Let’s talk about that deadline thing. Yes, I know, you’ve got plenty of time before January 10. Sure, the New Year’s holiday is coming up and you don’t want to work on an application on a special day. And of course, you certainly don’t want to zap through an application loaded with errors. On the other hand…do you want to submit your application on Sunday, January 10, along with nearly 1000 other people? No. You do not.
So let me, once again, assume my position on your right shoulder as your Deadline Angel. Allow me to persuade you to submit your application ahead of the deadline. Because January 10 is a Sunday, I would like to suggest Thursday, January 7 as an ideal day. If you zap it through next week, you will soon know — before your less persuadable peers even click submit — whether your application is complete or if we need you to follow up with additional materials. Won’t that be nice? And won’t that be much nicer than potentially needing to wait until mid-January to know that we are unable to read your transcripts (or that there is some other easily fixable problem)?
Best of all, by submitting the application a few days ahead of the deadline, you ensure that you are not “that guy.” You know, the guy who contacts us after the deadline and tells us he was confused as to whether we meant before or after midnight (we mean 11:59 p.m. EST (UTC-5) on January 10), or something else like that. Don’t be that guy.
Finally, the materials due by the deadline are your parts of the application: the form, the essays, etc. DO NOT hold your application to wait for recommenders or for test scores. While we prefer to have everything in place before the deadline, your application will not be considered late because a recommender is still working on your letter.
Is that enough to convince you to submit early? I hope so. You’ll be happier if you do. And we will, too.