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51 minutes ago, lunarphase said:

This website really helped me out- leaving my stats here so they can hopefully help a few more in the future :")

Program/Schools Applied To: Cornell MPA, Penn MSSP, Brown MPA, Pepperdine MPP, Columbia MPA-ESP, Johns Hopkins MS-ESP

Schools Admitted To: Columbia (12% tuition), Cornell (50% tuition), Pepperdine (40% tuition), Penn, JHU

Schools Rejected From: None

Still Waiting: Brown

Undergrad Institution: Large non-flagship state school, ~200th in USNWR

Undergrad GPA: 3.64

Undergrad Major: Political Science

GRE Quantitative Score: 150

GRE Verbal Score: 154

GRE AW Score: 4.5

Years out of Undergrad: 0, graduating in May

Years of Work Experience: 2

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Lengthy internship with state-wide political party, internship with a national environmental organization, internship on Capitol Hill, volunteering with local environmental group.
Other: Student-athlete, club co-founder, wrote for school newspaper.

With the exception of SIPA, I know the schools I applied to aren't traditionally thought of as Public Admin/Policy powerhouses, but I am thrilled at how things turned out. Especially given my GRE, undergrad institution, coming straight from UG... so basically everything 😂 I decided to pass up Columbia ($$, family, not a NYC fan), Pepperdine (accepted to better programs), and Brown, pending a funding miracle. I'm leaning toward Cornell, but I still have a few weeks in which things could change.

What are your thoughts on Cornell's MPA porgram? I applied there a little late, and am trying to learn a little more about them, so interested to hear any specifics about their program that you like.

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Posted (edited)

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): IR
To: Georgetown MSFS, Columbia SIPA, Tufts MALD, George Washington SPS, American IPCR
Schools Admitted To: Columbia SIPA, Tufts MALD, George Washington SPS, American IPCR 
Schools Rejected From: None yet (But waitlisted to Georgetown MSFS)
Still Waiting: Well waitlisted to Georgetown so that?
Undergraduate institution: A small private Christian college that nobody knows lol 
Undergraduate GPA: 3.86/4.0
Undergraduate Major: International Relations (French minor)
GRE Quantitative Score: 152
GRE Verbal Score: 156
GRE AW Score: 4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): Will be 1 year this May (graduated in 2018)
Years of Work Experience: Full-time (0), Part-time (almost 2.5ish)
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Diplomatic intern at a representation in DC, English tutor at my university, writing intern at a nonprofit law firm, volunteer intern with a state senator's chief of staff, went on a humanitarian trip to do social work, did a lot of volunteer work during college (like homeless shelter outreach and tutored refugee students)

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): I like writing, so maybe it wasn’t bad, but the only people I had edit my essays were my mom + brother lol. I talked a lot of how I am a Pickering Fellow and how the university will help me in my work for the Foreign Service after graduation, talked about my childhood international experiences + service opportunities I had throughout my life, how I got interested in IR, and I talked about the university and the program there that I wanted to study. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I assume all are pretty good? I had a good relationship with all my recommenders (former French professor, former IR professor - also my adviser during undergrad, and my former internship supervisor). But tbh, internally I was kinda freaking out because I sent the requests in quite late (for my liking).  

Other: Think I was waitlisted to Georgetown because of my lack of experience (mostly) + GRE score (not a very good standardized test taker haha), but really the strength for my application was that I'm a Pickering Fellow so I already have the internships set and the job set after graduation. Middle-class family, South Asian. I took macro, micro, stats, an intl bus class during undergrad, but I’m not very good at quant-heavy work, but I want to get better at it (and I did mention that in my essays tbh). I was born in a developing country, I lived in 4 different countries (all in Asia except for the U.S. obiously) from the time I was born till I was 12… so, much of my life was spent abroad. During my entire time abroad, I attended international baccalaureate schools. I only recently (in the past few years) attained my U.S. citizenship. I’m sure all this helped with the diversity/international experiences aspect? I’m sort of bilingual (I say sort of because technically I can’t read or write in my native language), and I studied French during college. I studied Spanish in high school? Took part and did get some recognition at MUN and MAL during college, involved in floor leadership, graduated with my B.A. in 3-years…? I'm very young (21), so really it's a miracle I've gotten this far! 

I'm pretty sure Pickering + international experiences helped me thus far. I'm pretty sure I'm the kind of person they look at/think of when they look at candidates "HOLISTICALLY" - I fit in that category pretty well in my opinion.

