You’ve researched. You’ve planned. You’ve taken your tests. Sent your transcripts. Gathered your letters of recommendation. Written your application essays and personal statements. Now it’s time to make it official.
Step 7: Complete and submit your applications.
Good news: you’re just moments away from becoming an official business school applicant. The hard parts are finished, and by now, you should have a stellar application packet almost ready to go… it just needs an official application form to introduce you to the admissions committees who will soon be reviewing your file.
And more good news: there’s not much you can do to screw this part up, but there are a few pitfalls you must absolutely avoid at all costs.
Review your programs’ application website and proofread everything else.
Before you complete the last portion of your application for admission, take a few moments to re-read the full application instructions on the website of each program at which you intend to apply. Double-check all application instructions to ensure that you’ve followed all instructions and completed all the necessary elements. Review the word count or page limits for your essays. Check off each required form, letter, or statement required. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve done everything correctly, you’re ready to fill out the surprisingly brief application form.
Do a “dry run.”
After the months you’ve probably spent preparing everything else, the actual application form will look pleasantly quick and easy. But before you begin filling anything in, print a copy to fill in manually if you plan to submit online, or print or photocopy a spare if you’ll be sending in a paper application. Start on your practice copy. Make sure you read each prompt carefully and provide the correct information. Taking the time to physically write out your application (rather than simply completing it online) will give you an added opportunity to get everything right.
Once you’ve finished filling out the paper form (or the spare copy), read everything again. Trust me: this is not the place for sloppy mistakes, missing blanks, or typos.
Complete your final application form(s).
When you’re satisfied with your “dry run” application, transfer everything to your final application form(s). If you’ll be sending in a paper application, choose your pen wisely. Choose a pen that won’t smudge as you write or bleed through to the opposite side of the paper.
Proofread your final application form(s).
Yes, again. You can never be too careful with this stuff. Always be aware that your admission and scholarship opportunities will be determined based upon your submissions, and take the appropriate amount of caution.
Include or attach payment.
Applications cost money (unless you’ve obtained a fee waiver), so don’t forget to include the correct payment amount with your application.
Once you are absolutely, positively certain that your entire packet is ready to go, it’s time to send it off. If you’re submitting online, make sure all documents are properly attached and send it off with confidence. If you are sending in a paper version, use your printer to address the envelope you’ll be using. Make sure the envelope is oriented properly in the printer. Double-check the addresses. Make sure you place a check in the envelope or include credit card payment information on the application form (if/where you’re prompted to do so). Include all of the appropriate documents and attachments, seal up your envelope, and stamp it. I recommend taking your applications directly to the post office, but maybe that’s just me being neurotic.
Your application is now officially on its way! Time to celebrate! …But not for too long. You’ll still need to pay for school, so when you’re ready, you’ll need to gather up your most recent tax documents, complete your taxes, submit your FAFSA (for domestic students), and apply for financial aid.
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