By Sarah Fader

Published January 16, 2012


I received an email back from Paul, the communications guy at the D.O.E. He told me that the scholarship link was broken, and directed me to Sandra, who runs the scholarship program. I emailed Sandra, and she got right back to me, saying that she would call me this afternoon. But, being the persistent (and impatient) Jewish mother that I am, I decided to give her a little nudge, and I called her this morning. Unfortunately, I got her voicemail, but I know that my call will be awaiting her when she returns to the office.

In the meantime, I called the Speech Department and asked the receptionist a million and three questions. First, I wanted to know when they would be receiving my application, and then I told her that I had some graduate work I wanted to add to my application. She told me that there was still time, and I could send it in, which was a relief. My graduate coursework is in an unrelated field, vocational rehabilitation, but I did have a 3.9 G.P.A., so that should point in my favor. The receptionist also told me that the university that I applied to did have a daycare for graduate students, and transferred me to a mysterious phone line. The person at the other end said that they did not have a daycare for graduate students’ children, and that they could only give out names and numbers for daycares in the area. I got very frustrated and said:
“So basically, you don’t have anything for me.” Which was kind of a mean thing to say. It wasn’t her fault that the university doesn’t have a daycare, I was just frustrated, and took it out on her.
Later that day, Sandra, from the D.O.E. scholarship department called me back. She told me the website would be up and running next week. She had to fix a couple of things on the application, and then it would be good to go. She asked me where I was applying. I told her I was only applying to one school. I could hear the hesitation in her voice:
“Let me ask you something, is this where you went to undergrad? Is that why it’s the only school you’re applying to?
“Yeah,” I replied “I really want to go back; I had a great experience there.”
“Let me give you some advice, there are usually around 400 applicants to this particular program, and generally, they only have 50 slots to fill. You are not only competing with other alumni, you’re competing with students that have just graduated, and have completed bachelor’s degrees in SLP.”
My heart rate began to get faster. Maybe Sandra was right, perhaps I was putting all my eggs in one basket. But what if it was too late!
“I think it might be too late,” I began “The deadline for the school I just applied to was January 6th. Is it too late to apply to any other programs?”
“I don’t think so,” Sandra said encouragingly. “Some schools have March and April deadlines.”
“Okay,” I said with a sigh. “Thanks for the heads up. I’ll look into it.”
Now, I have some further research to do. I need to apply for some back up schools in case I don’t get into my first choice.
  

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