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  1. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from Frosty_McGee in SAIS, Elliott, Korbel?   
    Hi there,
    I'm currently a grad student at Elliott and I have to say I personally cannot imagine being in school for IR/security/that whole realm without being in DC. I get how important it is to not go into too much debt, so it definitely still warrants a balancing act, but I have had SO many experiences already in just my first year that I never could've gotten living in a different city. My focus is Russia, so I'm currently a semester intern at State, I get to go to events all the time with total bigwigs in the field, I have informational interviews with the Russia desks for various government agencies (NASA, DOE, etc), I can easily pop over to interview for future internships or jobs so I'm much more likely to get them, and my professors are often also practitioners in the government/think tanks/etc. I know other schools have some great profs and opportunities too, but I just don't think it would be nearly the same for me if I weren't in DC. It all depends on your career goals, though!
  2. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from Frosty_McGee in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    I wish they would too!! Each day is torture. I want to start making plans!
    I applied for their mid-career Master's in International Policy and Practice program. It is just a one year program... I got into the MA in Intl Affairs program last year but decided to hold up and hopefully do this one year program instead. Planning to focus on Russia and national security/intelligence/political risk if I am admitted. Fingers crossed for all of us! 
  3. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from Damis in Economics Prereq   
    Thanks guys! I found a community college one (Dallas Community College online) for $111 for in-state, so that may be a good option for any other Texans. In the meantime, will likely do a MOOC for macro to brush up- I'll check out the MIT one! Appreciate it.
  4. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from ESIAGradStudentSPS16-18 in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    Nice to meet you Karen!! My name is Kasey Stricklin. I plan on focusing a lot on security, so I'll definitely be in some of those courses!
  5. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from coffeeandtravel in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    I'm officially putting my deposit for GW down today, so hopefully I'll see some of you next year! I'm in the one-year mid-career program, but I can take classes in all different areas, so will surely have classes with some of you.  Best of luck everyone with your decisions and I'm really curious to hear where everyone ends up!!
  6. Upvote
    kaseyleigh reacted to ESIAGradStudentSPS16-18 in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    I am doing the deposit for GW today too. I'm going to be in the 2-year Security Policy Studies program.  My name is Karen Main. See you around!  ?
  7. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from ESIAGradStudentSPS16-18 in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    I'm officially putting my deposit for GW down today, so hopefully I'll see some of you next year! I'm in the one-year mid-career program, but I can take classes in all different areas, so will surely have classes with some of you.  Best of luck everyone with your decisions and I'm really curious to hear where everyone ends up!!
  8. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from 6speed! in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    You guys, finally received something about funding! I received 7000 a semester. They called it a "graduate fellowship." Hope everyone else just got emails too!
  9. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from Ecook9416 in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    You guys, finally received something about funding! I received 7000 a semester. They called it a "graduate fellowship." Hope everyone else just got emails too!
  10. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from kasbah in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    You guys, finally received something about funding! I received 7000 a semester. They called it a "graduate fellowship." Hope everyone else just got emails too!
  11. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from coffeeandtravel in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    You guys, finally received something about funding! I received 7000 a semester. They called it a "graduate fellowship." Hope everyone else just got emails too!
  12. Upvote
    kaseyleigh reacted to kbui in HKS 2016   
    There has been quite a number of sub-forums that touches on this subject, and the overall consensus is that:
    Unless you know (not reasonably believe) that you will be making over 60-80K a year immediately after graduation, it may be incredibly tough to live while paying the $1,200+/month in loan payments. You can defer or put your loans into forbearance, but then it collects interest. You can have Income Based Repayment (IBR) and it will only take a chunk of your paycheck, but it will take a lot slower to pay back all of your loans (if you ever pay it off). If you enter public service for 10 years and make 120 eligible payments and sign up for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, it's possible to have a large portion of the $100,000+ loan forgiven. However, as we've seen with some policies, when there's a different party/president/leader it can change without notice and the government may be at no obligation to honor something that their predecessor agreed to. One caveat: whatever is forgiven will be taxed as earned income in addition to your own income! Here's a great quote from a NYT's article, “Let’s say your debt has grown to $180,000 over 20 years, and by that point, you’re making $120,000,” he said. “If $180,000 is being forgiven, then you’re looking at paying taxes on $300,000 in total income in one year. At that point, you’re over the $250,000 income category, my friend.” In the end, a public service position is not going to rake in the money, so many should think twice, thrice, even four times before getting an MPP/MPA with a crippling amount of loans to support it. Especially if one hopes to have a family, buy a house, and other big purchase items down the road. I want everyone on here to be healthy and happy, and to calculate the future in a dispassionate way.
