Confusing and Harrowing?

When I talk with prospective students about the application process there is often a bit of palpable stress in the air.  By this I mean applicants often seem intimidated by the process of applying.  I have heard words such as “harrowing” and “confusing” tossed into conversation when describing the admission process.

I think people are programmed to think of the application process as difficult, however I could not disagree more.  The process is incredibly simple.  Now when I say this I am referring to the actual process of submitting the application.  I am not referring to the actual “degree of difficulty” in putting together documents that best represent your skills, abilities, and potential.  One could say that the process of applying can be divided into the technical realm and the preparatory realm.

In the technical realm, the online application is straightforward.  One must:

  • Fill in biographical information
  • Enter the names of three recommenders
  • Upload transcripts, personal statement responses, and two résumés
  • Self report the necessary test scores
  • Pay the application fee

That’s it.  The actual process of filling in the application and uploading the necessary documents should take no more than one or two hours.  I would argue that it is less harrowing than setting up a Facebook profile and figuring out Facebook’s user interface.  When applying to SIPA there is no need to have test scores or transcripts mailed, no interview, and no trips to the post office needed.  Full details can be found here.

I can understand the outcome of the admission process being described as harrowing; after all, you are talking about your future.  The future is unknown and thus by definition is harrowing.  However, do not be intimidated by the process of working through our on line application.   The preparatory part of the process (constructing your personal statement, putting together your resume) can be a bit daunting and I will offer advice on these topics in future entries so stay tuned.