Graduate Admissions Insider Tips Top Tips

Grad School Ducks In a Row

–by Dr. Kristen Willmott

Having read thousands of essays and applications to top tier graduate school programs, I know what works and what might raise a red flag. Graduate school admissions officers and faculty can tell, quite clearly, if the personal statement they are reading was one of the first that the student prepared, or one of the last in the process.

Get Your Ducks In a Row —But How Many?

I recommend students apply to 1-3 reach schools, 2-3 in-range schools, and 2-3 backup schools. That is no less than 5 programs and no more than 9, with my recommended total being 5-7 in all. The benefit of applying to grad school programs that offer an earlier October/November application deadline or rolling admissions is that you might not even have to click submit on application 5 or 6 in the spring, as you might be accepted to one of your top choice schools in early January. The benefit of applying early is not only breathing easier, but having to finalize and submit fewer applications and essays that hover in your ‘backup school’ category.

If you’re applying to Masters, MBA, law or doctoral programs this year, we know you’re busy assessing your test scores, identifying schools, planning your application strategy, and plotting the many components of your application. We can help you break your list into reach, in range and backup schools and utilize all rounds of admissions, if the programs you’re targeting have multiple submission dates, as many do.

We offer personalized application timelines to help you manage the process and ensure winter and spring are happy seasons with application acceptances rolling in. Let us help!

Want to know the Top 4 Reasons to Go to Grad School?


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