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About WhyTry

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Materials science

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  1. I guess I can answer this for you, been seeing it for a while but felt like the answer does not really help you. Just curious then ok sure Research has shown that the GRE is not a good indicator of graduate school success. However, studies have shown that students who were raised affluently have a tendency to do very well on the GRE, while lower socioeconomic, underrepresented students did much worse even with intense studying. Heck, I got 162/154/4 with two months intense study, but you didn’t ask about me. These studies highlight that the GRE actually act as a barrier to students from underrepresented backgrounds. That’s great and all, but you know.. these ad comms and professors are too busy to read papers about GRE. So us poor, first generation, English second or even third language students etc. are screwed! But then, hope came upon us. A hero at SFSU in the bio department began a program that accepted these students into masters and mentored them into other PhD programs. These students started with low gre and mediocre gpas. Over the course of many fricken years, this uncaped hero acquired a grand list of these successful “poor” test score students, their high gpa at the masters level, the top universities where they are going/went for PhDs, and those who went onto professorships. Essentially, he shown how amazing these students can be, regardless of a test score. Dreams do come true. So he has the data... low gre score means nothing. But yea, so what? So what?! Professor hero goes around to different bio departments, and gives hour long talks about his work and why the gre is useless. As a result, some bio departments throw out the gre requirement. I was in one of his presentations in the past, he even said if we apply somewhere where they require it, we could let him know and he may try talking to them. I forgot his name though, or I don’t want to share it with you, idk. Anyways, every professor I’ve talked to says they don’t care about gre anymore. Just don’t bomb it. Why it’s still even there, heh... that’s a story for another time kiddo.
  2. What???!!! Lol I got 162Q/154V/4 or 3.5, and UW bioE told me my scores were excellent during the interview. Also got accepted 4/5 of my applications. But then, if you have the time and money to retake, no harm to it
  3. Hi! I used to have the same research interest so it was exciting reading your post, and now I have to let you know.... since you are taking a gap year, you can apply to nsf grfp twice! The rules changed so that you can only apply once as a graduate student, but you can still apply many times before that. I applied twice myself and will apply my last chance soon. Here it is straight from the grfp website! “As a bachelor's degree holder without any graduate study, you are eligible to compete with others at the undergraduate level. If you are offered and accept the award, you would need to be ready to begin your graduate program in the fall after you are awarded the fellowship. If you are not offered an award and decide to delay graduate school, you can re-apply at this level again if you haven't yet enrolled in or completed any post-baccalaureate graduate courses. Applying before you begin your graduate studies does not affect your ability to apply once after you're enrolled in graduate school, as long as you continue to meet eligibility requirements.” Alas, I’m sick of biology now lol so I switched to matsci. Good luck!
  4. Speeding violations aren’t expungable because they are under traffic court and not superior court. It’s really something OP does not have to worry about.
  5. You’re fine. Don’t worry. My arrest record is much worse and I passed university background checks where applicable. You can PM me if you want, but you needn’t worry.
  6. Oh im interested in thin films too, specifically electronic/semiconductor materials. I don’t know what I’d be working on yet, since students will list adviser choices and are matched at the end of the first quarter. Fit and money is everything! Lol
  7. Oh, as long as you’re happy with your choice! What kind of research are you interested in?
  8. One of my letter writers got really into the health craze, so I gave healthy snacks. Another one is low key alcoholic(joking.. maybe. They just love drinking), so I gave a special bottle of some spirit. Another one I bought food and had it delivered for their group meeting. All with handwritten cards stating specifically how they helped me develop and what it meant to me. I’ve had a good relationship with everyone(even you - joke) and discussed things whenever I could. ?
  9. I think you need to be more specific in your biology example. One example could be to talking about the importance of effective communication through publications that undoubtedly improve with the aforementioned courses etc. Don’t feel like you need to think of an example that has happened to you. Feel free to make one up.
  10. yea. It made it easier to frame my rejections, did not have to waste MY ink.
  11. I'm going to say that rankings do not matter too much.. it's more about what you do, what initative you've taken to learn more skills and network. You don't need to go to the number 1 school to be able to be just as successful as someone who went to a lower ranked school. I imagine that a student who was accepted to both the number 1 ranked university and the 30th ranked university in thier field will be just as successful at either. That student would probably be very active in obtaining new skills, networking, doing kick ass research and writing quality papers at either university. Another student with the application strength deserving of a lower ranked program may not be as successful as the aforementioned student when attending the top ranked program, only because they may not work as hard. So in my opinion, its about the student. There are opportunities everywhere, you have to be hungry and get it.
  12. Wow, pre-meds really are as cut throat as i've heard huh?? Glad I did not major in bio... I think you will be okay. A lot of grad students suffer from depression at some point in their academic careers and go to therapy, rather than getting kicked out. I wouldn't think prospective doctoral students would go to that level. I could be wrong, but.. I promise I won't. hahaha
  13. Cornell has a very, very good nanofabrication facility(meaning have the money and equipment for cutting edge matsci research), and also very well connected. The campus is gorgeous and filled with nice people. A short train ride to NYC for anything you feel Ithaca is missing. I don’t know much about uiuc. I would pick Cornell if the research and adviser is a match, but that’s me.
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