Why It’s a Good Idea to start your Grad School Application Early

by Megan Taylor on March 8, 2012

Just to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into, I went online to UC-Denver’s website and started filling out an application.

It turns out that this was a very good idea because there are several items I have to acquire before the April 15th deadline, and they’ll take some time to get.

In no particular order, I need:

  • 1-2 recommendations (not required, but recommended).
  • 2 official transcripts from Kalamazoo College (undergraduate studies).
  • 2 official transcripts from Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan), where I spent my Junior year of college (study abroad).
  • Several well-thought out essays about myself (eek).
  • A resume (how does this/should this differ from a job resume, I wonder?)
  • GMAT Scores (this one is already in progress).

Before I looked at the application, I had no idea that I would need to get an official transcript (or two) from the year I spent on study abroad in Tokyo. It makes sense in retrospect, but I’m glad I found out now, instead of in a month.

In order to get the transcripts from Waseda, I need to:

  1. fill out the application form,
  2. get a copy of an ID that they will accept (hopefully my Colorado drivers license will be good enough
  3. buy an international postal money order (IPMO) for the cost of the transcripts (300 yen each), and
  4. mail everything to Japan with an addressed, stamped return envelope (possibly two).

The application form was easy enough to find, once I figured out who to email at the School for International Liberal Studies (SILS), which is the school within Waseda University that we foreign exchange students attended. It’s a good thing I have more than a month to get everything resolved, because I had a few follow-up questions about the request form that I sent back to the SILS office today, and I know I won’t get a response until at least 6 pm this evening, because Tokyo is 10 hours behind Colorado.

Really, the more I think about everything that just this piece of my application will entail, the gladder I am that I took a look at my application early. I don’t even want to think about what it would have cost me in postage alone to get transcripts and other documents over-nighted not just from Michigan, but also from Japan Yikes.

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