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The benefits of applying early to Universities

The article explores the advantages of applying early to Universities abroad

Mahesh Ramani

Most institutions have intake twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn. All institutions have a specific cut-off date by which the completed admission application form must reach them.

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The early bird gets its worm is an old proverb. In the context of international admissions — ‘The early applicant gets his/her University and course,’ would be apt. This article examines the benefits of applying early to an institution and how it helps applicants. 

All about deadlines:

Most institutions have an admission intake twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn; some institutions have an admission intake thrice a year. All institutions have a specific cut-off date by which the completed admission application form must reach them. This is usually three to four months before the actual academic session for which the student has applied begins.

In essence if classes begin in March 2014; the application deadline is usually last week of November or first week of December. These stipulations vary from institution to institution and some top-ranking institutions have a deadline that’s nearly six to seven months before the actual start of classes.

So why should you apply even earlier?

The following factors will help you understand - why you should apply in advance:

  • A glowing Letter of Recommendation - You can get your Letter of Recommendation in advance from your referee. Helps when the referee is not flooded with a 100 other requests like yours.
  • Last-minute worries - No, last-minute nail-biting tension and fear of knowing if your admission application reached on time within the deadline!
  • Planning expenses - If your application gets approved and you get a confirmation from the institution well ahead of time; you can plan your expenses accordingly.
  • Scholarships - Some institutions require that you accept their conditional offer of admission before you apply for a scholarship. In essence, if you choose to accept the conditional offer of admission you can apply for a scholarship before other students. There are a limited number of scholarships for international students; hence if you manage to get your scholarship application well ahead of time and you meet all the eligibility requirements; you stand a good chance of securing a scholarship.
  • Application rejection - In case, your application is rejected; you can apply to other institutions.
  • Choice of course - There are instances when an applicant is not offered the exact course, which the applicant aspires to study and is offered some other course in lieu; for example an applicant to an postgraduate computer science engineering course is offered a course in electronics and communication. By sending the application well in advance; there are high chances that the applicant is offered the course; which he/she originally wanted to study.

Some Tips:

  • Always be aware of the last-date for acceptance of admission forms; target to send your form at least a month before the official deadline date.
  • Ensure that you give your referee enough time to write a nice letter of recommendation for you.
  • Always have a back-up plan; do not restrict your application to just one institution; apply to at least three to four institutions.
  • Be focused and determined - if one institution rejects your application there is bound to be positive news from another.
  • Higher education is not just about big-ticket marquee names; over the years research shows that smaller institutions offer more care and support for international students.
  • Always follow instructions be sure that you provide all supporting documents with your application form.
  • If you plan to apply for a scholarship; check your eligibility and apply to all relevant scholarship-awarding bodies.

Now with so many important factors listed above don’t you think it would be wise to apply well in advance?

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Image credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

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