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October 03, 2002 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-03

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4B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Mgazine - Thursday, October 3, 2002
Applying to grad school means high costs

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazis




By Megan Murray
For the Daily

Three-hour classes twice a week,
four-hour practice tests on
Saturday mornings, review exercis-
es ... are these the answers to high-
er standardized scores? Even with-
out the added costs and time
required for test preparation, the
process for
grad ua t e "students
school itself
can be daunt- prepare in
ing. From the
MCAT to the and Comm
GRE to the
LSAT, stu- while takii
dents often
prepare well advantage
in advance
through prep services o1
courses, prac-
tice tests and help here i
course books.
Have these campus'.E
become stan- Career Center Grad
dard or even
required for
high standardized tests scores?
Review courses offered by
Kaplan Test Prep and Princeton
Review guarantee increases in
standardized test scores through
their online courses, private tutor-
ing, small class courses and prac-
tice guides.
According to Princeton Review,

the average increase for the GRE is
212 points, seven points for the
LSAT, and eight points for the
MCAT. They guarantee satisfaction
and increased scores or offer the
course again for free.
"My prep course for the LSAT
was extremely helpful. I had sig-
nificant increase in scores based on

practice exams and
need to
pitted ways
ffered to
- Tom Lehker
uate Student Director

would recom-
mend it to
anyone plan-
ning on tak-
ing the
LSAT," said
LSA senior
Jeff Rich.
The cost of
can weigh
heavily on
Kaplan Test
Prep has a
variety of
teaching serv-
ices offered,
with the
cheap est
option being
online tutor-

serious disadvantage if you don't,"
said LSA senior Liz Zambricki.
Along with the costs of the prepa-
ration, students need to sacrifice
large amounts of time for attending
classes and taking practice tests.
According to Zambricki, she studied
for four months prior to the test with
up to 10 - 12 hours a week outside of
her prep class. In addition, she took
five practice tests that took seven
hours on a Saturday.
"My score from the practice test
to the real exam went up from
about the 60th percentile to the
94th percentile. I would recom-
mend the course, but people need
to do the work to get the results.
Just going to class won't do the
job," added Zambricki.
According to the Career Center
(formerly Career Planning and
Placement) there are many oppor-
tunities on campus to assist in the
application process beyond the
prep classes. The center sponsors
events and information fairs where
admissions officials from schools
all over the country attend to pro-
vide information and applications.
The Career Center offers coun-
seling where application essays
and personal statements can be cri-
tiqued. In addition, the center has
extensive web resources and links
to many graduate school programs
and informational websites.
"There are many ways to prepare
for standardized tests such as the
LSAT and GRE. The Career Center
provides information about the
many options because the amount
of preparation needed is dependent
upon each students needs," said
Tom Lehker, Career Center gradu-
ate student director.
"Students need to prepare in
meaningful and committed ways
while taking advantage of services
offered to help -here on campus,"
added Lehker.
Beyond-the costs of preparation,
the actual standardized tests and
applications add on to costs.
Registration fees, are $175 for the
MCAT, $105 for the GRE, and $90
for the LSAT. Many students
choose to take the tests multiple
times to improve their scores as
well, which quickly makes the
procless expensive.

ing for $499. A small classroom
course ranges from $1,099-$1,299,
while a private tutor can be as
expensive as $3,999.
"I took the Princeton Review
MCAT prep class, which was
$1,600. Obviously, it was a lot of
money, but since practically every-
one takes a course, you are at a


I believe this band sucks big time.
TOP 10
1. Believe, Disturbed - We
believe that we will be dis-
turbed if we have to listen to
this album. Zing!
2. Home, Dixie Chicks - No
one likes you.
3. Let Go, Avril Lavigne -
Get your damn hair out of
your face.
4. Nellyville, Nelly - One
glove: Quirky but interesting.
Band-aid: Not cool.
5. The Eminein Show,
Eminem - We hope the Elvis
comparisons are true and that
Shady ends up with a gut,
singing showtunes in Vegas.
6. Ludacris Presents
Disturbing Tha Peace: Golden
Grain, Various Artists - Oh,
good. A compilation. Joy.
7. Stanley Climbfall, Lifehouse
- This seems like it would lend
itself to a dirty joke ...
8. Come A way with Me,
Norah Jones - If we see one
more video on the beach, we're
going to poke our eyes out.
9. Paradise, Kenny G - Is
this a cruel joke?
10. Unleashed, Toby Keith -
God bless America: Land of
the stupid songs about xeno-
phobia and racial intolerance.

