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HKS hopeful

HKS 2017

492 posts in this topic

Currently evaluating the program, but it's certainly on the long list. Outside of the prestige/networking/job placement, what do you think really separates the program?

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I was recently advised that I should wait a year before reapplying. I was waitlisted last year. Bummed, but makes sense. You all have fun.

 

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I'm worried that my lack of any full-time work experience will hurt a lot. Anyone know what the stats are for applicants accepted straight out of undergrad?

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Sleepless: I have no idea what the accepted stats are, but you're definitely right to worry about a lack of work experience -- for an mpp program, that's the equivalent of no research experience in a hard science. It's not a death knell, but when the school is as competitive as HKS, they're just looking for reasons not to accept you. Is there a reason you don't want to get a year or two of work under your belt?

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I see... It's a combination of not being a US citizen/PR so having a very difficult job search in the US and also some military service I have to complete.

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The military service could definitely help if framed correctly, but I completely emphasize with where you're coming from. I'd say just control what you can control, and make your application stand out as best you can in other ways  (personal statements and recs being the most important tools). 

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First time here, wanting to apply to MPA/ID (or WWS) but not sure if GRE scores are enough: 161Q, 152V, 4.5 AW (not much time to study). I have been reading the forum and seen that the range of scores that get admitted is quite big (160-170Q, 150-170V) so makes me feel that the backround also counts a lot but not sure how much. Ive seen admission is very competitive, dont want my application to get out the first cut only because GRE. Any past experiences that can help me to make a decision on retaking, considering that might be better to focus on having strong essays?

 

(Some backround: South American, Ms. Economics (top of the class), undergad. in econ (top 5%), 2+ years working as research assistant in macro & development, 1.5 yrs in public sector as an Economist and Advisor for a Minister (like a Secretary in the US) in his Cabinet of Advisors, 1yr in investment baking, teacher assistant in undergrad and grad level in economics, volunteer teacher in public schools, among other extra curricular, mainly between in economics, public debating and politics. LORs 3 former ministers/top academics in the country).

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They said in a recent HKS Admissions blog post that because ID is so quantitatively rigorous, the school's "comfort zone" is when applicants have a QR GRE score in the top 15%, which yours just misses. That said, your other qualifications are impeccable and, more importantly, unique. Also, most schools take into consideration non-native speaker status with VR, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. 

HKS is supposedly holistic in its approach, suggesting your app will not be disregarded because of an arbitrary cutoff, so you should definitely apply. However, if one of the academic LORs could emphasize your Quant skills, that would probably help. 

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Thank you very much for the advice and your comments! Just found the post in the blog you've mentioned:

" When it comes to test scores, there are a whole variety of factors in play. Each program has a slightly different student profile and curriculum. I will start with the quantitative section of the exams. The MPA/ID program is very quantitative in nature and thus the committee would be impressed with a score in the top 15th percentile in the quantitative section of the GRE or GMAT. This is not a cutoff, you could describe it as more of a comfort level. If someone scores below this level, the MPA/ID Committee will dig deeply into other parts of the application to determine if the applicant can handle the rigorous curriculum.

Knowing that, maybe i should focus in having strong essays, addressing quant skills in them and in the LORs. Maybe retaking to see if i can get a higher score and, if not, definitely apply.  

Thanks!  

 

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Awesome, and I appreciate your retrieving that exact passage -- on issues like this, the nuance matters. 

Definitely feel like you should apply regardless though -- who knows what will happen to any of us (HKS is a crapshoot) but you get rejected by every school you don't apply to!

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Update from HKS: 

"We are still in the early stages of application processing, but this entry kicks off a series meant to provide information to applicants on the reading and decision process. First up, to give applicants an idea of where we are in terms of processing, as of the close of business on December 7 we have processed 35.9% of the applications submitted (4 days of processing). As noted in previous posts, we review every single page of every application prior to certifying a file as ready for committee review.  Some files take longer to process than others and we likely will not be able to process around 10% of the pool each day, but the team is doing an outstanding job.

To this point in time roughly 57% of the files reviewed were marked as complete on our first pass. More than 40% of the files reviewed thus far need a second set of eyes or we need some clarification from the applicant.

When we need clarification of some sort we will send an email to the email address used on the admission application. When an application is complete we will also send an email notification out. If you have not received an email yet do not worry, we still have lots of work ahead of us. And if you have received an email and responded to it, please be patient as it may take us some time to respond. We want to get through our first sweep of all files as quickly as we can so everyone can hear from us and then we will double back and start checking all of the email responses from applicants.

As a reminder, the order in which files are certified as complete has no bearing upon the final admission decision.

