The Cost of Applying to Grad School

This is a rant about how expensive it is to apply for grad school.

Let's do the math:

$160 to take the GRE General test (which tests high-school-level math with no calculus, ridiculous English vocabulary that only literary people would use, and your ability to write a bullshit essay as fast as possible.)

$140 to take the GRE Subject test (The CS test was very broad; it had questions on everything from networking and operating systems to algorithms and programming languages and RSA encryption.)

$23 x N to send GRE score reports to N schools, assuming you don't use the free four that you get when taking either test (They are sent electronically, so why do they cost so much?!)

$3 x N to send official transcripts to N schools (This probably covers the cost of printing and mailing. Thank you Tufts for not being greedy, although you definitely compensate in other ways. Random fact: some schools don't want an official transcript until you're admitted; some others want two copies for some reason.)

$90 x N average application fee for N schools (Nearly all schools have a higher fee for international applicants. And you can only maybe qualify for a fee waiver if you're a US citizen / resident.)

My total for N=9 schools was $1,236. Holy shit. My bank account is weeping now :( This does not include the psychological costs of lost sleep, ignoring your friends for an entire semester, pounding away at your statement of purpose until your wrists hurt, and constant feelings of inadequacy / anxiety / mild panic. All of it to become... this? Hmm.