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About Solio

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
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    International Affairs

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  1. I've forgotten how to read for school and I'm psyching myself out about it. How the hell do you take notes on books? I'm sure I knew how to do this when I was in undergrad a decade ago, where has that knowledge gone? What the hell is an SQ3R chart? Why are peanut butter M&Ms so delicious? I'm dealing with the big questions today. And I totally wouldn't make it on to Matt Damon's Noah's Ark to Mars with the elites. I bet they don't know what an SQ3R chart is either. Bastards.
  2. I'm not sure what the housing market is like in your area, but at least where I'll be I've managed to find a bit of a compromise. I'm going to be living in a house with 5 other people, which I'll admit sounds pretty awful, especially for someone who strongly values his/ her privacy! Living with this many people means that I can afford to live in a nicer place, close to school, and pay significantly less than I would if I lived alone. Here's how I'm keeping myself sane: I am going to be renting one of the two rooms in the basement. It has it's own entry/ exit door to the house. There is also a full bath and a refrigerator down there as well. Worst case scenario, I can just come and go through the basement door and steer clear of my housemates altogether. Hopefully I won't have to do this, but it is nice to know that I have a fall-back plan in case my roommates turn out to be less-than-awesome. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. But yea, if I had the money, I would definitely live alone.
  3. I definitely empathize with your exhaustion over missed deadlines! I keep finding the coolest fellowships/ grants etc, and it always seems like the deadline was last week! However, I think part of being in grad school is being responsible for your education and not passively waiting for other people to spoon feed you information. There might be a listserv you could sign up for that would give you information about scholarships, you could check in at the international office a few times a semester, talk to your adviser, etc. The information is out there, but it's not going to come and find you. I don't necessarily agree with this. I would try to get in contact with her and ask if not only can she write you an LOR, but that she can write you a good LOR. Normally I wouldn't advise being that blunt, but I think in your particular situation it might be something to consider.
  4. I believe they are legally binding, but the devil is in the details. What exactly did they promise you? Is there a sneaky way for them to legally wiggle out of their promise?
  5. I've spent the last 8+ years living in Asia. Now I'm back 'home' in the US. Reverse culture-shock is kicking my butt!
  6. Hey @yabent, Even without school funding, I've decided to go to Georgetown. It's my dream school. I have some savings, I've applied to a lot of scholarships, and I have found quite a few funding opportunities that I can apply to for the second year. That being said, I know I'm taking a major gamble. I'm terrified of that much debt. I hope this risk pays off for me, but I know that it might not. If it doesn't, I'm looking at some long, hard years financially. I've made my peace with it and I spend my spare time looking for more funding. Good luck with your decision! Fletcher is great. I went to visit and sat in on a few classes. They were really well done. If I hadn't gotten into Georgetown I would have gone there without a second thought.
  7. hey @Ardent_PhD and @roboticx, you guys will probably find a lot more helpful information in one of the engineering forums in applied science and mathematics. Applied Science and Mathematics Good luck on your search!
  8. First off, for future reference for everyone: Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Source 1) Public schools are not government agencies. They are funded by federal, state, and income taxes, but they are in no way equivalent to actual government agencies (FBI, Post Office, Social Security Administration, etc.) Parks and conservation sites are funded by taxes. Like public universities, they are not government agencies. They have to follow constitution law, there are committees/ agencies that oversee them to make sure they are in compliance with the law, for your particular case I would look into the Office for Civil Rights, but the schools/ parks etc. are not government agencies. 2) Even if they were government agencies (which they are not), they have no obligation to allow you or anyone else to become a student there. The schools have the right to choose who they want to accept and who they want to reject. If they did not have this right, then having any sort of admissions system would be illegal. They would have to allow access to everyone until they reached capacity. 3) Rejecting someone from a program is not the equivalent of expelling someone from school for a number of reasons. First, you would first have to prove that the reason you were rejected was because of what you said in your interview. Second, you would need to prove that this was a violation of your rights protected by Title IX. Third, even if you could prove that your rights under Title IX were violated, that is still not equivalent to a free speech violation. 3)Applicants do have the same rights and protections as students. Those rights do not include being allowed admission to a school. There is no legal precedent for that. Anywhere. (If you can find a case, please tell me as I would love to read about it). 4) Interviews are part of the admission process. If they can choose to reject you because of your SOP, your GRE, your GPA, your LOR, or any other acronym for that matter, they can reject you because of how you performed in an interview. That is not violating your right to free speech. While you may see this as a punishment, there is absolutely no legal precedent to back you up. Universities have the right to choose who they do and don't accept. Some schools have appeals processes for people denied admission. That might be a option to look in to. As you weren't charged with a crime, or facing legal repercussions for being denied admissions, the school has no obligation to provide you with "due process to defend yourself". This is reserved for issues in a court of law. If you go to a lawyer and sue the school, you will be given due process to present your case. I'll admit this confuses me. I am not sure what led you to this conclusion, and I would appreciate if you could point out exactly what it is in my writing that led you to believe that I might not think students have rights. Not agreeing with your particular viewpoint is not the equivalent of saying that students don't have rights. I agree, there is of course the possibility that other applicants had their rights violated. However, that in no way means that yours were. I also believe violation of rights to be unethical and