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Stories, blog posts, and more illuminating the experiences of graduate life and highlighting the impact of our students’ critical research.

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Setting Your Own Goals for Graduate School

Here is a problem: attrition rates in graduate school are high and are increasing per year. The percentage of students who don’t complete graduate school can be anywhere from 20% to 60% of the cohort size (depending on which study you read). That’s 20% to 60% of college graduates not reaching their original career aspirations.

So the question is, why do these students, who have excelled in their studies throughout their lives, suddenly decide to quit? Could it be that they were wrong? Maybe not wrong, but that they needed to take a step back for some perspective? Will some of them return to graduate school? Will they spurn higher education? What’s next for this well-educated and overqualified population?

A Social Life in Graduate School Is Just as Important as an Academic Life

Believe it or not, having a social life is an integral part of graduate school. When I first started graduate school, most of my friends were people that were in my cohort. However, as people have started finishing, moved to other places while still in the program, or have had a variety of other life transitions, meeting people outside of my program has become more important, because the majority of friends from my program are no longer in Ann Arbor.

This isn’t easy, though. Having a social life isn’t something that is stressed in graduate school, but it should be. It can be cloying, at times, to only know, talk to, and hang out with people that are in your same graduate program. Sometimes you need an escape, and that escape comes in the form of other people.

For Rackham Students with Emergency Financial Needs

Attending graduate school is a significant investment of time and money. Some students leave full-time employment to pursue a graduate degree and find themselves balancing the costs of graduate school and daily living on a fixed income. What do you do in the event of an emergency or if you encounter an unforeseen expense?

Did you know that both the Rackham Graduate School and the larger university community have set aside funds to help see students through financial hardship? These funds are designed to ensure that an unforeseen crisis in your immediate family or other unanticipated events don’t threaten the successful completion of your degree.

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