Chapter Three: Filling Out Many Forms

When we last left our hero, Sir Stu Dent of Rutgers University had just completed his observation hours and taken the GREs.

Several months had passed. Sir Stu spent these months further researching graduate programs, and getting more work and volunteer experience. Now, it was nearly the end of the summer – and that meant that soon, Sir Stu would be filling out a bunch of forms for his graduate applications!

Since the applications process could be fairly expensive, Stu tried to calculate how much money he would spend on each application. He checked with each school’s website to find out their application fees (and looked into getting a fee waiver by visiting the school’s graduate open houses, if such offers existed). He also remembered that sending his official Rutgers transcripts, which all schools required, may cost him money. Although Rutgers kindly agreed to send the first two transcripts he ordered for free, each additional transcript would cost him $7. He added in the cost of sending GRE scores (beyond his four free score reports from test day), which would cost $27 per report. The price quickly grew as Sir Stu went down his list of schools. He thought that perhaps he would consider narrowing down the amount of schools he applied to once more, to exclude schools that he did not truly wish to attend.  

With his expense list out of the way, Stu took his list of schools in hand and went to each school’s website, to make an account and begin his applications.  As he was making his accounts, he made sure to take note of each username and password that he used on a sheet of paper, as it could be overwhelming to memorize all that brand new login information at once. He also noted which schools used CSDCAS, the common application for applying to SLP programs, and signed up for a CSDCAS account as well.

Before he sat down to his forms, Stu first gathered materials which he thought he might need. He went to his myRutgers page, and downloaded his unofficial transcript, for some schools asked that he upload it to their website, or otherwise use it to fill out information about classes that he had taken while an undergraduate. He also made note of Rutgers’ four-digit code, 2765, which some schools asked for on their applications. Then, he began to fill out his forms. Most of them could be finished quickly, as the forms asked for simple information like his name, address, basic demographics, and work/volunteer experience. Stu skipped over questions asking for information or items he did not have yet, like a completed personal statement. He knew that he could always save his progress and come back to finish his forms a little bit later. 

Sir Stu also made sure to take note of the essay questions for each school, and to write them down, so that he had a list of essay topics available to him when he began writing his personal statements. He downloaded a spreadsheet to help him keep track of all of this applications and materials.

Stu had at last begun his applications.

What would Sir Stu do next?
Read on tomorrow, as the journey continues…