Bobby D and "Guest",
First of all, thanks for the input. To answer your questions...
1. I received my BS from Univ. of Maryland, College Park. I'm not sure of its ranking (somewhere in the top 30???).
2. My IT work experience has been, in fact, desktop and network support. No management experience at all. I understand you are not being demeaning. However, I am curious as to why this type of work experience would be considered "mediocre". Don't get me wrong - I know I'm not saving lives here
, however, compared to an applicant with zero work experience, wouldn't 5 years of *any* work experience (anything besides flipping burgers) be looked upon favorably?
3. I realize 156 isn't stellar. However, since it technically surpasses 70% of other scores ("70th percentile", right?), is it not considered a good score? Are you exaggerating when you say it "torpedoes" my chances? Just to clarify, I am not expecting to get into Harvard, Yale, or Princeton.
4. My 2 rec letters are from a former professor and my current boss.
5. As for "Why would a Tier 3/4 school be so bad?" I may be mistaken, but wouldn't graduating from a tier 3/4 school make it more difficult to find a job upon graduation. Please correct me if I'm wrong in this assumption.
FYI, some of the schools I'm considering:
U. of Florida
U. of Maryland
U. of Nevada, Las Vegas
U. of North Carolina
U. of San Diego
U. of South Carolina
* I realize there is almost no chance of me being admitted to these schools. However, since I live in the MD/DC area, I figure I'd apply anyway. The rest are a mix of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier schools. Please feel free to give ANY input.