Grad School Resource Center

Discover valuable resources to assist you in your program search and decision-making process.

Application Advice, Things to Consider

Choosing Your Final Programs to Apply To

November 2021

Decisions, decisions. It’s time to pick the program winners that will receive your application.

Because you created a comprehensive profile, the GradSchoolMatch platform’s matching methodology has provided a customized list of programs that meet your unique set of needs. But it’s probably a pretty extensive list and you’ll want to narrow it down to the select few to which you’ll apply.

Application fees and how to minimize them

The average number of applications most prospective graduate students submit is between five and seven. Remember, each application entails not only a potentially lengthy process, but oftentimes comes with a fee. The average application fee is $44, with some as high as $105 (University of California system). There are some universities that do not charge application fees, and many schools offer application fee waivers for a variety of reasons including financial constraints, veteran status and campus visits.

Visiting a campus either in-person or virtually, meeting with admissions officers and/or participating in online campus programs are good ways to receive an application fee waiver. Typically, you’ll receive a code to be input before you submit your application to waive the fee. Your decision on which programs to apply to shouldn’t be based on whether they have an application fee though. A no-fee program may not be right for you or offer what you are looking for. However, it’s important to research what application fees are involved, if any, and whether they offer fee waivers.

Prioritizing your list

Once you’ve decided how many programs you want to apply to based on the time and money you want to invest, start coupling the programs you Bookmarked with your top priorities. You can do this easily with the Decision Matrix tool in your account. By evaluating your highest priorities, the Decision Matrix will prioritize the programs that are best for you.

The program profiles in allow you to research your Bookmarked programs thoroughly and message recruiters for questions or support throughout your application process. With the help of these tools, you should be able to narrow down your final list of programs that you want to apply to and attract those programs that may want you as a student.

Related Resources

How Many Grad Schools Should You Apply To?

Applying to grad school takes time and money, so more is not necessarily better.

What Are Holistic Admissions?

The term holistic refers to the fact that something or someone is a whole entity rather than just made up of individual parts. The concept of holistic admissions is much the same.