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Azrou

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About Azrou

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    DC
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    GPPI

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  1. $30k means they have a new cap for merit aid, because the highest offers used to be $20k. They mentioned wanting to increase the scholarship pool and I am pleasantly surprised that it's really happened. Most of the $100MM donation is highly structured (it's $10MM per year for 10 years, and much of it is earmarked to support certain initiatives). One of those initiatives is offering some admits a McCourt Fellowship each year, which covers full tuition and includes a living stipend, and is the first time that MSPP/GPPI has offered that kind of full ride. But I'm pleased to see that people receiving regular merit aid are also benefiting.
  2. The Ivory Tower rankings are certainly an improvement over the USNWR ones, but since they are rankings of IR programs some don't offer MPA/MPP degrees (SAIS, Tufts) and in many cases have different schools in the same university that actually do (SFS - GPPI/McCourt, Elliott - Trachtenberg, American SIS - SPA). The answer to the OP is that it depends on your functional and/or geographic focus. Most programs have their strengths and you need to look at their faculty's specializations and course listings to get a sense of where their priorities lie. A lot of the state schools (think Goldman, Luskin, Evans, La Follette, Ford, etc) are good to outstanding regionally and offer much cheaper tuition if you are a resident, but some would argue don't have as strong of a national/international reputation and alumni network. For people to give you any kind of meaningful recommendations you will need to provide more info on your background and career goals.
  3. For most federal jobs they don't care where you get your degree. If the requirement is a masters and you have one, they'll just check that off the list of requirements.
  4. How sub-3.0 are we talking about? There is a big difference between a 2.9 and a 2.7. And your junior/senior/major GPA matters more than anything else. The general consensus is that most programs are willing to be flexible even if they have stated cutoffs if the rest of your application is strong enough to make up for a weak GPA, GRE, etc. However, the only way to actually know your chances is to email or call their admissions office, as their opinion is the only one that matters.
  5. In my experience, MPA programs and employers really like Peace Corps and it counts for quite a bit on your resume. I can tell you that I get a lot of respect when people find out I'm an RPCV, even in DC where tons of people have done cool things and RPCVs are a dime a dozen. You should be set with an engineering degree as well, you will probably be busy planning your next Friday night out while the Philosophy and French majors are sweating out their problem sets. There are people from all kinds of backgrounds applying for and getting into top MPA programs. One of the keys is demonstrating your interest in the "Public" part of MPA, which is why Peace Corps is so beneficial.
  6. If you think i am trying to insult you or put you down, that was never my intent, although maybe you should take a look at your own insecurities and not be so easily offended. Seems like you have an axe to grind for whatever reason. You made a post - I gave my perspective - if that isn't acceptable to you, then maybe you should avoid visiting a public forum. Admissions and academics do not operate in a vacuum. You're basically saying that the admissions office arbitrarily sets their own standards without regard to what the academic side of the program actually wants. A graduate school like Price doesn't operate like that - the academic side makes determinations like prereqs. What doesn't make much sense is that you think Price would distribute something that the program administrator disagreed with at an event that she herself was almost certainly attending.
  7. They would not hand out something at an open house for admitted students (it doesn't get more official than that), which outlines what courses are acceptable, if they were in fact not acceptable. You said that you want to take the intro course to save money and because other people are doing it, so do it. You acknowledged that the program administrator recommended that you take a certain course, which is exactly my point - she thinks you could use the prep. I'm not sure what the ulterior motive would be.
  8. I'm basing that off the sheet which USC hands out that someone posted up there, which says that lower-level and community college courses are fine. If someone from the admissions office said you should take a certain course, they probably had a reason.
  9. They might base that off your GRE Q score. Either way I highly doubt they will stop you from enrolling if you just take an intro course, they probably just think you could use a little more prep for whatever reason.
  10. For anyone coming to the GPPI open house on Friday, I'll be on the student panel and at the reception
