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The COVID-19 effect on admissions & funding


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Just now, munch22 said:

All good- almost all the articles you had posted said they were edited yesterday (probably based off the provost’s updated comments) so I think that caused some confusion. Definitely think adding those links contributes an important conversation about what is going to happen. 

Fair enough (about the edits). Clearly I was completely off base about this. To be honest, I saw this originally because I was streaming youtube tv overseas and watching a Bay Area news station (NBC Bay Area). They had a segment a few days ago on local universities and COVID-19 and they announced in the segment that San Jose State University was going "completely online" for fall 2020. Turns out that was an exaggeration/misinterpretation too, but it got me interested in the topic, which is what led me to the CSU Fullerton announcement reported by NPR et al... I guess the takeaway is that many schools seem to be considering it but even local media is getting a lot of things wrong right now. 

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Quoting myself and updating for folks who messaged me to show support. The university that rescinded all the offers because of COVID19 has actually contacted me to ask me if I would consider atte

A few users on here have asked (or speculated) about the potential impact/consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on polisci PhD admissions and funding. Others, myself included, have been wondering if t

To anyone who is now afraid to post on here: Please do not be. I (and others) truly welcome your perspective, input and thoughts on this. It's ok to speculate. It's ok to talk about your fears, concer

1 minute ago, Paulcg87 said:

Fair enough (about the edits). Clearly I was completely off base about this. To be honest, I saw this originally because I was streaming youtube tv overseas and watching a Bay Area news station (NBC Bay Area). They had a segment a few days ago on local universities and COVID-19 and they announced in the segment that San Jose State University was going "completely online" for fall 2020. Turns out that was an exaggeration/misinterpretation too, but it got me interested in the topic, which is what led me to the CSU Fullerton announcement reported by NPR et al... I guess the takeaway is that many schools seem to be considering it but even local media is getting a lot of things wrong right now. 

Yup every university is considering it for sure to avoid the information provided in the articles you linked about the mass panic and rush that happened this semester when courses flipped all of a sudden. I know my university will have a final decision probably late June early July. 
 

To be clear, I’m not looking for a tussle. I am looking to provide people with accurate information. I’m a current student at a top 30 with a few colleagues at other top 30s. I have a parent who currently works in some capacity (not polsci) at a top 30 polsci university and used to work at another top 30. My point being- I have gotten a pretty good pulse of  how programs and schools are adjusting to this shift From hearing information from these sources. This pandemic is going to affect cohorts for years on end, and that is a fact. I hope my posts can provide honest information about what is going on. The realities of what we face are this: fewer jobs will be available in the future, more students will have to take 6/7th years because they can’t do fieldwork (Depending on sub field but this still effects the whole department), and universities are either going to have to expand department budgets or cut future cohort sizes. It will be more competitive to get into specific schools. Im not trying to be combative - I’m trying to express the realities we live in today (the focus of this forum, which is a very relevant topic for current and future applicants). 

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1 minute ago, munch22 said:

Yup every university is considering it for sure to avoid the information provided in the articles you linked about the mass panic and rush that happened this semester when courses flipped all of a sudden. I know my university will have a final decision probably late June early July. 
 

To be clear, I’m not looking for a tussle. I am looking to provide people with accurate information. I’m a current student at a top 30 with a few colleagues at other top 30s. I have a parent who currently works in some capacity (not polsci) at a top 30 polsci university and used to work at another top 30. My point being- I have gotten a pretty good pulse of  how programs and schools are adjusting to this shift From hearing information from these sources. This pandemic is going to affect cohorts for years on end, and that is a fact. I hope my posts can provide honest information about what is going on. The realities of what we face are this: fewer jobs will be available in the future, more students will have to take 6/7th years because they can’t do fieldwork (Depending on sub field but this still effects the whole department), and universities are either going to have to expand department budgets or cut future cohort sizes. It will be more competitive to get into specific schools. Im not trying to be combative - I’m trying to express the realities we live in today (the focus of this forum, which is a very relevant topic for current and future applicants). 

That's all totally fair and it makes sense. In my case I was referring to other users who have been outright combative and/or patronizing when I've posted articles in this thread. No one here is trying to spread misinformation or fear monger, but this is a thread created specifically to discuss this very topic, so there will be some discussion, some speculation/hearsay and posting of articles/publications. Anyone who loses their sh*t over this should probably stop reading this thread, full stop. 

