With 290 on GRE (AWA 3.5), should I still apply to masters programs in the US? - Power Punch Club
Power Punch Club

With 290 on GRE (AWA 3.5), should I still apply to masters programs in the US?

Episode 5, The Power Punch Club Podcast


This is another misconception that many students are under. 

This episode will open your eyes for what’s really happening here in the US. If you are in this situation, you should definitely want to listen to this episode. It is crucial that you listen to the message we have for you before you go through the tedious process of applying. 


In this episode, we talk about:

  • How GRE scores are important to the process and how they are not important
  • How the focus of admission should be average universities at the very least
  • How students get duped into applying to lower level universities


Full Description:

If you have a GRE score for example of around 290 and an AWA score of 3.5, the question here I get a lot is: Is this score enough to apply to master's degrees in the US, specifically?

Man, I'm gonna repeat this again. You guys place way too much of an emphasis on your GRE score I already talked about how you guys spend so much time studying six months to a year which is way too long.

So let's go back to this question, this question is about low GRE scores. Actually there are two questions, should I still apply to masters programs in the US and are there any universities that would accept me as a student?

So let's tackle the second question first: Yes, there always are universities that want to take you. Why? Because they want your money!

But guess what kind of universities they are? They're the tier 3, tier 4 universities.

Something that you find in a local community college. They're a four-year program. They're not a two-year program, but the level is local, meaning only the city will recognize that program.

For example, I'm out of SoCal and there are lots of these universities. You'll just drive on the highway, and you'll see signs showing different universities like Chapman University. These are really local universities.

They are at a level lower than state. A state level university is still decent because it’s recognized in the state system like California State University in Long Beach. So at least within California, you’ll have decent chances for a job. 

These are the universities that will take you but you don't want to apply there, and this is the reason. No one's gonna tell you this.

Especially not University Admissions counselors. They’re not gonna tell you this because they want to make their money and so they’re gonna send you into university without any promises.

They're not saying that once you graduate from this university, you're guaranteed a job. No, they're not saying because they don't know much about the job situation in the first place.

Imagine this situation:

So at this point you say, I’m gonna apply, let’s see what happens.

Now you'll go in search for universities. You’ll find a lot of information maybe on Facebook groups or WhatsApp groups regarding these so-called safe universities. They're gonna take you as long as you can secure a loan. In the future you're gonna pay them, or at least you're liable to pay them. 

So you go out and take a loan. $30,000 over two years on the lower end. It could be much higher. Maybe $50,000 if you’re an international student. 

So then you'll get your visa and you'll be on your way here to the US and to the University.

On the first day of campus, you'll start attending all the classes and you'll feel like you're doing something or you're here in America. You're cherishing this moment. You're loving all of this. You finally made it to this land of the free! You finally made it into US! This is what you've dreamed up for so long now. You're so ecstatic. 

And then you start attending these classes, and you realize “Oh! What have I gotten myself into?” after three weeks. You took these classes in undergrad and here they're taking it in grad school. So you'll ask yourself, what am I doing here? 

What are you doing there?

Well now you don't have any options. You could try transferring. But again you have low GRE scores, so you'll have to study for the GRE’s again.

You may not get into anywhere, so now what do you do? 

You decide to stick it out for two years. You decide to get done sooner — in a year and a half. You'll save some money at least.

Usually what happens is that three months before graduation, maybe six months before graduation, you start searching for jobs. 

Companies see that you’re attending the local university.  They're not too keen on it because they usually hire from California State University.

Now you're searching for jobs for six months. You graduate without a job which is uncommon if you graduate from a decent university. You usually have multiple offers by the time you graduate or you actually have a job in hand on the day of your graduation.

But it doesn't happen in your case. No company visits you in the middle of Arkansas and local jobs don't really exist either. So you're stuck!

What do you do you? Start working in gas stations?

You're down $40,000 and you don't have a job that you expected to have by the time you graduate so you can pay off your loans — do you just pack up go back home?

Do you work back home and try to pay it off or do you take the retake the GREs now so next year you can apply to a much better university?

You'll also have a year of work experience, and you'll have a much better GRE score. So now you can at least apply to state systems in different states like California, Portland, Washington, New York, or Arizona. 

So now start applying to state systems — the mid-level universities. You'll live in that city for the next ten years, but you’ll have a stable job.

To answer your question: Yes, there are universities, but they're not worth it until you can get into a state system.

The Power Punch Club podcast features Dr. Varun Gandhi, who has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Vineet Jain, who has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. They have 18 years of combined experience in attending various top universities in America. They have both T.A. (teaching assistant) and R.A. (research assistant) experience. They have mentored numerous students during their grad school programs. They have worked at top firms in their respective fields with 10 years of combined experience working in the industry. They have 20 years of combined experience in university admissions.

The Power Punch Club Podcast provides a fresh perspective on the university admissions process, job opportunities, interviews with experts, current and past students, professors, and university admissions committee members. Our mission is to combine tips and strategies from the experts with the journey and experience of past and current students, the research openings of faculty members, advice from university admissions committee members and experts in the student visa application process.

0 Responses on With 290 on GRE (AWA 3.5), should I still apply to masters programs in the US?"

Leave a Message

© Copyright