This is the last part of our series this semester on getting into graduate school. You’ve written your personal statements, you’ve gotten great people to write your recommendation letters, and you have filled out all necessary application forms. This is excellent, but there are few final touches and things to do before hitting that submit button.
Review your materials.
Whether it’s your essay, personal statement, or resume, make sure you review it thoroughly.
Print each off and read it over. Sometimes having a hard copy in front of you allows you to read it differently and potentially catch mistakes more easily than if you were reading it on a computer screen.
Have a friend, coworker, professor, or someone else who knows you well read over your materials to make sure you are accurately and fully representing yourself. Now is not the time to underrepresent all that you have done!
Finally, feel free to stop into our office for a quick resume review between 10am and 4:30pm M-F, or schedule an appointment with a career advisor by calling 336-334-5454. We’re happy to pass along our resources and help make sure your materials are presented in a professional manner.
Order official transcripts.
First and foremost, make sure you are clear on what transcripts and documents are required for the application. Sometimes admissions applications will allow prospective students to attach an unofficial transcript. If you see this, don’t assume that they don’t also want an official one! Official transcripts need to be ordered and shipped to the graduate schools from your current school, which can take time. Missing the deadline of when this needs to be in to the admissions committee could delay review of your application, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Find out more on how to order an official transcript from UNCG here.
Pay the application fee.
You probably won’t be able to hit “submit” without paying the application fee, so this final touch is less of a reminder to pay, and more of a heads up that application fees can be pretty pricey and add up. Being a student is costly enough, so make sure you’re aware of the costs for the application fees so you can appropriately budget for it. Also, if you are unable to pay, there may be a way to receive a fee waiver. Take the extra time to look into whether or not this is an option and how to qualify; it could mean saving a lot of money!
Follow up with your references.
Hopefully, you’ve gotten people you trust to write your recommendation letters, but even dependable adults may need some gentle reminders. Go ahead and politely follow up with them. Make sure they are aware of the deadline, and see if there is anything you could provide to help them in the process of filling out forms and representing you accurately. Also, don’t forget your professional etiquette – be sure to thank them for their time and effort with a handwritten note!
Double-check that nothing is missing!
Once you have hit submit, make sure you double-check that all materials have been received. If the application is electronic, often times they will include a completion status. Continue to check your status until it says “complete.” If you do not yet have a “complete” status, follow up with outside sources on any pending documents. These include items such as GRE scores, recommendation letters, and transcripts. Even if the source ensures that the documents were sent, your application is not “complete” until the graduate school receives it. Feel free to call the graduate school if the deadline is approaching and you still have a “pending” status to make sure something wasn’t misplaced.
If there is no completion status given online, be sure to follow up with the admissions advisor via email or a phone call to make sure everything was received.
Prepare your professional wear.
Even after all parts of the application have been turned in, there is still more to come! Interviews are typically held in the spring semester to see if you are a good fit for the program beyond just your qualifications.
We have a lot of tips for preparing for an interview, but this upcoming break, spend some time considering your options for professional wear! A lot of sales are coming up (hello Black Friday, pre-holiday sales, post-holiday sales, and gift cards!), so catch the deals now and invest in some interview wear before next semester starts. That way, you won’t have to worry about finding interview attire when you’re busy in the midst of your final semester, and you can save some money!
Need some tips on what to get? Check out our Pinterest board on interview attire here.
Be confident and patient!
Hitting submit and preparing for interviews may produce some anxiety. That’s normal! After all, acceptance into graduate school could determine where and how you spend your next few years. But after everything is turned in and before you hear back from the admissions committee, what can you do to ensure an interview? Nothing! So enjoy the end of your semester and holiday season with friends, family, and some peace knowing that you’ve done all that you can do at this point. Be confident in how far you’ve gotten as a student, and be encouraged that this is just one piece of your life’s journey and what makes you a great individual!