Hope this helps! 
 
MY QUESTION TO ANYONE WHO CAN HELP: 
- If you had my current accepted options and were me, which would you pick? If I got taken off the waitlist at Georgetown, what would you pick then? I'm curious because I'm kind of confused on what to do. 
- Would you pick NY (But Columbia is still very expensive even with the fellowship) or DC (I like GW over American btw because I like the SPS program a lot) or Boston (Never been there but heard Tufts is a good school and MALD is a good program)? 
 
Edited by shiningstar7
added something on describing relevant work experience

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5 hours ago, shiningstar7 said:

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): IR
To: Georgetown MSFS, Columbia SIPA, Tufts MALD, George Washington SPS, American IPCR
Schools Admitted To: Columbia SIPA, Tufts MALD, George Washington SPS, American IPCR 
Schools Rejected From: None yet (But waitlisted to Georgetown MSFS)
Still Waiting: Well waitlisted to Georgetown so that?
Undergraduate institution: A small private Christian college that nobody knows lol 
Undergraduate GPA: 3.86/4.0
Undergraduate Major: International Relations (French minor)
GRE Quantitative Score: 152
GRE Verbal Score: 156
GRE AW Score: 4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): Will be 1 year this May (graduated in 2018)
Years of Work Experience: Full-time (0), Part-time (almost 2.5ish)
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Diplomatic intern at a representation in DC, English tutor at my university, writing intern at a nonprofit law firm, volunteer intern with a state senator's chief of staff, went on a humanitarian trip to do social work, did a lot of volunteer work during college (like homeless shelter outreach and tutored refugee students)

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): I like writing, so maybe it wasn’t bad, but the only people I had edit my essays were my mom + brother lol. I talked a lot of how I am a Pickering Fellow and how the university will help me in my work for the Foreign Service after graduation, talked about my childhood international experiences + service opportunities I had throughout my life, how I got interested in IR, and I talked about the university and the program there that I wanted to study. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I assume all are pretty good? I had a good relationship with all my recommenders (former French professor, former IR professor - also my adviser during undergrad, and my former internship supervisor). But tbh, internally I was kinda freaking out because I sent the requests in quite late (for my liking).  

Other: Think I was waitlisted to Georgetown because of my lack of experience (mostly) + GRE score (not a very good standardized test taker haha), but really the strength for my application was that I'm a Pickering Fellow so I already have the internships set and the job set after graduation. Middle-class family, South Asian. I took macro, micro, stats, an intl bus class during undergrad, but I’m not very good at quant-heavy work, but I want to get better at it (and I did mention that in my essays tbh). I was born in a developing country, I lived in 4 different countries (all in Asia except for the U.S. obiously) from the time I was born till I was 12… so, much of my life was spent abroad. During my entire time abroad, I attended international baccalaureate schools. I only recently (in the past few years) attained my U.S. citizenship. I’m sure all this helped with the diversity/international experiences aspect? I’m sort of bilingual (I say sort of because technically I can’t read or write in my native language), and I studied French during college. I studied Spanish in high school? Took part and did get some recognition at MUN and MAL during college, involved in floor leadership, graduated with my B.A. in 3-years…? I'm very young (21), so really it's a miracle I've gotten this far! 

I'm pretty sure Pickering + international experiences helped me thus far. I'm pretty sure I'm the kind of person they look at/think of when they look at candidates "HOLISTICALLY" - I fit in that category pretty well in my opinion.

Hope this helps! 
 
MY QUESTION TO ANYONE WHO CAN HELP: 
- If you had my current accepted options and were me, which would you pick? If I got taken off the waitlist at Georgetown, what would you pick then? I'm curious because I'm kind of confused on what to do. 
- Would you pick NY (But Columbia is still very expensive even with the fellowship) or DC (I like GW over American btw because I like the SPS program a lot) or Boston (Never been there but heard Tufts is a good school and MALD is a good program)? 
 

