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If you've decided to go to graduate school, you are investing more time and money in your education so that you'll have a bigger payoff later. To make the most of your effort, use these steps to apply for graduate school:

  1. Begin the search.
    • Start researching different graduate programs as early as possible, preferably in your junior year.
    • Narrow your selections to the schools you have the best chances of being admitted into.
    • Understand the commitment. The application process may take several months. The application cost can be high because it includes:
      • Application fees.
      • Transcript fees.
      • Test registration fees.
      • Your time to fill out everything and track down documents.
  2. Request information.
    • Contact the schools you're interested in to request catalogs and application materials.
    • Ask for information on the school's financial aid process.
    • Attend graduate and professional school recruiting fairs.
  3. Find out what's needed to apply.
    • Ask what standardized tests are required.
    • Determine if you need any letters of recommendation, sample projects or portfolios.
  4. Take graduate entrance exams.
    • Make sure you know when registration materials are due.
    • Study for the tests in advance. Check online or at your school's library for test prep materials.
  5. Apply.
    • Send in applications to your school choices before the deadlines.
  6. Begin interviewing.
    • You may be interviewed before you are accepted.
    • Prove yourself to the graduate school by:
      • Researching the college.
      • Understanding the school, the graduate program as a whole and the department where you are applying.
      • Asking questions and answering their queries in a way that sets you apart.


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