6. Will significant others, a spouse, or children impact my plans? Your partner and/or children add a significant, and often complicated, dimension to your graduate study decisions. All are impacted by the experience. Adjustments will need to be discussed, anticipated, and managed. By including those closest to you, you will reap huge dividends when the inevitable rough spots emerge along the journey.
7. Should I consider a full-time or part-time program? There are pros and cons to both, and you need to consider carefully what's best based on your situation and motivations. Going full time usually means finishing more quickly, but also likely means a change in employment status, income, and partner/family dynamics. As for the student experience, full-time students tend to develop stronger social networks, which translate into continued personal and professional relationships after graduation.
[Learn more about the costs of a full-time vs. part-time M.B.A.]
Part-time students are usually juggling the demands of their studies with employment or other obligations. This does not allow as much time for socializing and developing networks. However, the benefits of employment tend to lessen the pressure of finances, which for you may be the difference maker. Going back to your reasons for pursuing graduate school and weighing it against your situation will help to inform your decision.
Dr. Don Martin, Ph.D., is a higher education admissions expert, author, and former admissions dean at Columbia University, Northwestern University, Wheaton College, and University of Chicago Booth School of Business. To learn more about graduate admissions, visit gradschoolmap.com.