Monday, August 1, 2016

5 Things To Do in August & September to Prepare for Application

With applications going live in about a month, we've been receiving a lot of questions from prospective students about what actions they can take to prepare for application season. Below are five things you can do in August and September to ensure you're prepared when times comes to submit your application.

Visit campus.
The best way to know if a program is a good fit for you is to visit campus, to speak with current students, and most importantly, to visit a class. The insights gained by visiting campus will help you craft your Statement of Purpose later on. To sit in on a class, you will need to register in advance via our online calendar. Like the interview calendar, this will be made available in September. The first week of September, check here or give us a call to see if the class visit calendar is posted.

Attend recruiting events.
If you haven't already done so, we highly encourage you to attend online an on-campus events hosted by our office. Click here to learn more about the types of events we offer, and what they can offer you as an applicant. If you can't make it to Washington for an in-person event, you're always welcome to attend one of our online informational sessions.

Begin planning to interview.
In the first week of September, check to see whether our MA interview calendar is posted. For those who aren't aware, MA candidates have the option to interview with a current student as part of their application. These interviews are evaluative in nature, and offer candidates an opportunity to add another dimension to their application. Slots for these interviews fill up quickly, so we highly encourage you to check the calendar and pick a date as soon as the calendar goes live. For some tips on preparing for your application interview, click here.

Begin planning to take your standardized tests.
Depending on which degree program you will be applying to, you may be required to submit GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and/or IELTS scores. If you are not familiar with US standardized testing practices, you may want to begin researching them this month because you will need to register in advance and pay a testing fee. It should also be noted that applicants can take standardized tests multiple times without hurting their application. The earlier you take the exams, the more time you have to retake them if you are unhappy with your scores.

Begin researching graduate school funding opportunities.
Though Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a number of fellowships, many of our students fund their studies with fellowships, loans, financial aid, and scholarships offered by organizations outside of SAIS. Often times, the application deadlines for outside fellowships are in September or November. The Charles Rangel Fellowship Program, for example, has a deadline of September 19. Now is a good time to do some research on funding opportunities you may like to apply for.