Friday, December 10, 2010

Applying online to graduate school

Chris has asked to provide some suggestion over how to apply: online or via regular mail? Certainly applying online is preferred by most of the schools and applying online is easier too.
The best thing about applying online is that you can complete your application in a couple of days or weeks. So you are not in a hurry of completing you application at once. It’s better to open your account on the university website before a month of application deadline or so. You can start filling up the basic information even if GRE and TOEFL scores are not yet available.
Filling up an online application is quite lengthy and requires patience. You might get bored and hence it’s better to complete the application in several sittings. You need to input all the information related to your undergraduate degree, your place of residence and even your passport details if you are an international student. Keep your documents handy when completing the application form. You may have to fill up the percentage of marks obtained; name of specific courses taken, the year you graduated or you are expecting to graduate. You also may have to provide the name of your recommenders, the organization your recommender is associated with and his address. You may have to upload your Statement of Purpose and Resume. However, remember that even if you are applying online, you need to send transcripts via regular mail on the university address, normally to the graduate school or the department in which you are applying.
Some universities will accept only online recommendation letter which has to be submitted by the recommenders online through the university website or via email. Some universities however accept hard copy of recommendation letter in a sealed envelope, so when asking your recommender for a reference letter; try to get sufficient number of copies such that you don’t have to ask him for one again and again.
Once you have completed the online application and you are ready to submit it. Go through all the sections of the application and recheck them. Make sure there are no mistakes and errors. Once you are done with it, you can finally submit the application. However your application is not submitted or even if submitted it won’t be considered for admission unless the fee has been paid. The application fee can be paid through credit and major debit cards and is non-refundable. In certain scenario, some of the applicants may be eligible for application fee waiver. See if you qualify for this.
Once the fee is paid and the application is submitted your part is done. You can’t make any changes after you have submitted the application. So in case after submitting the application, you found out you have done some blunder, immediately contact you department to modify it. I think… that’s it. If you have any questions feel free to comment.

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