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your grad school process / experience


Anvrchist

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Hello Everyone!

 

I don’t know if it’s too early to be thinking about grad school but I graduate next year and I want to pursue my masters (Psychology) I’m not sure yet if I want to pursue that or pursue a masters in LMHC. Anyways, I have a couple of questions regarding the whole process 

 

1. Did you apply to in state or out of state grad schools? How many schools should I apply to? (So far I have three in mind)

 

2. Money. I don’t have any undergrad loans whatsoever but would loans be worth it now in graduate school? Did FAFSA or school offer you anything?  (I’m 21 and I’m dependent so if I move to grad school I still have to file as a dependent) 

 

3. If you went out of state or hours from home, how did you move? how was the process? (cross country drive, plane, etc) any support from parents? 

 

4. When filing for FAFSA should I do ‘on campus’ or ‘off campus’ bc some places I want to apply to have limited availability for grad students.

 

5. How did you provide for yourself, paid living expenses and such? Any tips would be helpful too!

 

Sorry for all the questions! I really want to pursue my masters after thinking my options, I really don’t want to take a year off. It’ll also be my first time going to grad school far from home if given the opportunity and I want my parents to understand.

 
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I think it might help if you browsed the Psych forum here as all of your questions have been asked and a variety of answers have been shared.  Ultimately its not too early to be thinking about grad school and there's nothing wrong with taking a gap year or two or three to figure out exactly what you want to do.  Depending on what kind of a career you want a Master's may be all you need or it may make more sense to apply straight to PhD programs with a few Master's as a back up.

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57 minutes ago, Anvrchist said:

Hello Everyone!

 

I don’t know if it’s too early to be thinking about grad school but I graduate next year and I want to pursue my masters (Psychology) I’m not sure yet if I want to pursue that or pursue a masters in LMHC. Anyways, I have a couple of questions regarding the whole process 

 

1. Did you apply to in state or out of state grad schools? How many schools should I apply to? (So far I have three in mind)

 

2. Money. I don’t have any undergrad loans whatsoever but would loans be worth it now in graduate school? Did FAFSA or school offer you anything?  (I’m 21 and I’m dependent so if I move to grad school I still have to file as a dependent) 

 

3. If you went out of state or hours from home, how did you move? how was the process? (cross country drive, plane, etc) any support from parents? 

 

4. When filing for FAFSA should I do ‘on campus’ or ‘off campus’ bc some places I want to apply to have limited availability for grad students.

 

5. How did you provide for yourself, paid living expenses and such? Any tips would be helpful too!

 

Sorry for all the questions! I really want to pursue my masters after thinking my options, I really don’t want to take a year off. It’ll also be my first time going to grad school far from home if given the opportunity and I want my parents to understand.

 

1. There a few factors with this decision. As MarineBluePsy stated, you should peruse the Psych forum and take some time to think about what you want. If you want to pursue an LMHC, it is better to do that in the state you intend to practice. MHC laws differ across states, and programs typically align their program requirements to that of the state they are located in. An MSW is another option to look into if you want a master's level therapy license.clinical social workers also provide therapy and are easier to transfer across state lines. There are also more billing options (they can bill medicare, while LMHC cannot). If you want to be a psychologist, that is a doctoral level degree. A master's in psychology is not a license-eligible degree and is more so an option is you want to pursue a psych doctorate and need to compensate for a low undergrad GPA, need more research experience and can't find a paid research assistant position, etc. You do not need to get a master's before applying to psych doctorate programs. In terms of number of schools to apply to, this again will vary. It depends on how much money you have for applications, research interest matches with mentors, etc. For clinical psych or counseling psych PhDs/PsyDs, people typically apply to approximately 10 programs, and it is recommended to focus on research match rather than geographic location. 

2. Graduate programs are ineligible for things like the Pell Grant. When you fill out FAFSA, it is strictly to be eligible for federal student loans. PhDs are mostly fully-funded through the school. With masters programs, it depends. Some have funding, and some don't. It is always recommended to not take out loans if you don't have to because compound interest rates means that you will be paying more for your education as time goes by.

3. This will vary from individual to individual. Some people drive, others ship their stuff and fly. You have to look at what makes the most sense for your situation. Also, if you have parental support that you feel comfortable taking, awesome. Again, this is something that will be unique to every individual. 

4. This would be a question to ask your program. Because grad students aren't eligible for federal grants, it may not make much of a difference. 

5. Again, this varies. Some programs will provide tuition remission and a living stipend (usually you are an RA or TA on campus). Some people work (easier to do with a master's program than a doctorate). Some people get financial assistance from family or have a spouse. And others take out loans. 

I know you said you do not want to take a year off, but you are very young, so you have plenty of time. Think about what your career goals are, and then look at the options available for those goals. For instance, if your goal is to become a therapist, you can go the master's level route. Or, if you want to do therapy, but also assessments, then you would need a PhD or PsyD in clinical psych or counseling psych. If this is the case, it is honestly better to try to work as a paid research assistant in a lab for a year or 2, get publications and posters, and then apply to fully funded programs. The Psych sub-forum is filled with tons of info for you to check out, and you can also read "Mitch’s Uncensored Advice for Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology," found herehttp://mitch.web.unc.edu/files/2017/02/MitchGradSchoolAdvice.pdf 

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