I am deliberating between Fletcher and SIPA myself. The fellowship amount in SIPA (marginally greater than TUFTS, but although still puny to the cost of the program) might have simplified the decision slightly. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 12:33 AM, shiningstar7 said:

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): IR
To: Georgetown MSFS, Columbia SIPA, Tufts MALD, George Washington SPS, American IPCR
Schools Admitted To: Columbia SIPA, Tufts MALD, George Washington SPS, American IPCR 
Schools Rejected From: None yet (But waitlisted to Georgetown MSFS)
Still Waiting: Well waitlisted to Georgetown so that?
Undergraduate institution: A small private Christian college that nobody knows lol 
Undergraduate GPA: 3.86/4.0
Undergraduate Major: International Relations (French minor)
GRE Quantitative Score: 152
GRE Verbal Score: 156
GRE AW Score: 4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): Will be 1 year this May (graduated in 2018)
Years of Work Experience: Full-time (0), Part-time (almost 2.5ish)
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Diplomatic intern at a representation in DC, English tutor at my university, writing intern at a nonprofit law firm, volunteer intern with a state senator's chief of staff, went on a humanitarian trip to do social work, did a lot of volunteer work during college (like homeless shelter outreach and tutored refugee students)

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): I like writing, so maybe it wasn’t bad, but the only people I had edit my essays were my mom + brother lol. I talked a lot of how I am a Pickering Fellow and how the university will help me in my work for the Foreign Service after graduation, talked about my childhood international experiences + service opportunities I had throughout my life, how I got interested in IR, and I talked about the university and the program there that I wanted to study. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I assume all are pretty good? I had a good relationship with all my recommenders (former French professor, former IR professor - also my adviser during undergrad, and my former internship supervisor). But tbh, internally I was kinda freaking out because I sent the requests in quite late (for my liking).  

Other: Think I was waitlisted to Georgetown because of my lack of experience (mostly) + GRE score (not a very good standardized test taker haha), but really the strength for my application was that I'm a Pickering Fellow so I already have the internships set and the job set after graduation. Middle-class family, South Asian. I took macro, micro, stats, an intl bus class during undergrad, but I’m not very good at quant-heavy work, but I want to get better at it (and I did mention that in my essays tbh). I was born in a developing country, I lived in 4 different countries (all in Asia except for the U.S. obiously) from the time I was born till I was 12… so, much of my life was spent abroad. During my entire time abroad, I attended international baccalaureate schools. I only recently (in the past few years) attained my U.S. citizenship. I’m sure all this helped with the diversity/international experiences aspect? I’m sort of bilingual (I say sort of because technically I can’t read or write in my native language), and I studied French during college. I studied Spanish in high school? Took part and did get some recognition at MUN and MAL during college, involved in floor leadership, graduated with my B.A. in 3-years…? I'm very young (21), so really it's a miracle I've gotten this far! 

I'm pretty sure Pickering + international experiences helped me thus far. I'm pretty sure I'm the kind of person they look at/think of when they look at candidates "HOLISTICALLY" - I fit in that category pretty well in my opinion.

Hope this helps! 
 
MY QUESTION TO ANYONE WHO CAN HELP: 
- If you had my current accepted options and were me, which would you pick? If I got taken off the waitlist at Georgetown, what would you pick then? I'm curious because I'm kind of confused on what to do. 
- Would you pick NY (But Columbia is still very expensive even with the fellowship) or DC (I like GW over American btw because I like the SPS program a lot) or Boston (Never been there but heard Tufts is a good school and MALD is a good program)? 
 

Where if your best financial offer?

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Now that all decisions are out

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.) and Schools Applied To:  MPA/ID (HKS), MPA (SIPA & Wagner), MPP (Harris & Goldman), TPP (MIT), MIP (Stanford)
Schools Admitted To:  SIPA, Harris, Wagner, HKS, Goldman, Stanford
Schools Rejected From: MIT (😥)
Still Waiting:  None
Undergraduate institution: Top school in Mexico
Undergraduate GPA: 8.5/10.0
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable): I believe it does not apply, but a uptrend in the last two years.
Undergraduate Major: Economics
GRE Quantitative Score: 168 (94%)
GRE Verbal Score: 156 (76%)
GRE AW Score: 4.0 (60%)
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3.5
Years of Work Experience: 3.5 (Full-time) and 2 extra years (Part-Time) as an RA & TA.
Describe Relevant Work Experience: 3.5 years working at the Central Bank
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): I believe that the strengths of my SOP were: 1) I was too honest, 2) I work hard on my story, 3) I identify my weakness and address how the program would help me strengthen them. I start working on my SOP since October, so I had quite some time to think about how to tell my story and which stories to tell. In all my essays I described my future goals as specific as I could. I asked for feedback to my boss and to my significant other to identify if there were any holes in my story.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I asked my two supervisors and a university professor (who was one of my supervisors when I was an RA). Only for Stanford, I changed one of my supervisors for a former professor who is a Stanford alumnus. I did not read any of my letters, but I believe they were really strong. I chose only people who knew me well, who had good things to say about me, and who have some kind of experience writing LORs.
Other: I was concerned about my average and my low verbal score in the GRE; however, as an international student I believe that the toefl and my SOPs relaxed the possible concern of my verbal score. About my average, I believe that I did many extracurricular activities during my undergraduate studies that make up for a not superb average. I had the opportunity to talk with at least one student from each of the programs I applied to (except MIT), which provided me with a bigger picture and a more clear path on how to do my application. 

