Many students are unhappy about the grad school that they have chosen. This is because they base their decision solely on the school’s national ranking and recommendations.
Don’t make the same mistake. Whether you are pursuing programs like a master’s degree in fashion or want to acquire a paralegal certificate in Ilinois, you have to carefully consider these critical factors so that you can make an informed decision.
1. Narrow down your options
With over a thousand schools in the USA that provide varieties of graduate and certificate programs, choosing the right school is an extremely stressful step. Narrowing down your options will make the decision-making less of a dilemma. Make a list of five-ten schools. The list should include both top-notch universities and those who have more lenient admission requirements.
Sure, getting an entry in Princeton, Harvard, or Yale is an extra difficult challenge, but don’t lose your confidence. You never know if your admission essay or personal information in your resume will convince the admission committee to press that golden “yes” buzzer.
Since you spread a wide net, you will feel less heartbroken if some of the prestigious schools rejected your application. While it is true that top schools will give you the career edge, schools that are not on top of the national ranking will surely make you professionally ready and enhance your employability.
2. Take ample time to research
Conduct your research about the school at least 6 or 7 months before the admission schedule. The first step is to browse and read the information on their websites. Look for details about the cost of tuition, and know if financial aids or external scholarships are available. If you don’t find some valuable information that you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact the admissions. The quality of their reply will give you a hint of how they treat their students. If they treat their prospective students poorly, chances are you might be receiving the same treatment after being enrolled.
It is also best to visit the campus to have a feel of the school’s physical and cultural atmosphere. When doing a campus visit, contemplate on these questions;
- Are the school’s facilities up to date?
- Are there adequate resources?
- Is the location comfortable and not so expensive to live in? Is it easily accessible?
- Do you feel comfortable about the people and the environment?
3. Listen to what the alumni and the students have to say
Asking the people who have firsthand experience of your prospective program and school is a significant initiative. They are highly credible to share the information that the schools’ websites are silent about. Here are some questions that you can ask the students:
- How satisfied are you with the school?
- How long did it take you to finish the degree?
- What do you do after finishing the program?
- Are the professors well-known and credible in their field?
- Is the program tailored to your goals?
After considering the factors above, it’s time to submit your application. Be prepared to receive that first acceptance notice. Good luck on your grad school journey!