Choosing
Graduate School

 

Fortunately, you already know a lot about getting ready for graduate school. The process is similar to becoming an undergraduate. Just keep the following points in mind:

  • Start planning early, preferably a year before you plan to enroll. This will give you time to read about the school, visit the campus, apply for admissions, and get your financial aid in place. The grant programs that are available to graduate students are different from those for undergraduate students. Still, help is available. A good place to start is by visiting http://grants.gov/. Let your professors know that you will be going to grad school; they might know of valuable scholarship or grant programs. Also, using the Researching Colleges Form may be helpful.
 
  • If you haven't already selected a graduate school, consider the school's reputation, cost, and climate. Web sites such as www.embark.com can help you research prospective colleges.
  • If you took out a loan as an undergraduate, find out if the loan can be deferred. Depending on the type of loan, you may be able to delay making student loan payments if you attend graduate school. Someone in your college's financial aid office can help you find out about deferments.
  • Find out if your college credits will transfer to the graduate school you've selected. Your current advisor can go over your transcripts and determine which credits will transfer. Remember, schools can vary widely on their policies for accepting credits from other institutions. It's best to research this before you arrive at your new school.