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Thread: Alumni Associations: Unorthodox Methods and Graduate School Admission

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Alumni Associations: Unorthodox Methods and Graduate School Admission

    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.

  2. #2
    Blah Array Orangey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Lol, no replies.

    I've never actually heard of this happening in a concrete, other than "of-course-it-does-you're-naive", situation. So I have no advice for you regarding the donation bit of your post. Then again, I don't go to an Ivy League where most of the rich people are, so I'm not the best one to be answering.

    I'm sure you've read all about methods like (1) re-enrolling in undergraduate courses part time to make up for some of your less than stellar grades, (2) enrolling as a non-matriculating student at the graduate school of your choice (so as to get to know the faculty, and perhaps get a letter of rec out of one of them), and (3) applying anyway with a GREAT SOP and wonderful rec letters from your current employers, in the hope that your willingness to improve and demonstrated dedication will win you over to the adcoms. They do sometimes get sick of hearing about the 4.0 student who is boring and idealistic, and prefer the pragmatic, hard-working underdog that is more likely to persevere through the program. Departments like returns on their hard-won investments.

    Hope that helped.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    I see. Thanks for the input, I'll keep this in mind.

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