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4 hours ago, Paulcg87 said:

It's an understandable mistake but it's not quite the dire spread of misinformation or baseless speculation that you seem to have accused me of in the tone of your comments. 

I created this specific thread to discuss COVID-19's impact; I believe it's a useful discussion and clearly so do others. We're all on edge about it, not just you. Everyone is struggling. None of us want this. I can understand your response and your logic/rationale, and I'm sorry the LA Times article isn't as useful as the other articles I'm posting here.

I apologize if I came off as condescending; that certainly wasn't my intention. My point is that we know nothing right now and likely won't for a couple of months. Posting articles that contain false or extrapolated information isn't beneficial for anyone (and, of course, I am not suggesting that you did so so with the intention of confusing people or providing them with misinformation). Sharing every article that discusses a university's plans for the fall more generally does no good either.

Edited by uchenyy
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4 minutes ago, uchenyy said:

I apologize if I came off as condescending; that certainly wasn't my intention. My point is that we know nothing right now and likely won't for a couple of months. Posting articles that contain false or extrapolated information isn't beneficial for anyone (and, of course, I am not suggesting that you did so so with the intention of confusing people or providing them with misinformation). 

I appreciate the apology. Just to be clear, I'm guessing you saw the number of mainstream media sources, ranging from KTLA to NPR, that extrapolated the same thing as the Mercury News and announced that CSUF was going online for the fall. Some subsequently edited their articles to account for Oliver's statement regarding CSUF. I am not at fault for this, and it's equally as misleading to even imply that my posting of mainstream media articles that got it wrong is somehow my fault, or that I bear the burden of their failed extrapolation. Several users on here have posted mainstream media articles. It is not on me that when I posted, I was in fact posting about something that the mainstream media got incorrect. This is what I meant when I said "do not shoot the messenger". If multiple media sources, including NPR (which I respect a great deal), post something this important and then happen to have gotten it wrong, this is NOT on me. 

 

8 minutes ago, uchenyy said:

Sharing every article that discusses a university's plans for the fall more generally does no good either.

I disagree, and I would respectfully suggest that I created this thread specifically to share information. Posting articles from CNN, NPR, etc., regarding university plans and interviews with faculty et al., isn't something that "generally does no good". I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that. But I again ask that you not jump to conclusions and assume that because I post something that the media subsequently gets wrong, that I too am at fault. I also ask that if you do not like people posting mainstream media articles on here, you simply stop monitoring this thread. I for one appreciate articles about the current situation in the United States and North America, particularly as someone who is overseas right now. 

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To anyone who is now afraid to post on here: Please do not be. I (and others) truly welcome your perspective, input and thoughts on this. It's ok to speculate. It's ok to talk about your fears, concerns and analysis. It's ok to re-post articles. I created this thread for this precise reason, and as long as I'm on here, I will stick up for you if you want to talk about this. Discouraging thought, speculation or the sharing of mainstream media articles on COVID-19's effects on higher ed is not healthy, and it has the added negative effect of discouraging discussion on the wider/broader topic. 

This is a discussion forum, and last I checked, it isn't authoritarian. It doesn't have the same standards as an academic journal, and it isn't a journal. As long as you aren't turning this into PSR and attacking others, fear mongering or contributing to a negative atmosphere, you're free to comment and I hope people do. With that said, I completely understand that we are all nervous, on edge, and stressed out right now. I'm part of that group as an incoming PhD student who is relying on a funding package from a major land grant institution, and I'm worried too. With that said, if this is getting to you too much, for the sake of your own blood pressure, I recommend you take a break rather than lash out and/or make others feel bad. Mental health is a real issue for all of us right now, and it's important that we all take care of ourselves. I've said it before and I'll say it again: We are ALL in this together. Take care of yourselves above all else.

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My $0.02: I happen to find solace in forums like this. They helped me get through the awful 'waiting it out' period for our respective programs back in Jan / Feb / March when we were all seemingly refreshing our browsers and frantically checking email every 20 minutes. This period we're in now with COVID-19 feels no different.  I thought I'd find more stability - even a pinch of certainty - on the other side of that decision letter, and look where we are. Look at what the entire world is now dealing with. Nobody knows how things will turn out with this pandemic, its economic ramifications, or for how long they'll last.  It's incredibly stressful to say the least.  I appreciate every article and opinion shared here; if anything, to make me feel like I'm not alone in waiting to find some ground underneath me or a hint of what to expect in such chaotic times.

