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Harvard Kennedy MPP 2020

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I am confused between SIPA and MPA/ID. I really like the MPA/ID program at HKS but with only Fulbright funding, I will still be short of huge sum. SIPA on the other hand has made it almost free. So, if I consider fee, then I should go to SIPA but if I think of program structure, then hands down MPA/ID. Small cohort size, focused curriculum, and of-course the brand value of Harvard are definitely worth taking a shot. SIPA course is kind of loose, big cohort, etc.

McKinsey has already offered a webinar for newly admitted MPA/ID students at HKS. Plus, HKS staff, faculty, students have all been very responsive during these days. I just wish I had my finances settled for HKS!! 

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On 4/6/2020 at 7:27 AM, CellucciK said:

Turning down my offer for Yale FES so hopefully that means a person can benefit from it!

Good luck! :) Are you MPA/MPP at HKS?

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Am I the only one secretly hoping that my application ends up getting reviewed on the HKS blog? I wouldn't mind being put on blast for some free feedback 😂

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Is anyone else planning to pay sticker price for HKS MPP? That's what I'm leaning toward but am I foolish for entertaining such huge debt? (esp given some other full-tuition options). I'm a domestic student so work visas aren't a problem, fortunately. 

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Hi guys, does anyone know if you can request a reconsideration/appeal for your financial aid? 

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On 4/12/2020 at 4:37 PM, graduate2020 said:

Is anyone else planning to pay sticker price for HKS MPP? That's what I'm leaning toward but am I foolish for entertaining such huge debt? (esp given some other full-tuition options). I'm a domestic student so work visas aren't a problem, fortunately. 

Please please please do not do this. 

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Heading to an MPP that costs north of $160,000 with zero funding is something that I, and everyone in the public sector, would *highly* advise against. This is even more true as we enter a recession, because graduates of all programs, including HKS, will be fighting for entry-level jobs. Head to the school that offers the most $ or reapply another year, when job prospects upon graduation improve.

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11 hours ago, Mppirgradschool said:

Heading to an MPP that costs north of $160,000 with zero funding is something that I, and everyone in the public sector, would *highly* advise against. This is even more true as we enter a recession, because graduates of all programs, including HKS, will be fighting for entry-level jobs. Head to the school that offers the most $ or reapply another year, when job prospects upon graduation improve.

Definitely correct... to put this in more context. The last HKS MPP jobs report that had average salary (if I remember correctly) from a few years ago (during a booming economy) had it at 65K a year out from graduation. I know undergrad schools where the average coming out is shy of that. Anywho, if you were smart enough to get into HKS you are probably smart enough to figure out how long it would take to pay back those loans with interest (at least I really hope so). That is not counting the recession. 
 

I remember back in 2011, I knew people leaving policy graduate schools lucky to make 50K. Back then you at least had strong Federal programs like PMF, a vibrant foreign service, and other government jobs... those have kind have been hollowed out by this administration (except for Homeland Security... and even the DoD is in shrinking in some areas). Maybe a new President rebuilds the Federal government, but it will take a while. Or there is no new President. 

There is also something to be said about being able to sleep soundly at night and not have to worry about student debt upon graduation... or how much the slice of pizza on a Friday with your buddies is one small step further in the hole you are going to pay for grad school. 

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It's also possible and increasingly likely in my opinion, that the Fall semester gets pushed online. If that happens, the value of the degree will go down everywhere. And tuition is not likely to decrease because master's programs are cash cows and university endowments are crashing. I seriously doubt that the HKS brand is worth that kind of money. Infact, if you are planning to spend the full amount, it makes much more sense to defer by a year and try for external funding and reconsideration for aid next year. You have nothing to lose. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, misterrpiketty said:

It's also possible and increasingly likely in my opinion, that the Fall semester gets pushed online. If that happens, the value of the degree will go down everywhere. And tuition is not likely to decrease because master's programs are cash cows and university endowments are crashing. I seriously doubt that the HKS brand is worth that kind of money. Infact, if you are planning to spend the full amount, it makes much more sense to defer by a year and try for external funding and reconsideration for aid next year. You have nothing to lose. 

So this is another enormous issue. If schools begin going online for the fall semester, which Boston University already has announced it will, all schools have to follow suit. Can you imagine the lawsuit that any of these institutions are liable to if they knowingly kept classes on campus, when other schools didn’t,  and people got sick? Odds are incredibly high that they go the online route.

Options for next year are clear, (if you have zero funding/low funding):

A ) Pick the school that offers you most money, if you don’t mind Zoom learning

B.) Defer until next year and apply for external fellowships

 

Edited by Mppirgradschool

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6 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

Definitely correct... to put this in more context. The last HKS MPP jobs report that had average salary (if I remember correctly) from a few years ago (during a booming economy) had it at 65K a year out from graduation. I know undergrad schools where the average coming out is shy of that. Anywho, if you were smart enough to get into HKS you are probably smart enough to figure out how long it would take to pay back those loans with interest (at least I really hope so). That is not counting the recession. 
 

I remember back in 2011, I knew people leaving policy graduate schools lucky to make 50K. Back then you at least had strong Federal programs like PMF, a vibrant foreign service, and other government jobs... those have kind have been hollowed out by this administration (except for Homeland Security... and even the DoD is in shrinking in some areas). Maybe a new President rebuilds the Federal government, but it will take a while. Or there is no new President. 

There is also something to be said about being able to sleep soundly at night and not have to worry about student debt upon graduation... or how much the slice of pizza on a Friday with your buddies is one small step further in the hole you are going to pay for grad school. 

