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  1. Your article states: "let's assume that you have quantitative stats equivalent to the average of accepted applicants at your prospective program. Leaving that variable aside." That assumption is not correct in this case. Your profile says you are in Germany, so I am assuming you are international. Would be interesting to disaggregate GRE score averages between international and domestic students. Those numbers seem fine/near average at SAIS/SIPA for an international student, but below average at HKS as they seem to disaggregate less for MPP admissions. This was a whacky year, and there is a chance that schools lowered their bar for admissions, especially when pulling international students from a waitlist, as schools are trying to achieve a diverse class and visa issues/external funding may have barred some international students from attending. If policy/IR schools have followed the MBA decrease in application trend, the next couple of years will be incredibly competitive, as people try to ride this incoming economic crisis out.
  2. https://sais.jhu.edu/academics/degree-programs/master-degrees/master-arts-ma/class-profile-ma SAIS MA's 75th % for enrolled students is 163 V and 164 Q. The numbers the webinar showed were for admitted students, which are always slightly higher than the values for enrolled. One thing you have to understand about a school like SAIS -- i.e. an elite, large IR program -- and programs similar to it -- i.e. SIPA -- is how their student body is composed, and what that means for funding. To make a breakdown that is easy to understand, let's suppose that there are 3 tiers of SAIS students -- which is probably accurate. a) Tier 1 is comprised of the top students at SAIS/SIPA. These are students that have multiple, well-funded offers from several elite schools. They have strong WE, great GPA/GRE and chose the program they are at because the funding was generous. They will contribute greatly to the class and can draw from their experiences to elevate discussion. The only exception to this are Rangel, Pickering and Payne fellows that will get additional funding to their scholarship (i.e. full funding) and many come with little to no prior WE. I think these programs should have a full time WE prerequisite in order to apply because the best FSOs are those with perspective and humility that comes from experience, but alas, that's a different conversation. b) Tier 2 is composed of solid students that have one blemish on their application, either weak WE, GPA or GRE, but excelled in the other portions of their application. They will get minimal funding, if any, and generally contribute to the class. They will also be ready to hit the ground running and have a bit of a "chip on their shoulder", attributes that I think are very positive, and encourage healthy competition. c) Tier 3 are students that barely made the cut and were accepted because schools have to pay bills, and view these students as ATM machines. They pay full sticker price and the class would not hurt, some can argue it would be enhanced, if they weren't accepted. My advice to you, if you want to get into SAIS and potentially get some $, is to get full time WE for 2 more years and knock the GRE out of the park. Having to pay $160,000 to join one of these programs is nuts.
  3. Agree with @GradSchoolGrad in the assessment, will add a few thoughts... Personally, I wouldn't bother applying to WWS MPA or HKS MPP. The former is free, attracting strong competition -- individuals with solid WE and high GPA/GRE breakdowns. Anecdotally, I don't know the positions WWS MPAs end up accepting, as I have never met one on the job. Have met several WWS undergrads, though. HKS MPP has shifted in the past years from a program that values public service over everything else, to one that values prior private sector experience. I believe the new dean ushered this change. It also seems that WE is slowly becoming less important in favor of high GPA/high GRE -- making the process akin to law school admissions. SAIS, SIPA and Fletcher are stretches. Someone that I know attended a SAIS webinar this year, during which they shared the MA admitted students' stats. They are as follows: GPA 25% - 75% range is 3.35 - 3.8. The average GRE is a 320 (pretty even splits). SIPA and Fletcher probably have somewhat similar numbers, except that SIPA applicants have stronger work experience before applying -- probably more in tune with the WE reqs at HKS. Honestly, I would take a look at UChicago Harris, as they give preferential treatment during their application process to Americorps alums. I would accept the Americorps job and position myself to apply to Harris, but that's just me.
