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Chai_latte

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About Chai_latte

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    Mocha

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    U.S.
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    Chemistry

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  1. Chai_latte

    Keep a Word, Drop a Word

    slow down
  2. Chai_latte

    Loans in Grad School

    My only additional piece of advice is don't just let it sit for 5 -7 years. Interest rates can vary between years. I took out some loans that had 5.3% interest, but the following year (or the prior year...I forget) I had loans that were 6.8%. So, ALWAYS check each year to see what the interest rate is. Why sit on a 6.8% loan, when you can pay it off and replace it with a 5.3% loan the next year?
  3. Chai_latte

    Loans in Grad School

    My first thought was no. But, if you live frugally, save a lot each term and take out a ~$5K loan at the start of each year (that you repay at the end of each year you're enrolled), you may get the small security blanket you're looking for without bone crushing compounding interest at the end of your program. If you save a lot, your nest egg will get larger as you advance through your program (of course). Just don't take out a big, lump sum of $15-20K at the start of your program and let it sit. That's when interest can get out of hand...really quickly.
  4. Chai_latte

    Applied Chemistry and Chances of Acceptance

    I would really take those classes (and Calc 3). Students coming from traditional/not applied chemistry backgrounds will have those courses. But, since you have a school in mind, ask them. Their opinion is the one that counts.
  5. Chai_latte

    Repairing low GPA + Chasing the med school dream

    You should look at the courses that brought your GPA down. If they were the more quantitative ones, you should strengthen your background there. For that, undergrad courses (retaken and/or related ones) may be your best bet. You should also take a couple of graduate level courses to show you can do the work. Of course, you need to do particularly well on the MCAT. I've seen people get into solid med schools by following that prescription.
  6. Chai_latte

    Is declining my only option crazy?

    Do you plan to practice in the northwest? If so, I'd pass on NYU (or defer)? If you are going to take on an astronomical amount of debt, you want your alumni/professor/hospital network to be strongest in your preferred region. That can make the job search process smoother and/or faster. I'm in a different field, but I'll echo a previous poster: debt is no joke. With graduate loans, interest begins accruing the day after each loan is disbursed...even while you're a student. I realize that demand for SLPs is high, but if there's even a slight hiccup with your job search 2-3 years from now, that debt can really spiral out of control once interest capitalizes upon graduation. As a prospective student, you may not fully appreciate that now. But, you will once you graduate (or approach graduation).
  7. Chai_latte

    MIT or Harvard?? Biology

    Hi Mocha, Congratulations on such great options! I can only say what I would do: if the person at Harvard is tenured, is pulling for you and if the people in his/her lab are pleased with their choice/have enough support/graduate within a reasonable time-frame etc., I would go with him/her. You're going to be working hard for the next 5-7 years. At the very least, when starting out, you should be excited about the work & be paired with a good (and supportive) prof. I wouldn't bypass that for the security of a few labs that don't bowl me over at another school. But, I would do a lot of research into the Harvard lab (and MIT labs) beforehand, leaving no stone unturned and talking to a BUNCH of students... Congrats again!
  8. I had lurked for a year prior to joining (2012-ish). I was drawn to the discussions and results section. I wound up pursuing a non-traditional path. And, I've gathered a lot of advice along the way--from folks in real life and on this site (some of whom have posted in this thread). Having officially finished school, I'm job searching now. But, I still pop in sometimes and add my two cents when I see posts that remind me of my own (circa 2012-2014)... posts of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed prospectives/first-years who want to hear as many opinions as possible. I was grateful when people responded to my threads and helped me out. So, I guess, I'm hoping my cameo appearances here can help someone else. At least, some of the time.
  9. Chai_latte

    Stafford Loan and Summer

    I can't answer the question fully, but I can tell you about my experience. I got a Direct Stafford for Summer 2015. I had to be enrolled at least half-time to get an adequate amount of money for the term. I remember expecting ~$20k, but wound up getting $14k. I can't recall the cause of that discrepancy, but I do believe you can get $20k for the summer term depending on the number of credits you register for (and still get the max for Fall & Spring). Hope this helps. You should really speak to the head of financial aid at your school; don't just talk to the person answering the phone.
  10. Chai_latte

    Should I apply for a Masters or a PhD in Chemistry?

    Since you don't think a "top 100" (or R1--research oriented university) is a reasonable expectation, I would probably strengthen my application with a thesis-based/terminal MS. At that point, you can probably look at higher ranked schools and consider research fit (you'll have more defined research interests). Just make sure you go for funded MS programs.
  11. Chai_latte

    Joint MA in higher education and MBA

    What are the credentials that most people have in that field? Research that, if you haven't already. In most cases, it's probably just the MA in higher ed. If so, I'd just go with that. You don't realize it now, but the cost of two grad degrees can be crippling! Like the previous poster said, if you're looking towards the biz side of things, take a hard look at Stanford...or Harvard or TC (schools in areas with a strong business ecosystem). That way, in your MA or EdM, you can take full advantage of business electives, business talks and hob-knobbing with new friends/colleagues at the b-school (a decent number of b-school kids are interested in applying their skills to the education field). If I were you, that would be my path. Also, take a hard, long look at the ed electives themselves. Some of them can get surprisingly "business-like". That compounded with a few electives at a b-school and a good internship, might be all you need.
  12. Chai_latte

