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Application process hints


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I remember when I was applying 3 years ago. I was so unsure about everything. Since I have obtained some insight into the process and thought I would share to hopeful.

1. Start early and stay organize. Know who you recommenders are for each school (yes some schools require different numbers of recommenders) and how much the application fee is. Along with transcripts, personal statements, writing samples, and anything else they require. I found doing a spreadsheet was most beneficial. It along me to stay organize and have one less thing to freak out about. Make sure you don't miss the deadlines.

2. Should you visit before applying? I got into some I didn't visit and I got rejected from some I visited. It mainly depends on the program but they won't tell you. So when in doubt, visit especially if it is your first choice.

3. Personal Statement and writing samples are the only thing fully in your control. Spend some time on them, and make them the best and unique to every school you apply to.

4. Emailing them to see if they are taking students. If you don't do this by the end of the month don't worry about doing it at all since by then you should of already started applying to the school. Also, with this economy I would be shocked if any school said they weren't taking students since they need the Application Fee. They might not be taking students but they might is how they justify it. Also, they have no idea who they are taking until they see all the applicants so don't get to low or to high based solely on the email before the decision can be made.

5. School secretaries have no role in the decision. It will take as long as it does. This site can give you a good idea when to expect it based on past years but it does vary. Maybe one prof is on sabbatical and holding up the decision. Generally someone else on this site applied to the same school and will post on the results page. This will allow you to be ready for it.

6. People lie on this site. Human nature is to stretch the truth in both their profile, their results, and any inside information. Relax when someone post something you don't like until it is either proven right or wrong.

7. LUCK has a role in it. How is someone suppose to really decide between two equal candidates? They accept one and not the other. I hope everyone here gets into the school of their dreams and are happy once there. I remember the anxiety I experience and I am sorry each of you will be going through it, but I ensure you it is worth it when you are at the right school.

Edited by anthropologygeek
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