It is OK to contact the school before and while you apply. Do not be shy to email them if you have questions or in any way want to communicate anything.
This is quite important because 1) you get information straight from the source; 2) you make yourself known as someone who’d serious and interested in THAT school.
So BEFORE you apply or even decide on schools, you contact them. You contact the admission with an email in which you introduce yourself and announce your interest in the school. Don’t miss this opportunity to make yourself known. Ask questions about the program’s enrollment statistics, or concerns you have about where you think you may be weak. Program websites can provide a lot of useful information but college professionals can provide you with insight.
Here is a good quote for you to consider:
Kathryn Meyer, Director of Recruitment at The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, says when people don’t contact schools before application, that means that admissions staff miss opportunities to advise would-be applicants.
“Many times prospects miss the chance to gather information that could help them in the selection or application process. Recruiters and admissions directors know the inside workings of their own application system and programs and they work with applicants year in and year out. So who better to answer individual concerns, put them in touch with current students, or offer links to find specific information? We want to help each person put forth the best application possible for the benefit of both parties.”
In other words, admissions staff can and want to provide a valuable service to those who call or email in the research phase.
- When calling or emailing the admissions office, take the time to introduce yourself and to be professional and polite.
- Send thank you notes after prolonged phone calls.
- Look for answers to questions on the website before calling the office to ask. When you do call, be brief and respectful of their time.
- Use a title such as “Ms.,” “Mr.,”or “Dr.,” until you are invited to be on a first name basis with admissions staff or faculty.
Please work with your mentor on completing a list and writing an email.
You can write emails/ letters to people in the Admission or to Professors that have drawn your attention. Even in the case of Admissions try to find the particular name of the person, if not address the letter to Dear Admissions, …..or Dear Admissions officer……, If you are writing to the faculty (to a Professor, make sure you find and spell the name correctly. Most professors have a Ph.D, so address them as Dr.X
I have been researching the graduate program of X at X University, and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. My case may be a bit complicated so I’d appreciate your advice. I would like to focus on……I am especially interested in X, and know your reputation from reading a few of your articles. I was wondering if you would be interested in having a student from Indonesia in your class, and what you think would be a quality you would be looking for. Also, I was wondering if …
…….. I could also call you, if you prefer to discuss this over the phone.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!
You can ask questions relating to a specific case you have, to test requirements, questions about what kind of class and experience they are looking for, anything you genuinely are curious about. Don’t overdo it. Make sure you don’t ask anything that is obviously stated on the website.