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In the past 10 years, the number of graduate school programs has increased significantly. Online and distance learning programs have also been introduced during this period to address the needs of full time workers who may not have the time to go to school but want to continue studying. With this, students who want to get into a graduate school have also grown in number. Applications steadily increased, but the question is how many students actually get into graduate school?
From the US Census Bureau, the graduate school admission statistics in the latter part of 2008 to early 2009 shows that there are a total of about 1.4 million students who are on their first year of graduate school, both full time and part time programs. Part time enrollments comprise a little more than half of the total population. In the same statistics, it shows that 58.4% of the population is made up of female enrollees. If the number of graduate school enrollees is compared to the average number of students graduating from college, it’s about 30 to 40 percent.
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What do the numbers say?
Future Plans. The decision in taking a graduate course mainly depends on the student’s end goal. Most students are enticed with the benefits of earning their own income first before pursuing additional education. There are also a good number of students who are just contented with finishing college and pursuing their dream jobs, not intending to take any graduate course at all. Those who take graduate courses are either desiring to get into a prestigious job or wanting to get promoted in their current field of work. There are only a few job titles, though, in which graduate education is needed. Hence, many students would only look into finishing their undergraduate courses without thinking of any additional education, at least in the near future.
Admission Rate. Graduate school admissions statistics also involves the admission rate of different graduate schools. In general, it is not really easy to get into graduate school. Graduate schools have a number of requirements that applicants need to successfully meet in order to pass and get admitted. Some of these requirements include undergraduate transcripts, standardized test scores such as GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc, admission essays and recommendation letters. All of these should show that you are a qualified candidate for the graduate course that you intend to take. Graduate schools have different admission rates. Some schools are very stringent, especially the prestigious ones, with a going admission rate of less than 25%. Nonetheless, there are other good graduate schools that admit 50 to 75 percent of their applicants.
Financial Concerns. Getting through an undergraduate course is tough enough because of the school fees and other school-related expenses; more so in a graduate school. This is one major consideration of most students. Graduate programs now range from $20,000 to $60,000 annually. Although most graduate courses only take 2 to 3 years of full time education, that amount is still a challenge especially to average income earners. Fortunately, most schools offer attractive financial aid programs to support qualified and deserving students. However, some people already get discouraged just by merely knowing the total amount needed to finish graduate school.
Regardless of what the graduate school admission statistics say, attending a graduate school is still one of the best investments you’ll make towards your future. Finishing a graduate course opens a lot of opportunities and makes you more “marketable” to large corporations because of your increased knowledge, skills, and competencies.