ere are plenty of things to be mad about in this world.
Between our government's collective hard-on for a war.
(Motto: Well, we've got to use our cool new weapons
on someone) and the plummeting economy, there are some
pretty legitimate reasons to be upset. But the current recipient
of most of my malice and ill-will is not the IMF or the oil
companies, but the dreaded Comast, lord of the Engler-
granted fiefdom of southeast Michigan.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting
Comcast's office in Ann Arbor, let me briefly describe the sur-
roundings. First of all, I've seen bank vaults that were less pro-
tected. There is a thick barrier of plexiglass between you and
the drone at the desk, and the only possible contact is through
a little speaker. If you need to pass something to them, there
is a "Silence of the Lambs"-style drawer for security.
(Remember, nothing but soft paper -- no pencils or pens.)
Why, you ask, does Comcast need such extensive security
for dealing with such highly sensitive and dangerous mer-
chandise as remote controls and digital cable boxes?
Because the only people who ever actually have to go down
to the Comucast office are people who are really, really pissed
off. They are either about to have their cable disconnected
because they "haven't paid their bills in six months" or they
have spent approximately 54 hours on the phone arguing
about their charges and listening to a customer service repre-
sentative who sounds like he has been drugged reading a
script and refusing to give out any actual information.
So the extra protection is actually somewhat warranted, for
there is an increased likelihood that some incensed subscriber
will grab the nearest weapon (e.g. a hatchet) and head down
to the office. "You think digital cable is broken up into small
pieces? I'll show you!"
Can you imagine if other businesses took a cue from
Comcast and fortified their offices this way? Picture this: You
happily head down to the DMV to renew your license on your
21st birthday. After you make your way over the moat, past
the archers and through the boiling oil, you are met by a full
cavity search. It's a bleak future. But I digress,..
I would like to preface this next part by saying that I fully
understand that cable installation is more art than science, and
that especially in Ann Arbor, where the wirgin campus
housing dates back to the Eisenhower administration. (How
many of you have houses with those rotating black light
switches -- all two-prong outlets - and lose power every
time you do something crazy like use more than one burner at
once?) There is no way to predict exactly how long appoint-
ments wiltake. I understand that Welcome Week is very hec-
tic and can be very ugly for businesses such as Comcast.

However, it's not as if they didn't have time to plan for this.
("Oh crap, is it September already?") There is no excuse for
being put on hold for an hour listening to Muzak versions of
Rick Astley tunes followed by a surly and unintelligible oper-
ator telling you that "the service technician will definitelv
show up somewhere between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., so you
should try to be there the whole time." OK, maybe it's true that
Idon't have anything better to do and can and will skip class
whenever I please, but how do they know that I don't have a
real job and actual responsibilities and duties aside from cash-
ing checks from my parents. And if you don't like using the
phone, try the website - a wealth of information. This will
show you how little Comncast thinks of us, because their expla-
nation of how digital cable works reads like they paraphrased
Mike Teevee's conversation with Willy Wonka.
One of my friends, upon hearing my lengthy and colorful
list of grievances against Comcast, said he found it amusing
that I could harbor such deep resentment for this company and
what it represents and still remain a customer. He thought that
if I really despised them that much, I should stop using their
services and free myself from their Vader-like grip on the cable
market. He also subtly implied that I was something of a hyp-
ocrite for patronizing a business that I consider to be more vile
than all of the James Bond villains rolled into one.
First of all, my criticisms of Comcast are not part of some
damn-fool idealistic crusade against big business and evil cor-
porations in general. My motives are purely selfish. So don't
look at me like I'm a member of S.O.L.E. who was caught
drinking an iced mochaccino from Starbucks while jogging in
a Nike jumpsuit on his way to go shop at Kohl's.
And second, just what am I supposed to do without cable
and Internet? Sure, I can still watch "The Sunpsons" on
(shudder) network TV but what about my thrice-daily dose of
"Law & Order" (the good ones, when Chris Noth was still
on), those sinful and delicious hours of Phil Hartman-era
"Saturday Night Live." the enlightened commentary and
tough love of retired sheriff John Bunnell, C.W. Jensen et al
on "World's Wildest Police Videos" and let's not forget the
Zeus in the pantheon of TV gods, "The Sopranos."
Oh, there are alternatives, you say? I could always get a
satellite dish (ha ha) or get DSL from Ameritech (Oh, stop,
you're killing me). Oh, I suppose next you'll suggest that I
"quit watching so much TV" and "enjoy my life."
Unfortunately, I am not strong enough to carry on this fight
myself We need a hero, someone who does not have the coax-
ial monkey on his back, to be the champion of the cause. If you
find him, let meknow.I'll be at home watching "Future Guns."
-AndV can be reached at andytal@umich.edu.

