To all overachievers:
Invest in some coffee beans from Costco. Use your savings on a private essay coach. Hell, rescue a kid from Darfur if you’ve got the connections. That damn recession is going to mess with your perfect application. Apparently, you’re not the only unemployed brainiac who thinks going back to school in an economic downturn is a good idea.
The NYT reports that the number of people taking the LSAT in 2009 rose 20%, reaching an all-time high of 60,746, while the number of people taking the GREs rose 13 percent to a record 670,000 compared with 2008 . And tons of schools are reporting a major increase in applicants.
Washington University in St. Louis has had a 19% year-to-date increase in applications to its college of law. At the University of San Francisco School of Law, applications are up 35% over last year, and at the University of Iowa’s College of Law, applications are up 39%. Cornell University’s Law School, whose ranking has remained relatively stable, applications are up 44%.
One such desperate applicant was forced to apply to grad school as a result of unemployment that also forced her to move back home (a sad recession trend among the Endless Recession’s newly graduated).
Stephanie E. Neal, 24, also said she was hoping to increase her appeal to employers by returning to school. She graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology in 2008 and has since completed a paralegal certificate and a victim’s assistance certificate. But she has been unemployed since May and is now preparing to take the G.R.E. She lives with her parents in Southern California and said “desperation” has pushed her back toward academia.
“With every job going to someone who has more experience and who is willing to take a pay cut to have a job, I’m left with what amounts to slim pickings,” she said. “With no income, I’ve turned to the idea of higher education.”
Good to know our education system is valued so highly as a last resort.