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Fewer Taking GREs

US News & World Report notes that the number of people taking the GREs has dropped from 633,000 last year to between 621,000 – 625,000 this year.  What’s interesting about this is that ordinarily, an economic downturn is accompanied by a rise in graduate school applications.  The article mentions several reasons why things might be different this year:

  1. This year is just an anomaly.
  2. This recession is different from ones past and people are “feeling poorer” or are clinging to their jobs more strongly than before.
  3. The perception that the private student loan market is tightening up.
  4. The perception that school budgets are being slashed and fellowship opportunities are drying up, discouraging applicants.
  5. The rush will come soon enough. “It could be that this has created a temporary pause where we would have normally seen a flow to graduate school,” said Debra Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. “That the flow hasn’t started doesn’t mean it won’t.”

I’m curious to hear what you all think.  Has anyone out there been thinking of graduate school and decided to put it off for a while, and, if so, why?

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