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How many grad applications are/have you submitted?


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I'm working on 7 for the 2016 Fall Semester. It's a lot of work! General GRE, Subject Test GRE - Psychology, Writing Sample, Letters of Reference, Letters of Interest, Immunization Records, Online Applications, Application Fees, Official Transcripts, etc...

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I applied to 8. Typical numbers in my field range from as low as 4 to as high as 20. There is no single "right" number--it depends on your goals and the amount of time/money/effort available to you. It's far more important to ensure you apply to programs that will be good for you than to meet a number! Usually the high numbers are people applying to two different subfields or two different degree programs altogether!

Also -- immunization records for applications? That's new to me! I only needed to provide that for the school just before I started to attend. Same for many transcripts--most of my schools just wanted unofficial transcripts (e.g. screenshots or PDF versions) and only required official transcripts for verification/confirmation once they made a decision.

I had to keep a detailed spreadsheet to remind me of all the deadlines, to remind me to check on LOR status, to remind me of which people I emailed etc. during the whole thing. Good luck :)

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FWIW I applied to 8, but of those 8 I probably should not have applied to at least 2, maybe 3, and there were 2-3 other schools I didn't apply to, but should have. 

The big time sink is in preparing the materials for the first time, and keep track of all the deadlines and making sure you deal with various bureaucracies. However, once you've done 5-6, I kind of think the 7th and 8th ones are much easier to take care of. 

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I narrowed down my list and applied to 3 places that I thought were excellent fits. Gave me time to completely tailor my application for each school- different SoP, different letters, etc. 

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When I applied to MA programs, I applied to 6. When I applied to PhD programs, I applied to 8. As fuzzy said, when it came to PhD apps, there are 2-3 of those that I should've dropped and at least one school (maybe 2) I should've applied to but didn't. But, you don't have full information when you apply, even when you do good research on schools. What I mean by that is that there's one program I visited and I knew within a couple of hours that I didn't want to do my PhD there. On paper, everything was great but, once I was actually there, I knew it wasn't the place for me. 

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I'm applying to 3 programs (MSW/MPH dual) and it's freaking me out a little. I don't know anyone who's gone this route & went out of state. I work in a clinical social work field now & all my coworkers just  apply & go to the local 2 or 3 schools in our city. I'm applying out of state (TX) and really hope to get in. I'll be disappointed if I don't get into the MPH program I'm applying to, but the MSW is my top choice anyway; dual is a bonus for me. 

My personal statements are pretty much done, I just have 2 more "why do you want to go to this school" short essays to write (1pg double spaced for each). 

 

Applying to to more than 3 would be a significant burden for me. I calculated costs & its $500 with transcripts, GRE, app fees. I originally had 7-8 on my list and that was about $8-900. I can't afford that while trying to save up for moving out of state/cross country. 

Edited by artsy16
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fuzzy and rising_star made the good point that sometimes schools look great on paper but turn out very different when you visit. This was the case for me too, for a couple of schools. But I still did not regret applying and visiting, because I would not have known this ahead of time! In my opinion, applying to a larger number of schools is also a good idea because you increase your chances of admission at a single school and you get to "hedge" your bets in case you picked a couple of bad schools to apply to. 

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I applied to 2 masters programs, and I'll be applying either to 1 or 3 PhD programs.  I  geographically constrained due to my husband's career, plus, there are a small number of accredited programs in my field in Canada, do if I'm not accepted to my PhD program of choice I will work as an RD (which is actually my first choice; PhD programs are backup plans, because I love research).

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I originally intended to apply to four, but then missed the deadline for one (I'm a horrible procrastinator) and then someone fudged up the application for another, so I ended up only officially applying to two.  Thank God one of them accepted me.  I didn't really have the money to apply to any others, especially when those three schools required me to pay about $300 CAD just to apply.

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I applied to 7 PhD programs. I originally was going to apply to 10 but location of the institute and environment led me to not finishing up my applications. There was one other program I felt I should have applied to but my wallet was crying at the end of the cycle. Usually 5-10 schools tends to be a good number. Applying to too many schools (subjective of course, but lets say 15-25 as an example) tends to make it appear as though your research goals are a bit too unfocused - plus it becomes ridiculously expensive. 

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I applied to 8. Typical numbers in my field range from as low as 4 to as high as 20. There is no single "right" number--it depends on your goals and the amount of time/money/effort available to you. It's far more important to ensure you apply to programs that will be good for you than to meet a number! Usually the high numbers are people applying to two different subfields or two different degree programs altogether!

Also -- immunization records for applications? That's new to me! I only needed to provide that for the school just before I started to attend. Same for many transcripts--most of my schools just wanted unofficial transcripts (e.g. screenshots or PDF versions) and only required official transcripts for verification/confirmation once they made a decision.

