How much $$ did you spend on applications

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

Bozostein
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:06 am

How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby Bozostein » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:38 pm

Hi folks,

This year I took the GRE and the PGRE the total cost for those two tests was about $250-300 if I recall correctly. I also paid application fees of $125 + $70 +$70+$70 and I had to send 3 test scores out at $23 a pop so my rough estimate is that I spent $600 dollars on the application process.

I'm curious what other people spent because I see that some people applied to more than 10 schools. To me that makes no sense at all financially unless one really is dead set on getting into grad school and having a wide range of options. I don't know, maybe it makes sense to spend more .

Post how much you spent here, include test fees and app fees. I guess maybe you could include related incedentals and other test prep costs as well if you want

microacg
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:06 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby microacg » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:48 pm

I only applied for a masters in physics at CUNY (4 schools), but I spent $125 x 4 for applications, $8 x 4 for transcripts (one institution was free), and a few bucks on postage/printing for all the materials for me and my references. In other words, I spent close to $550 without taking any tests.

User avatar
midwestphysics
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:37 am

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby midwestphysics » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:52 pm

Bozostein wrote:Hi folks,

This year I took the GRE and the PGRE the total cost for those two tests was about $250-300 if I recall correctly. I also paid application fees of $125 + $70 +$70+$70 and I had to send 3 test scores out at $23 a pop so my rough estimate is that I spent $600 dollars on the application process.

I'm curious what other people spent because I see that some people applied to more than 10 schools. To me that makes no sense at all financially unless one really is dead set on getting into grad school and having a wide range of options. I don't know, maybe it makes sense to spend more .

Post how much you spent here, include test fees and app fees. I guess maybe you could include related incedentals and other test prep costs as well if you want


Well, you could have saved $69 if you had listed your schools you wanted your free reports sent to when you took the test.

GeorgeThe4th
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:44 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby GeorgeThe4th » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:24 pm

For me it was over $1400 applying to 13 graduate schools, if you count the cost of both the general and subject tests. I wasn't originally going to apply to that many, but I knew my application may be problematic due to my low PGRE score, as well as my specified research interest in HET. I didn't bother applying to any extreme safeties, since I knew that I would not really go to one. It was either going to be a top 40 program or I would stay at my undergraduate institution and pick up a masters or something. It turns out that I only received two acceptances, so I'm very glad that I applied to as many as I did.

The actual breakdown of the expenses goes as follows:

Application fees: $685
Sending Scores: $276
Mailing Transcripts: $135
Subject and General Tests: ~$300

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby TakeruK » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:37 pm

I spent about $500 in total for the PGRE, GRE, travel to these two test sites (they don't happen in my current town). For the PGRE, I also had to stay in a cheap motel the night before since the test was at 8:30am.

I ended up applying to 8 schools (average ~$100/school), 4 of them required official mailed transcripts (4x$37.50; I needed to send 3) and I had to pay for 4 additional score reports (4x$23) = just over $1000 on applications.

So in total, I spent about $1500, which is a lot, but it helps that I'm a current grad student in Canada with a decent stipend (and having a wife with a good salary!). I chose 8 schools: 4 reaches, 2 that I thought I had a decent chance in, and 2 safeties (1 in Canada, 1 in US). I knew that 2 of my schools were UC schools known for not selecting many international students. I think in general, international students tend to apply to more places because it's probably a bit harder to get in. I also included a lot of reaches because if I'm going to go through the trouble of moving to the US, I want to go to the best schools. I also didn't know which schools would be willing to sponsor a J-1 visa for me. And I needed a Canadian safety in case I decided to not move after all.

$1500 is not too much when compared to the total cost / stipend of my entire PhD career in the US, and it will be smaller than the moving expenses my wife and I will incur. Also, the total reimbursements I get from my visits will be just below that (it's not really an offset to the amount, but I can think of spending that money on applications AND the knowledge/experience of the visits, which makes it more worth it).

asdfuogh
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby asdfuogh » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:41 pm

13 different programs, average of

$70 dollars application fee
$23 GRE score report
$10 transcript

+ $160 GRE test, $140 physics GRE test

Gives approximately $1340 + $300, which is about $1640 for the whole process (+/- because I think the average cost might be a little lower or higher because some schools had a much cheaper application). Also, keep in mind that my process took at least an extra $92 dollars because I ordered score reports for the ones that were included already... because ETS is a money sucking whore that has problems (I had to call them up because my reports weren't sent to some of the schools.. pretty annoying). Was getting into a grad school worth $1640? Well, I shot for a lot of schools I knew weren't likely, but I wanted the peace of mind of having tried. In the end, I think the experience of grad school will outweigh the relatively tiny amount of money I had to spend on the process of getting there.

tl;dr: ~$1640, was worth it.