The situation is very much a “perfect storm”. The most accurate job reports I would look at are those immediately post-2008 and even then, there was not the damaging effects of extended social distancing and uncertainty. Classes will be online and international students will have trouble attending in the next few years due to visa restrictions/savings plummeting.

I’ll say it again, don’t pay $220,000 (what you will be paying going full sticker plus interests in a best case scenario) for a $50,000 job you would have gotten going to any of the other equally prestigious schools that were generous in their funding. This decision could decide if and when you ever own a home, can start a family etc.

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5 hours ago, Mppirgradschool said:

So this is another enormous issue. If schools begin going online for the fall semester, which Boston University already has announced it will, all schools have to follow suit. Can you imagine the lawsuit that any of these institutions are liable to if they knowingly kept classes on campus, when other schools didn’t,  and people got sick? Odds are incredibly high that they go the online route.

Options for next year are clear, (if you have zero funding/low funding):

A ) Pick the school that offers you most money, if you don’t mind Zoom learning

B.) Defer until next year and apply for external fellowships

 

Don't disagree with your main points, but it's important to point out the Boston University has NOT announced it'll have online classes. Just like any other smart educational administration, they are coming up with plans for the possibility that classes will be remote.

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Good catch! But yes, I think the fundamental issues remain intact (i.e. costs are prohibitive/high levels of debt with low ROI, outcomes less than ideal during a Recession, difficulty to network properly, possibility of remote learning etc.) and this pandemic may very well change how higher-education operates moving forward. Congrats on your acceptances!

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Question for MPA applicants: I've read that you must also have completed at least four graduate-level courses similar to those in the Master in Public Policy core curriculum, including at least two courses that are quantitative in nature to apply for the MPA program. Does this essentially mean that you must already hold a graduate degree in order to be considered? What classed did you take that fulfilled this requirement?

Thinking about applying this year for next year's cohort, any advice you have would be much appreciated!

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I joined late post result declaration.. BTW I rejected free-ride offers from Coumbia and UMichigan in favor of MPA/ID from HKS. I do not know if I did correct or will I regret it like forever.. 0$ liability vs. about 80-90k$ liability now sounds like a big burden given the job market in 2022.. 

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On 4/12/2020 at 2:37 PM, graduate2020 said:

Is anyone else planning to pay sticker price for HKS MPP? That's what I'm leaning toward but am I foolish for entertaining such huge debt? (esp given some other full-tuition options). I'm a domestic student so work visas aren't a problem, fortunately. 

Unless you and your family have their own resources, I would seriously reconsider that option. I work in this field for over 25 years, and well, employment for the next 2-4 years is going to reflect the rest of the economy—ie it is going to profoundly shrink and that is a large amount of debt to be holding during a probable recession.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Boolakanaka said:

Unless you and your family have their own resources, I would seriously reconsider that option. I work in this field for over 25 years, and well, employment for the next 2-4 years is going to reflect the rest of the economy—ie it is going to profoundly shrink and that is a large amount of debt to be holding during a probable recession.

. Agree with everything said here, it’s a lot of debt and employment in the development field/public sector will be greatly affected for the coming years. This is obviously true for the private sector as well.

If it isn’t too late and given your lengthy work experience, you might want to look at applying as a Mason Fellow to the MC/MPA once things improve. It costs almost half as much as the MPA/ID and you would be able to minimize debt more effectively with external fellowships

Edited by Mppirgradschool

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33 minutes ago, Mppirgradschool said:

. Agree with everything said here, it’s a lot of debt and employment in the development field/public sector will be greatly affected for the coming years. This is obviously true for the private sector as well.

If it isn’t too late and given your lengthy work experience, you might want to look at applying as a Mason Fellow to the MC/MPA once things improve. It costs almost half as much as the MPA/ID and you would be able to minimize debt more effectively with external fellowships

Oh thanks! Not sure if this is for me or the original poster—as I have more degrees than I now know what to do with (lol) and have my own small consulting firm (about 10 folks)—but thanks again.

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Posted (edited)

I declined and will be heading to a more affordable  but very reputable school in Europe. Honestly, i think it's not worth bearing such a huge debt and enter any US school this time for this policy degree (I also declined Johns Hopkins and Columbia). I don't want to have a stressful life just to have a famous name on my CV. After all, I think it is not the school name but what you can do matters. 

Edited by KIMAMS

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7 hours ago, KIMAMS said:

I declined and will be heading to a more affordable  but very reputable school in Europe. Honestly, i think it's not worth bearing such a huge debt and enter any US school this time for this policy degree (I also declined Johns Hopkins and Columbia). I don't want to have a stressful life just to have a famous name on my CV. After all, I think it is not the school name but what you can do matters. 

Hands down the correct decision, good luck in your future endeavors!

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I'm turning down HKS MPP (no funding) for the Yale School of Forestry (partial funding). HKS has been a dream program for me for a while, but Yale has way more opportunities in environmental policy and it didn't make sense to spend so much more on HKS, especially with a likely recession and online classes. Good luck next year, y'all!

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6 hours ago, ch442 said:

I'm turning down HKS MPP (no funding) for the Yale School of Forestry (partial funding). HKS has been a dream program for me for a while, but Yale has way more opportunities in environmental policy and it didn't make sense to spend so much more on HKS, especially with a likely recession and online classes. Good luck next year, y'all!

You're definitely not alone in this decision (the correct one), as many of you have rejected offers from stingy programs in favor of those with funding. This is exemplified by HKS having to create a second waitlist due to low yield rates. As you mention, the likely recession and possibility of online classes makes the choice that much easier.

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Posted (edited)

Accepted off the WL today.  Don't know about Aid.  Undergrad Ivy class of 20.  Experience limited to 2 State Dept internships during undergrad.

Edited by Grad-2020

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