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2 hours ago, Paulcg87 said:

I appreciate the apology. Just to be clear, I'm guessing you saw the number of mainstream media sources, ranging from KTLA to NPR, that extrapolated the same thing as the Mercury News and announced that CSUF was going online for the fall. Some subsequently edited their articles to account for Oliver's statement regarding CSUF. I am not at fault for this, and it's equally as misleading to even imply that my posting of mainstream media articles that got it wrong is somehow my fault, or that I bear the burden of their failed extrapolation. Several users on here have posted mainstream media articles. It is not on me that when I posted, I was in fact posting about something that the mainstream media got incorrect. This is what I meant when I said "do not shoot the messenger". If multiple media sources, including NPR (which I respect a great deal), post something this important and then happen to have gotten it wrong, this is NOT on me. 

 

I disagree, and I would respectfully suggest that I created this thread specifically to share information. Posting articles from CNN, NPR, etc., regarding university plans and interviews with faculty et al., isn't something that "generally does no good". I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that. But I again ask that you not jump to conclusions and assume that because I post something that the media subsequently gets wrong, that I too am at fault. I also ask that if you do not like people posting mainstream media articles on here, you simply stop monitoring this thread. I for one appreciate articles about the current situation in the United States and North America, particularly as someone who is overseas right now. 

Alright. As I said, I apologize. I'm not looking to bicker. You're exactly right. This is a discussion forum. You shared your opinion, and I responded by sharing mine.

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4 minutes ago, uchenyy said:

Alright. As I said, I apologize. I'm not looking to bicker. You're exactly right. This is a discussion forum. You shared your opinion, and I responded by sharing mine.

Thank you. Your opinion is welcome, as long as it isn't hostile for no particular reason. I think we can all agree we're trying to avoid making this forum another PSR. I think treating everyone on here with respect goes a long ways right now given how stressed most of us are. Anyway, moving on, I truly hope you're doing alright and staying sane in these tough times. I know it's a genuine challenge for all of us, especially those of us who are in quarantine or unemployed right now. I personally have taken up video gaming again, to a degree that would put my undergrad days to shame :)

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31 minutes ago, soycapp said:

My $0.02: I happen to find solace in forums like this. They helped me get through the awful 'waiting it out' period for our respective programs back in Jan / Feb / March when we were all seemingly refreshing our browsers and frantically checking email every 20 minutes. This period we're in now with COVID-19 feels no different.  I thought I'd find more stability - even a pinch of certainty - on the other side of that decision letter, and look where we are. Look at what the entire world is now dealing with. Nobody knows how things will turn out with this pandemic, its economic ramifications, or for how long they'll last.  It's incredibly stressful to say the least.  I appreciate every article and opinion shared here; if anything, to make me feel like I'm not alone in waiting to find some ground underneath me or a hint of what to expect in such chaotic times.

Thanks for your perspective, it's much appreciated. I must admit I'm 100% guilty of being stressed too. Talking about it helps, especially when I can't even talk to my neighbours right now because we are all stuck inside. The fact that most of us on here are in very similar situations is something that brings us together I think. One thing is for sure - when we are on campus, actually matriculated and doing all of the things that encompass a PhD, it's going to be remarkably refreshing (for me at least). I never, ever thought I would look so forward to TAing undergrads, taking a seminar on political theory (no offence to my theory brethren, I'm just an IR guy :) or writing an exam in person. I guess I took it all for granted in undergrad and my master's degree; who didn't? I never thought I'd miss just sitting with a class full of people or going to the campus bookstore to buy the course textbooks versus zoom and buying everything on Amazon. 

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1 hour ago, Paulcg87 said:

An article from Canada about some of the changes going on at UBC and the University of Toronto, including Toronto's altered fee structure for students. 

That’s pretty interesting to know what’s happening in Canada. I know that in the US there are a series of class action lawsuits led by undergrads who are demanding fee refunds and or tuition breaks for this current spring semester. 

