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Financial generosity and aid is one of the most important factors that we consider when we apply and make our decisions. I am hoping to start a thread where we post about programs that give out generous funding. This thread will be resourceful to the future applicants who want to know about the schools and their aid policy. Let's compile it in this format -

School and Program:

Financial aid info: (for example, based on what you've heard about the program and what you've seen. info like only 1-2 people gets full ride, everyone gets minimum 15k, everyone gets full ride etc. of that sort)

In the program/Accepted?: Yes/No (if possible with your aid info as well)

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Hey thanks so much for the advice. I did build a google sheet. Please edit/change the format and add on to the list. This is a quick version I created, so definitely need inputs and edits. I hope this serves as a useful tool for people applying and seeking financial aid. 

Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NQ73cGtG8IrL0eBCUdCydKUd3hF0MbbTNRDt-X1H06A/edit?usp=sharing

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I think this is potentially a good resource, especially to highlight some schools that don't get as much play on these boards but are known to be generous.

But I wouldn't suggest people use it to rule out applying to schools that are supposedly stingy, because you really never know. I got funding offers from six schools I believe, and there was surprisingly little correlation between the prestige / reputation of the program and how much money I was offered. The program I ultimately attended (which offered me a big scholarship) is not known for being generous. Meanwhile, a much lower-ranked school initially offered me nothing, despite my having similar stats to someone I knew who had gotten a full ride a few years earlier. I was able to get a little money out of them after I showed what other schools had offered me, but it barely a quarter of tuition in the end.

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9 hours ago, elmo_says said:

I think this is potentially a good resource, especially to highlight some schools that don't get as much play on these boards but are known to be generous.

But I wouldn't suggest people use it to rule out applying to schools that are supposedly stingy, because you really never know. I got funding offers from six schools I believe, and there was surprisingly little correlation between the prestige / reputation of the program and how much money I was offered. The program I ultimately attended (which offered me a big scholarship) is not known for being generous. Meanwhile, a much lower-ranked school initially offered me nothing, despite my having similar stats to someone I knew who had gotten a full ride a few years earlier. I was able to get a little money out of them after I showed what other schools had offered me, but it barely a quarter of tuition in the end.

Exact same experience here. The lower-ranked school offered almost nothing, while the other programs I applied to were much more generous, and effectively were then cheaper to attend in the end.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey guys, added all the appropriate info to the google doc, but just wanted to put it out there that Columbia SIPA ended up increasing my scholarship offer by nearly half even though I didn't have funding offers from other schools.

For all my future SIPA-hopefuls reading this, it is 100% worth the time to fill out the request for additional funding! I honestly didn't think I had a leg to stand on, but they've been more generous this year (with me, and other folks I've talked to on this forum and at Admitted Students Day) than in the past.

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  • 4 months later...

I've seen some schools, notably SIPA and Fletcher, state that their funding is awarded based on a combination of merit and need. But what does that mean exactly?

Does that mean that, hypothetically speaking, if there are two equally meritorious candidates with the same credentials who are admitted, the one who demonstrates greater financial need will receive more funding than the one who does not?

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  • 1 month later...

Might I suggest making this a Google Form and then people can only view the spreadsheet?

I'd be happy to fill this out (in whatever form it's in) once I'm finished with the application process. :)

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  • 4 months later...
On 3/30/2018 at 2:16 PM, pasale said:

Hey thanks so much for the advice. I did build a google sheet. Please edit/change the format and add on to the list. This is a quick version I created, so definitely need inputs and edits. I hope this serves as a useful tool for people applying and seeking financial aid. 

Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NQ73cGtG8IrL0eBCUdCydKUd3hF0MbbTNRDt-X1H06A/edit?usp=sharing

This was a great idea. I hope others keep adding to it. 

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  • 6 months later...

I've added the MIT Technology & Policy Program (TPP) to this list because I thought funding information was pretty opaque. The program is fully funded and provides a stipend via your research assistantship between $31,500-$40,250 per year. While you are still responsible for landing your RA position, no one in the program goes without.

Edited by TheaKronborg
Added TPP acronym
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  • 4 months later...

I check the spreadsheet and it didn't have much information about anyone who successfully negotiated funding for GW or Georgetown MSFS...does anyone have insights on whether these schools will increase funding if you try to negotiate?

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/7/2020 at 4:39 PM, MA2020 said:

I check the spreadsheet and it didn't have much information about anyone who successfully negotiated funding for GW or Georgetown MSFS...does anyone have insights on whether these schools will increase funding if you try to negotiate?

I know this is a super (most likely too) late response, but I sent GW a significantly higher MPP funding offer from a more highly ranked school, and they said they'd get back to me Never did. Whatever, maybe I was just a garbage applicant.

Also heard someone trying to renegotiate with McCourt was told they weren't doing reconsideration because they found disparate impact in reconsideration allocations. Maybe they just didn't like this candidate because I feel like I've heard about loads of people bargaining with McCourt, but idk.

Anyhow, I know this is a month and a half after you asked, and all decisions are most likely past. And these are both MPP things, not IR, but I think they're interesting data points to share.

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1 hour ago, tacos95 said:

I know this is a super (most likely too) late response, but I sent GW a significantly higher MPP funding offer from a more highly ranked school, and they said they'd get back to me Never did. Whatever, maybe I was just a garbage applicant.

Also heard someone trying to renegotiate with McCourt was told they weren't doing reconsideration because they found disparate impact in reconsideration allocations. Maybe they just didn't like this candidate because I feel like I've heard about loads of people bargaining with McCourt, but idk.

Anyhow, I know this is a month and a half after you asked, and all decisions are most likely past. And these are both MPP things, not IR, but I think they're interesting data points to share.

This probably isn't the the answer you want, but honestly admissions offices are going crazy right now given the competing demands of meeting quota, balancing deferrals/admissions renegs, admissions support + increased questions, and all this renegotiation.

Also, McCourt and GW aren't exactly programs with deep pockets. In my opinion McCourt is already overly generous as is (the people who get scholarships will shock you). Basically the early snipers probably already got a lot of the goods and it is now people fighting over the scraps.

What this means for you is that I recommend you keep on trucking, but don't expect anything. Also @tacos95... I really hope you think twice about going to McCourt because I keep tabs on the alums and for those who graduated during a booming economy that didn't go to Deloitte... a lot of them are having tough lives pre-recession. 

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26 minutes ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

Also @tacos95... I really hope you think twice about going to McCourt because I keep tabs on the alums and for those who graduated during a booming economy that didn't go to Deloitte... a lot of them are having tough lives pre-recession. 

Yeah, I'm not going to McCourt. I got a much better offer from SAIS, and I was already more interested in the curriculum and institutional longevity of SAIS anyway, so it worked out well.

I've noticed you're very actively anti-McCourt on here but also an alum. Very interesting.

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10 hours ago, tacos95 said:

Yeah, I'm not going to McCourt. I got a much better offer from SAIS, and I was already more interested in the curriculum and institutional longevity of SAIS anyway, so it worked out well.

I've noticed you're very actively anti-McCourt on here but also an alum. Very interesting.

I wouldn't say I'm actively anti-McCourt, I just want to highlight its shortcomings, as in the case with any school I am decently exposed to (Fletcher, HKS, MSFS, SAIS, Terry Sanford, and etc.) to give a fair and balanced perspective. However, as someone who has been in education for a long term (from both the teaching and policy side), I think I was able to call BS when I saw something wrong at McCourt when other people simply didn't know better or realize that it wasn't normal in graduate school. 

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