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Going from a lower-ranked undergrad to a top-tier graduate school?

SMK040900SMK040900 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
edited October 2018 in Graduate School
Is it possible to be admitted to a first or second tier graduate school (ex. NYU, USC, Boston College, etc.) with an undergrad degree from a lower-ranked school (ex. Washington State University, Arizona State University, etc.)? If so, what can an undergrad from these lower-ranked schools do to become more attractive to a top tier grad school, and what are the realistic possibilities for financial aide? I will most likely be going to a lower-ranked school such as WSU, for financial reasons, but I have decently high stats and have been told that it's better to go to a better grad school as opposed to a better undergrad school. My stats and background are as follows, #1 ranked at my high school, graduated 1 year early, GPA of 4.54, SAT super score of 1500, took Calc my freshman year, am actively involved in community service, News editor for my high school newspaper, in My high school's top women's choir, and was on a junior rifle team as the #1 female shooter. Furthermore, I am currently at Beijing University studying through their one-year language-intensive program. Thoughts? Any advice or input would be extremely helpful.
Post edited by juillet on

Replies to: Going from a lower-ranked undergrad to a top-tier graduate school?

  • SMK040900SMK040900 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Also would add that I am interested in entering the Business field (possibly in finances or financial journalism), and I currently have an internship with the China Entrepreneur Club.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,138 Super Moderator
    Of course you can.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,565 Senior Member
    Yes, it's possible. Get good grades in college, rock the GMATs, do some interesting internshps and/or jobs, and you'll be an interesting candidate (although your high school stats will be irrelevant for grad school applications.) Do keep in mind that some elite business programs require a couple of years of work experience. In terms of financial aid, it totally depends on the school - but also keep in mind that most professional programs (MBA, law, etc.) offer little in the way of FA.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,680 Super Moderator
    Yes. Graduate schools care far more about what you did in undergrad than where you went.

    Don't worry so much about what kinds of graduate schools you can go to right now; focus on getting into college and getting started there, then identifying and solidifying your major. You may decide not to go to grad school at all, or to go much later. This is particularly true if you want to go to business school - you'll need to work a few years first before you can get into a top MBA program.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,478 Forum Champion
    You can get into a top tier graduate program, too.
  • zettasyntaxzettasyntax Registered User Posts: 1,340 Senior Member
    Most definitely. One of my professors from USC did her undergrad at ASU and got her PhD from USC about 5 years ago. It definitely depends on your major though. For her, she was a linguistics student at ASU and did a research thesis with a really popular syntactician, so that likely made her application impressive to USC.
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