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  1. acv123

    LBJ MPA/MGPS Fall 2019

    Hi, I’m actually in the same boat - I was bumped up to the same amount on Friday unexpectedly, which is making my decision harder. Are you definitely decided on LBJ, or still considering other options? I’m between LBJ, Berkeley, and Columbia at the moment and trying to decide ahead of tomorrow’s deadline 😅 Curious to know if the funding increase has influenced your decision making.
  2. acv123

    Goldman MPP or SIPA MPA?

    Hi, I’m still torn between the two programs (although potentially leaning towards Berkeley) and I’m interested in which way you’re leaning/ your decision factors? I attended the SIPA open house yesterday which made me more confused since the program does seem strong with impressive faculty (although larger than my liking, but that does come with increased resources and course opportunities). I’m wondering if there’s anything I’m missing that can help convince me either way.
  3. acv123

    Decision time: share your dilemma

    Congrats on your admissions! I was also accepted to LBJ (and am also a Latina New Yorker ). I had the chance to very briefly visit Austin last week for the first time and generally liked the city and program, but am also debating between a few other options. If you have any specific questions regarding what Austin is like, feel free to message me. Since I myself do not drive/own a car, one thing I'm always wary of is access to public transportation. Also, just to confirm, you received 31k total stipend from LBJ for both years?
  4. acv123

    Decision time: share your dilemma

    Yes, definitely! I’m not able to attend GSPP for the admit day, but did have a chance to visit recently and speak to a few curruent students. The campus itself is really beautiful and I do get the feeling that there is a sense of community at GSPP, both among faculty and students. The students I spoke with seemed happy with the program overall, and I get the impression that most students work while attending (which can be a positive or a negative depending on priorities, but makes sense since research or teaching assistants are eligible for tuition reductions along with getting paid salaries). The students seem really busy, but make it work. I also like that there are three key opportunities for students to gain practice experience: through a team client-based course during first year, the summer internship, and through an individual client-consulting requirement during the second year. My concerns have more to do with the overall cost of living in the Bay Area. A good number of students live outside of Berkeley and have to commute to school (which sounds like it can be difficult if you plan on staying on campus until late at night without a car). I’m going to Columbia’s admit day on Tuesday and can report more then, but happy to answer any specific questions.
  5. acv123

    Berkeley GSPP 2019

    Hi! I’m also considering Columbia SIPA, UT Austin LBJ, and Duke Sanford. I’m originally from NYC so moving/housing costs are definitely weighing into my decision. Housing costs in the Bay Area are definitely more expensive that I anticipated. Beyond this, I’ve also been considering course and elective options, employment outcomes, how heavy the quant training is (since this is important to me), and of course how much total I would need to pay to attend. That said, I plan on visiting schools next week to hopefully get a better feel for the programs. Are you also considering other schools?
  6. acv123

    Decision time: share your dilemma

    Hi, I would recommend waiting and getting some work experience under your belt. I would look into the employments stats and starting salaries for the alumni from those programs to also inform your decision, and compare that to the debt you’re estimating taking on. I also applied to one program coming straight out of undergrad and was looking at taking out a good amount of loans, but had a professor that advised me to work first and apply again later on. It was great advice and 2.5 years later my funding offers are a lot stronger. Also, working first helped me narrow down what I’m interested in (and just as importantly, what I’m not interested in). Good luck!
  7. acv123

    Decision time: share your dilemma

    This thread is super helpful! Coming from: 2.5 years out of undergrad, working in both the nonprofit and local government sectors. I’m broadly interested in social policy and civic engagement. Deciding between: UC Berkeley Goldman MPP: Offered full-tuition scholarship plus yearly stipend that would help offset some housing costs (although definitely not all of it) Columbia SIPA MPA: Offered 45k/year. This would leave me with about 30k to cover over two years UTAustin LBJ MPAff: Oferred full-tuition scholarship plus yearly stipend that would fully cover housing potentially Duke Sanford MPP: Between the scholarship and graduate assistantship, I would pay about 10k over both years (not including housing) How I’m Leaning: I’m leaning towards Columbia SIPA or UC Berkeley. Based on a very basic search, it seems like Columbia offers a greater diversity of courses and I’m somewhat interested in their dual degree options (in which students could complete their second year in a different country and graduate with a second degree). Columbia also has great name recognition of course, although I’m not sure if more so than UC Berkeley?Finally, I’m from NYC and would live with my parents, which means I would avoid moving and housing expenses. UC Berkeley seems like they have a tighter-knit community and a stronger emphasis on quantitative training (which I like). However, that comes along with less elective options. In grad school I’m hoping to take advantage of taking courses in other professional departments (including MBA programs), so electives are important to me. It has also always been the dream to move to the west coast for a bit, having lived on the east coast all my life. That said, I do plan (at least as of now) to return to NYC after graduation, and I know Goldman alumni mostly work in the Bay Area. I also want to leave the door open to pursue consulting for social good work after graduation (like Bridgespan) and am not sure which school is better recognized in that regard. As for the other two options, I love how close-knit the Duke community seems, and how engaged the faculty seem with the students. It’s also a strong program in terms of their quantitative training. UT Austin is also doing some great work in the realm of social policy and Austin seems like a great place to live (and it’s hard to turn down a completely free ride to grad school). Any advice/insights would be greatly appreciated! @pubpolgal it seems like we’re debating between the same top two schools, so interested in knowing which way you end up leaning! Are you planning to visit either?
  8. acv123

    Columbia SIPA 2019

    Congrats to everyone! Accepted as well - a separate scholarship letter was linked at the bottom of the acceptance notice for me, if that's helpful!

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