A Guide to Applying to Math Graduate School 4 – Megumi Asada ’17

Megumi Asada ’17, a former AWM officer, wrote the following short guide to applying to graduate school in math from Williams. They are currently teaching high school math through a teaching nonprofit called Blue Engine. The following year, they will be studying math at Cambridge on a Herchel Smith Fellowship. Feel free to contact them with questions!

I’ve found that a lot of information about applying has been word-of-mouth and can often feel like privileged information among those already in math circles or those who have “an in” at prestigious graduate departments. I thought that it might be helpful to share my experience of navigating the application process as a complete beginner.

  1. Creating a list & getting motivated
  2. Preparing for & taking the exams
  3. Applying & writing applications
  4. Costs & financing
  5. Visiting grad schools


Funding Opportunities:

Within Williams

  • Allison Davis/Mellon Mays:
    • Can get various application fees waived (check individual school websites)
    • Typically Williams funds a van for each cohort to take the GRE
  • The Career Center’s Graduate School Grant
    • Max $500 in funding; need to submit quick form with cost estimates

Big Academic Alliance: very quick application for fee waivers for U.S. citizens to a decent number of schools; may have priority application deadline:

Participating Schools as of Spring 2017:

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Indiana University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State (otherwise $5 app fee)
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University

Some of the schools above will ask you to individually apply to a fee waiver at their school. Some will waive based on participation in certain groups or scholarships including but by no means limited to: Gates Millennium Scholars, SACNAS, ADRF/MMURF, SMALL, MARC, McNair, Howard Hughes, COR Program; as well as students with demonstrated need on Pell Grants or via FAFSA/CSS profile.


  • GRE General Exam: $205
  • GRE Math Subject Exam: $150 ($300 if you take it twice)
  • Application Costs to Individual Schools: $70-90/school

Less Obvious Costs:

  • Transport to and from exam sites
  • Sending scores to schools

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