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About 3dender

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    Double Shot

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    2017 Fall
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  1. Have to disagree with woolscarves. Ford seems like the best fit exactly because of cost of living. You're talking about a difference of $20k for school alone + maybe another $30-40k for difference in cost of living between Ann Arbor and either Berkeley or NYC. That's $50-60k more debt that you'll have for a degree that is worth as much as Ford, with a marginally easier time getting a job on either the West or East coast. Ford is every bit as good an education as Berkeley or Wagner - some people would say even better. The difference certainly wouldn't be worth $50k to me. And the Ford network is plenty strong in policy circles nationwide. You may not have such an entrenched network as you would with Goldman/West or Wagner/East, but those networks are only for a leg up, it's not like a key to a locked door. I tell people that the networks can help, but they only make life easier. You can get almost any job you want from any of the top 10-15 policy schools. You may just have to take a little more initiative if the network isn't as strong.
  2. Just so you know, I'd wager that you can repeat that "Diversity" section for literally every policy program that's not at an HBCU. It's pretty much an open secret that they all love to talk about diversity way more than they actually practice it. I'm at Sanford and it's no different (and probably worse in some respects with respect to diversity).
  3. I applied to 8 programs. It wasn't a financial hardship for me and I'm glad I did. I don't think extra apps necessarily take all that much more effort. I.e. the essays are subtly different but if you write out a template you can adapt it to different applications without much extra work. Take my advice with salt though, because I was so long away from school and so far from policy that I really had no idea of my qualifications. I even had 4-5 lesser programs (with later deadlines) on deck in case I got rejected from all of my 1st-tier attempts. Thankfully that ended up being unnecessary. Hearing back from so many schools of varying quality with varying offers helped clarify my decision-making. If you already have a good idea how you rate compared to other applicants, applying to more than 4-5 schools is probably not necessary. You should try to cultivate a more specific idea of what you want with respect to programs, locations, and eventual job. If you do that thinking up front, applying to less schools will happen organically.
  4. People who have been to policy school will value Goldman over SIPA domestically. People who don't know about policy will probably consider them all at a similar level, I imagine in the close order of Columbia-Georgetown-Berkeley. If you want to work internationally it's SIPA with McCourt a close 2nd and Goldman a more distant third. If you want to work on the West Coast it's Berkeley all the way with Columbia 2nd and McCourt 3rd. If you want to work in NYC it's obviously Columbia. If you want to work in DC it's obviously McCourt. Each school has a solid network so you have about the same chances of someone pulling strings for you to get a job. Columbia is a bigger program so maybe more networking possibilities, but most of them go international making the net domestic effect about the same as the other programs. So yeah basically it depends on where you want to be and what you want to do. The reputational pecking order also doesn't matter as much as some people often convince themselves. if you don't write a compelling cover letter and give a good interview your $120k Columbia degree won't get you anything over a solid candidate from a twenty-something-ranked school. E.g. I'm about to graduate from Sanford and have a handful of job opportunities that are everything I could have wanted from any policy school. At no point have I ever felt disadvantaged in comparison to folks from HKS or Columbia or Berkeley or McCourt, etc.
  5. Do you know where you want to work? Evans is a great school, and from what I hear near the quality of Harris. But its network is obviously strongest on the West Coast. Harris has more going on in the East Coast. That said, I don't think you'd find it overly challenging to get a job on the East Coast coming from Evans, it would just be easier from Harris. Are you able to go to the open houses? I went to Harris's and almost immediately hated the vibe of the school. Seemed very pretentious. And the coffee was shitty. Another consideration is that if you're planning on doing quant stuff at a think tank, almost all of the policy programs are going to provide the minimum of what you need to make that happen, and you'll be able to supplement whatever you need on top. I'm at Sanford and you can do as much or as little quant as you want. Also, for heavier quant stuff, employers are mostly looking for PhDs to handle it. So you won't really be able to set yourself apart just by going to Harris. If anything it's the network and name you'll be paying for, so you have to ask yourself how much that's worth to you. Again, you will be able to get virtually anything with Evans that you get with Harris, it just may take a little more initiative. Regret is a personal decision. I know people who are so indecisive that they regret literally every decision they ever make, and every decision they DON'T make on top. It's awful. I remember how anxious I was about choosing schools, and how nervous I was when I first got to Sanford. The spreadsheet and everything. In hindsight of course it was needless. Just remind yourself that with two such excellent choices you can't really go wrong. Best of luck!
  6. There should be a lot of good music going on at MotorCo next weekend, I believe Duke Performances is sponsoring a music series there. That area is fun to hang at, with Fullsteam Brewery right across the street and Cocoa Cinnamon, one of the city's cool coffee shops, right around the corner. If the weather's nice Duke Gardens is beautiful and might be near peak flowers. Lots of great food in town, but you can research that on your own. The packet/tour they give you will have a lot of info too. I hope you enjoy your visit. If you want to say hi I'll be at the Policy for the People table during the student group fair.
  7. Goldman hands down. But if you really want to be in DC or want to do international affairs, then McCourt.
  8. I'm graduating from Sanford in about a month. A couple of notes on themes I've seen in this thread: 1) I was able to leverage a strong offer from another school into getting $5k more per year back in 2017. I'm not sure if they still do this but it's worth asking Jessica Pan. You might be able to get more for all I know. 2) I have actually been able to get an assistantship for 3/4 semesters, and this is pretty common so you can mostly count on an extra $4k (really $3600 since it is taxed as income).
