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7 hours ago, ch442 said:

Has anyone heard of someone negotiating more scholarship funding from Yale FES? I'm leaning toward FES over Duke, but Duke gave me more funding. Yale says that the amount is mostly based on need, so I'm not sure if they would care that another school gave me a better (merit) scholarship. Anyone have any tips?

I tried and it was a solid no. Very stingy on funding. 

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On 4/3/2020 at 11:06 AM, WatercolorPainter said:

Have people started making their final decisions? I think I've settled on the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke! I hope everyone is happy with the outcome of their applications - it's been so nice to share this process with a forum of likeminded folks!! 😁

Congrats on your decision!! 🎉 I am still deciding between UMich SEAS and UCSB Bren - current events are definitely impacting my decision, so I'm still not sure at this point. I wish we had a bit longer to decide!

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Hi! Did anyone else just now get a fellowship from UM SEAS? I just got an email notification saying I got one, even though they had told me I didn't receive any aid at the time of acceptance.

I guess they might be preparing for a smaller cohort considering the current circumstances and are realizing there's extra money to give. This makes my decision a bit harder, but I'm happy regardless!

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Is anyone deciding between UCSB Bren's MESM and Yale's MEM?

I want to be out west eventually and want to work in Water Resource Management. Yale will be cheaper for me and has a bit better universal name recognition, but the Bren program is undoubtedly strong, especially out west, and I imagine quality of life much better just weather-wise. I dislike Bren's group thesis project and what I hear is a sort of scattered curriculum and think I'm a better academic fit at Yale with the social science they incorporate, more individualized focus, and opportunities for study of issues facing the american west.

Has anyone picked one over the other and care to share why?

Thanks internet strangers! 

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2 hours ago, sourdough7 said:

Is anyone deciding between UCSB Bren's MESM and Yale's MEM?

I want to be out west eventually and want to work in Water Resource Management. Yale will be cheaper for me and has a bit better universal name recognition, but the Bren program is undoubtedly strong, especially out west, and I imagine quality of life much better just weather-wise. I dislike Bren's group thesis project and what I hear is a sort of scattered curriculum and think I'm a better academic fit at Yale with the social science they incorporate, more individualized focus, and opportunities for study of issues facing the american west.

Has anyone picked one over the other and care to share why?

Thanks internet strangers! 

I think UCSB is an amazing place to get an education (I am definitely biased though because that's where I went for undergrad!) And nothing really beats having class right on the ocean - but I'm not sure how the program compares to Yale's. I think Bren has great professors for water resource management, and there are so many opportunities to work with organizations in California afterwards :) 

I can't really speak to the program at Yale as I haven't experienced it! Either way, let us know what you end up deciding!

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2 hours ago, sourdough7 said:

Is anyone deciding between UCSB Bren's MESM and Yale's MEM?

I want to be out west eventually and want to work in Water Resource Management. Yale will be cheaper for me and has a bit better universal name recognition, but the Bren program is undoubtedly strong, especially out west, and I imagine quality of life much better just weather-wise. I dislike Bren's group thesis project and what I hear is a sort of scattered curriculum and think I'm a better academic fit at Yale with the social science they incorporate, more individualized focus, and opportunities for study of issues facing the american west.

Has anyone picked one over the other and care to share why?

Thanks internet strangers! 

Yale, overall has much better career opportunities and greater depth of classes in the context of the greater university....

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Hi all! I'm new to this forum and am struggling to choose a program. I'm torn between Duke Nicholas (Water Resources Management), Yale FES (Water Resources Management) and Michigan SEAS (Sustainable Systems).

I'm leaning towards Duke because I enjoyed the campus atmosphere, quality of life in Durham, and opportunities to get involved in and out of the classroom. I visited earlier this year so I could see myself attending. From what I know, FES has a fairly similar curriculum but is more social science based.

What I like about SEAS is the emphasis on systems thinking, interdisciplinary courses, and EJ program. I could take some water courses through my concentration. However, since I wasn't able to visit campus (thanks COVID-19), it's hard for me to picture student life there.

Anyone else considering SEAS vs the Nic school or FES? 

