Dec 122002
 
Authors: Monique Lewis

Students could expect to earn $3.8 million more by earning a graduate degree, according to Keith Ickes, associate vice president for administrative services.

This fall there are 3,630 graduate students, plus an additional 537 enrolled in the professional veterinary medical program, according to Ickes. He said that the university tuition is a huge benefit especially if the student is a resident.

“If you’re a teaching assistant (TA) or a research assistant (RA) your tuition is paid for, including salary. For tuition, residents pay $3,058 per year and non-residents pay $12,438 per year. These are full-time figures,” Ickes said.

If students are worried about paying out-of-sate-tuition, they should consider becoming a resident of that state. In almost every state within one year of living there, one can become a resident and go to graduate school for a cheaper rate.

Ickes said that compared to getting an undergraduate degree, a graduate education can be very inexpensive. Ickes said that if students are going into a program in business, it is very seldom that there will be a position to be a TA because there are far more students taking the class. In sciences almost all are TAs or RAs. In professional programs there are almost none. In most graduate programs 50 percent of the students are TAs or RAs.

Don’t get all hopes up just yet. Some, but not all students are required to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). Then there is the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and MCAT, (Medical College Admissions Test) which are required to go to law and medical school.

The GRE is the requirement for some areas of study to get into graduate school, but there are other requirements for all students such as recommendation letters, prerequisites, coursework, etc. Do your homework before settling on which school is the best for getting a graduate degree.

“We encourage students to do research on faculty in the department,” said Erica Jacquez, international administrative assistant III from the Graduate School. “We encourage them to speak with them, find out information and (get answers to their questions) to look into what the department’s requirements are before they go and apply.”

The majority of applicants Jacquez receives at CSU are those who seek degrees in education, engineering and agricultural sciences. She said that programs through these departments are very popular.

The application fee is $30 and keep in mind that each department requires certain scores to be admitted. Students can request information through mail or apply online at www.colostate.edu/depts/grad. Preparation books can be picked up in the library. Though there are currently no preparation classes offered at CSU for the GRE, Jacquez said that there are plans to bring someone on campus to conduct a preparation class.

Unfortunately, there are also no preparation classes for the LSAT, but students can order study guides online by visiting www.lsat.com. The test is given four times a year.

“There are quite a few graduate students who come in and tell me that ‘I’ve spent all this time preparing for it and I should have went in and taken it,'” Jacquez said.

Ben Abbey is in his second year pursuing his doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine. Abbey said he didn’t study for the GRE and passed.

“I had just gotten done taking the math modules and it was pretty fresh in my head.”

For medical school, Jack McGrue, assistant to the dean of natural sciences, said that the MCAT is administered in April and August. About 80 to 100 students take the test every year; this includes CSU and non-CSU students.

“We’ve had a good record of people being admitted to medical schools,” McGrue said.

There is a club called, Pre-Medica, which helps students to prepare for the test and provides opportunities to volunteer and shadow doctors. Pre-Medica is a student organization.

“At a lot of schools pre-medical students are really competitive with each other. Here, we try to encourage students that they not compete with each other. We have students admitted every year to the best medical schools,” McGrue said.

Not sure if going straight to graduate school is a good idea? Consider the viewpoint of Klaus Hartinger an opto-electrical graduate student. Hartinger went straight to graduate school after getting his undergraduate degree in engineering-microsystems. This is his second year.

“I think if you work in between going back to school, it’s harder getting used to going to class and you don’t have the money.”

How much students can make over the course of their lifetime by obtaining these degrees:

B.A. $2.1 million

Masters $2.5 million

Doctorate $3.4 million

Summary Sentence: Graduate school is far less expensive to go to compared to getting an undergraduate degree. For some people, it is better to go right after so that you’re still in the practice of studying. Not all graduate schools require taking the GRE, but students should do their research.

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