cunninlynguist

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cunninlynguist last won the day on November 17 2011

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About cunninlynguist

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    Mocha

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    Male
  • Application Season
    2013 Spring
  • Program
    Env. Policy

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  1. Well said. Can we get a breakdown of the estimated loan debt for each program? Ultimately, Fletcher and SIPA are peer schools. Tufts and Medford -- and Boston in general -- won't leave you lacking in terms of the "soft" factors. IMO, a professional degree is an investment and every major component of your decision-making process should be based on curriculum, skills, network, and cost. "Softer" factors come into play for all us to varying degrees, but are best considered secondarily (e.g. location and institutional prestige).
  2. SIPA

    For those of you mulling over the potential TA positions for your second year, the finances still seem (to me, at least) dubious. Best-case scenario, if you didn't get funding in the first year (which seems typical) and land a two-semester TA spot for 40K, the COA is still around 100K. I didn't apply to SIPA so this isn't something I'm personally grappling with, but I'm just curious on how heavy a loan burden is what you guys determine as your threshold.
  3. MPP decision

    For global policy (and in general), Sanford is the strongest program. However, you are very reasonable to grapple with the costs compared to the other programs. Do you have any debt from undergrad? The "best" way to make money with a policy degree is the private sector, but you won't be eligible for the federal loan repayment options such as PSLF. Global policy is scattered through many employers, though, so you could end up at a non-profit or the government. Still, no matter what your employment options might be, the least amount of debt is always preferable. I'd probably take Minnesota's offer solely because of the magnitude of the money difference. If not, go for Duke as the best school.
  4. Summer Internship Question

    Not that it needs to be said, but those markets are competitive for everyone and especially if you're looking for a paid opportunity. Keep things simple in terms of format (1 page resume, for example) and specific in terms of what you can bring to the table and why you're interested in each position. Mention the programs you've been admitted to and situate your academic goals within your career path. Given that it's April, though, I don't know how many internships are still accepting applications. You may hear back from someone soon on an application you submitted previously, but if not, that sort of wraps it up.
  5. MPP decision

    What's your area of interest (e.g. specialization)? Is the Minnesota free ride tuition-only -- would you have to pay living expenses?
  6. Is there a scenario that could typify the gap between an ideal offer and one based mainly on university's name better than this? You did unbelievably well with the Fordham acceptance -- there is no contest here. Enjoy your time at Fordham!
  7. I've spoken with someone who is established in the field (and did a dual degree at a peer institution) about the same thing. He's worked on the west coast, at two of the big name organizations, and said the Nicholas School has a great reputation everywhere; he also had a co-worker who was an alum of the program.
  8. Which one, Harvard or LSE?

    This is the only appropriate response in this thread. Your goals, as stated, are quite broad. Harvard GSE is intended for students who are, or are planning to be, immersed in the education field with absolute certainty. If you want to leave the door open for international development work and a PhD, the degree at LSE is a superior option.
  9. Thoughts on Income Based Repayment program

    A few months ago, I read in the NYT that approximately 2 million borrowers had applied for IBR, and 1.3 million had qualified. So, while it's never 100% certain the federal government won't pull the rug out from under us, it's been established that many Americans need IBR. To me, IBR + PSLF sounds like a sweet ass deal. 10 years of government and non-profit work? Cool. Plenty of time for the private sector afterward!
  10. Would also be curious about the funding packages you received. Total cost of attendance at SIPA would be $140K, whereas Nicholas is $100K. Equal scholarships will not mean equal costs and loans. In some ways, our interests are close. At Duke, you can also take international development classes at the Sanford School of Public Policy. I've heard nothing but praise for the rigor of the Nicholas curriculum and the choices afforded for course selection through Duke's other schools -- there's an option for everything (e.g. intermediate science, advanced science, engineering, environmental law, environmental policy, public policy, GIS, data analysis, statistics, economics, and so on). What's your background? Any inclination on which curriculum appeals to you best? Appraising the strength of each school's alumni network isn't going to be a precise measure, but I haven't heard anything of concern regarding either.
  11. Government Affairs 2013 Wrap Up - Final Decisions!

    Not sure it's so simple. One major element of employability will be the marketable skills and experiences you acquire in the program. If the degree ends up as a collection of classes with no substantive, real-world applicability, your employment prospects will suffer. However, if you land a good internship, participate in research, establish a strong network, connect with alumni, are involved in other professional activities, etc. you can sell yourself a lot better. I agree generally, though -- the degree itself won't be a substitute for relevant experience. (Nor will experience always substitute for an advanced degree. If it's required for a position, you will be competing against other people with the necessary education).
  12. That's fantastic -- well done!
  13. Grad Plus loans to pay car payments...pay car off?

    Agreed, especially about Boston. (I downvoted your first post due to Drake... sorry). In general, even if the rationale seems strong (e.g. interest rates more favorable), using loans to pay off loans is a backwards proposition. Student loans create a more harrowing situation.
  14. grad school w/ little or no funding

    Off you go to Fletcher! Seriously. What's the difference in cost between Fletcher and the other two programs, all of which are virtually equal in rigor and reputation? 50K? You wouldn't drop that much money for a year spent in a geographical location normally, I assume, and Fletcher will be an excellent experience anyway. BTW, I implore those of you considering the 100K+ programs to figure out what loans would comprise the financial aid you receive. If you stay within the 50-75K range, it should be all federal loans (i.e. eligible for IBR, PAYE, PSLF, and much more preferable to private if you go through hard times). If you attend an expensive program with little to no funding, you'll be in private loan territory to finish up the remainder; so, in addition to the actual debt, it'll be more of a hassle to deal with.
  15. Magoosh GRE Prep

    Magoosh for verbal, Manhattan for quant. The Magoosh videos are more helpful for verbal because they don't fixate on arcane vocabulary words, but rather the types of questions and the approaches you should identify in solving them. Manhattan's guides, however, were a far better tool for quant; I wish I had used them sooner.