So this is the time we are waiting for! We have gotten accepted into our desired programs! With that being said, there are crucial steps to prepare before your first day of class. Below is a list of essentials that should be done prior to your first day of being a Graduate Student!
- Make sure all materials are submitted
- Submit school deposit
- Apply for institution and outside scholarships (GA ship)
- Meet with Program Director for Advisement
- Make semester schedule
- Get school materials together!
Make sure all materials are submitted
Even though this step sounds like it should be done in Guide to Grad School: Getting your application started, this still can apply to this step as well! Some institutions accept students without fully having all materials.
I was accepted into my first MA degree without having my official transcripts. Once I was accepted, I had to send the official transcripts to my designated institution. Also, make sure to submit ALL transcripts of institutions that you have attended and/or earned credits from! I attend two institutes for undergraduate, completed courses at the county college near me, while also completing a graduate certificate… you can imagine how many transcripts I had to submit! Take into mind that most institutions charge between $7 – $10 a transcript. Be sure to have your school and money management information together when doing this process!
Submit school deposit
This is one is pretty self explanatory, but still important to mention. There is always going to be a deposit to save your spot in the program, so just be sure to pay that!
Apply for institution and outside scholarships (GA ship) & Financial Aid
Honestly, I should have posted this topic at the beginning of the post, but there is always a method to my madness…. Be sure to have a financial plan even before you submit your applications for grad school! You want to make sure that you will be able to go to school and live a decent life (welcome to broken grad student life!). Below, I will list financial option to help in looking for aid:
- Applying for FASFA
- Looking for internal scholarships available in your desired institution
- Graduate Assistantships
- Department scholarships
- Looking for external scholarships
- Sallie Mae Graduate Scholarship Search
- Search some up on google!
Meet with Program Director for Advisement
Here is where the fun really begins! I hope at this point you have taken on the initiative to make yourself familiar with your desired program, and have done a bit of research on the program director. If not, that is totally fine! But at this point, you should be reaching out to the Program Director of your program. You should be doing the following when meeting with the Program Director:
- Make semester schedule (this is where you could determine if you want to be a part-time or full-time student
- Try to start mapping out how and when you are trying to graduate (it is also okay not to know exactly what you plan to do!)
- Get to know your Program Director, they will be your biggest ally to graduate!
Get school materials together!
Last but not least, it is time to get your materials together! Depending on the type of program you will be attending, will determine the type of materials you need. Speaking from my own experience, I needed a really good computer to design on; I am graduate assistant and my program focuses on digital writing. Some of you might be fun science folk, so you may need to look into text books. Some advice I would give on that aspect is to look for these textbooks in a digital version so you can carry them anywhere! Trust me, you will thank me later.
With that said, hope these tips and tricks helped you guys and look out for next post!