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Book Reviews

All prospective grad school applicants should purchase book on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). We recommend an official guide from ETS (Educational Testing Service), the test's author. There is a difference between the official questions you will be asked on the exam and the practice questions contained in all other books. Also we have a library of other great resources to help to prepare for the test.

Feature Content

New CGS Report Highlights Benefits of Graduate School Programs

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) issued a new report that touts the positive impact of graduate educations on society’s economic, social, and cultural vitality. Included in the American report were many international “exemplars” who returned to their home countries and have made significant contributions there as well. The report’s release coincides with a time of both increased legislative and media scrutiny of higher education in the U.S. and increasing global competition for students and scholars, as other nations rapidly expand their own graduate school systems.

ETS Cancels Roll-Out of Revised GRE

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) announced on April 2 that it was canceling plans to introduce a revised version of the GRE General Test in September 2007. ETS officials decided that there were not enough Internet-based testing centers in place to accommodate everyone who needed to take the exam and that it would not be fair to introduce the new test under those conditions. The current version of the computer-adaptive GRE General Test will continue to be offered, at existing test centers.

U. Ohio Profs Face Dismissal Over Grad Student Plagiarism

The authors of a report into widespread plagiarism by graduate engineering students at the University of Ohio have recommended that the University fire two professors for failure to adequately monitor their advisees’ theses. The report also recommended that a third professor be barred from overseeing thesis work for a two-year period, and that doctoral students who had plagiarized their master’s theses be suspended from the Ph.D. program. The report identified 55 cases in which graduate students submitted thesis material copied from someone else. The investigation was sparked by complaints from a former grad student who accused the department of ignoring evidence of academic dishonesty.

Grad Student Arrested for Falsifying Resume

The Des Moines Register reports that a woman who was about to graduate from the master’s program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Iowa was arrested and jailed for lying about the academic degrees she held when she applied to the program. The student had submitted a falsified transcript and two forged letters as part of her application package, making it appear that she had graduated from an undergraduate college when she had actually been one course short of earning a degree.

International App’s to US Grad Schools Rose 11% in 2005

The number of foreign students applying to graduate programs at U.S. colleges and universities rose by 11 per cent between 2004 and 2005, the Council of Graduate Schools says. Increases were seen in all fields and disciplines. China and India, which account for the largest numbers of international students coming to the U.S., saw more than 20 per cent increases in their applicant pools. Despite this increase, U.S. graduate schools are still drawing fewer international applicants than they were several years ago. International applicant pools shrank by over 30 per cent between 2002 and 2004. Educators hope this increase marks the start of a rebound to earlier levels.

Debut for Revised GRE Pushed Back to Fall 2007

The Educational Testing Service has announced that it is delaying the introduction of the revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test by a year, from fall 2006 until fall 2007. As we reported earlier, the revised GRE will drop its current computer-adaptive format in favor of a computer-based format. ETS feels that extra time is needed to ensure a smooth transition from the old to the new test format. The GRE General Test will continue to be given at existing test centers, in its current format, until the new version of the test is made available.

Financial Aid Is Different for Grad Students

Among the many differences between undergraduate and graduate study is the way that financial aid is handled.

As a grad student, you’ll find that schools and lenders care less about your parents’ finances and more about yours – after all, you’re an adult now. You’ll need to start keeping your records complete and up-to-date, if you don’t already do so.

You’ll also find that you qualify for a much higher limit on low-interest Stafford loans. First-year undergrads can only borrow up to $2,625, whereas grads can borrow up to $18,500. (Don’t let that figure go to your head. The amount of school debt you incur should be guided by what income you can expect to earn after graduation, not by the maximum loan amount you can apply for.)

In addition, graduate school funding varies considerably from one school to another and from one field to another. A recent Chicago Tribune article noted that, at the University of Minnesota, grad students in biology and technology fields can pretty much count on getting teaching assistantships that will cover their tuition costs, while UM students in the humanities get very little school support.

The bottom line here is that you should research financial aid carefully as part of your grad school planning. Look into the salary prospects for the field you’re going into as well as the sources of grants and loans for study in your chosen field. Talk to the graduate financial aid offices at several different schools and compare what they offer as part of your school selection process. And make sure that you put your best effort into preparing applications for fellowships and other awards, not only by meeting the appropriate application deadlines but also by preparing applications that make you a strong candidate. The less money you have to borrow for your graduate education, the more freedom you’ll have post-graduation to do what you want with your hard-earned education.

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