So it seems like I will not be getting into graduate school. I am considering staying a 5th year. As of now, I am all set to graduate in May, on time. But I really want to go to graduate school and I think staying a 5th year is ideal. Here is my plan: - Take a year long sequence in graduate Topology and graduate Algebra along with 2 year long independent studies with a theoretical physics professor along a geometry professor with MIGHT lead to some sort of publications or presentations. - Retake the GRE Subject exam this in October (i got a 35% percentile, which is probably the real reason why I didn't get into any grad schools) The benefits: If I am able to do well in the grad courses, do well on my GRE math and do well in my independent studies, I would have a great GPA, great GRE scores, possibly 2-3 publications (I will already have one by the end of this semester on an open problem in topological dynamics). I think this would definitely vault me into a top tier undergraduate student and definitely get into a grad school. The problems: 1) Would grad schools hold it against me for staying a 5th year? 2) I cannot afford to live on campus and go to school. I might be able to pull off staying a 5th year and COMMUTING. But the commute is 2 hours each way, 4 hours just for traveling. I go to a state school, so I can take out a loan to cover the tuition. And I think I can save up enough money to cover the transportation and food expenses. All in all, I think I would need ~ $3000-$4000. It costs roughly $15,000 for me when I stay on campus. 3) If I stay the whole year, then I would be applying for 2010 admissions, meaning when I'm done with my 5th year, I have a whole year of not going to school. I might get rusty and actually forget a lot of what I learned. However, I also could work and start to pay off the debt I would incur from staying a 5th year. I don't know guys, I still am waiting on 2 or 3 schools for admissions, but I just don't think I am going to get in. I already got 11 rejection letters. It's really a mess to stay a 5th year, but I just am so hurt that I might not be going to grad school this September. This is what I have been working for so hard, and I feel like it's been taken away from me.