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Everything posted by HomeGrown

  1. Well I guess i'll start being more specific. I've already attended a summer session at Rutgers (my state school) and gotten straight A's at undergrad courses. I don't think that would be impressive enough to make up for a sub-3.0 at Columbia. I'm afraid the drop in difficulty would be taken into account as well. The problem at Columbia was not the quality of my work (my papers received A's, B's and my contributions in class were usually among the best). The problem was missed and late assignments, missed classes, etc. that would bring my grades down precipitously. I was treated, my grades improved, I graduated and I'm now a completely different person. I feel I definitely can handle the difficulty level. And if I can't? Well why would I deserve to get into GW or American? I'm going to pour my blood, sweat and tears into this and if it doesn't work, maybe that's a sign that grad school isn't for me. Also, enrolling in undergraduate or graduate courses at Rutgers involves the same process. Both are easy to enroll in and not very expensive for in-state residents. I might even be able to enroll in both if I wanted.
  2. Thanks for all the advice. Taking grad level courses at a public affairs school would allow me to get new rec's and would provide a different GPA if I decide to reapply next cycle. I appreciate the tough love, but I think you're overly harsh. This isn't law school, business school or medical school. Admissions to these schools is not THAT selective. I'm guessing the acceptance rate is 30% and above for many of these schools excluding the obvious exceptions. Did I expect to get in? No. But I thought I had a shot, particularly at American. I've seen candidates with lesser GRE scores get in.. I've seen candidates straight out of college get in.. it isn't rocket science and an MPA is not the holy grail, even at Harvard. As for lost and destine, I feel your pain and best of luck in moving forward. Azrou, I'm already working on many of the things you suggested and figuring out what is the best way to achieve very specific goals i have (I didn't put them here because they were so specific to the point of giving more information on here than I feel comfortable with). For others that may be reading this thread, my suggestion would be to not only follow the advice given here but also look at schools other than HKS, WWS, etc. If you have the talent and the will, you'll succeed whether you attend the most prestigious schools or not.
  3. Thanks a lot everyone. I actually just thought of a plan. Maybe some of you can give me feedback. After some reflection, a big reason I wanted to go to DC is because I want to work there eventually. Whether in non-profit, government or as an elected official. But that can happen no matter where your grad school is located right? So upon further reflection, I realized another big part is pride. I was considered one of the smartest kids in my high school, if not the smartest. I got into Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, etc. Coming from a low-income background there was a lot of pressure I put on myself. In college, I struggled mightily with depression and had to take two years off. My transcript was a disaster for several semesters before I turned it around and graduated with an Ivy degree. Now those years kind of haunt me and the biggest pain is feeling like a burn-out and a waste of potential. But if I put pride aside, I thought maybe I can attend Rutgers SPAA this summer as a non-degree student (get A's) and apply for an MPA for their spring admissions. Is it a top-ranked school? No. Is it as good as GW, American, Wagner? Of course not. But I could get an MPA, maybe build contacts in Jersey (where I want to run for State Legislature before 32 or so) and get a new start. And if I hate it, I can always apply to another school and try to transfer a few credits. Does it seem feasible? Thanks so much guys.
  4. So it happened and I'm pretty devastated. Not one school of the 3 even wait-listed me. It's ironic because for college admissions, I got into every school I applied to including Ivy League. Would it be better to take college-level or grad-level courses this summer? I might be able to get a certificate in Nonprofit Management by Fall 2013. My GPA was 2.87 so I'm hoping taking courses now can prove that the undergrad GPA is not representative of who I am. I could really use any advice you guys could give. Trying not to give up.
  5. It's the uncertainty that really grates at my nerves.
  6. Congrats to everyone who got in
  7. Ha, i think that happened to me too :-/
  8. Anyone else feel guilty for not being happy when others get accepted? haha Congrats to everyone that has gotten in so far!! I'm hoping the rest of us get good news.
  9. I was told the middle of March but you should give them a call to check for yourself
  10. Is there any way to deal with this insanity? I probably have 2 more weeks of waiting and I just don't know how much longer I can deal.
