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  1. For the quant resume – just be specific and genuine about what you've done before and don't over stress it. I certainly don't have a strong quant background, and did get rejected by SIPA so I can't speak to them, but at least for HKS the first year quant courses are designed with the presumption that you haven't done quant at all. A lot of people go into public policy programs with little quant background/not done quant for years and everyone understands. The strengths of my application is likely my SOP. My LORs are likely pretty average and I don't have a ton of work experience under my
  2. I wrote a separate essay for each application – it was a lot of effort but in hindsight it certainly paid off. Its important to understand the more nuanced differences between each school and tailor your essays towards what they look for in an applicant. This doesn't mean changing your passion/career goals, its more so about how your organize language to make you sound "fit" for the school. Its not possible to fake your passion and please do not do that for SOPs. I was in a social science major that isn't traditionally considered academically intensive. Most of the courses I did bad in w
  3. To be clear I did have legitimate reasons to justify my low GPA, and my last semester GPA was in the realm of 3.9s (all degree-relevant courses). But I had major screw-ups in college with which I am grateful to have been given a second chance. I think for public policy schools especially, demonstrating strong, genuine passion for the social good is the most important part of your application. Be specific with what issues you care about, why you came to feel this way, and how being part of the school/program further advances you towards helping solve the issue. Given the low gpa, I also ma
  4. Hi GradCafe, The forum was of incredible help last year as I applied, so I am happy to give back by providing some casual application help. I expected my package to be weak so I applied to more than enough programs, but was surprised to be admitted to most of them. Feel free to ask me anything. Below are my stats: GPA: <3.1 GRE: 165/167 International, completed undergrad in a U.S. top 20 university. Work experience: 1 year Admitted: HKS, Harris, SAIS, Sanford, Michigan, Georgetown, Penn Fels, CMU...amongst others. Rejected: Goldman, SIPA
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