  13. Upvote
    kaseyleigh reacted to coasts in Funded Masters   
    I think there are certain schools known for being generous with aid, but of course, there's no guarantee for getting an award/scholarship or the size of it (besides WWS, but for WWS, you have to get in!). 
    Some schools that seem like they offer substantial funding include UT-Austin LBJ, Duke Sanford, Carnegie Mellon Heinz, UW-Madison La Follette, USC Price. You can also search through past "results" threads to get a sense for what kind of funding admits have received. 
  14. Upvote
    kaseyleigh reacted to manutdftw in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    Yah I applied for Wolcott too. Also, I called them yesterday at 4pm and they said funding decisions will be released within 1-2 days. I asked them if it would be by the end of business day today but she said she wasn't sure. So we might have to wait till Saturday or even Monday since she might have meant business days.
  15. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from coffeeandtravel in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    It definitely just varies which programs give students funding based on the student. I do have a good friend that actually favored GW, but went to Georgetown because they offered her half tuition (and GW offered nothing). For some students, I'm sure it is the opposite. Fingers crossed for us to all just get full tuition + stipend..... 
  16. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from Solio in GW Elliott Fall 2016   
    Also, wanted to let y'all know I actually just got a call from the director of the program I applied to, the MIPP program, letting me know I was in! He said he thought decisions would go out this afternoon, but perhaps he was wrong??
  17. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from GradCafe7235 in Fall 2016 Admissions Cycle   
    Enjoy Austin! It is the best. I went to UT for undergrad, so let me know if you LJB people ever need suggestions or advice on anything Austin-related. I haven't lived there since 2010 but visit occasionally and hopefully can try to help. It is a really fun city!
  18. Downvote
    kaseyleigh reacted to invicta in Southern U.S. PhD Programs: Feedback, Insights, Recommendations   
    What are you even talking about?
    I never said qualitative analysis research WASN'T respected...read for comprehension please.
  19. Upvote
    kaseyleigh reacted to CurrentFSO in Current FSO taking questions   
    When you accept an offer of employment as an FSO, you agree to worldwide availability, meaning that State can send you wherever they need you.  Your first two tours are directed tours, meaning that you get a bid list of available jobs, provide input on which jobs you want and why you want them, but at the end of the day, HR tells you where you're going.  So, you have input but limited control over where you go for your first two posts and could end up with something you don't really want.
    That said, in my experience, people haven't been sent to unaccompanied posts without volunteering.  There are Priority Staffing Posts that are unaccompanied, and currently include Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen (though DOS doesn't have people posted in Libya and Yemen right now).  Currently, DOS policy is to not send first tour officers to those posts.  There are limited positions for second tour officers in those posts and there are typically more volunteers than there are positions available.  People are interested in the jobs there because they're interested in those issues, like the financial incentives, like the career-enhancing aspect of them, etc.  
    There are some other posts that are at least partially unaccompanied, meaning that perhaps adult spouses can come but not school-aged children.  Some examples I can think of are Tunis, Algiers, and Beirut.  Those can appear on a first tour bid list, and you could be directed there, but again, my experience has been that there have been more volunteers for those types of posts than jobs available.  
    There are also danger posts that are considered accompanied, so family members can accompany FSOs at those posts.  A couple of examples of these that spring to mind are Mexican border posts and Bogota.  You could be assigned to any of those posts and depending on the post, there may or may not be a lot of people interested in it.  
    There are also posts with high crime rates that are not considered danger posts.  I'm far from an expert on how hardship and danger differentials are calculated, but general crime falls under hardship.  So, Caracas, which has a very high crime rate, has a high hardship differential due to crime and other factors, but does not have any danger pay.  Again, a new FSO could be sent to those posts.  
