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When Should I Apply?

Applying as a Div III:

Application deadlines generally are anywhere from November through the spring, with the majority running from December to early February. Pulling your application together takes a lot of work: studying for the GRE (or other tests); researching schools; writing applications and essays (also called personal statements or statements of interest); negotiating letters of recommendation and transcripts; perhaps compiling samples of your best writing or a portfolio of your work; possibly preparing for an audition.

Doing all of this while also working on your Div III requires tremendous organization and discipline. Do as much as possible before coming back to school in the fall of your final year:

  • Complete your research so you know where you will be applying
  • Take the GRE the previous spring or summer
  • Start writing your essay

The advantages of applying after graduation are:

  • You will have more time to produce a strong application than you would while working on Div III.
  • You will have finished Div III and can more completely include it as part of your essay, letters of recommendation, and transcript.
  • Schools generally look at time off very favorably.
  • Returning students are often refreshed, ready for more intense work and excited to be studying again.
  • Some programs proactively seek older students with related work experience.

This is a big project to complete, so do it when you know you have the time and energy to focus and do a great job on all the components.

Tip: Consider your grad school search, application, etc. like an additional class. Schedule a few hours a week for this.


Continue to Application Components

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