  4. If financing is equal, it's an easy choice, SAIS. SAIS and SIPA are the programs that send most graduates to IOs. SAIS is closer to the policy-drafting process -- although PHDs reign here -- whereas SIPA graduates are more "hands-on" and implementing the policies abroad -- this being a general distinction imo. Fletcher is also a solid program, albeit more humanitarian focused. Georgetown MSFS, typically lumped into the elite tier of MA in IR programs, has a heavy federal government/diplomacy focus -- and its brand is hurting from the federal government's hiring freeze/over-reliance on Rangel/Pickering fellowships to fill State Department ranks. CIPA is relatively unknown in the field. I understand why the Ivy League brand may be pushing you towards CIPA -- as these things do matter abroad, but unless better funded, it's SAIS all day. Shame you don't have SIPA as an option, as it would have checked the boxes you are looking for.
  5. I think policy schools are beginning to resemble law schools, in that GPA and GRE are quickly becoming the most important factors. It's a shame, as classes benefit from the diverse perspectives individuals bring from the workplace and from leading in ambiguous situations/environments. You only really start getting that with ~3 years of experience.
  6. HKS is a very stingy school and is probably running a considerable deficit. HBS is actually facing a $22 million shortfall this year. I'm guessing all these zero-funding offers are coupled with a very strict no-deferral policy. Unfortunately, many schools solely view admits as a revenue stream and are hoping that some of you bite and make the mistake of paying full tuition, to then be greeted by a terrible job economy in 2022, where many policy grads will be vying for entry level gigs.
  7. The fact that classes will probably be online also diminishes enrollment in Executive Education courses. People pay around $12,000 to attend a 3-4 day course on campus, and is a huge income stream for HKS.
  8. Kind of surprised they waited until after the deposit deadline at other programs to give you guys an answer, as it makes zero sense to break your deposit AND have to pay full sticker. Then again, it's as crazy as paying full tuition (this year especially), given the insane level of debt (minimum $220,000 when you compute interests), funded offers elsewhere, how uncertain the job market will be in 2022 and the real possibility of online courses in the fall.
  9. Haha, yeah I think @GradSchoolGrad agree in most things but this topic is always divisive. The SAIS vs SIPA dilemma is one that many face and people ultimately gravitate towards the one they fit best at. I have great friends that have gone to both, but they differ in personality/vibes: my friends at SAIS are more structured and bureaucratic vs. my friends at SIPA that are more entrepreneurial and have better soft skills. I think this reflects the stereotypes of DC vs NY people in a nutshell. Just to give my 2 cents on a few things: I think this is true, will caution that SAIS alums are more drawn to these jobs requiring econometrics to begin with. I have noticed, although anecdotally, that SAIS alums cluster in certain orgs whereas SIPA alums end up in a wider breadth of orgs. Agree with this, although I think that many people heading to SIPA already have a network in NY before attending. You're also going to get a higher concentration of SIPA students that come from incredibly well-connected, international and wealthy backgrounds. People that studied high school in Le Rosey, and have been groomed to lead their parents' business/become Foreign Minister of their respective country. A good friend of mine graduated from SIPA ten years ago and graduated in the same class as the current Ambassador of Afghanistan to the US and the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. Impressive outcomes for people only ten years out of SIPA. I do think that the accompanying graduate schools at SIPA, all of which top-ranked (B-School, Law, Journalism), give it a distinct advantage over SAIS, which is really quite siloed. Sachs is a polarizing guy and is a rare example of an economist reaching super-stardom. I guess you stop thinking that rules apply to you once you get to that level haha. I will say that I enjoy his books a lot, and think his explanation of how U.S. interest groups have defined U.S. policy in the past fifty years is novel and interesting. In the end SAIS and SIPA is based on your preferences, I lean more towards the latter because of who I am as a person. I am also a better fit in NY than DC...
  10. I would head to SIPA, as its strengths lie in the fields that interest you (i.e. diplomacy and journalism). With regards to the latter, SIPA has an impressive list of journalist alums that include Karen Attiah, recruited by Jamal Khashoggi as Global Opinions editor of the Washington Post, and Roula Khalaf, the current editor of the Financial Times (amongst others). The ISP track is very strong, and I know that it's a popular concentration for Pickering and Rangel Fellows that will be commissioned as U.S. diplomats upon graduation. Richard Betts, the program director, also heads the Saltzman Institute and is an eminent voice in the field. Some of its alums have gone on to the highest echelons of the security field as well. These include current head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and past CIA Director George Tenet. I personally prefer SIPA over SAIS, as I like that its alums are more seasoned and I find to be better managers. SIPA is a stronger brand than SAIS internationally, which is something you should also consider...
