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Submitting apps ASAP -vs- Waiting for final MA grade


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Hey all,

Here's the deal: I'm still waiting on my MA thesis grade to come in. It's the last grade in my MA degree, and supposed to come in in about two weeks. But then I'll need to order transcripts and send them to the US.

My current average is 93.5 (in a 100 scale). I expect to get over 95 on my thesis, which won't change the average much or at all, but will probably look impressive in itself.

The question is: does it worth the wait? Isn't submitting as early as possible more important?

Again, it won't affect my grade average, and I won't have my formal degree yet anyway.

However, if I wait, my transcripts will note that I finished my degree, and I'll have a very high grade on my thesis to put on my CV and back my apps.

On the other side, considering the technicalities of the app process, waiting means getting very close to some of my deadlines.

I'm considering waiting only with the programs whose deadlines are a bit further away.

Do you think programs that require only electronic copies would agree to accept updated transcripts after the deadline? Probably not...

Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!

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I have a somewhat similar issue and the answer is that every school will do it differently. A lot of schools will use the end of December to put files together rather than starting to read right away (although that's definitely not true everywhere), so you might have some leeway (cf: LORs often have a few more weeks to arrive than the due date). What you'll probably want to do is email all the schools you are applying to and ask what they prefer. From experience, some will prefer something unofficial be uploaded, some will tell you to rush the final transcript to them, etc. Just depends on their policy.

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Don't overthink this, just send in your transcripts. For one thing, programs are used to seeing transcripts from current undergrads/MAs that have outstanding grades on them. Second, you mentioned that it's not going to affect your GPA.

And third, transcripts are one of the least important components of your application. Your LoRs and SoP (and possibly your writing sample, if that's required in your field, and if you're submitting a portion of your thesis) will say loads more to the committee about how well you've done with your thesis than an "A" on a transcript.

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Thanks for all the advice guys. I am trying not to over think it, which makes me think about it some more... you know the drill...

Anyway, Runon, I think you're right about transcripts not being the most important thing, especially if my grades are good and one more wouldn't affect the GPA. So I've more or less decided to go ahead and send them to most of the places I'm applying to, except the ones whose deadlines are significantly further.

Maeisenb, I might also write an email to a couple of them, asking what they prefer (trying to find out if there's any meaning to an early submission).

ok, so I guess that means I'll be submitting 4-5 apps by Sunday. Kind of exciting...


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