S 4

The cost of grad school applications will empty your wallet.


D~i - istCoehIi1,(
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Once the testing is completed,
students still face the task of com-
pleting the applications, which gen-
erally include personal statements
and essays. Applying to multiple
schools continues to increase costs
with all of the application fees.
"I am in the process of applying
and filling out my applications. In
the end, my application fees will be
over $500 added onto my $1,100
prep course," said Rich.
Part of the application process
for medical school requires in-per-
son interviews for each applicant.
Financial aid and assistance is

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Federal Perkins Loans: i
'A need-based loan available only
to students and the low interest
I rate of 5 percent begins only
' after the student finishes school. I
' Administered through school '
I financial aid offices, students'
I have 10 years to repay these'
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I f
10 Federal Stafford Loans: |
' Subsidized Stafford Loans are
' need-based and subsidized by the
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start paying until six months'
after finishing school. The inter-'
est rate is around 7.59 percent. '
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans'
are not need-based. Most stu-'
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' ments may be deferred until'
after school.I
U Home Equity Loans: '
These loans are often good'
options for families interested in
financing students' schooling.'
They have low interest rates and .
usually mean an interest deduc-
tion on your taxes. They also can
be spent not only on tuition but
* large items like computers or*
travel expenses.
S -- www.princetonreview.com

TLED - A federal anti-trust lawsuit
filed in 2000 against five major
U.S. distributors and retailers has
been settled out of court for $143
The lawsuit accused Universal
Music & Video Distribution, BMG
Distribution, WEA Distribution,
EMI Distribution, Sony Music
Distribution, Musicland, Tower
Recolds and Trans World
Entertainment of conspiring to
inflate CD prices and reducing com-
petition and discounts between 1995
and 2000.
The settlement did not require an
admission of guilt from any of the
defendants, and so far, the majori-
ty of the companies have denied
that any illegal actiuvity took
place. The money from the settle-


ment will be distributed among the
41 states involved in the lawsuit and
will be used to pay legal fees for the
lawsuit as well as to compensate
consumers who were overcharged
during the period in question.
ITY SERIES -- Pepsi is in the
process of creating a reality series
in which contestants will battle it
out to see who gets to go on the
Russian Soyuz shutle and end up
on the International Space Station.
Zap2it.com reports that Pepsi
will be putting up $35 million for
the project, which includes the $20
million for passage required by the
Russian space agency. The idea for
the show is not a new one.
"Survivor" producer Mark Burnett
was working with NBC to produce

...... . . .. . ... . .. .. .. . ... .. .......... .. . . .. ....... .. . . ... . ...... . .. .. . .. ... ... _ .. _ . . .. . . . ..

a reality show called "Destination
Mir," but the project was stopped
in the planning phases when prob-
lems began to plague Mir. In other
celebrity space news, Lance Bass
is apparently still interested in
going up in Soyuz and will contin-
ue to try to raise the $20 million.
Billboard reports that Vince Neil,
lead singer of the '80s hair band,
was finally charged with misde-
meanor battery for an April 28
altercation outside of the Rainbow
Room in Hollywood during which
he allegedly punched record pro-
ducer Michael Schuman in the face
several times, causing him to fall
and fracture his elbow. The two had
supposedly never met.




in Democracy.

Invest in Peace.

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The rapper, along with such artists
as Britney Spears and P.O.D., has
joined an advertising campaign
designed to discourage illegal down-
loading of music. Eminem said, "... if
I'm putting my heart and all my time
into music, I expect to get rewarded fo
that ... anybody can just throw a com-
puter up and download my music for
free. It could kill the whole purpose of
making music." How noble.


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