Post # 1
I’ve been doing research into Higher Ed/Student Affairs grad programs, and I’m curious to see if anyone can give me any advice. I’ll be applying next fall, and I’m looking at schools in California, the northeast (especially Boston area), and the Virginia area. I have a nice chart of 19 schools made up but I’m not sure what I should be looking for past the locations. It’s not a hugely competitive program, and most schools offer very similar things. Since I’m planning on going straight out of undergrad (graduating next December then working in the spring to save and starting the next fall), the amount of money I can get will be a big factor in my decision as well. For those of you who went through this process, I would love to hear about your experiences!
Also…if anyone has any input on relocating to California that would be great…there are 4-5 schools there that I’ve looked at, and I know SO would love to live there but we are on the east coast right now. I know living expenses are much higher there, and that could be a factor as well.
Post # 3
@juliana192: Hi there! If you can, find a school that offers paid assistantships. They usually cover your tuition, and give you a stipend on top of it (hooray, no debt!). Sometimes those programs are harder to find, but it’s so worth it. It’s the only reason I ended up getting my master’s in art 🙂 I ended up falling into higher ed administration by luck and I love it, so good luck!
Also, no idea if Ohio is remotely on your list, but when I was researching grad programs before I got my current job, Kent State came up repeatedly as a great program 🙂
Post # 4
I got my MA in Writing/Editing completely paid for through an assistantship. Definitely keep your eyes open for those types of opportunities – even if they won’t cover it fully, it can help.
Something else to look at is what types of experience-building opportunities they offer, if not assistantships. I was drawn to my program because there was a chance to work at the university press, which turned out to be an awesome experience. Also, my program was small, which helped build a good relationship with the professors.
Post # 5
Try and find a job at the university you choose! In college, I worked part-time in a couple of different offices, and almost all of the full-time staff was either currently or had worked while getting their degree part-time. They basically got to go to school for free! And because a lot of them were getting degrees in higher education, it was valuable work experience, too. Yes, it took them a little longer to complete their degrees, but everyone I talked to thought the work experience coupled with the almost full-tuition reimbursement was 100% worth it.
Also, SoCal is expensive…but so is Boston. I don’t think you’re going to find much of a difference in terms of cost of living between those two locations. In fact, Boston may be MORE expensive in terms of rent and stuff. I live in Boston and it’s crazy pricey.
Post # 6
Only go somewhere that pays your tuition and gives you an stipend for teaching or research or something else. You shouldn’t be paying your own tuition in grad school, and you should be getting a stipend. It’s not worth it going somewhere you aren’t funded because you should be able to get funding somewhere. Just apply everywhere you like and see what offers you get!
Post # 7
Thanks for the input! What’s nice about these programs but what also makes it more difficult to distinguish between them is that they ALL provide opportunities, and a lot of them require an assistantship or internship as well. And even if the school doesn’t require/provide opportunities, it’s easy enough to seek them out because you are schooling in the environment that you are training to work in. And they are all pretty small from what I’ve seen. I’m definitely going to go after the ones that pay for tuition plus a stipend, but there are multiple of those as well (which shouldn’t really be a complaint haha).