  11. I just want to clarify that you don't necessarily need to take grad-level courses or get a certificate. In fact, many times those have an application process of their own, so you need to consider whether it is a good use of your time, energy, and money. When I say "take a microecon course" I mean look at the undergraduate classes offered through continuing ed at your local public/state school. They are simple to enroll in, reasonably priced, the topic material is accessible and relevant, and a strong LOR from that professor is just as valuable. I'm trying to think of how to phrase this, but are you certain you could ace grad-level courses right now if you went into them cold turkey? Anything less than an A- showing up on your transcripts at this point is going to be a kiss of death and the step up in difficulty is substantial.
  12. Work on your references...obviously the sub-3.0 GPA put you in a bad spot, but I think it was the LORs that really sunk you. GPA is really the only thing that is outside of your control at this point - work experience and volunteering, GRE scores, your SOP, and LORs can all be improved up until the minute you hit the submit button on an application. You didn't speak to the strength of the references, but just having an academic advisor writing one indicates you didn't make a positive impression on many of your professors. What's more, adcoms were probably raising an eyebrow at the fact that you have 3 years of work experience but did not get professional reference from one of your bosses. I don't know the reasons behind that but if I were looking at your application I would probably think that you are still haven't combined a sense of purpose and motivation with the natural intelligence that got you through high school, into an Ivy League, and good test scores. Here's what you need to do. 1. Rethink your choice of references. Do you know if the prof wrote a good letter or did he seem reluctant at all? Dredge through your transcript for classes where you got an A or A-, preferably upper-level courses in econ, political science, math, etc. Reach out to those profs even if you know they won't remember you, tell them what you have been up to and your future plans and see if you they will write LORs. Contact your previous supervisors as well. 2. Sit down and figure out what you actually want to do. Is it working on environmental policy? At-risk youth? It's cool to say you want to work in "government, the nonprofit sector, or in elected office" but those are the type of broad goals that high school graduates have, not people with several years of work experience trying to get into a masters program. I would guess that your SOP was quite vague and unfocused as a result. 3. Once you figure out what to do, find local orgs involved in that field and start sending out emails. Contact the HR departments of these orgs and think tanks and see if they'll take on an unpaid volunteer/intern. Look up alums from your undergrad institution and set up informational interviews. You're not going to get a paid position with no relevant experience and zero connections. You have to be willing to work for free. 4. Enroll in a summer or night course, preferably in microeconomics or something similar. Show up to every class, ace every test, and get to know the professor. Then ask the professor to write you a LOR. 5. Retake the GRE. Q and AW scores are decent but not great. Q is critical and due to the quantitative aspect of many policy schools, adcoms will look at that first. The importance of AW is debatable, but a better score can't hurt, and if you are as smart as you say you are then a 5.0 should be easily attainable. You want to give adcoms as many reasons as possible to think "his undergrad was a bit spotty but maybe he's got the maturity now to cut it here." A 4.0 AW is just another excuse to throw your application in the trash bin. 7. Scratch your SOP and write a brand new one. If you've done everything above then you have a much better understanding of your goals and what you have done and are willing to do to accomplish them. Rutgers won't blow people away, but it is a good school, and as mentioned above, state schools usually have a good reputation and network locally since that is where most grads end up working. George Mason and UMD College Park also have solid programs in the DC area if that's what you are set on. Finally, I think you can get into GWU and Wagner if you put the effort in, but just be aware that your GPA will probably mean that funding is out of the question no matter how good the rest of your application is...so be prepared to fork over sticker price if it comes to that.
  13. I think 20 hours/week is quite feasible. Many people work at least that much without the luxury of telecommuting, i.e. add 1+ hour each day they need to go between work and home/campus. If you just need to worry about getting to class and back home it eliminates a lot of hassle. GPPI and many other programs don't have class on Fridays so you are guaranteed to be able to put in at least one full 8 hour day. Also keep in mind that evening program students work 40 hours while taking 2 classes, so taking 4 classes and working 20 hours seems easy in comparison.
  14. If GPPI is your top choice, then you have nothing to lose by asking for additional funding. At the least I would advise waiting 3-4 weeks before making a decision because you might get an increase without even doing anything.
  15. You can get the supplement for next year here: http://finaid.georgetown.edu/apply-now/graduate/ I wouldn't worry about it now though, you only need to submit it if you decide to attend. The exact instructions will be in the admissions packet they mail out. If I remember right you should look on the financial award sheet that shows your scholarship $.
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