Friday, September 24, 2010

Applying for grad school is not nearly as fun as it sounds

I spent most of yesterday researching exactly what is required of me to send with the applications of all 13 of the universities I wish to apply to. What a nightmarish process.  There isn't the slightest bit of uniformity between where the websites store information.

And so many of these schools require online submissions, which seems easier than paper applications, but it isn't.  Not if you have 13 schools you want to apply to, and have to tell each of your recommenders to go to 13 different websites.

And finally, the application fee itself is pretty upsetting.  And knowing that in addition to that, I have to pay to take the GRE, then pay for copies of that, and then potentially pay my school to send copies of my transcript (not sure if I can even send as many as I need to yet.  Sigh).  It will cost me 610 dollars in application fees alone, in a field that gaurentees little financial security.  I'm honestly considering taking a second job to pay for these application fees.  Which could actually be my only job soon as I lose my current one.  More information on that later, I guess.

At the same time, this cost is paltry in comparison to what I stand to save by having multiple options of schools to attend.  You know.  Assuming I get in to any of them.  A little bleak, maybe, but it's a little difficult to get excited about a 600+ dollar hole in my pocket.


  1. Hi!

    Just stopping by. :) Application process is never fun - I was about to start the law school process but decided to see what other options are out there. Grad school is typically expensive, too, but there are many scholarships if you have a high enough score on your standardized test... so keep studying.

    You should look into a grad fair, perhaps at the school you graduated from, as often times representatives of different schools will give out fee waiver codes. Just a tip - good luck!

  2. hi there :)

    I just heard you read the other night at the Carnegie Center for Born & Bred and really enjoyed your reading. Based on it, I can't imagine that any MFA program wouldn't be thrilled to have you.

    I'm also applying to programs this year in poetry, and I also just tallied up the costs to apply (after the horrible, excruciating process of trying to suss out the cost of the application fee on each school's site). So far for 13 schools, I'm up to $1447. I'm just hoping I get in somewhere. I know it will be worth it so long as that happens.

    Best of luck with your applications! Maybe I'll see you on the MFA Blog. :)

  3. Emily: thanks for stopping by. haha. And thanks for the tips. There was a time when I was considering law as well, but it's an expensive next step for a career I'm not sure I would even want to do.

    thereandbackagain: Thanks for the compliment! I'm not sure whether or not I know you, but I'm always happy to meet (?) other poets! Do you have a blog?

  4. I'm applying to grad MFAs, too. Thankfully, I'm applying via a program called the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, which waives all application fees. I'm applying to eight. Still, I know of stories of people getting fees waived simply by having their director of their undergrad's financial aid department write a letter expressing that such and such fee would prove a considerable financial burden, etc. Have you looked into that option? Of course, this is assuming you're in undergrad currently.

  5. I haven't heard of that, but it might not apply to me because I have been out of school for a couple of years now.

    Care to share where you're applying to? Either here, or via email?