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Gregory B. Sadler
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"The best students - well, let's say the students deemed best at admission by a huge number of programs, including those of us who are not in the top tier - overwhelmingly choose these top places for grad school." I'd say that holds for some students, but not for all. If you're first generation college, or attend an undergrad institution where very few people go on to grad school, you might have no idea about how the game works -- you just apply to places that seem reasonable to you, and that might not include the "top-tier". My GRE scores were high enough (I maxed what was back then the "Analytic" section) that, along with my GPA, writing sample, etc. I could have been admitted pretty much anywhere I might apply (and I was admitted to every place I did, some with fellowships, others not). I ended up picking Southern Illinois University Carbondale - where I actually ended up getting a great, but not prestige-conferring graduate education - because they offered me the best fellowship, and their office staff seemed like they knew what they were doing (which was decidedly not the case with some of the other schools). I passed on considerably more prestigious schools on the basis of criteria that, at the time, seemed reasonable enough to me. I suspect I'm not the only person who took such a path into graduate school
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Feb 13, 2015