Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, I am currently in a rut thinking about my options for the Fall (as I am sure many of you are). If anyone has any advice regarding this, I would really appreciate hearing it.

I have been accepted to these schools and programs, with the following financial aid funding per year:

- CMU Heinz, MSPPM (50%, ~$24k)

- Chicago Harris, MPP ($20k)

- Johns Hopkins SAIS, MA IDEV (no funding)

- GWU Trachtenberg, MPA ($20k)

-American SPA, MPA ($10k)

I have also been accepted for a Taiwan Fulbright ETA for the next year, so I am leaning toward either deferring a program or reapplying altogether. While it is appealing to defer and not have to worry about applications again (while in Taiwan), I am wondering if I might be more competitive for more funding if I reapplied to a few of the schools next cycle (and possibly renegotiate) as a candidate with the same profile PLUS a Fulbright ETA under my belt. I would rather not have to take out $80k+ in loans in the coming years, so any advice is appreciated!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Once you are sure that you will not attend a program in Fall 2018 and will do the Fulbright ETA, it's also okay to just ask the program you're interested in whether they think you would be more competitive with a Fulbright ETA. Or, another way you can ask is to ask about deferring admissions and ask whether you can be reconsidered for scholarships without applying again (i.e. submit a scholarship-only application).

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the school you'd really want to attend is on that list, it's worth giving them a call and asking about deferring and being reconsidered for funding next year. Otherwise, if you'd like to apply to more/other schools next year, I'd recommend just reapplying. None of the awards you got are spectacular and you can get them again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a good friend who was HKS '17. She was able to defer for professional reasons; she worked in ID and wanted to stay abroad for one more year. I know HKS isn't on your list, but it's at least possible at some schools.

Not sure about funding, but I'd have to assume deferring wouldn't result in a reevaluation of funding in your favor. They'd hold your place at your current offer of admission and/or not be able to commit to funding levels next year (those allocations vary each year and aren't committed that far in the future). 

If you want to do the Fulbright and get additional funding by starting a year later, my scientific guess would be that you'd need to reapply.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your responses! After talking to each school about deferral vs. reapplying, they all have said that funding is not guaranteed either way, and that it depends on the pool of funds for the respective year as well as the incoming applicant cohort. Though GWU and Heinz did hint that they have never reduced a prospective student's funding offer in cases of deferral. I'm sort of (blindly) hoping that this is the same with reapplying. Either way, perhaps I can negotiate for at least the same amount of funding next year.

After visiting each school (except Harris), I believe my plan will be to do the Fulbright and reapply to: Harris, Heinz, JHU SAIS, and Berkeley (maybe I can get in next time lol).

Another concern I had was the time investment. Since it will take three years with the Fulbright and grad school, I will be 27 years old by the time I enter the work force (with no prior full time work experience since I have only been doing internships). With friends concerned about my 401k and starting salary level late in the game, I'm just trying to tell myself that when I'm 60 years old, I'll never wish that I had worked more. I'll only think about missed opportunities, like teaching abroad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have fun on your Fulbright!! I did an ETA in Jordan a few years ago and it was amaaaaaaazing. I don't know what your time commitments for teaching will be like (they vary so widely from school to school, let alone country to country) but if you have time, fill your time as constructively as possible. I got to do some awesome volunteer and RA work on my Fulbright completely outside of my official responsibilities and it was not only fulfilling but also made great application essay fodder...

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, buff_hamster said:

Have fun on your Fulbright!! I did an ETA in Jordan a few years ago and it was amaaaaaaazing. I don't know what your time commitments for teaching will be like (they vary so widely from school to school, let alone country to country) but if you have time, fill your time as constructively as possible. I got to do some awesome volunteer and RA work on my Fulbright completely outside of my official responsibilities and it was not only fulfilling but also made great application essay fodder...

Thank you! I'm quite excited about it. What sort of extracurricular activities did you and your cohort participate in? I would consider volunteering, but I am also interested in something more academically enriching.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/10/2018 at 6:21 AM, PHL City Planner said:

I have a good friend who was HKS '17. She was able to defer for professional reasons; she worked in ID and wanted to stay abroad for one more year. I know HKS isn't on your list, but it's at least possible at some schools.

Not sure about funding, but I'd have to assume deferring wouldn't result in a reevaluation of funding in your favor. They'd hold your place at your current offer of admission and/or not be able to commit to funding levels next year (those allocations vary each year and aren't committed that far in the future). 

If you want to do the Fulbright and get additional funding by starting a year later, my scientific guess would be that you'd need to reapply.

I just received clarification from GWU Trachtenberg about their deferral process. Apparently theirs is non-binding with no deposit fee. I also do not have to pay an additional application fee next year. (I only have to re-submit my recs.) Which is great as it is less work for me!
I believe I will have to reapply for the other schools though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/13/2018 at 5:17 PM, MPA/MPP Applicant said:

Thank you! I'm quite excited about it. What sort of extracurricular activities did you and your cohort participate in? I would consider volunteering, but I am also interested in something more academically enriching.

I taught 3 days a week, volunteered teaching English at a refugee camp one day a week, and worked for an economics professor at U of I who was doing a randomized control trial in Jordan as his field research assistant. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, buff_hamster said:

I taught 3 days a week, volunteered teaching English at a refugee camp one day a week, and worked for an economics professor at U of I who was doing a randomized control trial in Jordan as his field research assistant. 

Very cool! I'll have to ask around to see if there are similar opportunities in Taiwan. (And U of I as in Iowa? Just curious because I'm from Iowa lol.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.