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What questions should I be asking myself, re: fall graduation and graduate school


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#1 elegantlion

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:17 AM

I have the option to graduate this fall instead of spring 2018. From a financial standpoint, graduating early is a better decision. However, I'm wondering what it might like from the graduate school side. I would have to drop my French minor, ending with 2 years of French instead of 3. I will have 1.5 years of formal Latin, although my advisor will continue Latin with me outside of an official class. I'll be applying to a select few (not top tier) medieval history programs. The Latin is more important than the French, but French is applicable to the period/area I want to study. Funding is necessary for me to attend grad school. 

 

I'll sit down with my advisor and financial aid, but wondered what questions I should ask myself as I decide. I need to decide this summer for my own sanity and the fact graduation applications are due July 1. 

 

I'll also be graduating with Majors honors which includes a research project and a presentation at a medieval conference, not just an undergraduate conference. I have a high GPA and good letters of recommendation. 

 

One question I do have, will my student loans go into repayment if I have an acceptance into graduate school for the fall, say the 6 months is July and I would start school in August? 


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#2 Crimson Wife

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:41 AM

 

One question I do have, will my student loans go into repayment if I have an acceptance into graduate school for the fall, say the 6 months is July and I would start school in August? 

 

You'll have to discuss this with a financial aid counselor, but my understanding is that you only have 6 month "grace" period and you cannot put the loans into deferment until you actually start grad school. So if you graduate December but don't start grad school until August or September, you'd be on the hook for 2-3 payments.
 


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#3 MysteryJen

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:35 AM

Congratualtions! I would do the languages in some "official" way, that will definitely help your application, as well as your studies. I, too, would think you might have to make at least one or two payments on loans.


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#4 Diana P.

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:55 AM

Congratulations!

 

Do you have an advisor who is in this specialty? My ds is starting a medieval history grad program in the fall. I believe being short on Latin and French credits had an affect on his options. Have you talked to people at the schools you are considering? I know my ds picked some of the schools he applied to because he met faculty from those schools at academic conferences where he presented. 



#5 Corraleno

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:06 AM

Personally, I would take the extra semester and get another year of Latin and French. If you are looking for a funded slot in a humanities program, you will want your application to be as strong as it can possibly be, and languages are important. Also, I agree with others about using up your 6 month grace period and going into repayment; even if you pause it again while in grad school, you'll start paying again immediately after you finish instead of having some time for job searching, moving, etc.


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#6 Lori D.

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:33 AM

Congratulations, EL! You have worked so hard and it has SO paid off!  :hurray:

 

And, agreeing with Corraleno about taking the extra semester for additional languages to be more competitive and due to the financial aid repayment kicking in. Here's more from the Federal Student Aid website on deferment or forbearance restrictions.

 

Also, can you use that extra semester for something to make yourself even more desirable for a funded graduate work -- an internship, another research project and presentation, or permission to take 1-2 graduate level courses?

 

You go, girl! :)


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#7 Lilaclady

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:58 PM

Congratulations!!!

#8 Corraleno

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:14 PM

EL, are you familiar with GradCafe? It's a great resource, not only for general information and advice about applying to grad schools, but there is often very specific, detailed info available about individual programs if you look in the subject forums. (And if you don't see exactly what you're looking for, you can ask.)

 

For example here is a really helpful and informative thread about how to write your SOP (and what not to write). Reading through the acceptance/rejection threads in the history subforum can provide useful information about what departments are looking for, what people think hurt or helped their applications, etc. One bit of advice you will see over and over is to really research the departments you are applying to and the profs you designate as your POIs.  The more you can tailor your apps to show why you want to work in that particular department, with that particular person (and why he or she should want to work with you), the better your chances of success.

 

Good luck!  :thumbup:


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#9 elegantlion

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:20 PM

You'll have to discuss this with a financial aid counselor, but my understanding is that you only have 6 month "grace" period and you cannot put the loans into deferment until you actually start grad school. So if you graduate December but don't start grad school until August or September, you'd be on the hook for 2-3 payments.
 

 

That's what I figured. That would need to figure into my budget. 

 

Congratualtions! I would do the languages in some "official" way, that will definitely help your application, as well as your studies. I, too, would think you might have to make at least one or two payments on loans.

 

Yes, that is the concern. I know my Latin studies would continue, but my French would suffer. 

 

Congratulations!

 

Do you have an advisor who is in this specialty? My ds is starting a medieval history grad program in the fall. I believe being short on Latin and French credits had an affect on his options. Have you talked to people at the schools you are considering? I know my ds picked some of the schools he applied to because he met faculty from those schools at academic conferences where he presented. 

 

Yes, unfortunately we don't have a grad program at our school. I have met several medievalists, just not any from the schools I'm considering. At least not yet. I'm presenting at a conference this summer and hoping some might attend. Unfortunately, the school I'm presenting at doesn't have a medievalist in my specialty, so they're not a good fit. 


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#10 elegantlion

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:27 PM

Personally, I would take the extra semester and get another year of Latin and French. If you are looking for a funded slot in a humanities program, you will want your application to be as strong as it can possibly be, and languages are important. Also, I agree with others about using up your 6 month grace period and going into repayment; even if you pause it again while in grad school, you'll start paying again immediately after you finish instead of having some time for job searching, moving, etc.

 

The immediate repayment after grad school was not something I had considered, thank you. I did talk to financial aid and I'm going to be crunching some numbers. This feels like gambling because I hadn't anticipated needing this much in loans for my final year - but everything has been cut back due to state budget cuts. The second semester would put me well above my comfort zone for total loan amount. 

 

 

Congratulations, EL! You have worked so hard and it has SO paid off!  :hurray:

 

And, agreeing with Corraleno about taking the extra semester for additional languages to be more competitive and due to the financial aid repayment kicking in. Here's more from the Federal Student Aid website on deferment or forbearance restrictions.

 

Also, can you use that extra semester for something to make yourself even more desirable for a funded graduate work -- an internship, another research project and presentation, or permission to take 1-2 graduate level courses?

 

You go, girl! :)

 

Unfortunately, we don't have a graduate history program, so no real graduate classes would be relevant. I am doing an internship in the fall and probably another research project because I'm insane (as my advisor told me today - we both already knew that part). Thanks for the link. I read so much yesterday, I felt a bit lost. Part time in spring is one consideration. I just have to check my scholarship requirements. 

 

Congratulations!!!

 

Thank you. This has been a heck of a ride. 


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