The University of West Georgia held their annual Graduate and Professional School Fair on Oct. 15.  The event featured a special opportunity for students to speak individually with graduate school representatives about furthering their education.

The fair was sponsored by Career Services and included over 50 universities and specialty schools from all across the country. Students were provided with information on specific programs from a variety of disciplines. Attendees included representatives from Auburn University, Jacksonville State, the University of South Carolina and many more.

Students were able to walk around and speak to representatives from different schools, and investigate various kinds of programs that students may not be aware of without the help of the event. Representatives offered their insight for students on the betterment of attending grad school.

“Realize if the program is for you, and if you are for the program,” said Felton Todd, admissions representative from the Georgia State College of Business. “It’s good to know early on the requirements for the school you’re interested in.”

Looking into programs early on allows students to get a good understanding of tuition cost, as well as specific program requirements that are not the same at each institution.

There are many common requirements students must fulfill in order to qualify for grad school. While there are different admission test for different grad programs, Todd distinguishes between the Graduate Record Examination, the GRE, and the General Management Admissions Test, the GMAT. “The GMAT is more quantitative, while the GRE is a more evenly based test, like a tougher version of the SAT,” said Todd. The GRE is a general test for entrance into most grad schools. The GMAT is more suited for students who wish to further their education in a field of study other than business.

“You want to be prepared and not do poorly on the test,” said Todd. While some institutions look at the highest test score, others look at all scores and compare them. This is another reason students may want to look into grad school early on. It helps gain an understanding on what each particular institution is looking for from students.

Students should begin looking into grad schools the summer before their junior year. Even if that period has passed, students should still be motivated to look into different programs, and remember to start as soon as possible.

“The way education is going, having a bachelor’s degree is the norm,” said Sarah Lathrop, a representative from the graduate studies law program at Georgia State University. Lathrop emphasizes the advantages of going the extra step and attending grad school. “Graduate school is more defined; you really get program experience that most don’t get during their undergrad.”

There are also many benefits that come with enrolling into a graduate studies. Students increase their chances of receiving internships and apprenticeships that will help them enter into the professional industry in which they desire.

Students who were not able to attend the fair can visit the Georgia Grad Fair Circuit website, which details grad fairs that will be held at universities across the state of Georgia. Those interested are encouraged to visit www.georgiagradfairs.com.

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