Students gathered around the Speaker’s Platform for the Graduate and Professional Schools Fair on Sept. 14, where program representatives from over 100 universities and colleges were present to encourage students to go to graduate school.
“Graduate school has the potential to not only develop the person but develop society,” said Ernesto Santiago Elizondo, an enrollment services officer at Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
The fair opened some students’ minds to the possibility of going to graduate school.
Yahya Al-Sharif, a 23-year-old fourth-year fashion major with a minor in business, was walking out of his car when he saw all the tables and decided to look around. He’s currently putting himself through his undergraduate degree and the thought of graduate school never crossed his mind due to the hefty price tags. At the fair, he saw Long Beach State’s booth and commented on how cheap a master’s degree in business can be at the Beach.
22-year-old kinesiology major Eren Avila shared Al-Sharif’s financial concerns.
With hopes of becoming an occupational therapist, she said she would love to attend the University of Southern California. “It’s gonna hurt my wallet,” she said. Despite that, she believes the cost would be worth it.
Various program representatives expressed similar opinions on understanding why students never pursue higher education due to the rising cost of tuition.
“Unfortunately, I do think that rising costs produce issues, however, the return on investment for some of these programs offered in different schools can offset that initial fear,” Elizondo said.
Brittany Dorow, senior associate director of admissions for the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, has the same perspective, saying that although graduate school “is another commitment students would have to make,” higher-paying positions in the job market require specializations that an undergraduate degree alone won’t provide.
Tina Le, a 21-year-old fourth-year psychology major, has always known she wanted to go to graduate school. Le, who works for the Psychology Resource Office (PRO), was at the fair to grab some flyers and brochures that would be useful for psychology students at PRO. She also took the time to also learn about graduate programs for herself, however.
She listed finances and getting into the graduate programs as things that worry her. “But I know by taking the first step in coming to the graduate fair and being in PRO, I’m more knowledgeable in how to prepare myself for my future,” she said.