  11. How long did it take for you guys to hear back from American? They fumbled my application materials before the deadline. I submitted the application on Jan 24th but it didnt say the applicatino was complete until Feb 6th.
  12. Just called GW to ask about MPA/MPP decisions and I was told they just started reviewing applications this week and that decisions wont be made until sometime in March (about 4 weeks). Does this sound right? The results for the last few years in the database here show notifications going out as early as mid-February. Anyone have any idea when GW will make decisions?
  13. I need something to take my mind off of this. I am literally checking my email every 2 minutes!!! this can't continue. I've come to the conclusion I should hear from my first school this week. The anxiety is killing me.
  14. Retake the GRE. That verbal is not enough for the programs you are looking at. However, if your other stats are strong there are other MPA programs that you may be competitive for if you are willing to lower your expectations.
  15. Well to clarify, I have 3 years working for law firms/law offices. I got a 158Q/168V/4W on the GRE. My plan is to work in local government hopefully on the staff of my district's state senator or my city council rep, both of whom I have reached out to in the past. I want to work up to getting elected for state assembly or there are a few public policy think tanks in my state I would love to work for. I know exactly what to do... the problem is getting there. I'm 25 going on 26 and I saw grad school as a great way to gain experience, relevant knowledge and most importantly build a network. The problem is a lot of relevant jobs won't give me a look because of zero work experience in the non-profit or policy field and my academic record is not impressive enough. And at 26, I'm not sure I want to start at the bottom rung whether I'm still going to school or not. Taking quant courses sounds great.. but should I be worried that it's not my strong suit? Thanks for the advice. P.S. A 3.4 GPA is far from a sub 3.0
  16. Ok, so I must preface this by saying I haven't gotten rejected yet, but I'm realizing it's more likely than not that I will receive rejections from the 3 schools I applied to (GW, American, NYU). I would post this in another thread but it seems like most posters in this sub-forum have great stats and work experience and get into at least one of their schools. But I have not found anyone on gradcafe applying for an MPA that has either gotten rejected from every school he/she applied to -or- is likely to get rejected from every school he/she applied to. Waiting to hear from GW and American is killing me and I feel I should prepare for the worst. I'm hoping to get a career in politics, non-profit or advocacy. One of the main hindrances in my application was my sub-3.0 GPA and a complete lack of recommendations except for one professor and an academic advisor. Should I register for some summer courses? Intern or work for local elected officials? Then apply again? I know I'm rambling but any response would be great. I'm probably just experiencing the usual February freakout before getting results.
  17. A school I was applying to had a merit award deadline of February 1st, 2013. I sent my application online in January and emailed my letters of recommendation through interfolio to an email address that was provided for me. However, it took over a week to upload or process for some reason and my application did not read as complete until after February 1st, 2013. Has anyone had a similar experience? Not sure if I now no longer qualify for merit award configuration.
  18. Ugh.. I have this sinking feeling I'm going to get rejected. Are decisions really coming so soon?
  19. Grad school was my way into politics. Maybe I can do it without the gradschool route. But you guys have some great plans. Anyone think taking non-degree courses is worth the price? Especially if you're mostly broke lol
  20. If you don't get accepted anywhere, what is your plan? I only applied to 3 schools so it's definitely within the realm of possibility that I get into none of those schools. Do you have a strategy?
  21. I personally think Interfolio is useful. I made my first two deadlines but my letters of rec weren't received for one school until after the deadline. The deadline was for assistantship consideration.. should I be okay?
  22. Congrats to everyone who finished! My first deadline is in two days and still missing a LOR
  23. I'm trying to stay calm but I have 3 applications due in the next 1 or 2 weeks and none are finished. Haven't finished my essays but that's the easy part. I messaged 4 people for letters of rec and only one has submitted so far. Another said he will do it but has not submitted yet. The other two responded but disappeared. Another issue? I asked for general recommendations to Interfolio and am not 100% sure one of the schools will accept this method. Is there anyone else out there scrambling to finish and trying hard not to freak out? I just need to know I'm not alone in this and that things will be okay.
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