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Got in to my safety school. Now what?


20thavepolitics
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Hi everyone! Thanks for taking the time to read. I'll try and keep it short and sweet. Please don't laugh at me, I know how my stats sound in comparison to everyone else's.

I transferred to my current university (OSU) 3 years ago, and I am now a fourth year senior, graduating in May. My intended Master's program(s) are educational policy. I major in political science with a minor in women and gender sexuality studies (so I'm well-rounded, right? LOL). Anyway, I was accepted to UCBoulder on Feb. 19 (coincidentally the only school I've applied to so far) and I'm still continuing my application processes with the other schools I'm interested in. My point of concern is that UCB was my safety school. I'm shocked I got in anywhere, but a bit less shocked I got in to my safety school than any others.

I'm currently only applying to schools that don't require the GRE, because I am too scared to take it. I have ADHD and sensory processing issues, so testing is extremely difficult for me. My GPA slipped drastically when I transferred to OSU (I went from a 3.4-3.6 Dean's list student at my old university, to a 2.9 struggle-to-get-it-up student) and I've been fighting the drop ever since. I'm currently sitting at a 3.28 (and I'm even taking macroeconomics for the second time to recoup that grade - I got a D+ the first time...). It is worth noting that I have spoken to faculty at both of my top choices.

My top two choices are University of Maryland and Arizona State University. What do you guys think my odds might be for my top two schools?

GPA: 3.28 cumulative (though OSU weights awfully, so I have more A's than any other grade combined, but my GPA is still stinky. UMD said to explain that in my personal statement - so I did)

I also have 3 internships under my belt (one highly paid with a state agency, one with a policy thinktank, and one fellowship with a political campaign). I have really good letters of rec, including one from a professor who explained that despite my grade credentials, I'm a well-informed and studious person who is essentially trying desperately to excel in an educational system that is designed to fail me (hence my passion for educational policy).

I am especially concerned because I know how average I appear in comparison to other students. I REALLY want to get in to UMD. Am I hopeless?

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There's only one way to find out. It sounds like you have a lot of positives in your application. As long as you can afford the cost, I would apply to those 2 and see what happens. You already got in somewhere, so you're headed to grad school. Now it's just a matter of which one. 

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  • 1 month later...

Some people I know went on to do a Master's degree (which are often less selective), or do one or two years of research/work,  to accumulate more experience on their CV. This could also be a good option if you want to explore your research interest more (which would be a good reason in case you're asked). 

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