Some of us are a little more familiar with crunch time than others. There are the rare few who plan ahead, stick to their plans, and accomplish tasks well ahead of deadlines. Then there are the rest of us. Maybe you are someone with a tendency to look at a project for the first time within a day or two of its due date, or who experiences a mini crisis when trying to leave the house on time every morning. I’m not calling you (or me) a procrastinator, I promise. We are pulled in more directions than ever these days and I completely understand what it’s like to try to use every minute of a day. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, who doesn’t love a last minute victory when the odds aren’t in your favor?
So maybe you have procrastinated beyond belief on this graduate admission application process, or maybe for some reason the idea to apply for graduate school didn’t even occur to you until this week. It happens. Yes, you are down to the wire now, with just a few days until our application deadline, but completing an application at this point is absolutely still possible. I’m here to cheer you on and give you a few tips. Take a deep breath and follow them in this order:
1. First, be sure the program you’re interested in has a February 1 deadline. Many of our programs have more flexible admission deadlines. These are the only 4 programs with a February 1 application deadline:
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)
- School Psychology (M.A./C.A.S.)
- Speech-Language Pathology (M.A.)
- Student Affairs & Higher Education (M.S.)
If you’re not applying to one of these 4, you may still want to try to get your summer or fall admission application in soon, especially if you’d like to be eligible for financial opportunities (submit it by February 15), but otherwise there’s no great urgency to apply right now for programs that offer rolling admission.
2. If your application is due by February 1 and you haven’t started it yet, the first thing you should do as soon as possible is to submit the online application form. This very important first step will get you into our system, which will generate an email to you with a full list of all items needed for application completion. You’ll also be able to use MyPlattsburgh to check your application status and upload documents.
The online application is simple and takes most people only 10-15 minutes to complete. Here are a few things to know before you start:
- The application must be completed in one sitting (you can’t save it and return to it).
- If you don’t know who is writing your recommendations yet, simply leave that section blank.
- Be ready to provide the dates (years, not specific dates) of colleges you attended.
- The $75 application fee is paid later – it is not due at the time you apply.
3. Within 1 business day after submitting the application form, you’ll receive an email entitled “Application Received” with a check list of everything needed to complete your application. So if you apply on Friday night, expect to get this on Monday. At this point, don’t wait for that email to arrive though, get started on these items now.
Here’s what you’re going to need to submit:
- Official Copies of All College Transcripts (If you attend or attended SUNY Plattsburgh or have submitted other transcripts to Plattsburgh as a transfer student, we will obtain all of those for you)
- 3 Letters of Recommendation – Be sure to provide the correct form or cover sheet to your recommenders:
- Resume – Email it to us at email@example.com
- Statement of Purpose – Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- $75 Graduate Application Fee – Once your application is processed by our office, you’ll be able to log in to MyPlattsburgh and click on the Admissions tab, then in the checklist on the right side, click on application fee
- GRE or MAT Scores – Speech applicants must submit GRE exam scores by the February 1 deadline. Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Student Affairs applicants can submit either the GRE or the MAT. For the counseling programs, if test scores are the only missing item on your application, very often you may still be considered for admission but won’t receive a decision until your scores arrive. If you haven’t taken the exam at this point and have a choice between the two, I would highly recommend the MAT because we will get your scores the day of the exam (sign up here to take it at Plattsburgh). If you take the GRE, it will be at least 10-14 days before our office receives your scores. Note: there is no test requirement for the School Psychology program.
- Speech-Language Pathology applicants must submit a Course Summary Form. Download this form first, then save it after you’ve typed into it. Once it’s complete, email it to us at email@example.com.
Lastly, rest assured that there is some flexibility with the February 1 deadline (we are human!). Realistically we should be able to accept any last minute items submitted through the end of next week (February 3). We can always ask the faculty reviewers if they’d be willing to accept something a little bit later too, so let us know if this is creating stress for you and we’ll see if we can assist.
Need help? Our Office Hours – Our office is located on the first floor of the Kehoe Administration Building (#113) and is open 8am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Local applicants are welcome to drop off application items in person. The Kehoe building is also usually open from 7am-5pm if you would like to drop anything off before or after hours – we have a mail box slot in our door.
Once your application is complete, don’t forget to apply for graduate assistantships and the Diversity Fellowship. These applications are due by February 15, so you have a little more time to take care of them.
Please feel free to email me personally (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any last minute questions you might have in the next few days. I’ll do my best to respond, even it’s on an evening or weekend. I wish you all the best!