Grad School: 3 Obstacles to Getting In, and How to Deal with Each

If you’re wondering just how to get into grad school, the answer is—it’s hard. Really hard. Surely you’ll face many obstacles along the way–deciding what to study, where to apply, when to start. But once you’ve set your sights on your dream school, the real challenge begins. Below are three common obstacles to getting into grad school and suggestions for how to deal with each, from one of my favorite resources for grad school info, US News’ Education section:

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1. Bad Grades and Bad Test Scores– Grades and test scores aren’t the be-all, end-all of grad school admissions.  This article outlines the steps you can take to deal with less than perfect scores.

2. Negative Recommendation Letters– Hopefully, you’ve asked professors and employers who you know will give you glowing reviews. But if the opposite happens, you should try your best to rectify the situation. Immediately. This article tells you how.

3. Money– Let’s pretend for a minute that you’ve been accepted to your dream school (oh happy day!)…only to realize that you can’t afford it and will have to settle for a less amazing, but much cheaper, school.  Not to worry! This link provides several articles and resources outlining various ways to pay for grad school–scholarships, loan options, grants, employment, you name it!

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2 Responses to Grad School: 3 Obstacles to Getting In, and How to Deal with Each

  1. Heba November 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    That is great! Can you recommend other websites/ forums/ blogs pertaining to admission process ?

    • Rachel Wisuri
      rachel November 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      Hi Heba,

      Of course! US News is definitely my all-time favorite, but you can also find some great articles and advice about admissions on

      Additionally, the GradCafe forums are good for discussing admissions, schools, grad school life, etc with other grad and potential grad students-

      Hope this helps, and best of luck!


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