Greetings. I just wanted to promote the McNair Scholars Program real quick as it turned out to be invaluable in my experience applying to graduate school. So, here goes:
If you are beginning an undegraduate degree in the US and are either
1) a first generation college student
2) a minority
you may qualify for the McNair Scholars Program (financial need must be demonstrated). If your school offers this and you are accepted, it is a chance to get paid research experience as an undergraduate. In addition, they offer courses and seminars to guide you through the application process for graduate school. Also, every school I applied to waived the application fee for McNair Scholars (all it required was to fill out some forms/send documentation). On top of this, ETS cuts the cost of the GRE's for these students. If graduate school is something you are interested in and you qualify, this is an opportunity you should not pass up (in my opinion! ) Best of luck!