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2 hours ago, Dwar said:

That’s pretty interesting to know what’s happening in Canada. I know that in the US there are a series of class action lawsuits led by undergrads who are demanding fee refunds and or tuition breaks for this current spring semester. 

I wonder if the US will adopt the Canadian model at all and offer federal aid specifically to students? Canada is also offering I think $1200/month to Canadian citizens who are students studying at foreign institutions, including in the US, so Canadians currently at American universities will be eligible for the pay this summer. 

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17 minutes ago, Paulcg87 said:
2 hours ago, Dwar said:

 

I wonder if the US will adopt the Canadian model at all and offer federal aid specifically to students

Hahahahaha, no. Absolutely not. I think this administration would first let the west coast leave the union then adopt a Canadian style support system for students, universities, or even localities.

States should just declare bankruptcy, don’t ya know. 

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1 hour ago, Dwar said:

Hahahahaha, no. Absolutely not. I think this administration would first let the west coast leave the union then adopt a Canadian style support system for students, universities, or even localities.

States should just declare bankruptcy, don’t ya know. 

Haha, I think I was assuming that it's a possibility if there's a change in administration in January 2021. Totally fair in terms of the skepticism/humour. 

Edited by Paulcg87
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Hey all, I saw this article about a local MI university and their plans for college in the age of corona. The college's plan, as of now, is below. 

  • In-person laboratory classes, but limited to a small number of students. “We might have three students in a large lab where social distancing is possible, and where they can wear masks and can be tested before they come in,” Pescovitz said.
  • Some classes moved to larger venues on campus – the university president offered an example of a class of 50 in a room that seats 250 so students can maintain safe social distance.
  • Ballrooms in the Oakland Center student union may be converted to classrooms, because they are large enough for safe social-distancing.
  • Because there are a limited number of large venues on campus, many classes will be held online.
  • Sports teams will play, but players will be tested for coronavirus frequently.
  • No spectators at sporting events.
  • Face masks will be required on campus.
  • Dorms will be open, but only 20 percent of Oakland’s students live on campus, so most can retain social distance in their homes.
  • Frequent testing of students, staff and faculty. “I hope Michigan will have the ability to do more COVID cases than we can today,” Pescovitz said. “We hope to be able to do testing on campus, along with serology and contact-tracing. That allows us to be as safe as possible. If frequent coronavirus testing is not possible, the university could take the temperature of students frequently.

I do want to point out that the article ends by saying that the university cautioned that their plans may change based on the health situation in fall, but that the university administration is moving forward as if the above plans are on for the fall. 

I'm not sure exactly what this means for other major universities, but I assume that many will start to adopt plans like these. From what I've seen however, it seems most of them are putting off a final decision until May/June time. 

Edited by Dwar
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2 hours ago, Dwar said:

Hey all, I saw this article about a local MI university and their plans for college in the age of corona. The college's plan, as of now, is below. 

  • In-person laboratory classes, but limited to a small number of students. “We might have three students in a large lab where social distancing is possible, and where they can wear masks and can be tested before they come in,” Pescovitz said.
  • Some classes moved to larger venues on campus – the university president offered an example of a class of 50 in a room that seats 250 so students can maintain safe social distance.
  • Ballrooms in the Oakland Center student union may be converted to classrooms, because they are large enough for safe social-distancing.
  • Because there are a limited number of large venues on campus, many classes will be held online.
  • Sports teams will play, but players will be tested for coronavirus frequently.
  • No spectators at sporting events.
  • Face masks will be required on campus.
  • Dorms will be open, but only 20 percent of Oakland’s students live on campus, so most can retain social distance in their homes.
  • Frequent testing of students, staff and faculty. “I hope Michigan will have the ability to do more COVID cases than we can today,” Pescovitz said. “We hope to be able to do testing on campus, along with serology and contact-tracing. That allows us to be as safe as possible. If frequent coronavirus testing is not possible, the university could take the temperature of students frequently.

I do want to point out that the article ends by saying that the university cautioned that their plans may change based on the health situation in fall, but that the university administration is moving forward as if the above plans are on for the fall. 

I'm not sure exactly what this means for other major universities, but I assume that many will start to adopt plans like these. From what I've seen however, it seems most of them are putting off a final decision until May/June time. 

