African-American Grad Applicants Class of 2021

While there is a Grad School Forum on CC, I didn’t see anything specific to Black applicants, so thought I would start a thread here. Anyone out there helping their student figure out grad school applications/process? Working with my D student-athlete, who is applying for Fall 2021 admission.

Feels more stressful than college admissions given she was assured entrance as an athlete. This time, competing for one of nine spots with an applicant pool that averages 100-125. Her academic record is spectacular. The challenge will be the GRE that she is taking in a few weeks. She’s never been a great test taker and needs to hit specific markers to be competitive. I’ve told her if it doesn’t work this year, it isn’t ‘No’ it is just ‘Not yet’. But goodness am I NERvous!!

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Hey @crimsonmom2019. Thank you for starting this forum and I will definitely be following your thread’s progress as my daughter will be applying to at least 13 Grad schools (a requirement of her undergraduate scholarship) for Fall 2022 admission. Since your DD is a year ahead, I wanted to ask how has she has prepared (summer internships, GRE prep, etc)? Is she shooting for a Masters or PhD? How many schools is she applying to? What are her long term goals? Congratulations on having such an accomplished child and there is no reason to be nervous because your DD will find a way.

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Exciting time! Good wishes to you both.

Good luck to your D, @crimsonmom2019! My D will submit a handful of apps for deferred MBA admission in the spring. The programs are super competitive and especially so for business majors (which she is), but it’s worth a shot, as she knows she wants to get an M7 MBA in 3-5 years. Her challenge won’t be the GMAT, but getting a very strong LOR in the COVID-19 environment. She is currently in the grad school portion of her joint degree program and really needs her LOR to come from one of her grad school profs, but has not connected with one yet. She says she will focus on connecting with her capstone professor next semester. Hopefully that works out.

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@ChangeTheGame Hers is a little of an outlier situation in that she is attempting to get her undergrad degree a year early and compete her “senior year” as a graduate student. This way her undergrad degree would be completely paid for and the masters (in Sports Administration) almost completely paid for as well. For this to work, it has to be at her current school, so only one application. If she doesn’t get in this year, she will add a minor to her two majors to remain eligible and try again next year. Then we expand the application pool…

As for internships, competing in a year-round training sport has really limited the opportunity to secure one outside of her university. There is about a 4 week window between school ending and starting training again on campus. Makes it tough. She has been really smart, though, at securing projects that will look good on her application. One where she is the only undergrad working with current grad students in her desired program as recommended by her professor. I told her that is an incredible opportunity as 1) that’s the professor she needs to write one of her three recommendations and 2) the current grad students have a little input in the admissions process. The other is a research project she created where she reached out to an Asst. AD to help her (another recommendation). She is a leader in the Student Athletic Advisory Council and was just last week a panelist on a national call for a DEI presentation for her sport. Re: the GRE, her dad offered to pay for a tutor for prep but she feels like she has the ability to hit at least the minimum numbers she needs on her own. She has practiced using the books as well as the online exams ETS provides.

I am hoping her super high GPA, being a two-time Academic All-American, Conference 2nd Team All-American, team captain and a young Black woman in this particular time will all help tilt the scale in her favor. Thanks for the encouragement! Looking forward to sharing more here and hearing about how it goes for your D @itsgettingreal21!

@crimsonmom2019 Now I remember your unbelievably talented daughter and remember that you had an amazing son as well. Your daughter’s credentials speak for themselves and the fact that she has proved her academic acumen at the same school should give her a big advantage in graduate school admissions… As a D-1 NCAA athlete, she could transfer as graduate transfer to any school and still have athletic eligibility left, but I love that she has decided to stay with her squad. Please keep us updated and we are rooting for her.

@itsgettingreal21 I remember your daughter’s story as well and I have followed your posts for years. Your daughter’s credentials put her among the top students in America and I believe that she will have her choice of top-tier MBA programs when the time comes. Please share your daughter’s triumphs as she is a such a role model.

Such amazing young women!!!

Send good thoughts to the universe for my daughter please! Taking the GRE at 8am tomorrow!

@crimsonmom2019 Good luck to your DD!

My DD has been so busy this month that she had to reschedule her GMAT. She pushed it off to February. She has 2 more big interviews this month to go - one for a grad school scholarship and another for an internship that will give her hands on experience for her grad degree. And then hopefully she’ll be done until late next semester when she has the MBA apps to submit. She’s all applicationed out right now. It’s been a lot on top of a very heavy masters program courseload plus two off-campus language courses and ECs. She has to suck it up though and hit the GMAT books. I think the February exam is the last one she can take. I hopefully will have good news to share at the end of the semester about her outstanding apps. (Fingers crossed)

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Well, in the end, my daughter’s story will be one of determination as well as yet one more anecdote to add to the inability to test well does not mean one is intellectually inferior. She was able to receive her scores immediately and missed the minimum score she needs on the math section by 4 points. She will be taking it again (after getting the tutoring her dad and I told her she should do in the first place, insert parent of an adult eye roll here) in a month and pray for better results. So wish she had my son’s testing ability. Sigh…

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@crimsonmom2019, thank you for the update. Your DD is amazing to have taken the GRE a year earlier than most of the students in her incoming college class. Your DD will get the score that she needs now that she has seen the format and timing needed on the GRE and knows what she needs to work on (along with getting a tutor).

My DD just signed up for a GRE class to start early next year to prep for taking the GRE in October of 2021. She is currently talking to professors about possible recommendations for summer research programs while hoping that she will be able to actually work in research labs next summer. She has been going back and forth on whether to go straight to grad school in 2022 or take a year or two to do other things (like Peace Corps) so she can travel, since her study abroad dream in an Arabic speaking country (she has an Arabic minor) has been dashed by the pandemic.

I can finally share my DD’s good news here. She was a finalist for 2 prestigious national/international graduate fellowships and won one of them! So next year she’ll be attending grad school abroad. And she has an excellent full time job waiting for her when she returns.

She still intends to submit her deferred MBA apps in the spring.

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Daughter did her part to highlight her strong academics with another 4.0 semester. She is working on her essay now. Got the 3 recommendations asks out and requested they be submitted before Christmas. Working with a tutor to help raise that GRE section score. 4 weeks to go!

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Add another reason of thanks to the TGIF! My daughter took the GRE again this morning and hit the targets!! She was sooo happy as she headed off to practice. One sigh of relief down, others to go for sure. But for now, a martini to celebrate!

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My daughter submitted her application last week. Applicants begin learning if they have earned an interview as early as the end of this week. She is doing mock interview work in hopes she receives that opportunity. Continued prayers and fingers crossed as we continue through this process.

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Baby girl called yesterday between class and training, she secured the interview!! She is so excited!! Goodness I hope she can bring it on home.

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My daughter had her individual interview yesterday. She felt it went really well. A few hours later was the group meet and greet with the entire group of those who’d secured an interview. She said there were about 20 of them and it was a diverse group with about half women. With the cohort being small (10-11), they want a group who will play well in the sandbox together for the two years. Nothing to do but wait for the final decision now…

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