SA subsidizes graduate school test prep classes

 The Student Association will be paying for a portion of Graduate Record Examination prep courses for students this fall. The course will be run by Kaplan and participating students will pay between $300-500. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

The Student Association will be paying for a portion of Graduate Record Examination prep courses for students this fall. The course will be run by Kaplan and participating students will pay between $300-500. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

The Student Association executive board announced a program on April 19 that will subsidize graduate school preparation classes during the 2017-18 school year.

The preparation classes will be subsidized with money from the mandatory student activity fees.

SA will be paying between $600-800 per student, according to Director of Academic Affairs Jesse Bennett. The average cost for a preparation exam course is between $1400-1600, and Bennett could get a discount, leaving each student to pay between $300-500.

“I think the students are really looking forward to it because they no longer have to pay $1400 for prep courses,” Bennett said.

The courses will be given through Kaplan Test Prep, according to Bennett. SA chose Kaplan partly because many students already take the test prep classes that they offer at Geneseo.

“They’re the most professional; they’ve done this many times, they’re also the easiest to access and they already run classes here that are not subsidized,” Bennett said. “Students are registering for the $1400 classes here and taking them so we’re getting them to give us a discount for the students and SA would be footing part of the bill for the students.”

The program will be directed toward the Graduate Record Examinations for its first year, because it is the test that is most commonly required by graduate schools. The GRE also received the highest response from students in a survey SA sent out, according to incoming SA President junior Kaitlin Pfundstein.

Outgoing SA Vice President senior Ashley Buttice detailed how the results to the SA feedback survey were generally positive. 

Pfundstein said that she believes the program will make SA more appealing to those who do not interact as much with the student body. 

“We thought it would be a good idea to reach out to students who don’t feel they get enough from the activity fees,” Pfundstein said.

Buttice said she also hopes that as an outcome of the test prep program, students will become more aware that the main point of SA is to advocate for students.

“I think we do a lot of good things with academic support,” Buttice said. “Hopefully, this makes it as easy and stress-free as possible so students can get to the next step of their lives.”

Pfundstein said she has heard only positive feedback from students regarding the new program.

“[Rising SA Director of Academic Affairs] Corey Wilkinson and [rising SA Public Relations Director] Barak Stokler are going to run a mass advertising campaign the first two weeks of school, where we’re hoping to target juniors and seniors,” Bennett said.

Communication major senior Lauren Ladeairous thinks this initiative will help students who are unsure of whether to take the class. 

“I think it’s a great idea because with it being subsidized, it allows people to try the prep class,” she said. “Raising your grades is never a bad thing,” 

French and international relations double major junior Allyson Schmelzer said that the fact that the test prep courses are being subsidized piques her interest in taking a course.

“$300 still is kind of a lot if you aren’t planning on taking the prep classes anyway,” she said. “It still makes you consider it.”

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