Maybe you have a few days off this week and you’re going to dedicate some time to completing your grad school applications. Here’s a little input on what you should keep in mind as you put those final flourishes on your application to Fletcher.
• The form: Answer (completely and thoroughly) the questions we ask. Please don’t refer us to your essay or résumé for information that belongs (in our opinion) in the form. If you have lived in too many countries, or speak too many languages, to fit all the information in the form, then list the most important information and include the rest in your résumé. Make sure that your abbreviations are easily understood. Shortening University to Univ, in the interest of space, will be clear to application readers. Abbreviating the name of your workplace to XLVPR will not.
• The essays: Again, follow the directions. Make sure you have answered the questions. Keep to the word limits — we’re not going to count them, but we’ll know if you give us 1200 words instead of 800. Editing is a life-skill.
• Your résumé: No matter how many pages of activities and awards an applicant submits, it’s rare that anyone needs more than three pages to share information that is relevant to the admissions process. Think it through carefully — if you overload us with information, we may not be able to pick out the truly important stuff.
• General: Do provide the materials/information we request, but don’t provide materials/information we don’t request. No high school transcripts or diplomas. No videos. Please.
Most important of all: Please remember that if you go by more than one name, tell us clearly! Don’t make us try to figure it out, because the result may be that your application appears incomplete, when everything is actually in the Office, distributed among different files.
Those are the big points that come to mind right now. Take a look through the Admissions Tips category for other ideas that I haven’t included here.
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