When is it too late?

With application deadlines approaching, we are receiving a number of questions that ask how late materials can be submitted and still be considered on time. Below are a number of tips meant to help you understand how and why the deadlines exist, and what application materials can arrive minutes before the final deadline. I want you to remember something very important. Our deadline is January 15th. If you look at a calendar January 15th falls on a Saturday this year and Martin Luther King Day is on Monday, January 17th. We will be closed for business on both of those days which means if you email us something on January 15th don’t expect a response until January 18th. Don’t worry; you will not be penalized for handing it in late. We keep the deadline as January 15th because it has always been January 15th and changing it to fall on a day when we are open would not be cost effective (we would need to print new materials).

If you take nothing else away from this blog post remember this: January and February are the most stressful months of the year for us. We receive hundreds of applications which we take the time to read thoroughly to ensure every applicant is evaluated in a fair and timely manner. If you call us and we seem stressed, it is because we are. That being said, we realize you are stressed too as your goals for graduate school are riding on the numerous applications you have sent out to schools across the globe. Therefore, I declare a truce right now that states we will do all we can to make sure we are transparent in relaying which of your application documents we have on file—in exchange for this transparency, I only ask that you remain patient with us as there are many envelopes to open and much information to enter into our database. If you log back into your online application after clicking submit, it will actually tell you what we have received—this is the same information that we have available in our database. If you don’t see it reflected on the online application we don’t see it in the online database. Please remember that there can be a processing time of up to 10 business days.  We will do all we can to give you timely and accurate information on your application.

International Student Deadline of December 15

WHY: December 15th is the international student deadline. Essentially, this deadline falls one month before our January 15th deadline to make sure all materials arrive by January 15th. Make sense? Probably not, let me explain. International student transcripts must be evaluated by our Office of International Admissions (OIA). All transcripts will be evaluated, converted to a 4.0 grading scale, and certified as official by OIA. This process can take up to 3 weeks, and given that the University of Denver is closed from December 24 to January 2 for holiday break, all transcripts must arrive by the December 15th to ensure they have time to be evaluated by OIA and returned to our office for review by January 15th. Please note this only pertains to international transcripts where a degree was earned. If you did a study abroad program, your transcript does not need to be submitted by December 15th.

Word of advice: If you are still working on your personal statement, letters of recommendation and GRE but are worrying about the December 15th deadline, at the very least, click submit on your application and send your transcripts to the University of Denver for evaluation. Then, make sure the remaining documents are submitted before January 15th.

When is the latest date that I can take the GRE?

The latest date a GRE test can be taken is difficult to answer because we rely on ETS to send us the scores. Here are some things to keep in mind that will help you determine the latest date to take the test:

  1. You are not the only one in the world taking this test. ETS has a lot of scores to send out which takes some time. We generally suggest that score reports take about four –six weeks to arrive in our system.
  2. Plan ahead by registering ahead of time. Check the ETS website to see when the test is being offered.
  3. Consider that you might want to take the test more than once.
  4. Think of this like you would think of catching a train. You know approximately how long it will take you to pack for your trip, get to the station and buy your ticket. You may even be able to plan for some delays, but you don’t know if those delays will be major and how much extra time will be required. In this case it is not traffic on the way to the train station but a full test date that does not allow you to take the test until June.

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are out of your control as you must rely on your references to write them. Be kind to your recommenders and tell them now that you would like them to write letters on your behalf. You certainly don’t want our online application system to be the one to ask them to write your letter, which will be the case if you put down their names and email address and click the submit button prior to asking them. Get their permission now so they can be prepared. Keep in mind that they have a lot going on. Like most people in this country, priorities during the month of December shift from writing letters of recommendation to eating fruit cake with Grandma—they have a lot going on and your letter might get put under the pile of Christmas cards. It is your responsibility to ensure that they write the letter in a timely manner as we don’t send them reminders.

Piece of advice: Ask them to write the letter now so that when the email from the University of Denver arrives, they merely need to upload the electronic version of the letter. We do not require them to fill out any forms, so they can actually write the letter now. If your recommender would rather not worry about losing the letter, send them an envelope with our address on it (brownie points if you include a stamp for them) so they can mail it to us directly. Heck, they can even mail it back to you so you can send it in; just make sure not to open the envelope if they send it to you directly.

Personal Statement and Resume

The latest date to submit your personal statement/resume is January 15th. We can always tell which personal statements were done last minute because they usually say something like “it has always been my dream to go to Harvard”—in other words, late personal statements reflect that little to no editing was done and for something as important as the personal statement, you don’t want to mess up by convincing us that you’re a great fit for another school. I’ve been working in admissions now for the past seven years, and each year I have seen at least one statement with these kinds of mistakes.

Piece of advice: start writing the letter now, email it to us by January 15th. Don’t be that applicant:)

With that, I give you Carole King.

Brad Miller

Director of Graduate Admissions

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Brad.miller@du.edu

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