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About ibull

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Bloomington, IN
  • Interests
    Videogames, cultural studies, black studies, science and technology studies.
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    School of Informatics and Computing

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  1. I wouldn't believe anyone who believes they have a certain answer for your question. That said, one advantage that physical institutions have over online ones is that it faculty social networks tend to be more accessible and easier to penetrate. If you are trying for a very competitive program, a person's social network (how well they know faculty in the program or how well faculty in the program know their mentor) may over-determine the success of an application. Most of the time, reviewing faculty and admission committees are looking for people who have done something exceptional beyond formal grades in undergraduate and master's programs. What may be 'exceptional' really varies, and it depends upon the values these people prioritize in the admissions process. Some programs value industry experience, some value community service, some value publications, and some value something you cannot know. In general, I think all programs value what they perceive as 'results;' that might be inherent in a person's writing, entrepreneurship, or record. But, sometimes being the perfect candidate on paper is not enough inertia for your application at the time it is received. Even when someone has attended physical institutions and become chummy with their mentors, they don't get into programs for reasons having nothing to do with their application. If you choose to apply to programs, you should speak with faculty, grads, and staff at those programs before putting your papers together. Investigate what they are looking for and try to build rapport with anyone at the institution involved in the program you're interested in. You can ask them to be upfront about what they are looking for, and what concerns they might have about your application if you're convinced the online status of your degree matters. But every program is going to have a different attitude towards the nature of your experience and background. What some might consider a limitation, others will understand as a strength. It might all depend on how you want to leverage your experience as a strength for the program, so you shouldn't assume it's a problem from the very beginning. Diversity makes institutions strong.
  2. ibull

    Bloomington, IN

    If you're a stereotypical west-coaster like I am: Coffee Joints to Check Out: Soma (on Grant St) Hopscotch Crumble If co-ops are your thing, I have enjoyed being a member of Bloomingfoods while living here. Membership fee seems steep at first, but you can split it with others and have multiple people on one account. For as much organic and hippy-dippy shit I enjoy eating, I have definitely gotten my money's worth of this place. There are local ordinance laws that give food trucks a hard time, so be sure to check out Food Truck Fridays if that is your thing. I love biking around here and lived comfortably without a car for a year. Now that I have a car, I still bike routinely because parking around the downtown area is terrible (unless we're talking about summer time and/or weekends). If you're into punk/alternative performances, be sure to follow what happens at The Void. Both the Habitat for Humanity Restore and IU Surplus Store were incredibly helpful when I first moved here and needed to find used stuff. Sometimes the finds are absolutely incredible, so if you're into that kind of thing I recommend watching their facebook pages (linked). Finally, one of the most cherished treasures in all of town is the IU Cinema. Do not delay your first viewing. The selections are consistently amazing, so don't be afraid to try something new. Once you get your id most movies will be free, but even if you have to pay it's seldom more than $3. Totally worth your time. One of my biggest regrets is waiting until the end of my 2nd year to see a movie there with some new-found friends.
  3. I think the question you're really asking is: is it worth the investment risk now to accept the position and relocate to the University without guaranteed funding? The answer to this question is almost always going to be no, unfortunately. It is always possible to apply and receive aid later, and it is always possible to transfer credits to a PhD program later, but it is not necessary to attend a master's program without fee remission in order to receive these benefits or to be accepted into a PhD program in the future. Any recruiter who tells you otherwise is acting in a predatory manner and you should avoid that institution. The conventional wisdom I've learned over the years is that these kinds of master's programs are generally not worth your personal investment if money is an issue for you. They are designed to both make faculty look more prestigious, and to generate a novel revenue stream for the department. Sometimes professional master's degrees help people transition professionally into different career paths, or allow students to network with different kinds of people for future collaborations. But, these kinds of programs are not generally supported with fee remission and tuition waivers because students are not preparing to become faculty. If your goal is both PhD and fee remission, my best advice is to apply again next year. One way you can increase you chances of getting both is to research and identify faculty you want to work with who are also available as advisors. One of the more tragic things that can happen in the application process is that you did everything right, but you didn't get in because the faculty you want to work with are on sabbatical, or they already have too many advisees. May/June is a good time to do this research and follow up with emails to specific faculty about the work they are currently doing (University websites are notoriously out of date). By the time they get back to you—July/August—you have a better sense of what to put in your Statement of Purpose and where you want to apply (ideally, no more than a few programs because yea—those fees are brutal). Wish I could be of more help.
  4. ibull

    Bloomington, IN

    This complex is practically brand new. I cannot speak to what it is like to live there—I live in a house a few blocks away. Looks like the property is managed by Cedarview Management, who owns one of the fancy downtown apartment complexes on 10th. Honestly, it's on the pricier side for student housing, but it is a decent location. Gateway is close to the bus line, which is a blessing in this town.
  5. Recommend that you reach out to the grad pool established there. Roommate is in the program; he busts his ass. The reputation here is good if you're interested in theoretical frameworks and research. Current classes available here: classes.uoregon.edu
  6. You might try contacting the graduate school at OSU to see if there are open assistantships that you can apply for that aren't in your dept. It's actually fairly common at my institution for grads to bounce around to different departments if they prefer to work elsewhere.
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