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Advice-SOP Guidelines changed on website


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Hello all!

So I'm applying to school counseling masters programs just to give a little background. I'm in a bit of a predicament and was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what I should do between two options. Here's the situation:

I wrote my SOP back in the summer, and uploaded my SOP/submitted the applications around September. I 100% devoured every school's website for guidelines on the personal statement making sure that I had everything in order and did everything correctly. I even specifically remember going through each page of one program's website (the one I'm about to talk about having a problem) and writing my statement accordingly.

Well....awhile ago I was cruising the website again as I usually do when I have nothing better to do, and I came across a rather new looking link on one of the pages on the website that said 'sop guidelines' or something like that and I clicked on it and went....@_@ shnickey! There are 4 specific items to address, 3 of which I addressed anyway without having seen it so I was fine there..but one guideline however, I did not specifically address in my statement. Should I email the program and mention that I had looked high and low for guidelines before writing it and was wondering if that was added after September? Most people in my field tend to be later applicants (as in not in the summer) so I wasn't sure if maybe that's why they changed it. I mean it COULD be that I simply missed it but I highlyyyyy doubt it. This page looked completely unfamiliar and I swear I ransacked every page of every school's website that I'm applying to.

This is one of my safer schools I'm applying to and I definitely don't want to be thrown out simply because of not including one item in my personal statement which I did not know was a requirement at the time.

Would you play it safe and just hope they don't mind, since I answered 3 of the 4, and you could probably deduce the answer to the 4th question from my essay? Or would you specifically bring it up to the program director and ask if those guidelines were added later/if you could re-send an edited personal statement? The deadline hasn't passed yet but I've submitted the application online already.

Any thoughts? Sorry for the longwinded explanation.

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Contact the department and let them know you submitted your application before they uploaded the new guidelines. Depending on whether you want to rewrite the entire SOP or just add an answer to the 4th question, ask to supplement your application with that. Since the deadline hasn't passed yet, I don't think there should be a problem. Don't just leave it and hope for the best, you want your application to have the best starting point it possibly can.

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I agree, contact the department and ask them how you should handle it. Since you applied earlier (apparently before these guidelines were changed) and the deadline still hasn't passed I don't see why this would be a problem. Better to have a slightly awkward conversation with the department than to have your app tossed to the side when you could have fixed it!

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Ugh, so I went back into the application system to see if these new guidelines were there when you upload the statement..and they aren't. There's specific information to include in your statement for each program, and under school counseling it's a completely different paragraph. (I followed the one on the actual application). I think best bet will be what you two said and email anyway...if anything they'll be informed there are 2 different instructions for what to include. They're not entirely contradictory, it's pretty standard stuff, but the one on the website is just very specific with the items asked for. Oh well, time to email!

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