We covered this in a post some time ago, but I think it’s worth discussing again.
The Bloomberg School requires all application materials to be official. A few of our programs will review applications with unofficial supporting materials. Most will not. Even if you’re able to submit unofficial documents for the admissions review, if you’re admitted, you will need to submit final official documents before you begin classes (there are detailed instructions on the Admitted Student Website – login and password required). Not submitting these final documents can affect your financial aid.
So, what do we mean by official?
Official means the document arrived, sealed by the issuing institution or person.
If a paper document, it should arrive in an envelope with the issuing institution/individual’s stamp or signature across the seal (see photo).
Some universities use secure electronic delivery systems (National Student Clearinghouse, E-Script, etc.) to submit transcripts. We consider these materials electronically sealed and they are official. If your institution uses a secure electronic delivery system, you may provide them with the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal copies, even if they are your original documentation, are considered unofficial. An official copy you received and opened is considered unofficial. As are computer print-outs and documents sent as emailed attachments.
It can take extra time to order official documents and for them to arrive in our office or SOPHAS (make sure you know where to send!). It’s one of the many reasons we beg you to apply early!
Best wishes to you and your application!