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I am trying to accomplish an application, and one of the requirements is to complete/finish your studies (i.e. graduate and get your degree). I don't understand the way they worded it. They use this phrase:

All applications must satisfy the study requirement in the six months immediately prior to making their application.

In another part, they have this question:

Have you met the study requirement in the six months before the date of application?

Does this mean that I should apply no more than six months AFTER I complete the study requirement or that I can apply BEFORE I complete the study requirement but I should be able to complete the degree WITHIN six months from when I first made my application?

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    "All applications must satisfy" or "All applicants must satisfy"? – Sven Yargs Feb 3 '17 at 5:05
  • The words "before" and "prior" seem to be very clear about the required ordering. Why is this a question? – Barmar Feb 3 '17 at 20:40
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Admittedly, these two sentences are a bit confusing. But, in this context "in the six months prior" has the same meaning as "during the six months prior." To answer your questions specifically:

Does this mean that I should apply no more than six months AFTER I complete the study requirement.

Yes.

Or that I can apply BEFORE I complete the study requirement but I should be able to complete the degree WITHIN six months from when I first made my application?

No. If this was true, the sentence would read "All [applicants] must satisfy the study requirement within six months of making their application." That would suggest a window of 6 months before and after application.

The key is to look at the words prior and before. Both sentences say you must complete all requirements before or prior to applying.

All applications must satisfy the study requirement in the six months immediately prior to making their application.

Have you met the study requirement in the six months before the date of application?

You must complete all study requirements before application. But after you finish those requirements, you need to apply within 6 months.

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applications in your first sentence doesn't seem logical. It would be applicants. So I cannot make any comment for the first sentence. As far as I understand from the second sentence, there is some study requirement and these should be completed, so it is asked that did you complete (met) the these requirements within 6 months before the date of application.

But both of them have lack of meaning.

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    Use of "application" rather than "applicant" in the first sentence seems to be a metonym. – Barmar Feb 3 '17 at 20:42
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According to the rule that you cite, study requirements come first, then application. Your first sentence matches this order of events: "I should apply no more than six months AFTER I complete the study requirement."

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