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I'm still a little bit surprised SEAS hasn't moved their decision deadline back. It seems like so many other big environmental programs have. Especially surprised given their rep as a progressive school. @Aj116 I'm also deciding between SEAS(+Ford) and FES!

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Aj116 said:

Hi all! I'm new to this forum and am struggling to choose a program. I'm torn between Duke Nicholas (Water Resources Management), Yale FES (Water Resources Management) and Michigan SEAS (Sustainable Systems).

I'm leaning towards Duke because I enjoyed the campus atmosphere, quality of life in Durham, and opportunities to get involved in and out of the classroom. I visited earlier this year so I could see myself attending. From what I know, FES has a fairly similar curriculum but is more social science based.

What I like about SEAS is the emphasis on systems thinking, interdisciplinary courses, and EJ program. I could take some water courses through my concentration. However, since I wasn't able to visit campus (thanks COVID-19), it's hard for me to picture student life there.

Anyone else considering SEAS vs the Nic school or FES? 

Hey. I'm in a similar position in that i'm also deciding between the Nic school and FES. I'm interested in coastal management so i'd choose the water resources track and the environmental policy analysis track at FES and the CEM track at Duke. I've talked to numerous professors/alumni/students at both schools and I think i'm becoming more and more set on FES. Yale def has a freshwater focus but through my conversations, you can really do whatever you want at Yale as long as you know what you want to get out of a graduate program. Duke always seemed like the perfect fit program for me, but I've been really giving consideration into short-term vs long-term thinking.

Short-term- Flexibility of FES course load, opportunities to learn from a more diverse cohort, take courses in the law school/management school, broaden my perspectives on environmental management issues on topics i'm not as familiar in (business/law/etc), able to take quant heavy courses at FES/through the greater yale network and the environmental policy analysis track (I think Duke has an edge on quant courses, though i'm not sure).

Duke is undoubtedly better for hard sciences in coastal processes, but since I have an interdisciplinary background and am not looking to go into science-y research, Yale has enough courses where I could get a good foundation. 

Long-term- Leaning toward a phd and will def apply to Duke. 2 years is incredibly short and since i'd be splitting time between Durham and the marine lab, I don't think i'd have as much opportunities to take advantage of all the amazing resources at Duke/fully connect with my cohort (CEM track is pretty small, ~20/25 people I think?). Having access to the nic institute/duke's resources seems more fruitful over a 5 year span. 

TLDR; I'm leaning toward gaining a greater knowledge base as a management practitioner. Duke is perfect for specializing in what I've been currently doing but because management is so transdisciplinary, it might not be as wise to specialize in the same path I've been on--esp if I'm interested in bringing new perspectives on ways I can apply my existing skill set. The Nic school is HANDS DOWN amazing and this choice has been really tough (like tearing me apart tough, roaming around my apartment saying "I don't know, I don't know" tough). I'm still not 100% on my decision primarily because coastal research at Duke is just...better.. but it seems like the value of intangible opportunities and resources at FES and the greater Yale network (which is so hard to compare) might be the better move for a masters. (I also got more money to go to Duke so that's been hard to weigh too).

Love any insights on my dilemma, this forum is a blessing.

P.S. if anyone else is in a similar position (coastal peeps), feel free to reach out to me. I've talked to ALOT of people and can relay what I've learned about both programs!

Edited by monkeycat

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On 4/8/2020 at 8:32 AM, prokem said:

I'm still a little bit surprised SEAS hasn't moved their decision deadline back. It seems like so many other big environmental programs have. Especially surprised given their rep as a progressive school. @Aj116 I'm also deciding between SEAS(+Ford) and FES!

I attended an online chat for prospective SEAS international students and the admissions assistant said they are now extending the deadline and will not revoke anyone’s offer.

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Well, the deed is done! I've submitted my deposit to Columbia SIPA, will be moving back home to NY in the fall (assuming that's allowed). Very excited. 

If Columbia is still running virtually, I'll be disappointed but not terribly surprised. I figure getting a bunch of the core econ/stats classes out of the way via Zoom is fine, and then I can get into the real meat of grad school come spring. 

