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The Application Process

Initial Steps:

  • Thoroughly explore websites of interesting programs.
  • Check scholarship sites to make sure you are eligible.
  • Ask your mentors if they think you would make a "strong" candidate.
  • Make an appointment to meet with Tom (tmertes@linfield.edu; X2759; Walker 101).
  • Download (if possible) and study application.
  • Talk with former applicants at Linfield or elsewhere.
  • Study past winning applications in Tom's office.
  • Stay in touch with Tom and give him periodic updates (including letting him know if you are no longer an applicant).

The application process:

  • Study the guidelines thoroughly. Re-read directions frequently.
  • Note deadlines, and draw up a realistic timetable with Tom. Revisit and revise the timeline frequently.
  • Allocate regular times to work on application.
  • Use all the resources you can think of: faculty mentors, parents, friends, internship or work supervisors, reference librarians, Writing Center, etc.
  • Follow through on good suggestions.
  • Make to-do lists, and when you are stuck on one thing (e.g. waiting to hear back from an e-mail), work on another item.
  • Focus early on the main essay(s). Some involve research, others considerable introspection. All need to be shared with people whose judgment you value, and all need to be revised and revised.
  • Ask mentors for letters of recommendations well in advance of deadlines, and provide mentors working drafts of your essay a) for feedback and b) so they know your plans.
  • Make arrangements with language evaluators (if needed) well before deadline.