Some of you may be about midway through your collegiate careers and may be thinking about graduate school. I, myself, recently completed the search and application process and would love to share my experience with you. Here are some tips and things to consider when (if) deciding to continue your education in graduate school!
1. Know your school: This may seem obvious, but there’s more to it than just knowing it’s name and where it’s located. When choosing schools you may be interested in, know it’s location and find out if it’s location is in a good area or bad area, urban or rural, main campus or satellite campus. Many larger schools may house programs on other campuses, other than the main campus. Find out the school’s mission statement, who the president is, and what sort of graduate programs it offers.
2. Know your program: If you are decided on a graduate program, find out how the school measures up. Request information in the mail, attend open houses, and try and get an interview with a faculty member. Ask questions! This is very important! You want to see what opportunities the program has in store for you. For me, I am interested in continuing in Special Education, so I was sure to ask about field placements, research, and collaboration opportunities with local school districts and organizations.
3. Money, Money, Money: ALWAYS ask about scholarship or financial aid opportunities that the school has to offer. Note the requirements and be sure to take advantage of them! Many schools have internships or assistantships that can help offset the price of graduate school!
4. Applying: When you’ve settled on schools you would like to apply to, you need to become extraordinarily organized and patient! Most schools have digital applications, but will need copies of transcripts, personal statements, resumes, and resident affidavits. This would be a good time to take advantage of St. Rose’s Career Center! Be sure to know the college’s requirements and submit the proper documentation and materials. It will make it easier for them and could help them render a decision faster, especially if they have all the required materials.
It can seem overwhelming and I am not going to lie, it is. But if you dedicate some time and begin working on your application and letters of intent, it makes the entire process much easier. So far, I’ve applied and been accepted into Special Education Programs at William and Mary, St. Joseph’s University, and Saint Rose! I haven’t made a decision yet, but I will definitely keep you all posted!!