Admissions Tuesday Tip: Cast a Wide Net

Man throwing fishnet in the river

In this Tuesday Tip, you’ll learn the importance of casting a wide net when it comes to early school selection for graduate school.

If you’re early in the graduate admissions process, you need to proactively think through your school list strategies.  You want to avoid tunnel vision when it comes to graduate school selection. If you start your school choice process with an overly narrow list of schools, you may get hit a roadblock at the end of your admissions process.   Start the process with a wide list of schools and, as you research your schools, you will be afforded the opportunity to narrow down your school list to a more targeted list of schools.

Full Tip:

Hey everyone, Eric Allen here founder of Admit Advantage with today’s Tuesday tip. Today’s tip is cast a wide net when you’re researching schools. If you are early on in the application process, it’s very important to start with a wide list of schools. You hear a lot about you know don’t apply to too many schools, and that is totally true. But when you’re first starting out you want to start with a wide list of schools that you can narrow down later. Why is this important? Well, first it kind of helps you with a broad list that will help you as you narrow things down. Come to a list of schools that you really really feel good about, as opposed to starting with a few schools that you’ve heard a lot of your friends talk about and then you really don’t have a comprehensive list of schools.

Also, as you’re thinking about that wide list and then ultimately applying for the schools that you may not have considered early on but then do consider, if you end up getting into those schools it gives you more options later. There are options in terms of schools you can go to, but also options in terms of negotiating power, if you get into a school that you are not considering previously that through your research you did, and then you get in there with potentially fellowship money, you could use that for some of the schools that may be higher on your list.

Finally, it helps avoid tunnel vision. You see this along with candidates, they get fixated on a couple of school names, you know the names right. Really really popular schools. They don’t really spend enough time considering what other schools might be a good fit as well. If you’re interested in a particular area, what are the other schools that have those same types of strengths in those areas? So it means avoids getting stuck in that rut of kind of these top schools or top-ranked schools solely focused on that. So make sure you cast a wide net and ultimately it’s going to help you through the application process. 

Next Week’s Tip: Research Schools

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Eric Allen is the President and Founder of Admit Advantage, the leading admissions consulting company in the world.  He earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and worked on the admissions staff at the University of Pennsylvania.  Eric has personally worked with thousands of clients over his 12 years working in the admissions advising space.