    After your first two tours, the process becomes much more of an interview process.  So, you choose to bid on 6-15 jobs normally, and it's then up to you to convince the people in charge of staffing decisions that you're the best candidate for a job.  So, if you don't want an unaccompanied or danger post, you don't bid on those.  There may be tradeoffs you have to make to avoid those jobs, but it may be possible to avoid them for quite some time.  
    I've known people with children who were directed to danger posts and people without children who have not (yet, at least) served in danger posts.  So, having children or not won't necessarily have a bearing on whether you might be directed to a danger post.  I did not specifically request the danger post I ended up in.  It was a large post with a high need for entry level officers, so someone had to go.  
    I think that one can manage the timing of danger posts in their career and can make some tradeoffs, but the fact of the matter is that we need people to go to danger posts to do important work and it's not fair to ask the same people to go to those places over and over again.  So, I think that it's highly likely, if not inevitable, that FSOs entering the service today should expect to do a tour or two, at the very least, in a danger post over the course of their career.  
    Though, given all of that talk about danger and unaccompanied posts, can you guess what I've heard over and over that the leading cause of death for FSOs is?  
    *drum roll*  
    Car accidents.  
  20. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from chocolatecheesecake in Fall 2015 Wrap-up (Profiles, Results, and Decisions)   
    Previous Schools (Name, type, or tier): Big state schools for both undergrad and law school
    Previous Degrees and GPAs: Bachelor's in Journalism with a 3.68 GPA. I graduated last May from law school, so I have a J.D. and my law school GPA was about a 3.6.
    GRE Scores (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical Writing): I didn't have to take the GRE since I have an advanced degree. I decided to apply late, so I only applied to schools that let me waive the GRE requirement.
    Previous Work Experience (Years, Type): I've done some unpaid (or very low wage) internships- a congressman's district office, immigration law with a nonprofit, general counsel intern for a state house of representatives, law school admin. I have very little full-time work experience, but I currently work full-time in law school admissions.
    Math/Econ Background: Very little. Journalism majors and law students really don't have to take math and econ classes.
    Foreign Language Background (if applicable to your program): I am at an intermediate level of a critical language. I've received both the Critical Language Scholarship from the Dept of State and the Title VIII fellowship to do an intensive summer program (which was through the Dept of State, but, unfortunately, they are no longer funding it).
    Intended Field of Study in Grad School: International Affairs- Foreign Policy
    Long Term Professional Goals: I ultimately would love to be a foreign policy advisor, and was hoping to work with some think tanks on my way there. I would also love to get a PhD eventually.
    Schools Applied to & Results: American SIS- accepted with 6 credits of tuition remission a year and a research assistantship stipend. George Washington- accepted with $20K fellowship over two years. I only applied to these two schools because I could waive the GRE portion, they allowed part-time study at night (was planning to work full-time) and I knew I only wanted to be in DC.
    Ultimate Decision & Why: I decided not to go to grad school this year! The more I thought about it, it just doesn't fall into place for me right now. Instead, I have been interviewing for a legal job in Dubai (cross your fingers) that would make much more sense for me at this stage and, even if I don't get that job, I am going to try to find something else that makes sense like that. I pretty much applied to grad school on a whim to see if I could go for free or something, and, though I did get some scholarships, they would almost triple my current debt. I decided that isn't worth it to me, and, if I'm going to end up in DC eventually, I will need to already have a full-time job when I move there. I just can't be an unpaid intern again and work my way up, so maybe someday I will have the connections and experience for it to all fall into place.
