A good proportion of the callers and emailers we’ll hear from this week will be asking some variation of the question, “What will happen if my recommendation/test score/transcript arrives after January 15?”  Ideally, all the bits and pieces of your application, including those that someone else needs to send on your behalf, will be here before January 15.  But life is often less than ideal, and we’re used to that.

If you haven’t already submitted your application (note that there’s still time to adopt the Personal Deadline approach), just be sure that you submit all the components of the online application by January 15.  (That is:  the form, the essays, the scholarship application, and anything you need to upload, such as your résumé.)  For the other materials, while we prefer that they also arrive by January 15, you can take advantage of a grace period until February 1.

I want to be sure that, in the process of answering one question, I don’t create ten others.  What I’m saying is that if (for example) you took the GREs on January 10, and scores won’t arrive for another two weeks, you don’t need to worry — we’ll still consider your application to have arrived by the January 15 deadline, so long as you have submitted your part on time.  Please don’t assume that I’m saying that everyone is free to submit all materials by February 1 just because it’s more relaxing.

The obvious reality is that we can’t process, let alone review, 1800 applications on the day they arrive.  Pulling everything together takes time.  So we’ll review applications in order, as they become complete, with the expectation that all materials will arrive by February 1.

And here’s one more answer to a question we’ll be hearing:  January 15 means that the online application should be time-stamped January 15 by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time.  But do yourself a favor, don’t wait until that almost-midnight hour.

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