Remember when you were a high school junior or senior, and you were starting to get all of your documents in order to send off for admission to college for your undergrad degree? That was a crazy process. Having to stay on top of deadlines and getting various personal essays and assignments in order, was enough to rip your hair out. It was worth it, though. You’ve got that diploma. Now, you are ready to try your shot at a graduate degree. Do you know what that means? The process starts again, but there are ways to make it far less stressful.
Start as early as possible.
The application process can be overwhelming, so it’s best to afford as much time on the calendar as possible. Whether you’re looking into no GMAT MBA programs or pursuing an M.A. in education from UC-Berkeley, you want to be able to layout the expectations in front of you so you can schedule yourself. Keep in mind university admissions offices may need you to submit results from grad school exams such as the GRE, write a personal statement or application essay, and provide official transcripts and references to move forward with the process.
If you notice standard requirements amongst the grad school applications, try and get those in order first. It’ll spare you having to go back to the well with each school you’re looking to apply to. Not every grad school application is the same – double-check each one carefully. As you prepare yourself for the application process, ensure that your goal is clear. Understand why you are applying to a graduate program. Do this because you want this for the job that you want.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help or advice.
You don’t have to go through the admissions process alone. If you have doubts about your personal essay, seek out the help of a friend or college essay counselor to make sure you have a narrative that stands out when applying to competitive schools. Essays are designed to show a passion and drive that makes you a prime target for grad schools. A college essay workshop may also be a tremendous asset or just a sitdown with your mentor to understand the important role of standing out in the pack in the application process.
Graduate school applicants may apply for a program with uncertainty whether it’s the best choice to forward your career path. Reach out to college admissions offices for a little more insight into the program. You can even be connected to current grad students who can offer a deeper look at what’s expected from you as a student and how to measure your academic goals against the requisites to get that Master’s degree you want.
Don’t let rejection become dejection.
Just like the application process for an undergraduate degree, rejection might happen. The important thing is not to let it distract you from your career goals. It’s a learning opportunity, especially if you intend to reapply for any graduate program, from an online MBA to a law degree. Applicants may learn from that rejection that they have not applied to the right school to pursue more than their bachelor’s degree.
When balancing your academic background, skills, and overall preparation for graduate study, you may need to re-think your objectives. When deciding the schools you’re applying to, take the time to separate pursuit from qualification. You may not have the GPA to apply for one grad program. Yes, it could be a dream school, but don’t be discouraged if you get turned down. Assess the situation and get back to applying and pursuing your dreams.