  11. The figures were explicitly for the MPP. Any year immediately after 2008 would see a decrease in acceptance rate due to the "Obama Effect", and the MPP classes were capped at around 200. This number has now increased to 240, not sure if this is to correct for demand or the fact they need $ due to rising operational costs. I think brick and mortar + operational costs have increased substantially in the past few years. The new HKS building and the Keller Center at Harris are examples of it. Guessing they need people paying full sticker to cover their expenses and folks with less experience check that box. HKS partners with dozens of law, business and med schools from across the country when offering its concurrent degrees. Some them actually apply as 2L or after their first year of B-School. SIPA and Harris only offer dual degrees with the law and b-schools of their own institution, fewer chances to mix and match. Columbia Law School actually offers a concurrent degree with HKS, but SIPA doesn't offer with HLS.
  12. I got it from an internal document shared by peer schools that highlighted the application number and offers given at each institution. WWS shares its GPA and GRE data in its yearly Graduate Admissions Viewbook. Agree with what you say about the MBA process being very holistic (outside of the 2+2 programs), but I should note that it is becoming less true for elite policy schools that are increasing their intake of students with 2> years of experience. WWS is the exception to this, though. Would love to have all the HKS MPP salary data to best disaggregate the numbers further, especially the yearly number of people they send to each firm. About 1/3 of HKS students are dual degrees so it would be interesting to know how much that informs the median private sector salary and how many non-dual degree MPPs end up at MBB. I suspect that number will be low in the coming years. Important to mention that HKS MPP is very domestic, so median salaries will be higher on average than Harris and especially SIPA -- as salaries are much lower abroad and they have double the rate of international students compared to HKS' MPP.
  13. Cool! I interviewed with MBB out of undergrad, but ultimately pursued a career in public service, both in domestic and international arenas. I was using figures shared by Management Consulted for 2019, as seen below: https://managementconsulted.com/consulting-salaries-for-2019-management-consulted/ MBB pays around $165k base vs other firms clocking in at around $150k -- not counting signing bonuses. These numbers will obviously change given COVID-19 organizational cost-cutting and diminished deal flow...
  14. Yale and arguably Berkeley are more selective than HKS (MPP) -- they are also very transparent about their GPA and GRE averages. When I saw the admit rate at HKS MPP from a few years ago, it was about 30%. Probably higher than that this year, due to the second waitlist. I will also note that, in my experience, HKS MPPs are a bit obsessed with "branding" and more open to conflating "selectivity" with "quality". They always mention/compare themselves to WWS yet I doubt that, unless fully funded at HKS, they were actually admitted there as they would have gone. The best HKS grads, along with MPA/IDs, that I have come across are MC/MPAs, a program that takes about half of those that apply, but were of a much higher quality before enrolling, by virtue of its prior WE requisite. Harris' MPP offers the best training out of any MPP, only the MPA/ID at HKS can compare.If you look at its employment snapshot, it's really quite similar to HKS' MPP. The main difference being that Harris places more people in Chicago area whereas HKS places in Boston. As an endnote, MPP/MPA/IR programs have higher rates of admission by virtue of having fewer applicants than MBAs (for example), most of which are already qualified and vying for a large-ish number of spots at elite tier schools. I wouldn't read into perceived selectivity as an accurate gauge of quality in a student body, as people follow their funding options because outcomes are quite similar. Getting the funding is the most selective part.
  15. If you have great funding, then yes, you could you make a case for entering a potentially adverse job market (if you've recently been laid off, for example) -- just make sure to *really* think it through. What people are overlooking, is the fact that taking out $30-40k in loans vs taking out $160k+ is an *entire* different ballgame. Taking out $160K+ in loans means your loan's monthly payment could roughly equal the same as the rent cost of a studio apartment in a major U.S. city.
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