Haven't read other comments, so sorry if this is a repeat.
I think it depends a lot on your field.
In the software industry, most companies are very particular on what requirements they have for the position... and there are jobs available especially for fresh college recruits. Of course there are cases where people with more experience are chosen, in that case, that will be mentioned in the requirements list ..
I am doing a PhD now, and I know for sure it doesn't ensure I will get a better job than someone without a PhD. All my friends, who continued to work, got promoted so many times and are earning so much .. while I am here with no money and working day and night with almost no vacation.. and why? Because it makes me happy
. So I would say follow your heart with regards to higher studies. After the PhD (if at all I manage to finish!) hopefully I will at least get a job that is as good as the one I got after my undergrad!
You would expect no discriminations to happen during recruitment
Answers to those questions are used as a tie breaker of sorts. Software companies are very big on diversity.. people beg me to apply to their groups because I am a woman
, but of course that doesn't guarantee I get the job if there are better qualified men! But if I am as competent as the men who apply, then as a woman I would get a preference, especially if they are short on women in that group. The same with a foreign national, when they apply to a group that is predominantly American.
Recruitments are a tough phase, that much I can tell you. Unfortunately I think it depends a lot on the mood of the person who reviews your application or interviews you! Uggh.. I hate rejection letters.. ! I used to open a letter and check whether they were pleased or do they regret and if it says that they had regrets, then I just throw away the letter.
All I can say is hang in there, and not be disappointed with rejects!
Just remember that if someone rejected you, its their loss not yours
Edited.. I just saw this.
"Why is that important to know before the application has even been processed?"
Thats because companies/colleges keep a count of number of applicants .. and they collect demographic info for their own benefit .. for advertisement or to keep track of trends..
Don't worry.. they will ask you all that even after you get selected. No matter how many times you have entered that info, you will be asked the same things again and again.
Oh the joys of applying for grad school/jobs!
I also noticed you talked about money for college. Some colleges provide scholarships, some give partial fee waiver.. you can also do parttime jobs on campus, even if you are on a visa. Even otherwise, you should be able to pay off loans once you get a job or with multiple internships. And its normal for college students to be in debt .. I know so many who have been in debt (even when they had complete scholarships) at least once in their grad school life..
you get used to it after a while.. just make sure you make good friends who are willing to help out in your time of need!
Edited by boreddamsel - 17 April 2013 at 11:31pm