  9. I am graduating from Sanford in a month, we sure could use more lefties to take my place. You do not have to hide here, on the contrary I have derived great pleasure from antagonizing some of the old fossils around here whenever I could. I've also started a left student group. From what I've learned about Ford since I've been here though, it will be a better educational experience for you, and more up your alley politics-wise (my favorite professor here got his PhD at Ford and loves it). The above poster is correct on renegotiation, at least as of 2017 when I entered. They bumped my offer $5k/yr and might have gone more. Sanford (to my displeasure) does not do much with R, but you deal with Stata pretty extensively in your first year. You can take electives in the Statistics department too, and the library has regular (free) 1-2 hour workshops on whichever software you want. I've taken one on ArcGIS and one on Tableau. Overall I am basically satisfied with my education here. It's kind of irrelevant because I also have a family and am from this area, so relocating was not very appealing, and my wife doesn't do cold. In a vacuum I think either Ford or Berkeley would have been better fits for my interests and politics, but Sanford has been fine as far as an educational transaction goes, and I love many of my classmates (and a few professors). Feel free to message me with any questions. Also you may want to post on the 2019 thread from here on out to avoid confusion.
  10. Hi, I am soon to be graduating from Sanford. 1) Ford and Sanford have a stronger reputation nationally than McCourt. As for curriculum, I can't speak to McCourt but Sanford is strongest with education, social policy and NatSec. They also have a decent international development curriculum. I am a generalist and have been a little disappointed that they don't offer more on local government and nonprofits (which is what I'm ultimately gravitating toward). I know that Ford is good for health and environmental policy, not sure about other areas. 2) McCourt clearly would have the best DC connections, although Sanford has an extensive DC network as well, and they organize a networking trip over your first winter break. Ford, afaik, is a distant 3rd in this aspect. 3) Ranking does not really matter when you get into the top 20-30 schools. It's all about where you want to ultimately be and which program can best facilitate that. I do tend to agree with USNWR that the education at McCourt is not as good as you will get at Sanford or Ford. The McCourt attraction is mostly for the DC connections, which definitely have their own value. 4) This is a personal question so I'd have to know more about you to adequately answer. Feel free to message me with specific questions. I will say that my favorite professor at Sanford got his PhD at Ford and raves about it. According to him the education at Ford blows Sanford out of the water. I will say Durham is a really cool city and one of the more interesting places to be in the country right now, not only from a social perspective but policy-wise as well.
  11. That's what I'd suggest. Jessica Pan will be your point of contact.
  12. I'm a 1st year MPP at Sanford. This sounds like a pretty personal decision given the financial aspect, but you might want to check out the Sanford 2018 thread (which I believe got bumped to page 2). I also answered another prospective student in the "stats" thread who was worried about the quant side of Sanford's curriculum. Sanford does have a strong education/social policy pedigree, and probably a good 15-20% of my cohort is going into that field (most of them former educators like myself). Feel free to message me directly. Will you be able to make it to the Open House next Friday? Also I can guarantee you that the NC climate beats Wisconsin, if that's a big deal to you
  13. Hi Arturo. I too was deciding between Harris and Sanford. At their Open Houses (which I encourage you to attend if you're able) my impression was that there wasn't very much difference between the amount of quant emphasis of each program, somewhat surprising since I too was under the impression that Harris was especially quant-heavy. I think Sanford is consciously emulating that aspect of Harris. You're right that Sanford has a relatively heavy social/domestic policy focus. There's also a sizable NatSec contingent, and we're encouraged to take MIDP classes if we want as well. If you have a solid stats background you would place into Advanced Econometrics from the outset. The class of '18 only had to take one semester of stats for advanced students, but our year had to take two semesters (not sure if this will change back or not, several of my cohort complained about it). I do know there are more than enough quant electives to fill your entire schedule if you so choose. Your 1st year is pretty prescribed (4 core classes the first semester, 3 the second, with most students choosing to take 5 classes in one of those semesters. . . equaling two stat courses (core) your first year and the possibility of two more through electives). To give you a taste, these are the non-core stats courses offered next semester, which seems fairly typical: Public Expenditures Evaluation, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Public Finance in Developing Economies (MIDP), Public Budgeting and Financial Admin (MIDP), Policy Evaluation with Data, and Regional and Economic Social Analysis (I'm thinking of taking this one, which deals with how to find, search, clean and manipulate publicly available datasets). To answer your other question, yes Sanford grads are well equipped to pursue PhDs. Several of my classmates have this goal, and professors and PhD students are more than happy to work with you on that goal if you ask them. I hope this helps. Let me know if you're going to be coming to the Open House next week -- I can hook you up with some of the advanced quant students. Actually I can do that either way now that I think of it. . .
  14. I can't remember for sure but I think so. In any case you can always ask for an extension to get back to the other schools, most of them are prepared for that and are pretty flexible compared to say PhD programs.
  15. Fwiw, they were the last of 9 schools I heard back from last year. They also had the most generous offer (e.g., if you got that much money from GWU you will probably get a full ride from Maryland).
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