No Grad School Plans Yet? No Problem!
The Right Program Is Still Out There
May is just around the corner and with it the end of the regular college enrollment period. If you’ve already been accepted to and enrolled in school, then you’ve probably gone back to focusing on school, work, or both. But if you’re one of the many applicants who either hasn’t (yet) been accepted or you haven’t made up your mind, this can be the most stressful time of year, even more so than finals. Never fear, however; even if you are in the latter category, you’re not alone. And you have more options – and time – than you think.
Blessing in disguise
Getting into your choice of school can be tough, particularly for grad school, where the competition gets fierce and the number of spaces available dwindles. Choosing a graduate school program is also far more difficult than it was for your bachelor’s degree. The degree tracks tend to be far more specific and there’s even more pressure on you to choose a career path.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, this dilemma actually might be a blessing in disguise. That’s right, those restless weeks you’ve spent mulling options even as the end of enrollment approaches might just be the best thing that’s happened to you during your academic career.
How could this be, you ask; how could the uncertainty of not knowing where to go be good, especially at this time of year? The truth is typically students not only make unrealistic choices when they first begin to apply to school and plan out their degree path, they also approach the subject without the proper criteria.
A desire to pleasing parents and impress friends is part of it. But the way students initially assess potential schools and programs is also very superficial. A handful of hoary, big-name institutions top the typical student’s wish list, or some of the prominent larger in-state public colleges.
For quality programs, look abroad
The truth is, however, some of the best programs are in schools you might never have considered. That’s because chances are you weren’t aware of your overseas options. The United States hardly has a monopoly on top-tier universities, but relatively few American students consider studying abroad because it’s assumed that, outside of England and perhaps Canada and Australia, the options for English speakers are limited.
In recent years, however, more schools abroad have opened up programs in English targeting overseas students. Some are even available at prestigious universities with global reputations for excellence. The Technion in Israel, for instance, a world leader in technology and innovation, now offers an international MBA focusing on start-ups and tech-driven businesses.
Whether you’re looking for an alternative after receiving a rejection or just have been unable to make up your mind, it’s important to keep in mind that most schools do offer extensions for late enrollment. True, some programs do fill up, but most do allow applicants to register even in the spring, sometimes at the cost of a small late fee.
So if you’re still undecided, relax. You’ve still got time and there are plenty of great options available. Invest the time and thought to find the program and school that’s right for you and that will best serve your career.
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