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On 2/18/2019 at 10:12 PM, acerbicb said:

Program Applied To:  MSPPM, MPP, MPA
Schools Applied To:  La Follette (MPA), Heinz (MSPPM), Ford (MPP), Harris (MPP), Woodrow Wilson (MPA), Rutgers Bloustein (MPP)
Schools Admitted ToLa Follette (100%), Heinz (100%), Ford (100%), Harris (20%), Rutgers (100%)
Schools Rejected From:  
Still Waiting: 
Woodrow Wilson (MPA)
Undergraduate institution:  Columbia College Chicago
Undergraduate GPA:  3.6
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable): idk
Undergraduate Major:  Cultural Studies
GRE Quantitative Score:  126
GRE Verbal Score:  162
GRE AW Score:  4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  4
Years of Work Experience:  5
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  5


Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I spoke to my desire to investigate the relationship of economic development and housing instability among low income communities of color in metropolitan areas. This was accomplished by relaying my personal experiences with poverty, as well as how those came to connect me people in similar positions during my years in the non-profit field. I relayed specific outcomes of my work (e.g. the number of people served, the type of initiatives, the quality of my involvement), as well as presented professional goals tied into the schools' focus (e.g. systems change, application of data analytics to public program evaluation, interdisciplinary research centers). The essay was reviewed over the course of two months by alumni or students from several of the schools I applied to

Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  My letters varied in terms of content! Three of ones I used were from former supervisors and two professors with whom I completed several classes over the course of 3 years. One of them I did not review, but I trust was a very quantitative evaluation of my performance in the fundraising/development field. Another was a very personal comment on my commitment to program evaluation and program planning as a young (23 year old) program manager in the education field. The last of these was a very succinct, but I thought solid letter from my former executive director. The academic ones restated my overall work experience and then posited that, given the complexity of my undergraduate program's theoretical curriculum (e.g. Marx, Frankfurt School, Gramsci) and the quality of my capstone thesis, I was prepared for independent research. There...... was also a letter that I turned in to one school that I know was probably did not align well with what they were asking for. Oh well. 

 Other:  I am a Public Policy & International Affairs Fellow. I have 5 years of part time and full time experience in the non-profit sector, working a number of roles (e.g. outreach, development, curriculum development, program management) to advance racial equity in education and community development. I spent the past year connecting with each schools' admissions people, speaking with professors and research center directors, as well as current students/alumni -- something I am still doing. These interviews had a great influence on my approach. If there was space for optional essays, I also explicitly addressed that my academic performance (particularly in terms of quant) was significantly hindered by extreme financial strain throughout my undergraduate education and early professional life. To this end, I expect to have to complete Math Camp if accepted by a lot of the schools (this is already the case with Heinz). 

  •  

Just updating! Haven't heard back from WWS, which I assume is a rejection, but am super excited about the offers I've received.  

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Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.)  

MPA, MPHIL
Schools Applied To:  Cardiff, Leeds, LSE, NYU, Georgetown, U of Kent Canterbury, O’Neill IU,
Schools Admitted To:  O’Neill IU
Schools Rejected From:  Cambridge (sent in subpar work during health issues. Not surprised.) 
Still Waiting:  Cardiff, Leeds, LSE, NYU, Georgetown
Undergraduate institution:  Univeristy of NM 
Undergraduate GPA:  3.86
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable):  
Undergraduate Major:  English, Pre-law Phil
GRE Quantitative Score:  
GRE Verbal Score:  
GRE AW Score:  
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  0, graduating in May
Years of Work Experience:  0
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  
Other:

  •  

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Guest ke7312

Updated to reflect results below. I can't believe I got 7/7 acceptances, even with my "numbers", straight out of undergrad. A little sad about the lack of funding from Ford and Harris (almost none), my top two, but I think it's between La Follette, Evans, and Heinz for me (still great schools!!), unless Watson surprises me with a scholarship or Harris is willing to negotiate.

