It's almost the end of January... Most of the grad school admission deadlines (for Physics) either have already passed, or they are approaching, when I've just begun to think about going to grad school. I finished my Physics B.Sc. in Dec 2008, but I have yet to take both the GREs (having cancelled my Physics GRE in November). So, what are the options out there for me getting into a grad school at this time? I would really like to get into some top experimental HEP program to get better learning/research opportunities (my undergraduate university only has a moderately-sized Physics faculty, and I'm looking for a grad school better than that).
I know many good universities are receiving much less endowments, which means less funding for grad students, which also means less openings.
Financial aids are seemingly scarce nowadays (their deadlines are fast approaching too) and it's too risky for me to pay the tuition and fees without some form of assistantships. My GPA standing is very good (above 3.9 but the Physics undergraduate program is very small) and I have done substantial work in CMS off-line analysis during my undergraduate. My professor is willing to write a strong recommendation letter on my behalf (although I might not secure a good third recommendation letter). I only hope I shouldn't have to wait until the next December/January
Thank you for your help!
A little more background:
My initial plan was to get some non-academic job, but the current economic situation has made it too hard and so I decided I'd go on to grad school instead. It's "too hard" because of my international student status and the fact that I can only be unemployed for not more than 90 days before I'm out of 'status' and become an illegal immigrant in the U.S.