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It's official, I put down my deposit at F&ES today! I am feeling a bit sad about turning down Michigan-- I really loved the professors and course offerings there, some even more so than at Yale. But in the end I was just more familiar with the program, people, and location of Yale so I felt much more comfortable committing there (among other reasons).

Now I can focus on being stressed out by the possibility of online classes in the fall 😬😂

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On 4/7/2020 at 12:11 PM, realdoodlebob said:

Hi! Did anyone else just now get a fellowship from UM SEAS? I just got an email notification saying I got one, even though they had told me I didn't receive any aid at the time of acceptance.

I guess they might be preparing for a smaller cohort considering the current circumstances and are realizing there's extra money to give. This makes my decision a bit harder, but I'm happy regardless!

I got a 15k fellowship when I was first admitted and then got another 15k on April 7 after emailing my advisor and asking if there was any room for negotiation! I'm super pleased with how generous SEAS has been. I was wondering the same thing about why they suddenly had extra funds

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7 hours ago, tillyk said:

I got a 15k fellowship when I was first admitted and then got another 15k on April 7 after emailing my advisor and asking if there was any room for negotiation! I'm super pleased with how generous SEAS has been. I was wondering the same thing about why they suddenly had extra funds

Did you receive the second 15k email from SEAS or your advisor? And in your negotiation letter did you say anything about your financial difficulties? Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
On 4/18/2020 at 12:00 AM, alaqua said:

Did you receive the second 15k email from SEAS or your advisor? And in your negotiation letter did you say anything about your financial difficulties? Thanks!

My advisor emailed me about it but she didn't make it explicitly clear that this was an additional amount of money so I was a little confused and thought my appeal hadn't been successful. But then I got an email from SEAS outlining the changes to my funding.

I had also previously emailed SEAS financial aid and they just suggested loans/scholarships, so I was discouraged by that. I'm really glad I ended up reaching out to my advisor as well!

I said that I was uncertain if I'd be able to attend SEAS without further funding since I'm coming straight from undergrad and haven't had the opportunity to save much money for tuition. I did all of this before committing to the program since I figured that gave me more leverage, but I'm sure it's possible to negotiate after committing (especially with all of the uncertainty surrounding higher ed and personal finances due to COVID-19)

Edited by tillyk

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Is anyone weighing deferring/re-applying next year for any of these programs due to the uncertainty of in-person instruction this fall? Or, is everyone thinking they'll attend regardless? I know the decision varies so much individual to individual but I'm curious to hear folks' thoughts either way.

 

I can't help but think that if I am shelling out lots of $$$ for an only partially-funded degree, taking out loans etc., that I'd like to "purchase" the best possible experience for myself. For me, that experience includes in-person classes, close interaction with classmates for networking/socializing, and the ability to do field-oriented courses and travel. For that reason I'm leaning deferring or reapplying, but, I run the risk of never getting my spot again or losing some of the need-based scholarship I received. I am currently employed and would hope that to remain constant as well, but who knows. Is anyone else freaking out about this?!

 

 

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1 hour ago, sourdough7 said:

Is anyone weighing deferring/re-applying next year for any of these programs due to the uncertainty of in-person instruction this fall? Or, is everyone thinking they'll attend regardless? I know the decision varies so much individual to individual but I'm curious to hear folks' thoughts either way.

 

I can't help but think that if I am shelling out lots of $$$ for an only partially-funded degree, taking out loans etc., that I'd like to "purchase" the best possible experience for myself. For me, that experience includes in-person classes, close interaction with classmates for networking/socializing, and the ability to do field-oriented courses and travel. For that reason I'm leaning deferring or reapplying, but, I run the risk of never getting my spot again or losing some of the need-based scholarship I received. I am currently employed and would hope that to remain constant as well, but who knows. Is anyone else freaking out about this?!

 

 

If FES is online in the fall, I will strongly consider deferring. One of the big reasons why I chose it is the community, and it won't be the same if we're only meeting via Zoom. My experience with online classes hasn't been positive. Even though they'll be much better in the fall (I assume, bc they'll have had months to prepare vs just a few weeks), I'm just not learning that much and really miss the classroom setting. However, I'm not sure if they'll have a lenient enough deferral policy to allow me to do that (as I've heard HKS has done).

if classes are online and they don't allow deferrals for that reason, then I'd rather do the online classes than take my chances reapplying, because I am pretty sure that admissions will be more difficult in the coming years due to more applicants and less university resources/slots.

