How To Determine If Graduate School Is Really The Right Step For You

Most college students consider the possibility of graduate school, but not all decide that it’s a move they want to take, at least not right away. Is graduate school the right step for you? Here are some things to think about:


Investing the Time.

It goes without saying that graduate school will require an investment of your time. Can you afford that time? Moreover, do you really want to spend that portion of your life devoting yourself to school and studying? These are extremely important things to consider because graduate school will completely alter your lifestyle and if you’re not fully committed to it, both mentally and emotionally, then you risk not making the best of it . . . and even burning out altogether.

Now or Later?

It may be that you know you eventually want to go to graduate school, but that you’re just not sure if it should be your next step, or a step you take further down in your career and life path. Many established adults mistakenly believe that there comes a point in their lives when it is simply “too late” to return to school. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It is never too late to progress in your self-actualization. With that in mind, you can afford to seriously consider the pros and cons of waiting to return to grad school (versus diving in right now).

Considering the Cost.

Of course, in addition to the time investment, you will have to invest you hard-earned money. Can you afford to go to graduate school? You’ll want to look at and other sites for GMAT prep before you even begin; then there is the cost of the exams and then there are entrance and application fees as well. If your bank account can’t support the expenditure, do you have other resources you can draw from? Explore options like federal grants, student loans, work study programs, fellowships, and scholarships to see if you can devise a graduate school funding plan that will work for you . . . and don’t forget to account for those future student loan payments!

The Work/school Balance.

Now that you have a college degree and can reasonably expect to be able to find employment, you have to consider what it will be like if you choose to work and go to graduate school. A majority of graduate school students also hold at least part time employment. Is this a realistic option for you? If you have a family to take care of (and spend time with!), then you’ll need to figure out if balancing work and school is something you’re capable of, or even interested in.

As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration when determining whether or not you should step into graduate school. While there is no question that graduate school can give you a major leg up when all is said and done, the real question is whether or not you can afford the immediate sacrifices it will require.