it’s classified as, and how every single requirement is met.
Finally they give up and send me my curriculum sheet to make the changes to directly. The curriculum sheet is a spreadsheet that matches up every requirement with the course you’ve taken to fulfill it, the semester taken, and your grade. The sheet is admittedly confusing, but after reading through it I swap a couple courses, fill in a course I took that was missing, and make everything work. There are only a couple minor corrections so I detail the changes that I made to her.
My advisor tells them to consult with the other advisor on GWU’s campus for further questions, since neither he nor I am on campus at the time to work with them.
Six weeks go by, and I pretty much forget about it, assuming that no news is good news.
Then I realize something. I’ve dealt with all my interviews, gotten my offers, and accepted a job already.
WHERE THE FUCK IS MY DIPLOMA?
So I send the undergraduate department an email asking what the status was, and if everything was resolved. The email was sent out after office hours, so I expected to wake up the next morning with a response in my inbox. So I sleep, wake up the next day, and check my email.
I call the Graduation Services department of the Office of the Registrar, to see if they got anything. Guess what? They did. They got a fax clearing me for my graduation.
FIVE MINUTES AGO.
They explain that it will take three weeks to get the diploma to me, which I say is fine. The timeframe is not important, as long as I know that I actually graduated. But I come to the final realization:
George Washington University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office FORGOT TO CONFER MY DEGREE.
Considering the fact that I heard nothing for over six weeks, then I send an email one day and they happen to contact Graduation Services about me the morning that they get the email, means they forgot about me. The only reason they remembered is because of the email I sent spurring them into action. If I never sent the email, I never would have graduated.
I hate GWU.
Fortunately for me, the diploma timetable is not important. The fact that it’s getting here after I move away is not really important; it’s not like my diploma from GWU is something that I’m exactly proud of and would show off or anything. If I really wanted it here sooner, I could just appeal to the wallets of the greedy bastards there:
“Oh, I’d like to donate as an alumni, but I don’t have my diploma yet, so I can’t…”
That would guarantee that I’d have my diploma on my doorstep ASAP, fucking next-day delivery or something. I wasn’t even home a month before I started getting bothered to donate. Hell, I got requests to donate after my fourth year, when I still had a year to go, under the assumption that I had graduated already.
Unfortunately for them, I clearly have absolutely no love for GW, so when they start daring to skip the mail requests and call me directly for money, I can tell the person straight-up that going to GW was one of the worst decisions I ever made as a CS student.