Many students at Berry are considering attending graduate and professional schools, and are beginning to make these decisions now. Applications are due soon, and students are having to pay for graduate school tests like the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
When all the application fees, testing costs and travel expenses are added up, it is a large dollar amount dedicated just to getting into the graduate school of your dreams. This should not be the case. The costs of continuing your education after an undergraduate degree should not be this costly. Why are students being punished for wanting to attend graduate school and work toward a better career?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has plummeted, and the job market has dwindled. This job instability usually results in more students choosing to attend graduate or professional school as a way of avoiding entering the job market. It is still too early to see how exactly COVID-19 has affected this trend as it also affects personal healthcare and the risks associated with it.
The testing requirements differ based on the type of graduate program. Veterinary school as well as other general programs require the GRE, while law school requires the LSAT and medical school requires the MCAT. Costs for just registering for these tests are already in the hundreds. For law school, the LSAT costs $200, but law schools also require the Credential Assembly Service, which is an application tool, that is an additional $195, and a law school report that costs $45 per report. The MCAT is $320, and the American Medical Application Service which is a minimum cost of $170 for one school with an addition of $41 per additional school are both used to apply to medical school. The basic GRE costs $205. In addition to the GRE, veterinary school requires the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). The cost of this application is a minimum of $221 dollars to apply to one school and another $120 for each additional school.
For reference, the total cost of the LSAT including supplementary tools required by most law schools is $440 at a minimum for an application to one school. For veterinary school, to apply to one school, the cost is $426 without additional application fees or other costs. For medical school, the minimum cost to apply for one school is $490. These fees do not include test preparatory materials or programs.
After all of this money, if a school is interested, most require an interview, which usually requires travelling to the school. If an interview is not required, visits to the school are highly recommended before deciding on a school. This adds to the cost of simply applying to graduate school. All of the money spent on the application process may not even result in acceptance.
All of these costs are just for applying, and make students consider if attending graduate school is worth it. After spending hundreds of dollars to apply, there is no guarantee that you will get in. If you do get in, then you have to consider the cost of tuition and living expenses.
Every cost may not apply to you, and many costs have a fee waiver associated with it that may result in a reduced cost, but this cannot be guaranteed for every student. Additional hidden fees may also apply for specific programs. Some schools will require a scholarship application fee, and the cost of sending a transcript to an application service or school must also be considered, not to mention other supplemental applications required for institutions.
Altogether, applying to a graduate or professional school can cost upwards of $500. It is a hassle to have to consider all of these costs just for the application process. Students must truly evaluate the worth of attending graduate school before they are even accepted to these programs. Applying for school is an undertaking without considering the costs associated with applications and testing.