rankings-300x219We spend a lot of time attempting to understand (and solve) the problems students face in finding a graduate program that fits.

Our data indicate the typical successful student researches a dozen or fewer programs and applies to only 3.

Let’s couple that statistic to their scale of opportunity. In a typical academic field there are about 300 universities each offering a single graduate program that the typical student might have an interest in.

Thus, a typical student only applies to 1 out of 100 programs that might be suitable. Or, put more starkly, there is a 99% chance a student who should be interested in your program won’t apply.  There may be many reasons why a student doesn’t apply to your program, but the most common reason is they don’t even know it exists.

When a student is discovered by a program on Gradschoolmatch the most common feedback we hear from them is, “I found interesting programs I never would have never known otherwise(!!)”  No matter whether your program actually found them first, it is your subsequent guidance that generates strong interest that increases the probability they’ll apply.

To find prospects that you might like, make a habit to login on Gradschoolmatch once or twice a week for 5 or 10 minutes. Go through your Match or do a quick custom Search for prospects that have backgrounds and interests that seem to fit your program. Bookmark their profile, and send a brief, helpful message. That little bit of effort changes trajectories.

And that’s about all it takes to improve your program’s chances of making their 1% list.

Or, to put it more brightly, you become a top-ranked graduate program every time an applicant puts you in their top 1% list. And of all the rankings lists out there, let’s simplify this down to the core issue: their list is the only one that really matters.