    Advice for Future Applicants: I think the number one thing I wish that I had done was taken the GRE. I decided to apply really too late to study for and then take the GRE, and I didn't want to just try to take it without studying because I have like no math background and would've totally bombed that section. Applying to grad school was such a last minute thing for me that I don't know that I would've taken the GRE even if I'd have thought about it earlier because it is expensive and it would've taken so much of my time to study (I wouldn't care about this so much, but I took the bar exam last summer, which basically sapped me of all my time and money in the next few months after that), but I don't know that you can really get a large amount of funding without taking it. I think my law school background likely helped me get in and get the amount of fellowships that I did, but I think the GRE is really key to getting even more. I also wasn't eligible for some big fellowships, like the Wolcott, because I already have a graduate degree. My choices of schools were also limited to ones that will waive the GRE requirement, so I wasn't even able to apply to Georgetown or HKS to see what I could've been offered.
    I definitely think it helps having people to talk to about the process, like friends going through it (I met some when I went to visit the schools) or this forum, but I think you should kind of take this forum with a grain of salt. It has good insight, but discussion forums like this tend to freak me out, and they did for law school as well. People on these are all really type A (including myself), so they all want to go to the best school ever and have the most fellowships ever, and that is great, but you have to remember that everyone needs to do what is best for them and everyones' situations are different. Ultimately, you have to take into consideration only the factors that matter for you.
    Best of luck!
  21. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from ir_gradstudent in Full-Time Work and Study   
    Hi guys,
    I was hoping to get a bit of feedback about working full-time as well as studying full-time. I am in at GW and American with about the same amount of funding, and both have the majority of classes in the evening, which is regularly touted as a plus, since it allows students to work or intern in the day. Clearly, it is not ideal, but I need to work full-time for my living costs- I do not want to take out that much more in loans. Both of my scholarship offers require me to be a full-time student as well.
    I'm wondering, then, if it is do-able to take 9 credits of class per semester at night, and work full time during the day. My only other option is that American also gave me a $4500 research assistantship and you have to do up to 10 hours of research assistance, so I could do that and then find a job for the other three or four days a week or something. 
    I'd love to hear thoughts on this! If you need any clarification, please just ask.
  22. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from ZebraFinch in Less Debt or Better Program?   
    Maybe someone in this exact forum going into policy will be the change! 
  23. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from hikarizx in Less Debt or Better Program?   
    You're right... to me, it would probably be worth it to pay more in the long run, but have low monthly payments so I can still do all the things people have mentioned, like buy a house, have children, etc. I don't really want to bank on the public service loan forgiveness, either... it will just be nice if it eventually happens.
    It's hard to say whether it is worth doing a better program, though. You said your state program is still a good program, though it may not have the exact program you want. I would say research the fully-funded program more and see if you will be able to get the kind of internships you want, the kind of employment you want after you graduate, etc. If you are fully funded, but you always regret it because you end up getting a job that isn't at all what you wanted and you never get to do what you want to do, then it might be worth it to go to a different program. I think that your state school could be what you make of it, though, so as long as you hustle and do everything you can to set yourself up for success, it would certainly be really nice not to have any debt!
  24. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from Atlas445 in American SIS vs DC Competition   
    I've noticed the same thing, so I know where you are coming from. For me, I can tell you why I am leaning toward GW over American. I don't know a ton about the job prospects at one versus the other since I'm not currently working in DC, but I'm not really looking for a full-time student experience. If I were just going to be a full-time student, I would probably want to go somewhere where I could make a bunch of nice friends to hang out with, where I can get involved in a bunch of student organizations, etc. Though this would still be nice, I already did this in law school, so I'm now looking for somewhere I can take some classes from great professors, that allows me to work full time, and is easy to get to from work (and will allow me to get a great job also after I graduate, or even during school). Because American is a bit further out, it seems like it would be harder for me to get to quickly from work, so that is a major reason I am picking GW (and the flexible curriculum is also a big plus for me). 
    I have heard that GW is more of a school where people just come to take class and to get the degree, and it looks like I'm also falling into that stereotype. I think if you are looking for a nice all-around student experience, American seemed to me like a really nice place to be.
  25. Upvote
    kaseyleigh got a reaction from kbc1423 in Funding - What % Of Applicants Get It?   
    I'll contribute, then, that both of my acceptances came with funding, but they were not a significant portion of tuition. One school gave $5K a semester, one gave 6 credits a year + a stipend. I didn't take the GRE though, since it was waived with my previous advanced degree, and I think that the GRE is a huge factor for funding, yes?
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