everyone, I hope all is good and you're safe during this difficult time.

A little background about me; I'm studying in Europe and I'm graduating this semester (economics) , however this is my 6th year of studies. I have a quite good GPA around 8.3 (out of 10).

University took a lot of time for me to finish due to a variety of reasons such as chronic health issues (physical and mental), playing a competitive sport, volunteering, working etc. In my 2nd year I attempted suicide due to the stress of being unable to even attend classes. Basically, I started going to classes and passing exams during Y3. This has left me feeling terrified, since during my secondary education I've always been a perfect grade student. It's an unprecedented and uncharted situation for me, which has crashed my confidence and belief in my abilities.

I really want to get into a good or top Master's program for economics in Europe (Or potentially China/Singapore since I'm fluent in Mandarin) and then continue towards getting a PhD since I want to get into academia.

However I feel I've missed my chance, that I've been left behind and that I'll never get into a good program and teach in a university since I'm graduating so late.

Not to mention I don't have the financial ability to pay for a degree without any kind of scholarship.

So, my question is; is it possible to be accepted into a good postgraduate program even if I have finished my undergraduate late. Is it also possible to get a scholarship? Or is it too late for me?

  • By late, I assume you mean that you took more time than usual, and not that you've missed published deadlines. Correct?
    – Buffy
    Apr 7, 2020 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


The time you take to complete a degree should matter little for the future, provided that it isn't explained by laziness or sloth. There are a lot of valid reasons for taking a long time. Medical issues, including depression, especially if now resolved, are one.

I think you will be judged in any application process just about the same as anyone else would, but perhaps with an asterisk to remind someone to ask you about it. People will want some assurance that the delays of the past won't affect your performance in the future, or will, at least, want to be prepared to deal with that if it comes.

But, I think that this is a case in which your materials other than grades become much more important. Your Statement of Purpose needs to show a strong commitment to your field and your career. But it is the letters of recommendation that become especially important in such a case. But they needn't try to explain the past, but, rather, to assure a reader of your readiness, commitment, and likelihood of success.

And it is worth talking to a personal/professional counselor about your mental state and to learn how to cope when things get tough.

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