Monday, December 16, 2013

Tips for Completing a Well-Rounded Application

Our early application deadline is less than a month away! Most students are working on their applications, and you may be looking for tips for making sure that your application is the best it can be. We recently have had several posts related to navigating the admissions process, funding, and asking for letters of recommendation. Here are some additional tips and thoughts before you submit your application. 

Make sure all your application materials are in order

You can check the admissions requirements page for detailed explanation of required materials including: Application, Resume, Transcripts, GRE Scores, TOEFL or IELTS Scores (International Students only), (3) Letters of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose, and Personal Statement. The admissions team requires each one of these elements for review, so it is important that they have all been completed. 

You should also make sure to pay special attention to the elements of your application that may be outside of your immediate control, like the letters of recommendation and test scores. I found it helpful to follow up with my writers and the testing agencies through emails or telephone calls to make sure they have sent everything to each one of my schools; this assurance can go a long way towards making you feel in control of these elements that you might never get to see. You can also check the status of your application here.

What does your application say about you?

The admissions review committee takes a holistic approach in evaluating each prospective student's application. This means that the admissions team is looking to see how well you fit with the school's mission statement, your potential for leadership, what you see yourself doing in the future of the field, and other related factors. Please read Ellen's post on writing the personal statement and statement of purpose for more tips.

Addressing the five questions listed under the Statement of Purpose on the admissions requirements page will allow you to address these topics and will help you complete a well-rounded application that gives the admissions review committee an idea of how you believe you can further the field of information. Make sure that you have expressed yourself clearly in this section and answered all of the questions posed.

Remember to proofread your statements and have a friend review them as well. I remember writing my personal statements and how difficult it was initially. What helped me most was imagining I was on the admissions committee and was reading my statements for the first time. What did I now know about the applicant based only the application? How does this person fit within the field of information? What has the applicant done in the past to ensure future success? Is the applicant a good fit for the school? After you've read your statements, make sure they tell your story, who you are, what you bring to the table, and what you hope to achieve by earning your Master's in Information.

For specific questions about the application process, you may contact the admissions team at; however, please understand that given the business of the application season, and the number of applications the team receives, the time it takes to make an admissions decision may vary. For any general questions about the program, cultural issues, or questions about Ann Arbor, please check out the UMSI Prospective Students Facebook group.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Funding and Scholarships Reminder

It is never too early to start thinking about funding for graduate school.  There are many options available to help finance a master's degree at UMSI.

We posted similar information in October, but want to check in and remind you of the resources we've compiled and encourage you to start looking and applying for scholarships now.

Brief reminders (details below): 
  • All students are considered for UMSI merit scholarships, and those who apply to UMSI by January 15, 2014 will receive priority consideration.  
  • Check out our external scholarship spreadsheet.  UMSI is often able to match or double match funding awards from external scholarships.  Many of these deadlines are coming up soon, so don't delay!

Links from UMSI website:


UMSI Merit Scholarships
Our UMSI Scholarships are merit-based, and typically cover half of tuition for full time students (regardless of your residency status).  We go through 3-4 rounds of UMSI Scholarship offers throughout the term. We hope to complete the first round in late February/early March. The second round will be in mid- to- late April, with a possible third round in mid- to- late May.

The first round of UMSI Scholarships are entirely merit-based. Subsequent rounds will always have merit as the primary factor for consideration, but we will also look at your motivation to attend UMSI. These factors can be demonstrated by professional, consistent communication with us. You are welcome to submit an additional letter/email for the admissions committee's consideration. I've seen previous admissions committees look at your excitement about UMSI, your efforts in applying for external fellowships, anything particular about the nature of your need, the connections you make at Visiting Days, the professionalism of your interactions, and other things for the subsequent rounds of UMSI Scholarship.

Merit is still the primary factor, and by merit we mean the strength of your statement of purpose and personal statement, your letters of recommendation, your internship/research/work experience, your academic record including your GRE, demonstration of leadership, service, comfort with ambiguity, etc. It is NOT just your GRE/GPA.

UMSI matching funds for external tuition awards
UMSI master's students who receive scholarships administered by external sources, such as associations, foundations, and corporations, are eligible to request matching funds from the School of Information.

UMSI students who receive an external scholarship prior to their first term of enrollment or through their first year (12 months) of enrollment are eligible for up to $10,000 in matching funds, depending on the award amount, the level of funding already awarded by UMSI, the remaining unmet need for cost of attendance, and the availability of funds remaining in the annual matching funds budget. Admitted students who receive an external award should submit the original award statement (keeping a copy for personal records) with a request for matching funds to 

Scholarship Announcements
This spreadsheet of external scholarships will be continually updated throughout the winter and early spring.  Please check back for more opportunities, and we will continue to alert prospective students of these as we learn of them.  

Please note the University Library Associate scholarships require a separate application, due January 15, 2014.  The application will be available soon.