To build a successful college application you should do the following:

  1. Take the GRE / GMAT. Identify whether your institutions/programs prefer the GRE/GMAT or other test. Recognize that your score is a central part of your application and understand that most students have devoted considerable time to preparation. Prepare for and take the GRE, GMAT or any other required exam early enough to ensure that you can retake it if necessary to raise your score prior to applying. As you prepare for the exam, consider a preparatory book or course. You can find these courses at an Army Education Center, the library or in your local community. The Army will reimburse you for one GRE/GMAT exam. Contact your Army Education Center for assistance. If you have previously taken these exams, remember that scores remain valid for only 5 year from the test date.

  2. Apply to a Range of Programs. While you may be accepted anywhere you apply, be realistic in your choices and hedge your bets. Apply not just to your "dream" programs but also to a few that routinely accept applicants with your academic and professional credentials.

  3. Develop a Master Requirements List. As you apply to multiple programs, consolidate all requirements on a master-list. While there is considerable overlap, different programs will have different requirements and timelines.

  4. Solicit Letters of Recommendation. Carefully select your recommenders. Do they know you well enough to explain why you would be an asset in the classroom? Do they provide complementary perspectives about you (avoid identical recommendations)? Are they clear and concise writers? To assist them, provide recommenders with a résumé detailing both your professional performance and academic achievement. It may also be appropriate to provide a draft recommendation which your recommender can refer to. Many recommenders may allow you to review the letter for accuracy - you should take advantage of this opportunity.

  5. Prepare a Résumé. While schools may or may not require one, a well-written Résumé can help organize your application information and is useful to provide to recommenders as well. Consult resume writing guides or seek professional assistance.

  6. Prepare a Personal Statement. Ensure your personal statement highlights your classroom abilities and potential academic contributions. This is also an appropriate place to mention your full funding, which makes you a more attractive candidate. An officer's maturity and practical experience are also considered classroom assets - you are a committed professional with a strong work ethic, a low risk proposition. Avoid military acronyms or jargon in all application materials, particularly your personal statement. Many programs will also require essays.

  7. Official Transcript/Application Fees. Have your undergraduate registrar send an official transcript to each school you apply to. Do this early! Transcript and application fees are your responsibility.