Thursday, September 09, 2010

Transcripts, or Homeland Security Has Nothing On SFSU

So, I'm applying for doctoral programs, all of which require copies of all transcripts. That's 4, not including high school and one excruciating year trying to work two jobs, go to school, and put my then-husband through school.  Three are relatively easy to get: go online, give basic facts, request; or print out form, sign, mail.

And then there is San Francisco State University, where I rec'd my MA in Women Studies [sic]. That process, all online:
1. Login to their portal using your student ID and password. As if I remember my ID after 16 years.
2. Look up my ID using my social security number and birthdate. Which seems like enough to order transcripts, all by itself.
3. Return to login and try again, using ID.  Fail.
4. Request password reset by email. Wait a few days.
5. Receive email requiring a fax (not email, not in person) with all that information, plus a copy of my photo ID.
6. Find place to copy ID and fax letter.
7. Receive reset code.
Now this is where it gets interesting.
8. Return to portal and look up ID again.
9. Enter reset code.
10. Choose 6 (yes, six) security questions and provide answers. Choices include such things as "city where your parents met", "your favorite dessert as a child" (Who are they kidding? I was never a child.), "your first TOEFL score", and "your shoe size plus the last digit of your birthdate".
11. Create password, 8-16 characters, with the first 8 including one upper or lower case letter (which is just a letter) and a number or a special character. I admit that various foully witty remarks were considered as passwords.
12. Logout.
13. Find out that password resets can take as long as 30 minutes. Maybe.
14. Login and request transcript?
Did I mention you can't do it in person, apparently?

I'll let you know if I get through. Meanwhile, I need to go talk to the Homeland Security agent outside my door, wanting to know if I really meant to use that password with those six answers.

1 comment:

Elane said...

Just an update: I only had to login on 4 different screens to order one transcript. And the Homeland Security agent went back to the Arizona border to look for the really dangerous people.