Hi, I recently (2007) graduate from UC Riverside with a B.A. in Psychology. After some time off I decided that I should at least pursue a Master in Psychology (preferably Human Factors at Long Beach State). However, due to some less than satisfactory (discomfiting) academic marks, I seriously doubt the tenability of acceptance and matriculation at a Graduate School. My marks are as follows:
GPA: 2.80 overall (Last 90 quarter units) 3.1 (Major GPA)
GRE: 1260 overall (630 quantitative, 630 verbal, 5.0 Writing)
Research: Have worked for four different labs, wrote programs in C++, and other code for research purposes. Also involved in data translation work, deception ~ social/personality experiments.
Because of my GPA, I don't have much going for me. Most University websites state that a 3.4 overall is considered acceptable standing to be a competitive candidate. Taking all this into account, I have recently considered more unconventional methods for acceptance. A friend of mine recently suggested the idea of forming connections with alumni associations of my desired institutions, and donating a sum to the university via this venue. He also claimed that my acceptance rate would subsequently increase substantially.
Now my question to you all is:
How many of you have experience or knowledge about this route to graduate school? Any insight, concrete evidence, advice, or input is welcome. Thanks in advance.