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Ben414

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  1. I occasionally visit the Government Affairs forum out of intrigue, but I haven't felt the need to post in quite a while. Although I'm going to echo what everyone else has said, it's worth repeating: Don't go to law school to become anything other than a lawyer. Don't go to law school because you think you will get paid more because of your degree. Don't go to law school to become an international development/human rights/etc. lawyer unless you have done extensive research on how to become one and the realities of what being one looks like, you are able to get into a law school that gives you a
  2. 1) HKS is stingy with financial aid. 2) The starting salaries among these places are mostly comparable. It matters what field you go into; not which university you came from. WWS places better than SIPA for many positions, but it's to a moderate rather than incredibly high degree. 3) Many people from HKS may be well off enough to eventually pay down their debt, but for many the $120K+ debt will severely affect their finances for years to come.
  3. I would add Harvard's MPA/ID program and rank it somewhere in the top 3. It's by far the most quantitatively rigorous of the programs listed, considered similar to the beginning econometrics sequence in a econ PhD. It has a small cohort but places them really well.
  4. I think you're unlikely to be admitted to a government affairs program if your application states that you want to get a PhD or MS. Also, because your applications will most likely be sent to PhD and MS programs. EDIT: I see that you already posted this information in the Chemistry thread. It's not going to help you to spam every thread asking about your admission chances.
  5. The best way to gain more money is to work a couple more years. Barring that, a higher score could help to a small degree. However, since you're competing for a small number of scholarships with many other applicants, the fringes can potentially matter in an out-sized way. If you believe that you can score at least 5 points higher on the next test, I'd say the potential benefit is worth the small cost.
  6. Other than your GPA, everyone else in your profile is the epitome of what these programs are looking for. Work as a program analyst for 2-3 years, and you should be in good shape regardless of your GPA. I don't think the course you signed up for will make much of a difference one way or the other. Schools want to see that you have some economics and some math or stats experience. If you've taken micro and macro economics in undergrad, that's enough.
  7. Based on what you wrote, don't get a JD or PhD. A MPP might be worth it down the road if it's at a top school at a low cost. Start by working. You seem like a thoughtful person, so you're going to have to trust me when I say that you have zero idea what you're going to want to do for a career until you've tried it. With a HYPS (Stanford really should be in that grouping) undergrad degree, you should be able to corral enough connections to get a relevant (or at least partially relevant) starting job. Work for 2-4 years, potentially switching jobs if a better opportunity becomes available. Unde
  8. HKS has in recent years increased their standards for admission. It's hard to get into compared to other policy programs (I believe the acceptance rate is around 15-20%), but they're known for being stingy with scholarships. WWS is the hardest to get accepted to (I believe it's around 8-10%), but it's by far the most generous program for giving out scholarships. Their scholarships are entirely need-based, with around 80% getting full tuition plus stipend and around 90% getting full tuition. We can't recommend schools without knowing what your goals are, but the cheapest base tuition ones will
  9. I can't speak for anyone else, but that's not what I thought you believed. I merely wanted to show that I disagreed with and However, I do agree with your suggestion that people look at other routes other than a MPA. In some situations, a macro SW degree is better. In many situations, getting neither is better.
  10. A macro SW degree can get you into most of the same policy positions if the position involves a traditional social work field (Assuming we're holding the amount of tech/quant skills standard. Good MPA programs more often teach more tech/quant skills, so if a job requires those skills it may be harder to take courses in them via a macro SW.) It does not make you more versatile; it's either the same or less versatility depending on how you want to use the degree. I would only recommend OP choose a macro SW over a MPA if they have decided they want to work in a traditional social work field.
  11. Personally--and others may disagree with this--I wouldn't spend another year of lost income and tuition to get another degree when it's very likely that one or the other will more than suffice. There are many situations where getting either isn't worth it, and very few where getting both would be worth it.
  12. By "administrative," do you mean handling work requests and grants, assisting with production of reports and presentations, etc for the entire organization? Or do you mean working for a specific part of the organization where you have an expertise in that area, such as overseeing research projects in child welfare because you've been a case worker and you know research methodology? In general, the benefit of a MSW is to gain specific knowledge of whatever field you're learning. This will be most useful if you are planning on directly applying those skills in your desired career. Most of t
  13. What type of career do you want? We can give you a general idea of the difference between the two, but you can get more personalized advice if you can tell us what you're planning to use the degree for.
  14. Buy A Mathematics Course for Political and Social Research by Will H. Moore and David A. Siegel. This is the intro book used by Duke's Political Science PhD program. If you want to feel confident in your quantitative skills, read through Chapter 5. If you want to feel extremely confident in your quantitative skills, read through Chapter 11. If you want to get your Economics PhD or study political science at NYU, read the entire book.
  15. Good to know for anyone still deciding. I chose UT because I wanted to start immediately, but UCLA looks to probably be the best choice if you're fine with its set timeframes.
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