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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Start Couch Mining for Quarters, It's Application Time!

This week I e-mailed a few letters to the MFA programs that I applied to/ was rejected from last year, asking what I need to include in my reapplications and what I do not.  Some grad schools will keep your college transcripts, letters of recommendations, GRE scores, even your formal application on file for up to a year after your initial application, which is great because submitting all of those things is costly for a kid who buys Raman Noodles in bulk—mmm, the 30 pack just tastes better!  It’s always interesting how the systems in place keep the moderately destitute more moderately destitute, and by interesting I mean incredible, and by incredible, I mean incredibly crappy.  Universities aren’t getting rich off of application dollars, but I guess it’s enough to keep some from applying, and to keep those applying, mining their couches for quarters.

Every bit helps.

 Everyone knows that grad students have zip cash, but what seems to go unnoticed is that those applying to grad school also have zip cash—that’s why they’re applying to grad school in the first place, duh.  Sure, every once in while there is some financially stable executive wanting to upgrade their degree or a middle-aged housewife/ husband bored out of their mind who apply with extra funds to spare, but they’re the exceptions to the rule, and they suck. 

According to some rough numbers I just crunched in my head for a made-up survey, the average cost to apply to just one grad school is approximately $250.  That’s factoring in the actual application, GRE exams, mailing costs.  And while the cost of the GRE exam would get divided by the more schools that you apply to, you would also need to account for the supplemental costs of submitting multiple GRE score costs ($20/ school over your initial four schools), additional transcripts, and that’s not even mentioning the bribes you're already paying for your letters of recommendation—they might say they’re happy to do it for you, but they’re really just after those new tweed jackets.

Point is, applying to grad school is expensive, so if sending a few well placed letters can fray that cost, it’s well worth it.  Especially, if you’re like the 87% of most grad school applicants who are in low-paying crap jobs, designed to make ends meet, pay off college loans, and generate a little money for when you actually get into grad school and are truly moderately destitute (these numbers were also taken from the same made-up survey).

Oh Garfield, you just get it.
 Also mad ups to Steve for enlightening me to this comic strip documenting the woes of life in grad school; www.phdcomics.com.  It’s no Garfield, but it’s still pretty funny.  I’d probably think it was even funnier if I were actually in grad school—not that I’m bitter, much.  It seems like there’s a good amount of media out there accounting for those in-school experiences and struggles, but I still haven’t found much depicting that pre-struggle period, the one before you get in.  Unless, of course, you classify that Saved By the Bell season when they’re working at the beach for the summer prior to college as pre struggle media—I just call it good TV.  So aren’t you glad to know you’re reading a blog that is on the cutting edge?  Let me try that again.  Aren’t you glad Cheetos are 2 for 1 at the gas station today?  Yeah, yeah you are.

1 comment:

  1. That Saved by the Bell season was awesome!! Back when Leah Remini was cool... The View, schmew. Glad to here you're still rockin' the Ramen.

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