    Teacher's College 2017 Entry

    I really want to add to this. This is a very important point. Many of you have already decided on/against TC, but this may be helpful for prospectives going forward. Examine your learning style. If lecture works best for you, TC (and most education schools) may not be the place for you. If you have a STEM background, you'll probably be allergic to all the discussion and sharing. You're simply not used to it. Personally, I saw minimal value in all the opinions/talking. In some courses, getting people to talk was like pulling teeth. In other courses, you wished some people would just stay silent. HOWEVER, I think "sharing" is emblematic of most ed schools today. And, if you're in MST, there's going to be far less discussion than in other departments. I took as few discussion courses as possible. I made HEAVY use of independent studies; I worked one-on-one with the head of my department--a sage in science and sci ed (~3 semesters). I also worked with an instructor in the art department focusing on creative technologies (~2 semesters). Get creative and construct the curriculum that works best for you! One good thing about TC is that you're not confined to departments or traditional courses. My home department within MST is Tech & Media (with significant work in SciEd and ArtEd). Right now, I'm working on my thesis. I'm on my way out. I have to say: I had a great experience here. As both a prospective & as a first year, I spoke to 2nd year students who recommended specific professors. So, I always signed up for the best. I got my (high paying) part-time job last year from my department's network. I got another part-time job (on campus/in my department) the following term working with a professor. I'm launching my full-time/post-grad job search using contacts from campus job fairs and our department's network. So far, so good. This is why you pay for TC. Yeah, it's stingy...with a capital "S". No, all things are NOT roses here (there are some boring classes, some crummy students, some crummy teachers). If you choose to come here, you need to do so with your eyes open & talk to your "elders" to help you navigate this place and make the most of it. Beyond applying aggressively for fellowships and grants, you can't do anything about the money. But, with a head's up, you can avoid the crummy classes and take the good ones. With creativity, you can fulfill your elective requirement with classes outside of TC (I took more science across the street; some people take business classes) and independent studies in other departments (or your own). In my department, your part-time job or internship can count for credit, if you don't get paid. Look into all options. If you're in MST, for example, you can join a lab. If you're in any department, you can do research with a professor. TC is a huge school. It's easy to get lost in the sauce, especially if you're part-time. There are people here who are quite dissatisfied (understandably so). There are also folks who are quite happy (very possible with a little "elbow grease"). This place really is what you make of it. Note: This is my second grad degree; I'm not sure I would've been as adept at navigating TC if I had enrolled fresh out of my small, liberal arts college. Good luck to all!
  13. Chai_latte

    Teacher's College 2017 Entry

    Well, since no one has answered, I'll share my two cents. Note: I'm not in C&T; my department is significantly smaller than yours. Professors have taught all but two of my classes (the guy who taught those two classes is now a full-time instructor--he was finishing his dissertation when he taught us last year). TC is very expensive and can be stingy with financial aid. Personally, I'd have a hard time paying that kind of money for fellow grad students to teach me. This may be secondary, but one concern I'd have would be recommendations after graduation. I suppose all of your recs would come from grad students and not established professors?? One thing you should do is email the masters advisor and ask him/her to get you in contact with a couple of MA candidates. Talk to them about their experiences. That's what I did prior to entry; the tips I got were invaluable. ETA: Just as an FYI, C&T didn't always rely on grad students to teach (I'm shocked to hear that's common now). When my mom was a student there, she only had professors.
  14. Chai_latte

    Berkeley PhD vs Harvard Ed.M

    I err on the side of "a bird in the hand"; you said that Cal seems really supportive of your plans. If it seems like a great fit, I'd give it a shot. The other thing you have to consider (and I'm saying this as someone who has finally paid off ~97% of her student loan debt) is debt load. Are you willing to go forward with the PhD after you're 40-60k in the hole from Harvard? That kind of debt is no joke when you remember that grad loans are unsubsidized and will accrue interest ALL while you're in school. 5-7 years of interest sure is a lot. The other thing you might want to consider is where you'd prefer to work as a professional--east or west coast? That can really tip the scales in a particular direction. Without knowing you/your situation, right off the bat, I'd go with UCB.
  15. Chai_latte

    Japanese Major Applying to Engineering School

    1) Great avatar! 2) I was about to recommend the LEAP program, but I see you already know about it. I've shifted career paths (but all within STEM, or STEM-related). Going from a humanities field to engineering is a big stretch. If you don't want the LEAP program, you'll probably have to do more than online math courses. You'll need in-person classes. How else will you do labs, learn design or complete a senior capstone project? How could you ever compete with kids who have co-op experience and lab research under their belts??? 3) Take things one step at a time. For now, don't worry about how renowned BU's program is. Just focus on getting your foot in the door. As things stand (even with 100 online courses), you wouldn't be competitive at places like Madison.
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