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[ask] app process - sending package before making payment

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[ask] app process - sending package before making payment [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2006, 04:43
a question, especially for those who have applied for phd program before:

will there be any issues if I send my package (LOR, transcript, GMAT score, etc) to the school way before I pay the application fees?

E.g.
Suppose deadline is 1 Feb 2007. Is it safe that my application package reaches the school by 1 Dec 2006, BUT I only submit the online application form and pay the application fee by 30 Jan 2007 (which is 2 months later)?
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2006, 10:17
I don't know the answer to your question, but I read your blog and I would like to give you a piece of advice.

Don't worry about your research paper, I sent my article to one journal and it was surprising (I careful chose the journal) rejected by lack of fit. I submitted it to another journal and now it is under review. There can be many reasons for which a certain journal can reject a paper, but you should not be discouraged since sooner or later it would probably be published on a respectable journal.

The same for your application. I think that with your 750 GMAT score, at least one school will accept you for a PhD.

Be optimistic, guy! :-D
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2006, 16:40
I am currently preparing the paper for submission to another journal. It has a prestigious name/history, but is not really considered as an A list. I was disappointed with the first rejection, but not discouraged.

Ya, I am quite sure that I can get into a PhD program. Just a question of how strong the program will be. I have spoken to a few Profs and they have been quite encouraging. So I'm excited to see how things will work out for me.

How's your app coming along? Think we need to form a support group. hahaha.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2006, 04:29
I think we need, of course! :-D

About my App... I've registered for the iBT TOEFL for September, 23. The test seems quite easy - especially in comparison with the GMAT - but I have little time to prepare. However, I suppose TOEFL scores are not so important in the application. In the meanwhile, I've asked my school my courses trascripts in English language, 15 copies for the Bachelor Degree and 15 copies for the Msc Degree. I forgot to ask about the final grade transripts (the two GPAs, other 30 paper sheets), I think the secretaries will eventually kill me! :-D

I think I will attach a very short writing (0.5 pages) to the application, about the Italian scoring system, and another 2-3 pages appendix about the programs of the courses (in a nutshell, of course). I suppose that when they will read a trascripts and see a course named "Financial System Analysis 2", it may be not clear about what such exam is.

After the TOEFL I will get LOR from my reccomenders... I'm pretty sure they will be extremely strong letters, even if my reccomenders are not well known by top biz schools. However, it is the best I can do about LOR. I prefer to have a strong letter from an "average" professor than a neutral letter from an outstanding one.

I have 2 main hurdles to overcome:
1) the TOEFL test
2) getting the LOR from a professor that assured me about the letter, but that is always very busy

I hope my finance-oriented background, my GPAs, and my GMAT score (770) will boost my application, even if my reccomenders are not top schools alumni or internationally well known professors.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2006, 05:25
Wow - sounds like you are progressing well with your app. And congrats on your pub - even though it is under review, it may be a useful differentiator.

TOEFL - yes, it is not as tough as GMAT verbal. I took my test last week and am waiting for the score. Not sure how I will do though, as I was in a pretty bad shape physically before and during the test.

I'm not sure if the appendix and guide on scoring are necessary. I heard the schools are able to do the grade conversion. Instead, you may want to highlight a few key modules which are relevant to your field or research that you have done in your SOP (provided you attained good grades).

You are a very competitive applicant. Thank God I am not thinking of doing finance. :lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2006, 01:56
I'm a bit afraid of applicants (in particular U.S. ones) who are reccomended by well known professors in a certain school. I suppose business schools will grant them admission even if they have low test scores.

I don't know whether applications are based only on merit. In Italy, for example, many decision processes are biased because professors admit people they like, not people who really deserve to be admitted (in fact the best Italian researchers usually go abroad).

For this reason, I think my GMAT might not grant me admission... U.S. business schools admission processes might prefer candidates supported by the school's faculty members. I hope that on a pool of 15 schools, at least one will eventualy enroll me. :)

P.S. Don't worry if your TOEFL score will not be as high as you expected. I think that for admission there is not a lot of difference between a 90 and a 110. IMHO, they are insterested to see whether you might not succeed in the program because of your poor English (e.g. a score of 60-70).
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2006, 16:50
Yes, the LOR plays a critical role. And for international students, we are at a slight disadvantage if we do not have a big-name to write a strong recommendation for us.

One way to soften this could be for you to write directly to some of the faculty that you are interested to work with. If you can can them to correspond with you, they will be more familiar with you and this may help during the application. I was talking to someone (an ex-international student who is now a junior prof) the other day. She told me that she received 3 admissions out of 4 applications that she made. All 3 admissions (top 10 schools in the particular field) came from schools where their faculty met up with her at an international conference. So it shows how important making contacts is, if you can make them successfully.

My experience on making contacts with faulty isn't too positive prior to this month. All but one did not followup. The only one that did told me that there is no phd program of my interested field in that school. However, I am making some headway in the latest contact that I'm making - this is because I was referred to the faculty by someone.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2006, 13:29
I know making contacts is a good idea, I think I will try to contact some Italian faculty members of top B-schools.

However, I don't think I will contact too many people. It would be a risky strategy, they might talk about the e-mails they receive from the same students. I think it's better to use contacts as a safety strategy, that is to include in your portfolio few schools in which you have a contact.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2006, 16:19
The common recommendation is to email just 1 faculty per school, even if there are a few in the schools that you are interested to work with. Let the faculty forward your email to others and then you take it from there. Do not initiate multiple contacts within a same school - for the reason that you have raised.
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  [#permalink] 28 Aug 2006, 16:19
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