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Whether you are paying full retail or have most of it covered via grants, one needs to seriously consider deferring for the year. First, does the institution allow such an action—and if so, will your FA package follow you to next academic year.

I have a daughter about to enter a PhD program at one of the top programs in county in her area of interest, and she received a very generous package that included a living stipend that was just south of 40k annually. They have already contacted her that they may readjust the package if she is not on campus and living at home....my point is, there are many many moving parts that are up in the air, that may not be resolved until mid-summer.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sourdough7 said:

Is anyone weighing deferring/re-applying next year for any of these programs due to the uncertainty of in-person instruction this fall? Or, is everyone thinking they'll attend regardless? I know the decision varies so much individual to individual but I'm curious to hear folks' thoughts either way.

 

I can't help but think that if I am shelling out lots of $$$ for an only partially-funded degree, taking out loans etc., that I'd like to "purchase" the best possible experience for myself. For me, that experience includes in-person classes, close interaction with classmates for networking/socializing, and the ability to do field-oriented courses and travel. For that reason I'm leaning deferring or reapplying, but, I run the risk of never getting my spot again or losing some of the need-based scholarship I received. I am currently employed and would hope that to remain constant as well, but who knows. Is anyone else freaking out about this?!

 

 

If the school you are enrolling at allows you to defer in the case of online classes (while keeping your scholarship), I would 100% recommend that you do.

Personally, if the school doesn't allow you to defer if courses are online, I would either enroll at another school with a more lenient deferment policy (if you have multiple admits) or reapply another year. The reason you go to graduate school is to, upon graduation, be in a better spot than you were prior to enrolling. Much of that hinges upon you getting an excellent summer internship between years 1 and 2 of your program. It's very hard to do this when you aren't on campus, as you miss out on so many connections/OCR/informational interviews etc. This is what you ultimately pay for, the networking, and you would be forgoing the main perks of the program by enrolling if courses are taught via Zoom. 

Edited by Mppirgradschool

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4 hours ago, sourdough7 said:

Is anyone weighing deferring/re-applying next year for any of these programs due to the uncertainty of in-person instruction this fall? Or, is everyone thinking they'll attend regardless? I know the decision varies so much individual to individual but I'm curious to hear folks' thoughts either way.

 

I can't help but think that if I am shelling out lots of $$$ for an only partially-funded degree, taking out loans etc., that I'd like to "purchase" the best possible experience for myself. For me, that experience includes in-person classes, close interaction with classmates for networking/socializing, and the ability to do field-oriented courses and travel. For that reason I'm leaning deferring or reapplying, but, I run the risk of never getting my spot again or losing some of the need-based scholarship I received. I am currently employed and would hope that to remain constant as well, but who knows. Is anyone else freaking out about this?!

 

 

I am in a similar position! I committed to U-Mich, which will allow deferral due to "financial hardship" which is a strong possibility for me due to the COVID-19 situation. I can't imagine paying full price for tuition if classes will be online - I am really depending on making connections with professors to secure TA/RA positions for following semesters. However, in my case, I'm pretty sure deferring for a year would mean giving up my academic merit fellowship :(

It's a really shitty position to be in - I'm hoping classes will be on campus, but I'm not sure how likely it is. I will probably wait until June/July to make my final decision in hopes of having a bit more clarity. Please keep me posted on what you decide!

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I decided to commit to FES! I was having a tough time turning down HKS, but the difference in price and the ability to specialize in environmental policy at Yale were the deciding factors.

I'm excited to meet some of y'all next year (hopefully sooner rather than later)!

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It looks like Duke NSOE is offering Fall 2020 completely online for those who want or need it! Anyone else still undecided? 

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On 5/13/2020 at 2:36 PM, chaparralcountry said:

It looks like Duke NSOE is offering Fall 2020 completely online for those who want or need it! Anyone else still undecided? 

I plan to be on-campus for Duke NSOE. How about you?

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