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kraeblossom

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About kraeblossom

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  1. Hi! Congrats! Some of this depends on your career goals, e.g. are you interested in politics or running for public office? The HKS network and platform would be probably the best spring board. I know someone who was also choosing between these programs a few years ago and ultimately opted for HKS, even with debt. She said that in retrospect, she thinks her career trajectory would have looked pretty similar (education policy), but that the HKS network and brand has more readily opened doors for her and expanded her network in the political sphere. That said, I'm a firm believer that there's no one path to get where you want to go -- just some paths that are more linear.
  2. @tough_choices Not crazy at all! The financial aspect is a big deal, although it sounds like your SAIS debt would be manageable over time (pure speculation -- everyone's financial situation is different!) I'd think the most about where you want to be and what networks you want to access. Coming from DC, if you feel like you have a solid network here, then branching out to the West coast could expand your network without limiting your future options if you later decide you want to be back on the East coast. If you envision yourself in DC longterm, and want to strengthen your connections here, I'd consider SAIS. If you can, it'd also probably be a good idea to visit UCSD to get a feel for the area. It sounds like you can't go wrong either way, but that UCSD gives you financial freedom without sacrificing program quality. Congrats on your offers!
  3. Thanks so much to you both! I think the right move is pretty clear..
  4. @lolo94 I'm in a similar boat! The appeal of the HKS brand and network just feels so hard to ignore. It doesn't help that I've heard mixed advice from HKS alumni -- one telling me it's a "lifelong ticket," another reinforcing that the program is great but "I'll be paying for it forever," and finally, one telling me it is absolutely the right choice to take my money and run (an unexpected full ride to Ford!) But one thing she said may also help -- that there are creative ways to connect to the HKS community and alums without being a student, if you happen to have connections to graduates or current students. Food for thought. Would love to see how this plays out for you and your thought process. Best of luck!
  5. Would love perspectives on this! I'm incredibly grateful to have received a full scholarship and cost of living stipend to attend the Ford School at UMichigan beginning in Fall 2019. I love the program, their research centers, and their social policy curriculum. I've also been offered "conditional deferred admission" to the Kennedy School to begin in 2020, provided I take another round of college-level econ and stats to boost my quant skills before attending (low GRE quant probably did not inspire confidence on the part of the admissions committee...). There's no indication of funding, and their request also means that I'd need to factor in the cost of these courses over the next year. Michigan is the obvious choice, but it's hard to turn down the opportunity to attend my dream school. Other options include Brandeis Heller (full scholarship), Syracuse Maxwell (no funding info yet) and Brown Watson (partial funding).
  6. Coming from: 4 years of professional experience in local government, federal government, and now the non-profit/international development sector. My work has primarily focused on poverty alleviation, community and economic development, and gender equality. I've lived in DC for a total of 6 years including undergrad. Deciding Between:  Have been admitted to several programs but narrowed down to: - Michigan Ford: Full scholarship, health care coverage, and cost of living stipend each semester - Harvard Kennedy: "Deferred conditional admission" to enroll in 2020 rather than this year, provided I take another round of college-level economics and statistics Other factors: Remaining undergraduate debt that I'm on track to pay off in ~9 months. The cost of the econ and stats courses is a big consideration. I'm also looking to shift back into domestic policy and politics after spending the last few years in the international sphere, so network is incredibly important to me. I'm visiting Michigan in a few weeks to get a feel for Ann Arbor, but from what I've researched, I love the program, its wide array of research centers, and its social policy curriculum. Had I simply been rejected from HKS, my decision would be made. The fact that they've left the door open to enter to program in a year makes it harder to turn down the opportunity. As is the case for many policy professionals, HKS is my dream school. How I’m Leaning: Head: Michigan Heart: Harvard Wallet: Michigan
  7. Hi all! Would love perspectives on my MPP dilemma: I'm incredibly grateful to have received a full scholarship and cost of living stipend to attend the Ford School at UMichigan beginning in Fall 2019. I love the program, their research centers, and their social policy curriculum. I've also been offered "conditional deferred admission" to the Kennedy School to begin in 2020, provided I take another round of college-level econ and stats to boost my quant skills before attending (low GRE quant probably did not inspire confidence on the part of the admissions committee...). There's no indication of funding, and their request also means that I'd need to factor in the cost of these courses over the next year. I fully realize how fortunate I am to have this dilemma in the first place. Michigan is the obvious choice, but it's hard to turn down the opportunity to attend my dream school. Other options include Brandeis Heller (full scholarship), Syracuse Maxwell (no funding info yet) and Brown Watson (partial funding.)
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