Graduate school process proves tedious, stressful work

by Mike Mook

The equation of one college senior, plus a full load of classes, plus graduate school preparations, equals a very stressful and busy time in the already hectic life of a college student.

While many seniors plan on entering the work force next year, there is another group who will continue their educations at other institutions.

Students who wish to continue their educations start looking at options for schools as early as their freshman or sophomore years. From medical schools to seminaries, Simpson students apply at schools all over the nation and in some cases the world. While many students may think that most of the stress lies with those seeking jobs after graduation, people applying for Graduate programs must endure just as much stress and sometimes more.

“Just getting all the proper information to the proper officials, in the proper offices is a daunting challenge in itself, then multiply that times however many schools you are applying to,” said senior William Davis.

Davis is a computer science major, who is in the process of choosing a graduate program to enter.

Davis has been accepted to a few institutions, one them being the University of Illinois. Davis said that he has probably put in more work with graduate school materials then he has with some of his courses here at Simpson.

There are many different aspects a student must deal with when going through application process. While all individual program requirements are all different, most of them contain four primary facets that students are expected to complete.

The first part of the application process is the application itself. These applications requirements range from the basic to the complicated. The basic being simply name, address, educational background and the complicated wanting to know everything from projected financial expenditures of the academic year to the names and ages of all of one’s family members.

There is usually a fee of between $25 and $50.

The second part of this process is letters of recommendation. The number of these letters and who writes them often depends on the program being applied for. Most of the time however, two professors will need to write letters for a student when applying to graduate schools. Also a student usually has to have a character reference write a letter for them as well.

The third part of the process is the transcripts that Simpson must send to prospective schools.

The final aspect of this process is an essay requirement. In some cases students must simply submit a writing sample, but in other cases one must write an essay ranging in length from 200 words to five or ten pages.

“It is difficult to make the transition from writing academically based papers to writing papers which consists of your personal statement as well as your plans for the future,” said senior mathematics major Travis Graham.

Graham, who has been accepted to a number of graduate programs including Creighton, said that these essays make up the bulk of the time spent preparing application materials.

As stressful as this time in a student’s life is, many say it is all worth it when they receive the phone call of letter, which announces they have been accepted.