Poor little asterisk.
Where it once had my affection for a variety of reasons — its cute little shape; its ability to be a wildcard when searching for files; the way it can act as a buffer so that you don’t have to actually spell out curse words; and even for its use in Excel equations — now I want to curse its mere existence.
Always a good tip. When an agency advises you to submit in Grants.gov prior to the deadline, do it.
Here’s an example of why. Earlier this year, I submitted a U.S. Department of Education grant through the Grants.gov system, only to find out later that it was not actually accepted. I’m admitting up-front that I did wait until pretty much the last minute, which is never a good plan. I wasn’t too concerned as I (supposedly) had all of my ducks in a row, so to speak, and was only delayed due to the late-arrival of a required document from a partner that had to be attached to the application package.
Before signing and submitting the application, I used the Grants.gov “check package for errors” validation option, and was sent forward by the system to the queue for submission. I then received confirmation, receipt, and validation emails, as anticipated — none of which noted any problems with my submission. It was only AFTER the deadline had passed (of course) that I received new, heart-stopping, ‘Rejection Notice for Application’ emails stating that my application contained errors and could not be forwarded to the granting agency.
Going back through the emails received, I realized that the agency retrieval notice was not among them. To make a long story short, after much back and forth with tech support, it was determined that an asterisk in a file name that was attached to the package is what had caused the agency system to reject the application.
Hence my new-found animosity towards the asterisk.
I guess you really do learn something new every day.
Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level. – Peter Drucker
Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. – Keri Russell