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About username111

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  1. Starting a PhD Program Long after Undergrad

    It's been six years since my undergrad. Starting a PhD at 30ish is no big deal. My dad started his when he was 38!
  2. Hey!

    Based on your post, it looks like I am planning on taking the GRE at about the same time as you. I could use a study accountability partner to make sure I'm keeping with my plan. My plan is to study four hours during the week and four hours on the weekend for the next five months. I'm going to do the Khan Academy quant prep for a month, Magoosh quant for however long it takes, and then  take on the lauded 5lb quant book. (I previously scored in the 95th percentile in verbal for my masters, so I'm focusing on the quant part of the exam this time around.) If you're interested, it'd be great to check in every week to see if we're keeping with our plans. Any other ideas on how to make sure we both do awesome would be great!

    Happy weekend,


    1. Quant_Psych_2018


      I would love to be your accountability partner. I hadn't heard of the Kahn Academy Quant prep? What's that?

      I also am trying to focus on the quantitative section (although I didn't get nearly as impressive score on my verbal :D) because I'm applying to a quantitative program. 

    2. username111


      Hey! Apologies for the delayed response. Khan Academy is a free study tool created in collaboration with ETS. Don't know much about the quality, but Khan is generally pretty good.

      Want to check in Sunday to see how we did this week?

    3. Quant_Psych_2018


      Absolutely! Sounds like a plan 👌

  3. My plan was to apply for fall 2017 entry into an education policy program, but I had a health issue that prevented me from applying. I had already written an SOP and just came across this forum. Thought I'd see if someone could give me advice on whether I'm on the right track. Like I mentioned in the title, this is way too early (for the fall 2018 admission cycle) but I thought I'd seek some feedback. Specifically, I am interested in knowing whether it is not personable enough and whether my "why I'm applying to this university" part is clear enough. Please send me a PM if you would like to do a review!
  4. Teaching Experience and Working in Education

    So...I'm going to disagree a bit. I think it's important to have a teaching background if you plan on pursuing an Ed.D.or Ph.D. to work for or manage an SEA or LEA. If you want to evaluate student and teacher performance for real world applications, like student retention or teacher compensation, then you should definitely know what's going on in the classroom.Same goes for stuff dealing with curriculum and pedagogy. Academic or think tank research may be different, though. If you plan to study the impact of policies on the broader education landscape, then I don't know if having a teaching background is super important. For example, I'm planning on studying the market narrative of school choice, things like the impact of competition on public school performance and the relationship between marketing expenditures and charter school performance. For me, it's more important to have a background in statistics and economics than a K12 teaching background. Of course, there are times when economists are completely clueless about what happens in schools and that messes with their findings. For example, my masters advisor told me about a program evaluation conducted by economists in which they had null findings. But the program wasn't even implemented! All I'm saying is that having limited or no background in the classroom is not a hindrance in all ed policy situations. To me, it all depends on the context and your professional goals. Let me know what you think! (Btw, I have no teaching experience.)
  5. Fall 2017 Applicants

    Hey midmarsh! I'm also looking at Wisconsin (ELPA). Their website ( says you need to provide supporting documentation if your undergrad GPA is below 3.25. "No GPA renders an applicant automatically admissible or inadmissible. However, applicants who have a UGPA below 3.25 or a GGPA below 3.5 must submit a supporting document (see supporting documents)." You're just barely below that cutoff, so you should definitely apply if it's a program you're interested in!
  6. Fall 2017 Applicants

    Hey! I've been trolling these forums for a while and thought I'd finally post. My question is, what are some good quant-focused education policy or social policy PhD programs aside from Vanderbilt, Penn, Wisconsin, and Northwestern? I ask because while I'm good at stats, I doubt I'll be competitive based on my current GRE quant score. (I was in the 51st percentile and will retake the GRE in the fall.) My verbal was in the 98th percentile and my writing was in the 85th percentile. I think my overall record is decent, but I'm not sure how much weight admissions committees place on quant scores, especially for someone who wants to do quantitative economics of education research. In my undergrad, I triple majored in political science, history, and German, with a 3.66 GPA. For grad school, I attended the top US News ranked public affairs school (if that's actually meaningful, considering their methodology) and concentrated in policy analysis, with a 3.8 GPA. After grad school, I worked as a consultant on stats-heavy education evaluation projects for a year, then was a lobbyist for a short time, and am now the data/research manager at a nonprofit. I'll have one journal article in review, five non-peer reviewed publications and a "book" written by the time applications are due. I really like my organization a lot and am mostly applying just to see if I am admitted to a competitive program. No safety schools for me this year! Any suggestions on how I can get into a top school, considering my weak quant GRE scores? Or am I being overly pessimistic? If anyone wants to swap SOP, I'd be down!