illegal and I agree that they should be stopped. If you can legally prove your rejection from this university was based on a violation of your rights, it would do applicants everywhere a great service. It is debatable whether or not they prove competency. I agree with you on that. But whether or not it proves competency is not the point. The point is that this is the system in place. If you feel this system is unfair or discriminatory, get in contact with your local congressperson and your state senator. Schools use transcripts, GRE scores, Letters of Recommendation, interviews, SOPs for this exact reason. To get a balanced overall view of a candidate, recognizing that no two people are the same and that everyone has different life circumstances. I'm sorry that you find this hurtful, but I stand by everything I said. I politely and respectfully disagree with your point of view and while I tried very hard not to be offensive, I won't censor myself nor do I expect others to censor themselves. . For example, I find that you saying that my suggestion to strengthen your application is equivalent to blaming the victim of sexual abuse, violent crime, racism etc, to be rather inflammatory. However, you have the right to say it and if I don't like it, I don't have to read it. It sucks to feel singled out, but that doesn't mean your rights were violated. I'm sorry, but it doesn't. If the interviewer had listened to your answer and then beaten you with a stick because of what you had said, that would be a violation of your rights. Fines, probation, jail time, etc, would all be violations of your rights. But not being accepted to a public university is not a violation of your rights, unless you are part of a legally protected group and you can prove discrimination. You're right, it could have been discriminatory, and I encourage you to consult legal counsel. I hope that will clarify the legality of your experience and what your next course of action should be.
  9. Golden Girl, from personal experience, I know that not getting into a school that you wanted to go to can be very depressing/ anger making. There is of course the possibility that you do have a legal claim. However you will need to speak with an attorney to determine if that is really the case. That being said, I think you are really grasping at straws here. "Being denied a privilege is a punishment in some cultures or families" This is true, in some cultures or families. But even in those cultures and families (not to mention a courtroom in the US) it's not a violation of your right to free speech. At all. If it were, there would be millions of lawsuits from people saying that because of their finances they are being denied the privilege of driving Benz's, living in mansions, wearing designer clothes, etc. Or others saying they were denied a place on the Lakers because they were 5'0" or a spot on the Olympic Swim Team because they'd never gone swimming. Are these people being denied something? Yes. Is this a violation of their rights? No. Were you (and thousands upon thousands of others) denied admission to public grad schools? Yes. Does this mean that your rights were violated? Almost certainly not. Again, please consult a qualified attorney to determine whether or not you have a case. At the end of the day, we don't always get what we want. That doesn't mean that someone is at fault. First, you are assuming that they are rejecting you for saying something they didn't like or agree with. To present any sort of believable legal case, you would have to prove that this was the actual reason that they didn't accept you. You said you didn't feel you had done well in that interview, because they asked you about your essay. The bottom line is that you didn't do well in that interview (according to what you yourself said). Did they violate your rights with the questions they asked you? The first Amendment, the 14th Amendment and Title IX protect certain groups of people under certain circumstances from being discriminated against. People who get flustered in an interview are not protected by any of those laws. Unless you get several people from that group to come forward on your behalf, it really just looks like (no matter what the reality is) sour grapes. Also, they asked you questions about your personal statement, if they had a problem with what you said in your personal statement, they wouldn't invite you to an interview in the first place. If schools don't use GRE scores, college transcripts, etc, what would they use? What, in your eyes, would be a "legitimate reason" to accept or deny someone? A lottery system? Because that would be give everyone the exact same chance of getting in. Everyone gets one slip and then they choose, Hunger Games style. Is this more legitimate? As we established earlier, public universities and grad schools are not required by law to accept everyone. Not now and not at any point in American history. As hundreds of thousands of students have experience (myself included), we don't always get in to a school we'd like to go to. It sucks. But again, that does not mean your rights were violated. Can we agree that schools have finite financial resources? Can we also agree that in order to provide even a semblance of a quality education, schools need to spend a significant amount of that money? Can we agree that they don't have enough money to education everyone who wants to be educated there? Can we agree that they have to put some system in place to decide who gets accepted into the school? What would you propose changing it with? The system is by no means perfect, but again, this doesn't mean your right to freedom of speech was violated. Were you arrested after the interview? Were you taken before a court of law and issued a fine/ jail time for what you said in the interview? Did you experience legal (jail, probation, fines) repercussions for what you said in the interview? If the answer to these questions is no, then your right to freedom of speech was not violated. Obviously, public universities are not allowed to violate the rights of applicants. I'm sorry you didn't get in to this particular school, but based on the facts you have stated, it does not look like your rights were violated. You were not arrested, fined, jailed, put on probation, or subject to other legal repercussions for what you said in the interview. Council of Graduate Schools could be a good resource for you to check out to find out what your legal options are. Honestly though, I would step back from the situation, acknowledge that you're feeling hurt and angry and let yourself come to terms with those emotions. Once you've done that, spend some time going over your application and looking for things that you do have control over. Maybe retake the GRE, take a few classes at a local community college or online, get some more work/ volunteer experience in your related field. Rewrite your SOP. These are all things that you have direct control over and would almost certainly be better places to put your time and energy. Again, I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.
