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Nimesis's Achievements

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  1. I am a current GSPP student and I honestly can't say specifically why you were not accepted in your first round of applications. GSPP is being bombarded with applications with the rough US economic situation, so the admissions process has become more competitive recently. To be perfectly honest with you, I'm not trying to curtail you from applying, but GSPP has a very U.S. focused curriculum, and I think that's part of the reason why we don't have very many international students, including ones from China. Our quantitative curriculum could definitely be applied in any situation, but the rest of the core courses have a very strong domestic focus, and if you want to get any kind of international content courses, you would have to do so in other departments. Keep that in mind when/if you choose to re-apply.
  2. I got an email today that was probably sent out to all students who have accepted their offers indicating that they did receive the acceptance. Make sure you fill out the SIR online for the Berkeley graduate division as well.
  3. From what I understand, scholarships are not indicated on the FinAid page. In fact, you have to self-report it in one of the tabs so that your financial aid award package can be adjusted. I still need to contact Jalilah or someone at GSPP to determine how that self-reporting is done.
  4. Not to be outdone by the Sanford crowd, anyone who wants to talk about GSPP (housing, financial aid, etc.) can talk about it in here.
  5. Lots of people on these forums solicited help on making their decisions, but not enough people have posted about where they ultimately have decided to go. Since the April 15th deadline has passed, I'm sure many of you have made a decision. I'd like to hear where other people ended up going and why, so I'm bumping this thread.
  6. If it makes you feel any better mccain, I left pretty much a full scholarship at USC on the table to go to GSPP at nearly full cost, and I don't regret making that decision one bit. GSPP is incredibly dynamic, exciting, and full of opportunities. If you felt that way at the Open House and you were disappointed by Harris, I'm not sure why there's even any reservation on your part, as greendiplomat said.
  7. Previous Schools (Name, type, or tier): Small private university Previous Degrees and GPA's: BS in Political Science, minor in History, GPA: 3.78 GRE Scores (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical Writing): 640V, 730Q, 6AW Previous Work Experience (Years, Type): 3 years, working in various health related non-profits/organizations Math/Econ Background: Calculus 1 & 2, Elementary Stats, Intro to Microeconomics (both taken at community colleges after graduating, I would highly recommend doing this if you're applying to Berkeley, Harris, WWS, or the other really quantitatively oriented programs) Foreign Language Background: None Intended Field of Study in Grad School: Health Policy, Education Policy Long Term Professional Goals: I want to work in the public sector in SF or the Bay Area either at the local, state, or federal level. Probably in health policy, but I'm open to other areas as well. Schools Applied to & Results: UC Berkeley GSPP (MPP, Accepted, $$), USC (MPP, Accepted, $$$), UCLA (MPP, Accepted, $), UT Austin LBJ (MPAff, Accepted, $$$), UW Evans (MPA, Accepted, $$) Ultimate Decision & Why: UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. This was my dream school all along, I wasn't sure whether I would get in, and when I did it immediately became my top choice. Visiting the program beforehand and then also visiting at the Open House cemented my excitement for the school and I was blown away by the quality of the program itself, the faculty, the career services, and the group of people in the cohort both already in the program and entering. My ultimate goal is to live and work in the Bay Area (preferably in SF) and Berkeley is my ticket to achieving that goal. I was deciding between Berkeley and USC in the end, and I feel that both programs are very strong, but USC doesn't have the same level of prestige/brand as Berkeley, and the campus itself just isn't as exciting. As a political science major I really feel that I need to boost my quantitative skills to boost my future job prospects, and I feel very strongly that GSPP will provide me with that and more. It also doesn't hurt that their placement rate is extremely high (with estimates of 90-100% by the summer following graduation). Regardless of whether that is exaggerated or not, I feel like I can't go wrong going to the best public school in the world. Any advice to Future Applicants? Start the process early and approach it with a holistic approach, because the elite schools will also judge you holistically for the most part. If you have a strong GPA that's great, but you can always offset that with good work experience or GRE scores or other parts of your application. Make sure you put together the best package you can. I felt like having at least 3 years of work experience was really beneficial for me, and allowed me to get into all the programs I applied to. As I said before, if you are applying to the heavily quantitative programs like Goldman, Harris or WWS, I would recommend taking calc, stats, and econ to boost your credentials. Do not be concerned if a certain piece of your application is weaker than others, just make sure you appear well rounded to the admissions committee. Reach out to professors and/or work supervisors so you can cultivate relationships which will result in stronger letters of recommendation. As far as studying for the GRE, I would recommend focusing heavily on vocab and I personally found the ETS CD they send to be a good resource because its practically the only way to gauge how you will actually do on the test with computer adaptive conditions in effect. Doing paper problems doesn't give you that same experience. Lots of people on these boards applied to 10-11 schools, but I feel like 5-6 is a good number, unless you're exceptionally paranoid. Whether you apply to 5 or 15, at the end of the day its likely to come down to 2 choices or so, so what's the point of having all those extra options cluttering your decision-making process? I would also recommend visiting the programs either before or after the application process, because there's no replacing the actual experience/understanding of a program you get from visiting personally. You will get a strong sense of the quality of the program and the career services/support staff by visiting. If you are unable to visit, then having these forums around as a resource is invaluable. I've kind of rambled on here, but hopefully what I've said so far can serve as a good starting point for future applicants.