On 2/14/2019 at 3:46 PM, ke7312 said:

Program Applied To: Public policy/affairs/administration
Schools Applied To:  Wisconsin La Follette (MPA), Washington Evans (MPA), George Washington Trachtenberg (MPP), Carnegie Mellon Heinz (MSPPM), Michigan Ford (MPP), Chicago Harris (MPP), Brown Watson (MPA)
Schools Admitted To:  Heinz ($$), La Follette (full), Evans ($$$), Trachtenberg (0), Harris ($),  Watson (?), Ford (0)
Schools Rejected From: None
Still Waiting:  None
Undergraduate institution: 
Undergraduate GPA:  3.95
Undergraduate Major:  Journalism, philosophy (double major)
GRE Quantitative Score:  161
GRE Verbal Score:  167
GRE AW Score:  5.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  0
Years of Work Experience:  0
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Some experience covering politics as a journalist, though it wasn’t my main beat; research about media coverage of climate change. Extensive experience in the tangentially related fields of writing and research, including a publication and a conference paper.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): My pitch: I have writing and research skills, I want to become a policy analyst, and I want to attend grad school to brush up on my quantitative skills.

Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Pretty good, I think. 2 research advisors, 1 faculty member who I’ve taken 3 classes with including 2 project-based courses

Other: I think I’m a bit of an unusual applicant, coming straight out of undergrad with no true policy experience. Even with my raw numbers, I think that will set me back at some schools. However, I think my LORs and SOPs are as good as they could be, considering. I’m really excited about Heinz! If anyone knows more about that program, especially in terms of career outcomes, please let me know.

 

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Anyone who got into USC MPP could let me know when the admitted students dates are? I think I'm missing info by email or letter!

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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2019 at 10:10 AM, homesicksub said:

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MIA/IR/MPP
Schools Applied
To: Georgetown, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins SAIS, Columbia, NYU, Tufts University, University of Tokyo
Schools Admitted To:  George Washington  (M.A. International Affairs), NYU (M.A. International Relations), the University of Tokyo (MPP), Tufts Fletcher School (MALD), Columbia  (M.A. Regional Studies: East Asia), Georgetown
  (M.A. Asian Studies), Johns Hopkins SAIS, Columbia University SIPA
Schools Rejected From: Georgetown MSFS
Undergraduate institution: Medium-sized New England liberal arts school, well-known (I think, at least in academia)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.79/4.0
Undergraduate Major: Political Science and Asian Studies
GRE Quantitative Score: 162
GRE Verbal Score: 167
GRE AW Score: 6.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 1 year
Years of Work Experience: 1 year since graduation, about 3 years cumulative since my first year of college
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Legal industry and ESL teaching

All programs reporting. Tough decision to make. Looking to work in the federal government, or at least in DC. Deciding between SAIS, Georgetown, and SIPA. SIPA is giving little to no money though, so I’m not likely to go with them. Happy to get some input. I’ll be deferring whatever school I choose to pursue a Fulbright abroad!

Edited by homesicksub

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Longtime lurker -- hoping to help others out! And many thanks to everyone who's been sharing throughout the season.

Program Applied To: Various (see below) 
Schools Applied To:  MIT (TPP), Harvard HKS (MPP), Princeton WWS (MPA), Columbia SIPA (MPA), Carnegie Mellon Heinz (MSPPM), Cambridge Judge (MPhil Technology Policy), Berkeley Goldman (ERG and MPP), University College London (MSc EPEE), Duke Sanford (MPP) 

Schools Admitted To:  MIT ($$$), HKS (0), SIPA (Early $$), Sanford ($$), Heinz ($$), UCL (?)
Schools Waitlisted At:  WWS
Schools Rejected From: Berkeley, Cambridge

Undergraduate institution:  Top 5 Public University 
Undergraduate GPA:  3.69 
Last 60 hours GPA:  3.75 
Undergraduate Major:  Public Policy (Focus in Energy) 
GRE Quantitative Score:  158 
GRE Verbal Score:  164 
GRE AW Score:  5.5 
Years Out of Undergrad:  3 
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  2 years boutique consulting, 1 year large consulting, 2 internships, 1 research assistantship, various other temporary positions. Considerable experience in the energy sector with public reports, presentations and work with diverse stakeholders. Extensive leadership/management experience and several student awards. 

