Q: I am considering going to grad school and am clueless re: what steps are needed to get started, hidden costs and fees, the procedures and requirements for enrollment and other pertinent information.
I am currently unemployed and need all of the assistance I can get. I graduated from undergrad. school in 1999, and I’m 58 years old. Please help!
A: Since you’re considering going to grad school, the main suggestion I have is for you to research everything carefully and know all your options before you make a final decision as to whether grad school is the best choice for you.
For instance, what major or line of study do you plan to pursue? That will determine a lot because some programs are much more expensive than others.
For instance, law school costs a ton of money, but it’s not as expensive to get a Master’s degree in, say, Education. Whatever your choice of major, you don’t want to go into massive debt to get another degree.
Then you need to look at the specific program and consider where you’re realistically likely to be accepted.
Think about your own educational background, undergraduate experiences, grades, work history, etc.
Many grad school programs are specific about the type of students they want: some prefer seasoned students with a good amount of professional work under their belts.
Others lean toward the 20-something or 30-something crowd. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t do the latter program.
I’m just trying to suggest that you focus on areas/colleges where you are more likely to gain admission.
Re: the costs, as I suggested in my workshop, there are a ton of hidden college costs. That’s true for undergrads as well as graduate programs.
But there are some options to help you reduce the cost of college. For starters, take a look at the attached outline of my presentation.
It highlights ways to save on tuition, fees, room and board.
Additionally, here is an article I wrote about how a key way to save on higher education expenses — by getting an employer to pay for it. It will be helpful to you as well.
I know you said you are currently unemployed. But I assume you are looking for work — and that you will eventually land a position.
You should think about going with an employer that offers education benefits.