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Hey everyone! 

I've been scrolling through various forums on here for a couple weeks now, but this is my first post!

I graduated a year ago from Northern Arizona University with my BSW and a minor in sociology. Attending grad school has been on my mind a lot over the past few months and I've finally decided to pursue an MSW in New York City through an advanced standing program in Fall 2018. I intend to apply to Columbia, NYU, Fordham, and Hunter with Columbia being with current top choice. I'm flying to New York in August to attend prospective student events and see the various campuses. Needless to say, I'm staring to get very excited about the idea of starting my masters in NYC. 

So here is my question: does applying right when the application opens versus right before the priority deadline make much of a difference in terms of wait time for a decision?

I've read lots of different forums on here about people applying at different times and it seems that most decisions come back in February or March. I presume that most applications open in the Fall (I got an email saying Columbia's opens in August) and I'm getting eager to get to work on my applications. 

I welcome any feedback about this question and the application process for these schools in general. 

Thanks! 

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2 hours ago, JonoDuncan said:

 does applying right when the application opens versus right before the priority deadline make much of a difference in terms of wait time for a decision?

The answer is 'it depends'.

For admissions -

If the school has a rolling admissions policy, they will review applications as they come in. In many cases this will be program specific (some departments will do it, while others may not).

If they are not doing rolling admissions, then they will not review things until after the deadline. In this case it may be beneficial to start the application early, so that you can get all of the basic details in, have transcripts sent, get letters written and sent etc. It will also give you more time to write and polish your personal statement so you won't be rushing when the actual deadline looms near, but submitting it way before the deadline won't make a difference in the decision outcome.

Many schools have multiple deadlines, usually an early one for funding, and an absolute drop dead one that they won't accept applications after.

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