Don’t Forget Your Dependents!

Halloween might be over, but the real scare is still looming: application deadlines. By now, you should’ve made the decision that you’re applying this year, so now it’s just a matter of execution. Your Admit Advantage team has created a checklist for you to think through as you approach round 2 application deadlines of December and January.

If you’re just getting started in the application process, don’t panic. The first thing you need to focus on are the items that are time dependent and have components out of your control; what I’m calling the “Dependents”.

school checklist

Dependent Checklist

School List: Seems obvious, but in our experience, this can really hold back a candidate because having a school list that changes late in the game has a material effect on your recommenders as well as adds additional research that you need to complete prior to submission. Even if you don’t know your entire list, at least start with your core schools and you can always narrow later.

Standardized Test: Whatever test you’re taking, you need to get a score you are comfortable applying with and get this off your plate. I see way too many applicants let the standardized tests weigh on their candidacy and hold them back from building a compelling application narrative. Even if you plan to re-take the test after you submit, you need to get a score you’re going to apply with and move on. Don’t let the test hold you back from meeting your application deadlines.

Transcript: Order a transcript if you haven’t already. You likely won’t need to submit an official transcript for the application, but you will need to submit your unofficial grades; guessing is a no-no and it could take a few weeks to receive the transcript if your school is still on manual transcript processing.

Recommenders: Not to be rushed because it’s too important, but certainly something to check-off your list ASAP would be your recommenders. You need to identify the best recommenders for your application, meet with them (live, ideally) and advise them on how they can support your candidacy. Make sure to go through the live applications and submit your recommender forms to your recommenders and confirm receipt of those links by your recommenders. If you’re not sure about schools, get them all the schools (within reason) – they won’t know if you don’t submit and it can be awkward to add a school once the recommender has finished sending the initial recommendations. We recommend providing at least 4 weeks (ideally 6-8 weeks) for your recommenders to fill out your recommendations; lean towards providing more time if you have a robust list of schools.