These cases will help you understand some of the issues you might face when applying to graduate school. This series features students who have a background in foster care and still, despite incredible adversity, have been successful in gaining acceptance to advanced degree programs. Each case starts with a dilemma that the “protagonist” must solve and then proceeds to provide you with information about their academic career and trajectory so that you can consider how to approach the problem and find a resolution.

Mac Strelioff: GRE Strategies.  Mac must decide if he needs to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) an additional time, or if the scores he received from his first test will gain him access to his preferred graduate programs.

Hen Werner: Taking Educational Risks for the Future. Hen weighs the financial risks of graduate school. This case provides details about the Teacher credential/Masters degree program at the UC Davis School of Education.

Cristal Harris: Self-representation and Getting the Most from Student Support Programs. Cristal must deal with issues of self-representation and self reliance as she considers her future aspirations for law school: how does she represent her goal of attending the CLEO Summer Institute and raise enough funding to pay the full tuition?

Eric Lehman: The Advanced Degree Trajectory. Eric considers his application for a Masters degree and wonders whether the MA might help him when he applies for the PhD program. This case also addresses financial strategies for community college students wishing to transfer to a four year institution.

Eden Haven-Martinez: Focused and Determined to Find the Right Direction. Eden and her husband have moved a number of times to pursue their educational dreams. Now they may be faced with another move to the Sacramento area if Eden is accepted to the Teacher credential/Masters program at the UC Davis School of Education.

Cindy Preto: Following your Interests and Passions. Cindy returns to complete her undergraduate degree after a long break of over ten years. Passionate about vineyards and the production of wine she finds a home in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, ultimately combining this passion with an interests in insects and entomology.

Rachelle Donaldson: the Importance of a Campus Visit. Rachelle sets up a campus visit to explore the Master’s program in Community Development at UC Davis. The case addresses the usefulness of an in-person campus visit as a way to informally introduce oneself to faculty and also discover if a program will be a good educational and professional match.

Valerie Acevedo: Creating a Holistic Application. Many students are concerned about the quantitative measures that admissions committees will use to judge their work — the GPA and GRE scores, yet other facets of an application are also important. Valerie creates application essays that detail her work experience, international travel and commitment to educational policy. This case showcases other aspects of the application that are important to admissions committees – pre-professional experience, leadership, and commitment to a career goal.

Ashley De Medio-Meroth: Moving for the Right Opportunity. Ashley discovers a Teaching Credential/Masters degree program at UC Davis that sounds great and offers a tuition scholarship. But it is a big decision to move to Northern California for the program and she wonders what to do.

Holly Pierce: The Importance of an Information Session. Holly is interested in using her keenly honed people skills and research capabilities in the social work profession. This case details how Holly, a re-entry student and single mother completes her undergraduate degree. The narrative focuses on her acquisition of pre-professional experience and the importance of attending an information session if one is available.

Rich Pauloo: Engaging with Future Mentors. Rich is well-prepared to tackle a PhD and has engaged in several research projects. To ensure he gets into his top choice graduate school, Rich spends a good deal of time researching potential faculty mentors and talking with them about his future plans.

Cliff Ching: Additional Preparation with a Postbaccalaureate Medical Program. Applying to medical school on his own, Cliff was not successful, but he knows attending the UC Davis PostBac program will help him create a better application. The case provides information about the medical school application process and an example of an excellent personal statement, a document that Cliff perfected to express his heartfelt desire for a career in medicine.