  8. Wow foodlover, this is a really tough decision. I just actually made my decision between Berkeley and USC, and I felt that USC offered many of the same things that you said Duke offered. As a private school, I really felt like they would be more supportive (borderline holding your hand) to get you internships and jobs, and they definitely put on a great visit day with a three course meal and open bar at their reception. However, I absolutely love the UC Berkeley campus and I was really impressed with the quality of the faculty, staff, and the admits at the Berkeley Open House. There is just so much going on at that campus, and I was really excited by the prospect of being involved in all of it. I was also impressed with the career services staff (Martha and Jalilah were fantastic throughout this process) but I'm sure Duke has a lot more money and resources than GSPP does since its a private school. I would say that if you want to work in the Bay Area ultimately, (as I do) then its a pretty easy decision. However, if you're interested in working internationally or in DC, then I would probably lean towards Duke. I just submitted my acceptance to GSPP and I'm pretty excited to join them in the Fall. Its absolutely a tough decision for you, and I wish you good luck with it. Maybe I'll see you at GSPP?
  9. I went to the open house today and the main thing that sunk in for me about it was the strong community feel the program has. Seems like everyone knows everyone else at the program and the faculty makes themselves readily available to the students. I already knew a lot of the other stuff about the program (strong quant emphasis, world class faculty, top 5 programs in every field accessible via electives), but the community aspect is what really hit home today.
  10. I'm sure if you went there they'd have a full bulletin of all the courses they offer, but since the courses vary so much by quarter I think the best bet is to just look through the past semester schedules to see what kinds of courses have been offered recently: http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/schedule
  11. Can anyone tell me what the deadline is for submitting your decision for the various programs at HKS? I didn't apply there and I can't find it on the website. Thanks.
  12. I also just received my funding offer via email. It was actually pretty decent. More than I expected given Evans financial situation.
  13. I'm not trying to scare people off from Evans or insult the quality of their program with this post, but one thing everyone/anyone considering Evans needs to really think about is all this talk about the budget being cut from UW and Evans conceivably being consolidated into another school. If this happened, it would definitely hurt the Evans brand on your MPA degree, but it could also conceivably diminish all of the resources that Evans has to offer in terms of internships, career placements, etc. Here are a couple more articles about the subject if you're interested: http://dailyuw.com/2011/3/28/evans-school-public-affairs-looking-increase-appli/ http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2014437973_evans09m.html I'm not saying anyone should or shouldn't go to Evans, I'm just saying this needs to be factored into any decision that gets made, and I'm not sure a lot of people (including applicants such as myself) were even aware of it until recently.
  14. Thanks for the report. I heard from another poster a lot of similar things and it seems like they put on a pretty impressive event. I look forward to checking it out myself in a couple weeks and I'll post my impressions then.
  15. I wanted to bump this thread in the hopes of getting the impressions of those who went to USC's Dean's Merit Event today. Please post your impressions for those of us who couldn't make it.
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