Hello everyone, I'm an upcoming senior at VCU studying social work. I plan and hope to continue to graduate school following graduation next year (regular standing is fine for me haha, advanced is bruuuutal). I was hoping to have some insight, as I'm struggling with a few things regarding graduate school -
1.) First, is there an "ideal number" of schools I should apply to? I've read articles suggesting around 5-6, but applications are $60 each and I know MSW programs are different in that they don't consider GPA as much as they consider experience, essays and recommendations. This brings me on to my next question--
2.) How do I know if an MSW program is a reach, match, or safety? They all require the same sort of thing in the application, and not every school has an admissions profile available, which lists the number of students who applied versus the number accepted. That, plus ranking, seem to be the best indicators, but I'm still not sure if this is a thing with MSW programs. I mean, Univ of Michigan is the top ranked school, so what exactly do they look for in candidates?
3.) I am applying to VCU for graduate school but it is not my first choice mainly because I want to move up north as soon as possible - I have no desire to live in VA, honestly while the state is beautiful I strongly dislike it here, and my logic is that I should go to grad school where I want to live.
This is largely because licensure can work slightly different state to state, plus I'm afraid that upon graduation, I'll end up taking a job offer here, and I just won't be able to leave right away. Maybe that's an illogical fear, and I don't think going out-of-state is worth being 100k in debt, but at the same time, the desire is strong enough that I AM looking and actually considering it.
4.) I should briefly mention my financial situation. VCU is an option for me as I'd be in-state and it's significantly cheaper than a few of the schools I'm looking at. I know that considering the annual income of my career choice, I need to be careful about paying 120k for graduate school.
However, I may have graduate school at least partially paid for from a lawsuit I've been involved in. I don't know what the end amount will be, and I would like to have some of it leftover for AFTER graduate school. I do plan to apply for loans, scholarships, and I know many schools offer that type of contract where you get money, as long as you work for X place for Y amount of years. I also know some schools, such as DU, give every accepted student SOME kind of scholarship money. I don't know what financial aid I'd qualify for, but I imagine that as long as I list myself as independent I would qualify for *some*.
Sorry for such a long post, I've really tried to shorten it, but I have so many questions and seeing as I haven't found a social work sub-thread/forum, I haven't been able to find answers from students who actually experienced it (different from reading articles). Thanks in advance for reading though lol, and of course answering!