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tem11 last won the day on November 16 2009

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  1. Yep, you can opt to do the CAS now. Great to hear that there are frequent openings for Teaching Fellow positions. Thanks for your insight .
  2. I'm looking at the Prevention Science and Practice program (formerly Risk and Prevention) if that's helpful . Do you know of anyone who was able to secure a TA position or anything? Thanks!
  3. Hi everyone! I am considering applying for a HGSE masters course in a few years and was wondering what the funding is like. I recently had to turn down an offer from Columbia due to only getting $12k in aid for the year and was wondering if Harvard is similar? I'd be very grateful if current students would divulge what their funding packages look like . Thanks in advance!
  4. I think the main reason you're not getting responses is because a lot of people aren't on gradcafe at this point in time. Once the acceptances start rolling in, people tend to stray a bit . I personally think you have a good shot at any of the programs listed, though you should keep in mind that VA social work positions are incredibly scarce. Life experience seems to be more important than grades for admission to most MSW programs and it sounds like you have some really strong work experience. That being said, the worst part about getting a MSW is the cost of education. If you don't plan to go into academic research, then the name and reputation of your institution isn't nearly as important as just having your clinical license. I really can't advise you enough to go wherever is cheapest which more often than not means going to a state school. Unfortunately, you're probably not going to be able to get great funding packages with your low GPAs. I have a great deal of work experience, a 3.8 GPA and excellent letters of recommendation and I got very little funding from Columbia or NYU (nevermind the cost of living in NYC). It's absurd to spend $120K to get a degree in social work, which was recently rated the worst paying job in America. Some people on this forum seem to think a MSW is worth that much, especially those who are excited about Columbia's international program, but I disagree. The truth is, though, if you're really interested in international social work there are countless opportunities to work or volunteer for international organizations. You could volunteer with local organizations that have an international focus, or you could take volunteer trips overseas for vacations. For now though, escaping your MSW with as little debt as possible (especially if you have a young family) is the most important piece of advice I can offer. Best of luck with your applications and let me know if you have any other questions about the admissions process.
  5. MSW programs tend to weigh volunteer experience more than grades. A lot of people on these forums got into big name schools with lower GPAs than you. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to go where the money is. I got into both of the Hawai'i universities you listed, though I only received $2k in aid from Manoa and $0 from Pacific. Also, Pacific's program is not ranked at all and is only in the beginning stages of becoming accredited, so I would be very wary of applying there. UNC Chapel Hill seems to be one of the more generous colleges and if you can get in-state tuition- even better. Let me know if you have any questions about the application process. Good luck to you and have fun studying abroad!
  6. If you're an international student, it's nearly impossible to get a loan in the U.S. unless you are a citizen, a U.S. permanent resident or have a co-signer who is a citizen or a permanent resident. That being said, interest rates on U.S. federal loans are 6.8% and private loans can be a lot more. It varies greatly by lender.
  7. Most AmeriCorps programs strictly prohibit working and going to college at the same time. Likewise, the only instance in which teaching is allowed with Teach for America is if it's for a part-time Master's or PhD in education. AmeriCorps and Teach for America are both full-time positions (there are a few scattered part-time AmeriCorps positions, but not many). They're both insanely competitive and in my experience, they'll likely take grads with no other obligations instead of working around your busy schedule. As rising_star mentioned, a funded PhD is by far your best option unless you're willing to take a year or two off to work and pay off your loans. Best of luck to you!
  8. tem11

    Oxford, UK

    Gumtree.com is the UK equivalent of Craigslist, but for more Oxford-specific housing, dailyinfo.co.uk is excellent as well. Many colleges offer accommodation, too, which is by far the best way to go. There is also university accommodation, but I hear there is a 6 months-1 year waiting list. I found out a few weeks ago that I'll definitely be at St Edmund Hall and have been assigned to a married flat! Less than 700 per month- very excited!
  9. Best of luck to you! Your email sounded very professional- hope you hear back soon.
  10. Thanks for the congrats . Moving to the UK in just a few weeks...eek! I hope Columbia throws lots and lots of money at you in the next few weeks, or at the very least gives you both work study. I'm definitely still considering Columbia for my PhD so I may be contacting you when the time comes to see how you're enjoying the program. Good luck!
  11. The biggest catch is that only federal loans qualify and that if you are married, or get married over the next 25 years, you almost certainly won't qualify for IBR with a dual income household. This is a huge fact that most people overlook since a majority of people will get married. For example, I'm going into social work which doesn't pay very well and I plugged an estimate for my husband's income (50K) plus my projected low income (30K) plus my student loan debt (60K) and it said I don't qualify. If you do qualify, your monthly payments are lower but you pay WAY more in interest over the course of those 25 years. Though if you'll have well over 100K in debt, it may not matter. I've posted this quite a few times on these forums, so apologies if you've seen it elsewhere, but when I just started undergrad there were a ton of loan forgiveness programs at the state level. Every single one in my state has since been abolished due to budget cuts. While this program may very well benefit you in the next 25 years, I would not rely on it being in place forever. If it's still around and operating smoothly, great. But don't sink into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt while relying on this program to help out with your student loan debt. I learned that the hard way in undergrad and will soon have one hell of a time paying undergrad + grad school loans back . Nothing is certain and any administration could make changes to these programs. Especially in times like this, do not spend beyond your means. Best of luck to you!
  12. I'm very curious to know if you guys decided to attend Columbia or not. Hope you're all a bit closer to making your decisions!
  13. I considered doing this too. If you want to defer or reapply to get residency, you'll more than likely need to move very soon. I looked into doing this for a few universities and many use a certain date by which residency must be obtained. For example, I think for many places you had to live there from June 1st 2010-June 1st 2011 to gain residency by fall 2011. If that makes sense. Good luck!
  14. I also think the OP asked a legitimate question. I don't really think programs reject people because they're "too good" though. I applied to some top ranked schools as well as some that were not even ranked at all. The Director of one unranked program called me multiple times and practically begged me to come there. One of the things she said was, "I know you probably have offers from much more respected institutions, but understand that the more excellent students we recruit here the better our program will be." Universities obviously want the best work coming out of their school and there's no reason why they would deny admission to someone who they felt was a good fit. How many threads have we seen about people who get into amazing programs but choose to go to their second choice or third because of family ties, financial situations, etc.? It just doesn't seem very plausible to me.
  15. I applied to a total of 10 programs and was accepted to 9 of them. With the exception of one university, I had a very positive experience. There were some hold ups with my LORs and a few less than responsive secretaries, but pretty much everyone got back to me in a timely fashion. I'm still a little bitter about how one university treated me, but I'm going to a much better institution anyhow so I feel like I got back at them in some strange passive-aggressive way . As corny as it might sound, I wasn't expecting to learn so much about myself and my academic goals as I did through this process. Applying was easy, but deciding what direction I wanted to take my career turned out to be much more difficult. I settled with my undergrad institution, so sifting through all of the universities, their reputations, finding faculty whose interests matched mine, etc. was extremely eye-opening. I now have a much clearer picture of what I ultimately want to do with my life. Money was probably the most frustrating part of all of this. Most of the programs I applied to are professional programs that offer little to no funding, so that narrowed my choices down tremendously. I will be taking out around $20K in loans for my master's degree and compared to the $120K price tag of some universities, I can't complain. Overall, it was a very good application season. Hoping the PhD/DPhil applications in a few years time go just as swimmingly.
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