My, you guys are chatty! That's a good thing, by the way. Good to see all the mutual support going on.
Let me know if these new mailbags are coming too frequently now. I don't want to actually interrupt the conversation.
One question I want to throw out here for consideration, though, because I see it get asked a lot and then answered in various ways: Do you have to stick to the page limit for your creative writing samples?
My take, for what it's worth is: don't go over, but it's OK to go under. Often, I think it's OK to go under by quite a bit - more than most of you think. 15 pages for a 25 page limit? No problem! If the 15 pages are strong, they'll get you in. You don't need to "pad" your manuscript with other material (particularly if it isn't as strong) out of fear that your application will seem sparse. One good story/excerpt/set of poems is enough.
Going over is much more problematic. None of the people reading these manuscripts are going to rub their hands with glee when they see a longer-than-it-should-be sample and say, "Oh goody! This one ignored the instructions!" Most of the time, they know if they want you - or at least if your application merits further consideration - in the first 10 pages. If a school has a tight page limit, and I know some do, I say, edit down, or send something shorter if you can.
That said, I don't want to freak anyone out. What has been sent has been sent. Have faith in the work, trust (and learn from) the process, and see what happens. If they love your work, chances are they are not going to nix you over a couple of extra pages.
Weigh in with your opinions on this, and other issues, below.