 
Strength of SOP:  Focused on my relevant work experience, customized undergraduate curriculum and specific areas of interest in long-term electricity system planning. I started writing in August and think they may have lost some zing around mid-November. Nonetheless, if the committees were looking for a specific focus and skillset, that’s what I sought to demonstrate. I think my personal history/diversity statements were probably the weakest part of my application – I should have started those first and given myself time to be more thoughtful.

Strength of LOR's:  Good. One professor who has been a mentor since freshman year of undergrad, two supervisors from my current and previous jobs. Gave them detailed information on each program and my research interests at each in September along with a couple of phone calls/meet ups each. I found references to be the scariest part of the process, even with people excited to support me.
 

Other: I am thrilled and overwhelmed by these results. Cambridge was a hard rejection after a phenomenal interview, but I’m feeling extremely lucky to have the options at hand. I think my resume was my strongest suit. I’ve been pursuing a specific path in electricity policy for around 8 years and the diversity of organizations I’ve worked for/perspectives I’ve gained shows up clearly. I was worried about my quant score and focused on highlighting all of the economic project work I’ve done since undergrad. 

Tentative Choice: MIT TPP. I want to be in Boston and attend a program with a strong technical focus to supplement my policy undergrad. If I'd gotten money from HKS, this decision would be harder, but MIT is fully funded plus a stipend and there's no beating that. Nonetheless, I'll explore SIPA, Duke, and Sanford to make sure I'm not missing out.

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2 hours ago, madrid said:

Anyone who got into USC MPP could let me know when the admitted students dates are? I think I'm missing info by email or letter!

The only hard dates I've seen were for the Dean's Merit Scholarship event (full-day programming next Friday with some optional sessions on Thursday).  Sorry to not be of more help! 

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6 minutes ago, SciGuy720 said:

The only hard dates I've seen were for the Dean's Merit Scholarship event (full-day programming next Friday with some optional sessions on Thursday).  Sorry to not be of more help! 

thanks!

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5 minutes ago, csacwp1315 said:

Georgetown SSP results are on the portal. Just received my acceptance!

Any mention of funding?

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Posted (edited)

Program Applied To: MPA
Schools Applied To: American University, George Washington University, and University of Maryland
Schools Admitted To: AU ($$), GWU($), UMD($$$)
Schools Rejected From: None
Still Waiting: None
Undergraduate institution: Small LAC
Undergraduate GPA: 3.5
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable): Probably not applicable but upward trend
Undergraduate Major: French
GRE Quantitative Score: N/A
GRE Verbal Score: N/A
GRE AW Score: N/A
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 7
Years of Work Experience: 7
Describe Relevant Work Experience: AmeriCorps VISTA and have worked in nonprofits since.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Pretty strong. I think I described well my desire to go back to school at this juncture in my career, why specifically I am interested in based off my professional experience, and why each school was a fit for me. I began writing in November and was writing/editing/rewriting up until application deadlines.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Very strong. I had one professor and two supervisors. I reached out to them immediately after Thanksgiving.
Other: Nothing out of the ordinary aside from my two years serving as a VISTA.

Edited by cefran
Fixed font.

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26 minutes ago, csacwp1315 said:

Doesn't look like it. The other students I know who have heard back received no funding as well.

Fair enough. Congrats either way! Did you receive an email from them?

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Just now, donuts said:

Fair enough. Congrats either way! Did you receive an email from them?

Thanks! I haven't received the official email yet; I simply logged into the portal and a link to the decision was at the bottom of the page. 

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On 2/27/2019 at 1:31 PM, usernamesmakemeanxious said:

Updated now that all results are in. Congratulations to everyone...it looks like the future is in good hands :). I'm very grateful to have found this site during the madness!

Program Applied To:  MPP/MPA
Schools Applied To:  Ford (UMich) - MPP , Sanford (Duke) - MPP , Trachtenberg (GWU) - MPP, SPEA (Indiana) - MPA, JGCPA (Ohio) - MPA, University of Central Florida - MPA
Schools Admitted To: UCF (declined before word of funding), SPEA (50%), JGCPA (declined before word of funding), Trachtenberg (declined before glitch in application about funding could be rectified), Sanford (50%), Ford ($0)
Schools Rejected From: none
Still Waiting:  none

