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intparent Senior Member

18,236 Points 6,155 Visits 28,356 Posts
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  • Re: How many science PhD programs should daughter apply to?

    What is her area of study? Some areas require or recommend a subject GRE test (e.g., Physics). My D applied to Physics grad schools last year. Her advisor in college had a lot of advice. She also researched on her own, evaluating profs in her area of interest. Part of her thinking was that she wanted at least two profs (if not more) doing research that was very interesting to her, and not likely to retire in the next 6-7 years.

    She applied to 10 PhD programs and one funded master's program. Her GPA wasn't terrific, but she has very good recs and research experience, excellent GRE scores, and a pretty strong Physics GRE. She got into 7 programs, and visited 5 of them after acceptance. Turned down by 2, and 1 never responded (neither did the masters program), so she eventually withdrew her app from those. Because her GPA wasn't great, she applied to a range of schools in terms of selectivity. Her goal is industry or a govt lab, not teaching. The two most selective are the ones that turned her down. She is happy now at a school that is solid in her area of interest. It isn't her favorite part of the country -- she does now wish that she'd taken a shot at a couple more reach schools in more desirable locations.

    Rereading your post, there are a fair number of less selective programs, but she needs to research carefully and find a good fit with her interests. One of my D's recommenders said her list was refreshing; it wasn't the usual top 15-20 suspects that so many students come in with, and it was well focused on her specific interest.

    It is pretty overwhelming, and there seems to be a lot less support/info for grad school admissions. We found the Grad Cafe website pretty useful. After a summer of research ahead of time & getting all her testing done, her entire Thanksgiving break and most of winter break was devoted to apps. There is also no Common App, which sucks.

    Regarding the "she only needs one acceptance comment" -- this is 6-7 years of her life. It is good to have some choices. My kid found that upon visiting, not all the programs were ones she would want to commit to, even though they looked good on paper. She has a couple stories if visits that are doozies. So don't just apply to a bunch of reaches.
  • Re: Narrowing the list by which schools give merit/talent aid

    You can call the school FA offices and talk to them. They may be able to give more info. But you need options on the table you KNOW you can afford and your kid is likely to get into.
  • Re: Identifying a more holistic or relaxed Ivy or reach for my creative child

    U Chicago is anything but laid back. Stanford may seem a little laid back on the surface, but don't be fooled. WashU might be a good choice. Be sure to show interest there.

    Pitzer does have the advantages of a small and a bigger school because of the layout and shared resources of the consortium.
  • Re: Do Law Firms care what your undergraduate major is

    It can help for some areas of law, like parent law. And a business degree and a law degree can be a powerful combo. But good grades from a good law school mean you will very likely get a job.
  • Re: Generous schools for First Gen, URM, Low income?

    Study for and retake the SAT. Higher test scores would open up more options.