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Foreign Policy Analysis
#GradSchool101 – Timeline & Deadlines

#GradSchool101 – Timeline & Deadlines

The process can take a very long time so I
would recommend starting your search as early as possible, I would say a minimum of at least
a year. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, take one
step at a time you do your research, you get your ducks in a row and then sort of build
your plan. Talk to the admissions offices. Take any tests
that are required such as the GRE or the TOEFL. Really spend an adequate amount of time preparing
your personal statement. If you have the opportunity you also want to visit the institutions that
you want to be applying to and go to classes and speak with faculty and speak with current
students. Ask for recommendations and that can sometimes
be a drawn out process because now you are dependent on someone else to make sure that
they get you the recommendation in time. You also want to start very early to start
researching sources of funding. And the year prior to when you want to matriculate
is when you begin to file other scholarship applications. You begin to get your financial
aid in a row. Once the FAFSA for that coming academic year comes available you need to
file it and get that in. Also if you get enough time, you can do a
self analysis, a self assessment of ultimately is this the right path for you, is this really
what you want to do to get to your career goal. You want to make sure that you’re not rushing
into this. Its a financial investment but also a personal investment. The people who have put the time and energy
into the research and preparation process, that really does come through in an application
and you really do have a sense of as a reader or community member that this person knows
what they are getting into and is going to be a good fit with the institution. Graduate school deadlines are very important.
There are a lot of competitive admissions processes in which if your application is
late, it will not be considered it will not be read you will not be evaluated. You have to remember that the graduate schools
that you are applying to, particularly if they are the top in the field, are likely
going to be receiving hundreds if not thousands of applications, and as such they really need
to stick by particular deadlines in order to be able to move through the application
review and decisions process within a timely manner. Its your first step to showing them that you
can follow by their rules, that you are able to submit documents on time. So however you
keep track of your life, whether its a Google calendar or an iCal calendar or even just
a physical calendar. It can be a checklist this month I’m going to work on this application
next month I’m going to work on this one because this one has a later application date, but
you should really make sure you know the deadline. I also think that deadlines are very important
when it comes to a numeric funding that an institution might have available. Usually
merit funding is limited at most institutions and applicants who are able to submit their
completed materials early in the process are better positioned to be fully considered to
all merit funding that might be available to them than applicants that apply later in
the cycle or after the deadlines Apart from making sure that you meet the deadline
for their application submission, its always a good thing to go the extra step and contact
either the office of graduate admissions for that school, or contact the department that
you’re applying to just to make sure one hundred percent that they did in fact receive your
materials A on time, and B that they received all your materials. Never leave anything to
chance. Grad school is a really big commitment and you want to make sure you start off on
the right foot.

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