Undergraduate institution:  NYU
Undergraduate GPA:  3.7/4.0
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate: 3.9
Undergraduate Major:  BFA Drama
GRE Quantitative Score:  156 (SPEA acceptance included a mandatory "math camp" if I choose to attend...warranted!)
GRE Verbal Score:  162
GRE AW Score:  5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  5
Years of Work Experience:  5
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  3+ years of nonprofit experience in both theatre (education and directing) and international health care/development (my current job). 1.5 years in accounting for a tech company. Volunteer involvement with local racial justice, political organizations and drug+alcohol rehabs.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I mostly talked about my evolution from theatre-maker to public service. I entered college believing I could best promote racial equity through art but slowly began to identify that my skills –and desire for quantifiable change – are better suited for a career in policy advocacy. My mom (a lawyer) and my cousin (a nonprofit researcher) edited for clarity (my background in creative writing made my thesis a little wayward, initially). I also received feedback from my recommenders about how to include personal struggles in a way which supported my argument.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I had one rec from NYU (my thesis adviser and current Drama Studies chair), 1 from a past employer and 1 from my current employer. I am very close to my employers, but had to reconnect with my old professor. They were all extremely helpful and I barely had to remind them to submit. I imagine they were reasonably strong recs, but not sure they addressed any weaknesses in the other aspects of my application.
Other: My biggest weaknesses are my mediocre math skills, my undergrad major and my lack of work experience in the specific field I'm studying (social justice/poverty alleviation). I took American government, microecon and stats after college to help strengthen my application. I am not sure if this is relevant for anyone, but I refused to apply to HKS and Goldman. HKS because I had a lousy experience talking to their admissions department. After I got off the phone I thought, “Well that confirmed every Harvard stereotype I have!” Goldman because I started the application and realized they wanted my first-born child (information-wise) and I simply couldn’t find the time between the other applications, job and volunteer work.

Decision: After I realized I was actually going to have options--this truly took me by surprise!--funding became my #1 factor. I also factored in location (family is in the south/diversity of the area), cost-of-living (there is a reason I'm leaving the Bay Area) and class size. Because of this, I am 98% sure I will go to Duke, unless by some miracle UMich comes back with some hefty funding...after which I will probably choose Duke anyway!

 

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20 hours ago, Bader-Vader said:

Why did almost no one apply to IU? Positives/Negatives of the program? 

I applied! SPEA seems like a fantastic school and being in such a large research university is definitely a plus. I really like the midwest. My mom went to IU undergrad and LOVED it--granted, this was in the 70s. Negatives for me were: proximity to where I want to work after school and the fact that it was an MPA (I was really hoping for an MPP because my quant skills need a lot of help!). 

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On 3/8/2019 at 10:20 AM, ce1234 said:

Hello! Notifications are rolling in, so thought I would provide my stats for some use down the road. I know everyone's submissions have been really helpful to me so I hope this will be helpful to others in the future. 

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MIA/IR/MPP/MAs in IR/MALD
Schools Applied 
To: Johns Hopkins SAIS, Columbia SIPA, Tufts Fletcher, University of Chicago CIR, Stanford Ford-Dorsey, Yale Jackson, Harvard Kennedy, Princeton WWS, Georgetown MSFS.
Schools Admitted To: Johns Hopkins SAIS (early, half funding), Columbia SIPA (early, a little over 2/3rds funding), Tufts Fletcher (early, half funding), University of Chicago CIR (2/3rds funding), Stanford Ford-Dorsey (this program doesn't offer funding at all), Georgetown (no funding), Harvard (no funding, just loans), Yale (full tuition + living stipend). 
Schools Rejected From:  Princeton
Still Waiting: None
Undergraduate institution: McGill University
Undergraduate GPA: 3.81/4.0
Undergraduate Major: Double honors major in International Development and Russian Studies
GRE Quantitative Score: 161
GRE Verbal Score: 169
GRE AW Score: 5.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 4 years
Years of Work Experience: 4 years since college, 2 years of internships in college
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Government affairs/policy and federal consulting