Bozostein
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:06 am

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby Bozostein » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:36 am

midwestphysics wrote:
Bozostein wrote:Hi folks,

This year I took the GRE and the PGRE the total cost for those two tests was about $250-300 if I recall correctly. I also paid application fees of $125 + $70 +$70+$70 and I had to send 3 test scores out at $23 a pop so my rough estimate is that I spent $600 dollars on the application process.

I'm curious what other people spent because I see that some people applied to more than 10 schools. To me that makes no sense at all financially unless one really is dead set on getting into grad school and having a wide range of options. I don't know, maybe it makes sense to spend more .

Post how much you spent here, include test fees and app fees. I guess maybe you could include related incedentals and other test prep costs as well if you want


Well, you could have saved $69 if you had listed your schools you wanted your free reports sent to when you took the test.


good point, unfortunately for me, i sort of changed my mind about where I was applying at the wrong point in time. I still think ETS is somewhat unethical in the amount they charge for the scores and in not allowing you to change your recipients. It obviously does not cost them 23 to print a report (even if it is on a cd, cd's don't cost that much)

Bozostein
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:06 am

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby Bozostein » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:28 am

asdfuogh wrote:13 different programs, average of

$70 dollars application fee
$23 GRE score report
$10 transcript

+ $160 GRE test, $140 physics GRE test

Gives approximately $1340 + $300, which is about $1640 for the whole process (+/- because I think the average cost might be a little lower or higher because some schools had a much cheaper application). Also, keep in mind that my process took at least an extra $92 dollars because I ordered score reports for the ones that were included already... because ETS is a money sucking whore that has problems (I had to call them up because my reports weren't sent to some of the schools.. pretty annoying). Was getting into a grad school worth $1640? Well, I shot for a lot of schools I knew weren't likely, but I wanted the peace of mind of having tried. In the end, I think the experience of grad school will outweigh the relatively tiny amount of money I had to spend on the process of getting there.

tl;dr: ~$1640, was worth it.


sounds like you made the right decision in applying to alot of schools... the more you apply to the more you learn about the process and your applications will improve in the process. For me, I think applying to only 4 schools was an ok decision but that was motivated alot by the fact that I did not believe I had any realistic chance at getting into a high tier school

asdfuogh
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby asdfuogh » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:02 pm

Yeah.. that and I started getting panicky about not getting into grad school at all..

User avatar
lxhrk9
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby lxhrk9 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:43 pm

I applied to 13 schools. I paid $80 for GRE, $70 for the PGRE, 9*$23 to send scores and 3*$10 for transcripts to schools that required them to be official. So in the end I only spent about ~$400. This was possible because I participated in the McNair Program which made me eligible for fee waivers/fee reductions. Moral: if you know any Freshman/Sophmore's who might qualify (ie minority/ first gen college) encourage them to apply next year!

User avatar
mrrsnhtl
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:27 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby mrrsnhtl » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:00 pm

Applied to 15 schools;

Application fees = 999
Scores = 480
Mailing transcripts = 180

Exams
GRE_general = 185
GRE_subject = 165
Toefl = 185

Ignoring yet-to-be paid visa/passport costs, all sums up to apprx. 2.2 grands ($)..And yes, I'm an international student.

King Vitamin
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:01 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby King Vitamin » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:23 pm

Applied to 12 schools and 3 fellowships, I'd estimate ~$1400, maybe a little more since visiting might be more money than they'll give.

User avatar
Andromeda
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:17 pm

Re: How much $$ did you spend on applications

Postby Andromeda » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:50 am

I spent ~$1k the first time around when I applied to 10 schools. I was a rather eclectic student on paper so it really wasn't obvious where I was going to get in, and in fact I only ended up getting accepted to one school so probably best I did it the way I did.

The second time around I was primarily applying to Europe where no one wanted my test scores, application fees, or even official transcripts until after I was accepted (the exception to the last two were Oxford for whatever reason). I applied to a few schools in the USA too, so all told that was probably in the $200 range.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests