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Submitting early


child of 2
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I know a lot of people have already finished their applications. But I'm only 1/2 way done drafting my personal statement. I haven't started my CV, but I did spend a lot time revising my resume for job hunting, so I don't imagine that to be too bad. I will be taking the GRE in two days. And I haven't contacted any potential professors. Right now, I got 5 schools prioritized, with 3 (top 10) schools on maybe.

My question is how advantageous is it to submit it early? Will it necessarily get reviewed earlier?

P.S. UT-Austin's website claims that it's median GPA for incoming grad students is 3.9... and they're barely top 10. This seems very daunting!!!

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From my experience, submitting early will only get your application reviewed early if the school has a rolling admissions process. Otherwise, they will likely review your application after the deadline. The advantage to submitting your application early is that it demonstrates your time management and separates you from the crowd of last-minute applicants.

Edited by dat_nerd
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From my experience, submitting early will only get your application reviewed early if the school has a rolling admissions process. Otherwise, they will likely review your application after the deadline. The advantage to submitting your application early is that it demonstrates your time management and separates you from the crowd of last-minute applicants.

On that note, if it's rolling admissions and you submit early, might one get an early offer of acceptance?

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It's advantageous. I submitted one application as early (complete with LORs, transcripts, etc.) as Oct.31 and got a surprisingly early admit 6 days later. The university didn't even say that they did rolling admits, just had a deadline. I'm convinced that I got the decision so early because it was complete way before all the rush of holidays, finals, etc.

I also think it's better especially if you're a competitive applicant, they may review your application and decide to accept it before it gets lost in what is likely to be dozens of other likewise competitive applications around the deadline time, which may give one an edge.

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So it says "round 2" on your footnote (or whatever you call it). Did you recycle a lot of information from last year's applications?

Only the basic stuff like transcripts. I changed a bit my CV format and updated it after asking the advice of a few business/academic friends. I made a few changes to my SOP and added what I've been doing this past year (teaching+research & publication). Finally, I also had new great GRE scores because my old ones (which were good, but not great) expired a few months ago.

Although, I didn't apply to the same schools I did last year. I really worked this year on finding great research fits and emailed POIs. I tailored each SOP to match the research of POIs in each school, and I named 2-3 profs in each school I would like to work with. Different from last year when I had everything a lot more vague.

I basically made a list this summer of everything that could have been a possible weakness in my applications which I could do something about, and then I set about trying to make it better.

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well good luck to you. But why didn't you apply for the spring semester? That's what I would've done. The only thing that would stop me is if the spring is actually more selective than the fall.

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well good luck to you. But why didn't you apply for the spring semester? That's what I would've done. The only thing that would stop me is if the spring is actually more selective than the fall.

Thanks. I thought about Spring, but a several of the programs I wanted to apply to don't have Spring admission at all. Plus, getting rejected is grueling and I wasn't sure I would have better luck in the Spring because, as you said, it's more selective and there's no funding guarantee. I figured since I had a job, waiting a few months extra to start were worth me saving up some more money, figuring things out, and making better applications.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An admissions advisor at a particular school with a deadline (not rolling) explained that it is better to submit earlier because although applications will not be reviewed until after the deadline, the adcomms will be looking at the applications with fresh eyes and eagerness. You want to be in that first or second batch of applications, rather than towards the end when the committees are eager to be done! But then he went on to say that, of course, everyone who submits before the deadline will be properly reviewed.

So I say, take as much time as you need to put forth your best application, but don't take longer than that. I have a hunch that "first batch" applicants get status notifications earlier.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From my understanding, they will look at your application only after it is complete with LORs and all other required documents. And, from what I understood from this advisor, applications that are completed earlier are reviewed earlier.

But then again, I wonder if they have a way of filtering and sorting applications by GRE/GPA scores and whatnot, which may move applications around in the review pile.

I honestly have no idea beyond what that one advisor -at that one school- shared. Make of it what you will.

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