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Apply Early Or Late?

I am debating whether I should apply to FE programs early or late. My current GPA stands at 3.3 which is not good. Therefore, my plan was to get good grades this fall (taking my second C++ and first Finance class) to improve my GPA before I apply. This means that I would send out my transcript late December since that's when the grades would come out. However, it seems that applying early to programs like CMU (rounds) and Baruch (rolling) would give me some advantage.
Applying early would also mean that the transcript would show the C++ and finance classes mentioned above without grades. Since these two courses are very important, would that hurt my chances? What do you guys think I should do?
 

zwt

Consultant
For Baruch, there's no quota on the number of admitted students and every qualified student is admitted to the program (paraphrasing Dan Stefanica). For CMU, I don't believe applying early would make a difference either since you will be eliminated regardless of when you apply if they believe you don't cut it. If you believe your grades are going to improve, I would wait, to demonstrate improved GPA and good grades for relevant courses.
 

Joe Ross

Rutgers MSMF Student
Coming from a purely engineering background, I can tell you that the finance courses are not critical. Math courses are, however, and I would recommend taking additional coursework in this area as opposed to the finance courses you have planned.

I have been told that the finance aspect is easier taught later than the mathematics. For instance, I was short a PDE-specific course and will have to make it up my first semester at Rutgers.

Others may have a different opinion.
 
Thanks for the replies. So I guess applying early doesn't give one any advantage at all?
Coming from a purely engineering background, I can tell you that the finance courses are not critical. Math courses are, however, and I would recommend taking additional coursework in this area as opposed to the finance courses you have planned.

I have been told that the finance aspect is easier taught later than the mathematics. For instance, I was short a PDE-specific course and will have to make it up my first semester at Rutgers.

Others may have a different opinion.
I totally agree with you. However, I was rather debating whether I should wait and apply later with my improved GPA instead of course selection.
 
Applying to several programs is a process of optimization and customization your profile to best match theirs. Pick a select few and really drill down to customize your application to each of those programs. That includes the best time to apply.

Just take a look at the Tracker. Do you notice that many people who apply to multiple programs send the applications out at exactly the same date?
They probably make only minor changes to their essays. It's pretty easy to see if an essay is written to apply to multiple programs.

It's not the optimal way to apply.
 
Thanks for starting this thread, Li Cai, as I've been in a similar boat regarding when I should apply. Great to see that it generally won't hurt too much to wait until late December/January. I also have a related question regarding applications: Will it help/hurt to list courses that I'm signed up for but haven't taken yet? I'm at a school on the quarters system, and will already have something like 15 math/econ courses, but there are a few more I'll take winter/spring that are relevant (2 Stats theory courses, an econ, financial accounting, and another finance course). Part of me thinks forward listing these courses will show that I'm driven, but another part thinks it will just make it look like I'm trying to artificially inflate my resumé. Thoughts? (or has this been answered in another thread?)

Thanks fellas, and sorry for hijacking this thread- I feel my question is relevant enough to the topic to post here.
 
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