There are many factors students consider when composing a college list or choosing a college to attend but graduate school is often not one of them. That omission can be costly for students who decide to continue their higher education beyond a bachelor’s degree (B.A.). Here are six reasons why your college-bound student should think grad school before saying yes to a college:
- Careers Certain careers require advanced degrees beyond a B.A. If a student is considering such a field, checking graduate school applicant qualifications makes sense. Students can discover right away if a college has the courses, majors and internships necessary to best prepare for the next admission process.
- Grad school acceptance Graduating from college is not an automatic admission into graduate school. It can be even more competitive than undergraduate programs. Students can check a college’s stats for number of students attending graduate/professional schools to gauge how successful past grads have been to gain admittance into graduate schools and programs.
- Undergrad/Grad school programs Many undergrad schools offer postbaccalaureate programs. Students can take a look at graduate curricula while researching undergrad academic programs. They can also find out the acceptance rate of undergrad students gaining admission to their own school’s grad programs.
- Combined undergrad/grad programs Some schools offer combined degree programs that put students on the fast track to obtain their advanced degree. This is a great deal for students sure of their career goals because they achieve their college and career dreams in less time thereby shaving college expenses.
- Costs Graduate degrees can be much more expensive than the dollars shelled out to earn an undergrad diploma. When considering college costs, students can tally what they expect by combining the number of years necessary to earn the desired undergrad and grad degrees. Students can decide to make it all affordable and to lower costs by setting priorities when apportioning dollars between college and graduate school choices. Read Planning a Budget for Grad School for tips on preparing financially for grad school.
- Financial aid Students shouldn’t expect need-based and merit-based aid to be the same offered to those studying for a B.A. Federal financial aid programs for graduate students consist of student loans with hardly any exceptions unless limited to certain occupations or work/study programs. Some states and schools may offer a few fellowships and the latter may have research or teaching assistant positions for grad students. Some professional, scholarly and other organizations may sponsor scholarship contests but the majority of such programs are solely for undergrads. A few universities discount their grad tuition for their own undergrads under certain circumstances. it can pay in the future to investigate these options now.
Graduate school is very different from college. It’s no longer about gaining knowledge via a major, minor and general graduation requirements but concentrating on a selected field of study. The college-bound can prepare for both at the start of the college process.
Read Suzanne’s post: Is Grad School in Your Teen’s Future?
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