To be honest, I would be pretty happy with this kind of situation. Of course, I'd be even happier if the situation improves and we see a more "normal" arrangement, but this would much better than moving everything online. I do think we may be in a somewhat "lucky" situation as graduate students, given that our classes will be small anyway.

Edited by uchenyy
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17 minutes ago, uchenyy said:

I do think we may be in a somewhat "lucky" situation as graduate students, given that our classes will be small anyway.

Totally agree about that. As I’m starting to register for classes it seems like the grad seminars cap at 15 students which is below the limit. 

The only question that I really have is how dorms would work. As mentioned in the article Oakland is mainly a commuter school so they don’t have to worry about that. I’m interested in how larger and non commuter schools are going to handle that whole thing. 

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3 hours ago, Dwar said:

Totally agree about that. As I’m starting to register for classes it seems like the grad seminars cap at 15 students which is below the limit. 

The only question that I really have is how dorms would work. As mentioned in the article Oakland is mainly a commuter school so they don’t have to worry about that. I’m interested in how larger and non commuter schools are going to handle that whole thing. 

You are lucky you can register for courses; for my school, I can't register yet, there are no fall courses listed, and our funding packages are not yet in the school's proprietary online student information system. My school has over 60,000 students, so it's a large public university similar to yous. It sounds like some schools have their stuff together much more than others. 

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On 4/26/2020 at 5:02 AM, Dann said:

Hi. 🙂 I saw a lot of people here already attending graduate school in political science. May I ask some application tips? Do I need a job experience before applying? Thank you. 

Reading this forum, especially the Results, Profiles, and Advice threads over the last 5-6 years is helpful! 

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On 4/26/2020 at 7:02 AM, Dann said:

Hi. 🙂 I saw a lot of people here already attending graduate school in political science. May I ask some application tips? Do I need a job experience before applying? Thank you. 

I'll agree with @sloth_girl about the Results posts, I also suggest you take a look at the faculty thread. It's a longer read but DEFINITELY worth it. 

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7 hours ago, Dwar said:

I'll agree with @sloth_girl about the Results posts, I also suggest you take a look at the faculty thread. It's a longer read but DEFINITELY worth it. 

 

15 hours ago, sloth_girl said:

Reading this forum, especially the Results, Profiles, and Advice threads over the last 5-6 years is helpful! 

Thank you! I'll do it. May I ask if a certificate in public policy in a political science school such as LSE matters in the master's application? Also, do you recommend applying for a master's degree in 2021? I am an international student. I am worried. I qualified in an Ivy League, and they also said that I was highly competitive. But they did not offer me admission. They said many other compelling students already got in. :( I was already late in rolling admissions for the graduate school of education. But that was fine because I plan to take political science for Ph.D. The university did not have a master's degree in political science. By the way, I am looking forward to applying in California and Texas. :) We have a house in California, and I want to settle there. 
Do political analysts thrive in California? I always see them in New York and D.C. But I prefer the environment in California. 
I am considering Texas because of political communication. They have a professor who studied my topic for my senior research paper, and I find his theory enthralling. 
Thank you for replying to me, I wanted to talk to political science students in graduate school. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Dann said:

 

Thank you! I'll do it. May I ask if a certificate in public policy in a political science school such as LSE matters in the master's application? Also, do you recommend applying for a master's degree in 2021? I am an international student. I am worried. I qualified in an Ivy League, and they also said that I was highly competitive. But they did not offer me admission. They said many other compelling students already got in. :( I was already late in rolling admissions for the graduate school of education. But that was fine because I plan to take political science for Ph.D. The university did not have a master's degree in political science. By the way, I am looking forward to applying in California and Texas. :) We have a house in California, and I want to settle there. 
Do political analysts thrive in California? I always see them in New York and D.C. But I prefer the environment in California. 
I am considering Texas because of political communication. They have a professor who studied my topic for my senior research paper, and I find his theory enthralling. 
Thank you for replying to me, I wanted to talk to political science students in graduate school. 

Hi Dann,

thanks for posting; you ask some really good questions and your questions would probably be useful/helpful to other prospective graduate polisci applicants for the 2021 admissions cycle. What I would recommend is that you re-post everything in a new, original thread within the political science forum. You'll likely attract more views and responses than you would posting these questions in this specific thread. Good luck! :)

Edited by Paulcg87
Changed "20201" typo to "2021"
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