  10. I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. This might be a good first resource. What You Can Ask and What You Can’t – Legal/Illegal Interview Questions It should be noted that this is for employment, not school admissions. I'm not sure that the same statutes apply. Also, laws and protections do vary by state so you will probably need to do some research on whatever state the university is in. I would suggest talking to a lawyer who specializes in either education law or possibly employment law to see how strong your legal claim is. Honestly I think you will be fighting an uphill (expensive) battle, but I wish you the best of luck!
  11. First I would say that I don't think you are correctly interpreting the First Amendment. "Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments."Source:Freedom of Speech If, after a graduate school interview you were then arrested for what you said, this would be a violation of your right to freedom of speech. Not being accepted to the program is not punishment by the government for what you said, it is merely indicative of the fact that more people are applying for graduate school than there are places to put them. Second, there are a whole host of laws determining which kinds of questions are illegal to ask in interviews. For example, I can't ask you about your religion, political affiliation, age, sexual orientation or identification, relationship status, etc because those would all be violations of a number of different Amendments. If the university in question is asking these kinds of questions, then yes, this would be a clear violation of your First Amendment rights. If the university is asking you questions about your research/ academic background, intended field of study, or plans for your career after graduate school, that is not a violation. These are all completely legitimate questions to ask prospective students. They are not "monitoring your thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc." They are trying to determine who is capable of doing the work. "Surely, the applicant will find someone in the program who they can relate to and be friends with so as long as they are capable of doing the work (which certainly cannot be determined by an interview) then everything else is irrelevant." 1) Grad school is not about making friends (though it is definitely an added plus!). 2) Schools need to determine who is capable of doing the work. The interview is one part of the application process used to determine who is capable of doing the work. 3) You say that this cannot be determined by an interview, source please? I don't think an interview is 100% accurate or a definite measure of a student's potential, but then again neither is the GRE, letters of recommendation, university GPA or any other part of the application. The admissions process is not an exact science. Departments try to do the best they can with the information that they have. Do they make mistakes? Sure. But just because they make mistakes does not mean that your right to freedom of speech has been violated. 4) I love debates like this so thanks for bringing this topic up
  12. I believe this particular interpretation of public higher education is incorrect for several reasons. 1) The mission of universities is not to educate "all" students. In the mission statements from top universities around the country, there is literally no mention of educating "all" students. Further, the "goal" of public universities, as stated on their websites, is to conduct cutting edge research and develop knowledge for the benefit of the larger society. University of California Mission Statement University of Virginia Mission Statment University of Delaware Mission Statement University of Iowa Mission Statement 2) When schools make their decisions it isn't always the case that they are rejecting people because of their views. Usually they have more applicants than they do spaces. Since their mission and goal is to conduct the highest quality research, they have to choose which of the applicants are best suited for that. For example, if you were the coach of a basketball team and you have 12 spots available but 20 people trying out, 8 of those people won't be picked. Assuming they didn't make the team because of athletic ability, there is no problem with that. If they weren't picked because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. there would be a problem. For schools this is covered by the 1st Amendment and Title IX. 3) There is literally nothing in the constitution that states that anyone is entitled to an education. Nothing. Over the years, all of the states have passed laws that state that people are entitled to an education up until the high school level. University and graduate school is not included in that. Anywhere. No one in the US is "entitled" to an education beyond 12th grade. 4) Just because *you* (general you) do not get into university does not mean that taxpayers should not have to pay for it. There are literally thousands of things that our taxes pay for that we will never individually use, but that (theoretically) help society as a whole. Think: military, infrastructure, Medicare, EPA, CDC, etc. There is no opting in or out depending on how you feel about a particular program or use of money. If you feel strongly enough about it, get in contact with your Congressperson. 5) Having an interview does not violate federal or state funding criteria unless the criteria specifically states that interview are not allowed. Which they don't.
  13. I didn't get funding either. I got a scholarship from Fletcher and I'm going to try to see if Georgetown will match it. Either way I'm pretty set on Georgetown. I've got some savings and a decent shot at some other scholarships, just wrapping my head around all that debt! It looked a lot more manageable in July!
  14. Bumping this thread. This is going to be my dilemma for the next few weeks! Would love to get other people's opinions
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