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Should I take a 5th year?

  1. Mar 10, 2013 #1
    Hey guys, so I'm a junior right now, and my path towards going to grad school in math has been going steadily, I guess. I'll have a couple of good classes under my belt by the time I graduate (though most of the upper level math classes will be taken next year), and an REU for this coming summer. Problem is, I can't help but feel like my application would be greatly strengthened if I took a fifth year at undergrad. Let me know if I'm crazy. Here's my situation:

    So I actually didn't even start taking math classes until my 2nd semester sophomore year. I switched to my focus on math after being disillusioned with my finance major. As you could imagine, I've pretty much been working my *** off. Although I may have a decent grad school application next year, I'll be at a disadvantage in that I'll have one and a half less years of math schooling than most other applicants. Do you guys think I should just apply next year? If I took an extra year, I'd be gaining: more graduate level coursework and personalized letters of recommendation (my school has a few very good professors but a math program that is lacking in upper level coursework, so I'd be doing a ton of graduate level independent studies with them). Also, I'd be able to do more research throughout the next year, and over another summer.

    Do you think these gains are worth delaying graduation? Also, do colleges typically give financial aid to 5th year students? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2013 #2
    For the financial aid, I can say yes, they typically do give financial aid to 5th year students. At least for FAFSA, I think the cap is 180 semester credits, but you should probably check their website just to make sure.
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