Applying to schools takes a lot of time, effort and research. Unfortunately, this whole process can get chaotic rather quickly and the universities seem to blend together. However, it is important to keep track of certain information, especially when narrowing down your choices.
Here are some important things I feel are important to keep track of:
- Stipend: (Is it suitable for the cost of living of the area)
- Fees/Tuition: How much of my stipend is going to be used to cover these costs? Is this affordable? Do they have financial aid programs?
- Health Insurance: Is it provided? How much will it cost?
- Moving Reimbursement: Do they cover the cost of relocation?
- Housing: Is housing guaranteed? Is there affordable off-campus housing?
- Average completion time: Most schools say 5 – 6 years depending on department. Be prepared for how long you will have to be in school.
- Course requirements: Some departments are really strict with their course requirements. Will the amount of courses you need to take interfere with other things such as research, home life, etc?
- TA Requirements: Most schools require one year. However, it could be more depending on what funding is available and how they calculate your stipend.
- Lists of Professors and their research: Try and focus on the professors you are interested in and would like to meet if you get a chance to visit.
How do you manage to keep track of this information? Behold! My Grad School Information Tracker excel sheet! Just fill in the appropriate information and keep a tab for each school you choose.
This sheet is available for download. Hope this helps your chaotic application season!
Also, for which fellowships to apply to in order to fund your 5.5 years of being a broke grad student check out my post: IT’S FELLOWSHIP SEASON!
❤ Have fun!