Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Beat the Deadline

Our first deadline falls on November 3. If this year turns out like last year, around 5,000 students will hit the submit button on their applications within 48 hours of the deadline.

If you can help it, don’t let this be you. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with waiting until the deadline, and while we’ll gladly receive your application whether it comes to us on October 2 or November 2, it’s generally smart to avoid the last-minute rush.

Two years ago I waited too long to finish a big project. Thinking I had plenty of time before my Monday deadline, I woke up early on Saturday, grabbed a cup of coffee, turned on our home computer—and got the blue screen of death.

Don’t let this be you. Great students lead busy lives, and there are times when just-in-time delivery is the best that you can do. But waiting until the last minute doesn’t always work—and even when it does, it can cost you both a weekend’s worth of worry and a lapful of hot coffee.

--Stephen Farmer