Speaking of reading, although we will not commence with admission file reading until later this month, Admissions Committee training meetings for readers are underway. We had one of our Admissions Committee training meetings today and this meant putting together manuals and test cases - "

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Applied to the MC/MPA program for 2017-2018.  Now starts the financial aid prep work.

Does anyone know if financial aid situation has any impact on the decision outcome for admission?

Thanks in advance.

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Applied to the MPA/ID (and to WWS). Decisions come out by mid March, right?

Im most certain that the financial aid situation has no impact on the decision outcome. I imagine that they first see who is getting admitted and then decide who gets the aid. 

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On 12/26/2016 at 4:18 PM, PublicServant said:

Does anyone know if financial aid situation has any impact on the decision outcome for admission?

 

Nope, as @Econ360 hypothesized, they don't - confirmed at an info session last year

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On December 27, 2016 at 5:18 AM, PublicServant said:

Applied to the MC/MPA program for 2017-2018.  Now starts the financial aid prep work.

Does anyone know if financial aid situation has any impact on the decision outcome for admission?

Thanks in advance.

A 2013 post from David King:


"Hi. I think I can help answer some of these questions -- though my answers won't make it any easier for prospective students who aren't getting financial aid.  The Kennedy School is very expensive; Cambridge housing costs are crazy; and reasonably-priced daycare is especially hard to find. I wish we could make things less expensive.  It's distressing to recruit students to HKS only to have us fall short on financial aid. 

 

I chair the MPA admissions committees, and I'm sure that the MPP admissions committee operates this way, too: we have a need-blind admissions policy.  Applicants whom we think have money have *no* advantage over applicants whom we suspect will need a lot of aid.  (And if anyone -- ever -- raised the question of letting someone in because they have the ability to pay... that person would be shunned in the admissions committee and then drummed out.)

 

Our ethic in favor of need-blind admissions sometimes puts us in the uncomfortable position of turning down applicants who *would* have been funded by an employer/agency/non-profit.  For example, imagine that an agency guarantees the tuition for any state employee who is admitted to one of our MPA programs.  That guarantee would not come up in our discussions about an applicant's "fit to the program."  The bar for admission cannot be moved by a pre-existing grant or scholarship. We leave scholarship money on the table, unspent.  It happened with several scholarships this year alone. Because those pots of money were given to HKS to fund students from specific countries/states/agencies (and so on), we cannot spend the money elsewhere.

 

Harvard's endowment is huge, yes. But it's useful to remember that each school has only a slice of the endowment.  HKS has had to raise its own endowment.  We (and the Divinity School, and the Ed School) would *love* to have even a slice of the Law School or Business School endowments. Since we are a young school, and since we don't spin out millionare alumni, our endowment can't support the kinds of scholarships we'd like to see.

 

You shouldn't be surprised that many of us at HKS (and especially on the Admissions Committee) look at the Wilson School with envy. Of course... we'd rather teach here... but we wish we could fund our students as they do.  The Wilson School received a remarkable gift that set up their tuition endowment.  Tufts, too, has some good financial aid packages.  We're envious.

 

David Ellwood made financial aid his top priority when he became dean, and we have more of it than we used to have.  Much of it, though, has been given for candidates from specific places or backgrounds. There is more "general aid" available than there used to be, too -- but not enough to make anyone especially happy.  I *am* sorry.  You-all can leave, for another time, discussions about whether the money "should" be spent on an MPA. We can leave conversations about Placement and Career Services to another time, too. 

 

Today, though, with many of you deciding whether to go to HKS or elsewhere, I only wish that we (and they) had more resources to help folks out."

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For folks applying to multiple Center for Public Leadership Fellowships, are you guys writing original essays for each application or recycling some of the material? The prompts have cross over and the second (200 word) essay is the same for all of them. I'm wondering if it hurts ones chances if material is recycles, particularly in the longer essays since the prompts are slightly different.

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Hi folks!

Have applied to MPA ID. I am a management graduate from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India (arguably the best B school in the Asia Pacific region). Have work exp of a year in the private sector and three years in the development sector. Since last three years have started and is leading a project related to Agricultural Education for rural schools and students in India. Have some weak links in applications as moderate gpa and GRE scores.

Have applied for the first time but happy to see people like HKS hopeful in this thread as was a regular reader of your last year posts.

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It seems you're doing exciting stuff. Best wishes with your application. :-)

 

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Yes just received about 45 minutes ago... not sure what to make of it. Decisions not meant to be about for another month or so

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Received another email about 5 minutes ago saying it was a mistake and no admissions decisions have been released at this time

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I got the same thing. I'm now in wild speculation about whether they accidentally sent that to their list of people who have been accepted or their whole list of everyone who applied. 

This sort of wild speculation is not helpful, but I am not good at waiting. 

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