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): I went really specific on what I wanted to study and linked my undergraduate research to the work I want to do in grad school (Russian identity politics and their influence on strategic international relations goals). I tried to link specific classes to each essay and identify why I thought the school's curriculum would be useful for me or where it could augment some of my weaknesses/knowledge gaps. I also discussed why I am looking to move back into IR policy specifically, as opposed to staying in general government affairs. These took me a long time, to be honest. I had to work really hard to make sure they were tight and concise, especially the schools that required policy memos (SAIS and WWS- wrote about nuclear export treaties). I had the hardest time with Columbia's-- describing my commitment to public service in 200 words was really difficult without leaning on cliches. My favorite essay to write was definitely Fletcher's essay on where you're from. I had friends and family read these over before I submitted, but other than that and my own editing, I didn't have  a ton of other reviewers. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): I used two academic references where applicable (I wrote two undergrad theses, and the profs both supervised a thesis). I also used my former boss as a LOR. I think two letters were very strong (one prof and former boss) and one I am not sure about (second prof). Everyone was very willing to write me a recommendation and I provided each of them my transcripts, resumes, and a "cheat sheet" of schools I was applying to with deadlines and why I was applying to each school, what I thought they could highlight about me in each school's recommendation, and what the schools were specifically looking for from the recommendation. I think this ended up being pretty useful to my recommenders. 

Other: I have proficiency in French and Russian, and one of my internships in undergrad was with the State Department. I talked a lot about my eventual goals of foreign service. I also did interviews wherever available (Tufts, SAIS), which I think helped. 

Now that all my decisions are in, updated above! Given Yale Jackson is providing me full tuition plus a living stipend, it looks like I will be in New Haven the next two years. I'm super excited as it was one of my top choice programs due to the mix of practical and academic work. 

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Updated results now that almost everything has come in. Looking through last year's helped me think through my application game plan a lot, so I'm hoping that including my results and the details of my funding will help future applicants 😃 

Program Applied To: MPP and IR masters programs

Schools Applied To: Johns Hopkins SAIS (first year in Bologna, second in DC), Columbia SIPA, Tufts Fletcher, Georgetown MSFS, Harvard Kennedy School, Princeton WWS, GW Elliott, American SIS, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Schools Admitted To: All, which was super exciting and unexpected! Listed in order of funding:

  • Princeton WWS: full ride (100% tuition + $29k/year stipend)
  • Harvard Kennedy: 100% tuition + $10k/year stipend
  • Johns Hopkins SAIS: 75% tuition
  • Columbia SIPA: $28k/year + $6k for International Fellows Program (first year only)
  • Tufts Fletcher: $25k/year
  • Middlebury Institute: $22k/year
  • GW Elliott: $17k/year
  • American SIS: still TBA but I've decided against attending regardless at this point
  • Georgetown MSFS: no funding

Undergraduate institution: University of Maryland

Undergraduate GPA: 3.99

Undergraduate Major: Politics & Arabic

GRE Score: 168 verbal, 168 quant, 5.0 writing

Years Out of Undergrad: 2 at time of applying

Years of Work Experience: a bit over 1 year at time of applying (almost 2 now)

Describe Relevant Work Experience: I've been working at an international policy-focused nonprofit in DC for the last two years, which was my first full time job after a post-grad year in Morocco. I had a lot of relevant internships and part-time positions from undergrad, including terrorism research and refugee resettlement work. 

Strength of SOP: I worked really hard on these and I'm glad it paid off! I started each SOP at least a month before the deadline and tried to weave my experience into a narrative that would make sense to the school. I would usually re-use a paragraph or two when talking about a specific work or academic experience, but I very carefully tailored each essay to the school. I also had a mix of people looking over my essays to give feedback.

Strength of LOR's: I only read one, but I think they were all good. I picked my current supervisor, my undergrad thesis advisor, and an Arabic professor who I took multiple courses with. So I think the variety gave the admissions committees a well-rounded sense of who I am. 

Other: I was worried coming into this process that my relative lack of work experience would hold me back, especially at places like Princeton and Harvard that put more of an emphasis on post-college experience. I think a few things helped me overcome that handicap:

  • Having a high GPA and GRE scores presumably helped give the admissions committees more faith in me as a younger candidate.
  • I was able to intern a lot in undergrad, so my experiences working for different organizations may have helped make up for how little full-time work experience I had.
  • I tried to think about what experiences/skills I had that made me relatively unique. For me, that was achieving a high proficiency in a critical language (and spending over a year abroad studying it) and performing independent research for my undergraduate thesis. So I tried to focus on these two things in my essays and resume, which I think helped me stand out a bit.
  • Although in reality I have a few directions in which I might like my career to go, I decided to pick one primary path to focus on in my essays (based on which path I had the most past experience to prepare myself for) and just focus on that. I think this helped me form a more cohesive narrative about what I wanted to accomplish at grad school. 

Final Decision: Leaning Harvard or Princeton at this point (my original top choice was SAIS, but it'd cost so much more than Harvard or Princeton that I can't really justify going). Planning to attend both of their admitted students events and decide from there!

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