I had to keep a detailed spreadsheet to remind me of all the deadlines, to remind me to check on LOR status, to remind me of which people I emailed etc. during the whole thing. Good luck :)

The immunization records were only due for one of the schools in North Dakota. I guess the North Dakota Board of Higher Education requires every student to have certain immunizations, so as a part of their application process they ask for it to be submitted. I think most other states also require certain immunizations, but they may not ask that you submit it until after you're accepted. 

As far as transcripts, all of the programs asked for official ones (sealed, directly from the university). I think most other graduate programs would ask for official vs unofficial ones as well, but I may be wrong. That's how it is for all the programs I'm looking at though.

 

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Maybe it just depends on the field? Most schools in my field understand that getting things like official transcripts cost money (for all the transcripts I needed, it costs a total of $40 per application just for transcripts) so just asking for unofficial ones helps reduce the financial burden. Some schools were also okay with self-reported (i.e. unofficial) GRE scores too.

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I would suggest contacting this school to ask if it's possible to submit the immunization record only after you are officially admitted. There is no way they are going to do anything with this record before they admit you and you accept the offer. It's definitely not something they need to make an admissions decision and frankly it's on the absurd side to ask for it now. 

I would also try and ask schools if they would be willing to accept a scanned unofficial copy of the transcript, under the understanding that you will mail them an official copy if/when you're accepted, and until such time your acceptance will conditional. That can also save you a lot of time and money. 

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I agree that asking what is necessary is a good idea. After accepting their offer, my current school wanted us to submit all of our medical records, both immunization and also proof of a physical exam. They say that they want this by July of the year you are enrolling, so I did this. Although physical exams are covered by our Canadian healthcare system, getting them for a third party costs like $130 :(. After arriving, I learned that many other students did not do this ahead of time and in fact, you can get them done after arriving (when you would be covered by the school insurance so it would be free). 

The moral of this story and almost every other situation in academia where you encounter something that is a burden, you should ask to see what is actually necessary and avoid extra costs!

Edited by TakeruK
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I would suggest contacting this school to ask if it's possible to submit the immunization record only after you are officially admitted. There is no way they are going to do anything with this record before they admit you and you accept the offer. It's definitely not something they need to make an admissions decision and frankly it's on the absurd side to ask for it now. 

I would also try and ask schools if they would be willing to accept a scanned unofficial copy of the transcript, under the understanding that you will mail them an official copy if/when you're accepted, and until such time your acceptance will conditional. That can also save you a lot of time and money. 

I actually had a record of it, so it wasn't that big of a deal. It was for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), but only 1 of the 7 programs asked for that. 

To order my official transcripts it isn't that big of a headache either. It took like 3 days to arrive to my address and it was only $5/copy. I did transfer to another university my sophomore year, so I needed to submit that one as well. Then, I also had some credits I received from the Community College of the Air Force, which I need to submit too, so I had 3 different transcripts to send to 7 different schools. The USAF's were super cheap, like 25c, and the others were $72 total, so it wasn't that large of an expense.

That's what the programs asked I did, so I just did it. Asking for exceptions may have saved me $72, but I figured I wouldn't bother them and just provide them what they required. 

 

Edited by westy3789
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My undergrad and grad thankfully send out transcripts for free. My MA school offers an official electronic as well. I'm not including transcripts from my first school, as it was 20+ years ago and I didn't keep/transfer any of the credits.

 

I'm planning on 9 programs across two fields right now, BUT at least two of those programs have a history of responding by the end of December, so if I get into either one I'll probably drop 2-3 of the January deadline schools

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I'm going to apply to 6 schools. 3 of them use my program's universal application, so I can't start them until September 17th. The other 3 have their own application systems, so I've already done 90% of them. Just gotta upload my SOPs, acquire transcript scans, and get my LOR writers to [small panic] freakin' respond to my emails!!! [/small panic]

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At the moment I have 9 mathematics programmes that I'm interested in. I'm going to meet with one of my letter writers this week to go over that list. Mostly masters programmes, maybe I'll apply to a few PhDs. 

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I'll be applying to 9 programs this fall. I was going to apply last year, but decided last minute to hold off because my wife got a promotion and we thought it best for her to spend 2 years minimum in the position before we theoretically move. So I've had an extra year to work on all my materials and have been done and ready to submit for a few months now. Just waiting for all the applications to become available, and then stagger the timing of sending out GRE scores, transcripts and submitting applications with the fees so that I can afford it. It's going to cost me over $1,000 to apply to all these schools (maybe more if some have increased their application fee since last year). Part of me is wondering if I should not bother and save the cash...

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