More Information

Contact Us:
Derek Solheim
Pathways Center Director
(319) 352-8425

Nicole Willis
Academic Success Associate
(319) 352-8230

TJ Warren
Vocation & Mentoring
(319) 352-8651

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Is Graduate School Right For You?

The decision to further your education is an important one so you must make sure you are informed and prepared. There are many positive reasons to pursue a graduate degree. Unfortunately, some students enter graduate school because they do not know what else to do and are afraid of entering the job market. For some career paths, further study is necessary and will increase marketability. However, with other fields, the extra work experience will be more beneficial.

Is It Worth It?
One important question you should ask yourself, “Is graduate school worth the financial investment?” You should consider how much graduate school will cost, what are the indirect costs (i.e., loss in earnings), and will graduate school improve your job and salary prospects? There are many different funding sources with which you should familiarize yourself. These include graduate assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, and federal loans. 

The most frequently given reasons for dropping out of graduate school are: length of time required, poor academic preparation, dislike of concentrated work, expense, and realization that one was not cut out for academic life. You can avoid these pitfalls by honestly answering the questions below.

  • "Is graduate school right for me?"
  • "What do I want to do with my life?"
  • "What are both my short term and long term goals and are they realistic?"
  • "Is graduate study necessary for me to accomplish my goals?
  • "Am I academically and personally ready to tackle the rigors of a graduate program?"    
  • "Do I have the necessary ability and interest to be successful in graduate school?"
  • "Why am I planning to attend graduate school?"