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Fall 2021 Clinical & Counseling PhD/PsyD


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Too soon?? Sorry, but I need a distraction from my Fall 2020 ~nightmare~. Lol, jk. Buuuut I thought it would be fun to learn who is applying again (or for the first time!) next year and how every

Not sure if it's frowned upon to shamelessly self-promote here, but I ended up starting a blog focused mainly on clinical psychology PhD admissions. I'm using it to organize helpful information I've b

Hi, all! I found this spreadsheet on Reddit of clinical psychology programs that are waiving their GRE Requirement for this fall. (I don't personally plan to schools that only waive their GRE Requirem

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2 hours ago, kenny12345 said:

How important is research experience for a PsyD applicant?

It honestly depends on the program. I would say you can mention research experience briefly if you have any. I think minimal research experience is fine as I have seen applicants being accepted with minimal research on their hands. 

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5 hours ago, kenny12345 said:

How important is research experience for a PsyD applicant?

It really depends on the program. My university-based PsyD is pretty research heavy and the vast majority of students have extensive research experience, including pubs and/or research coordinator positions at pretty prestigious AMCs. Other PsyD programs don't really care about research experience too much. 

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I'm applying this cycle! This will be my first year applying because I just finished a Masters in Clinical Psychology in May. I have also heard that due to budget cuts there will be fewer spots. That is definitely nerve-wracking, but also just something we all have to accept... If I don't get in this round, I definitely intend to apply again. 

I didn't major in Psyche as an undergrad (I studies Literary Arts [writing] and Modern Culture & Media [digital writing])—but also attended college from age 16-age 20 so I simply had no idea what I wanted to do as a career.... Once I decided on psychology 2 years post-undergrad, I applied and enrolled in a Masters degree program in Clinical Psychology. I took all the prerequisites for PhD programs during my Masters program and finished with a 3.9 GPA. I have 2 years of research experience. The past year I have been working in schizophrenia research... From that Lab, I was on a paper but my name is far down the list among 20 authors. The journal it was published in was the Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Science, which is a high-impact journal. However, I don't have any other publications other than that and I don't have any poster presentations. I have 120 hours of volunteer experience in a psychiatric ER and hospital setting. My letters of recommendation will come from the PI at the schizophrenia lab, another administrator, associated with the lab, and 1 or 2 professors. I took the GRE completely blindly last weekend (meaning Zero studying or looking into the structure of the test, I just wanted to get a baseline)— and I got 155 V, 149 Q, 4.5 AW. I plan on bringing those scores up quite a bit in the next 3 months and am going to take the GRE 4 more times. In addition I'm almost done writing a book (it's structured more like a glossary)— of 700+ terms from the fields of "psychology and spirituality". Several sections in it function like a Lit Review. While it does contain strong writing samples, it won't be published in a peer-reviewed journal article obviously. I would feel a lot better if I had a few more papers out, but would my application be considered competitive?

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13 hours ago, justacigar said:

Definitely list submitted or under review pubs, but I'm not sure about in-prep. Curious what other people think.

This was my questions as well!!!

I am thinking about writing a Literature Review and submitting it to an open-access journal (even though I'll have to pay for it!). If I submitted it by the end of this month and aim to apply to Clinical PhD programs in December, I am hoping that I will at least have something under review by the application deadline. Can the schools/POIs see the manuscript once it has been submitted, even though not published yet? (AKA, can I send them the copy unpublished?). Thanks!

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I found this journal, the Journal of Wellness, which is a free (no fees!), open-access, peer-reviewed journal accepting submissions. They advertise a quick turn-around from submission to publication. 

https://journalofwellness.com/

https://journalofwellness.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/JWellness_Handout.pdf

"JWellness will publish research and editorials to enhance resilience, physical strength, nutritional completeness, disease prevention, and mental health. The Journal of Wellness is indexed with Google Scholar and is pursuing indexing in the Directory of Open Access Journals, we will apply for indexing in PubMed after 50 publications".

It is unclear whether or not they have reached their goal of being indexed on PubMed. I reached out to them by e-mail to inquire if articles submitted before the journals are featured through PubMed will be available there after they get approval. Anyhow, I think I will submit my manuscript here. Does this interest anyone else?

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Hi everyone! I'm getting my list of PI's together in order to narrow down my list of schools and I have a question.. I was wondering if anyone has any advice about applying to a program and indicating two mentors? Some of my schools have two PI's that are taking students that i'm interested in working with. Does that look bad to indicate two different PI's on my application/statement of purpose?

 

Thanks everyone and good luck!!!!

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10 hours ago, ssg said:

Hi everyone! I'm getting my list of PI's together in order to narrow down my list of schools and I have a question.. I was wondering if anyone has any advice about applying to a program and indicating two mentors? Some of my schools have two PI's that are taking students that i'm interested in working with. Does that look bad to indicate two different PI's on my application/statement of purpose?

 

Thanks everyone and good luck!!!!

Being interested in multiple PI's shouldn't be an issue at all, unless the individual program indicates otherwise. Some programs encourage applicants to list multiple faculty members, especially on the application. I would just make sure that if you're going to be listing more than one person, that you are able to explain your rationale for doing so. Additionally, when indicating interest in multiple PIs, it might make sense to list your top choice first in both your application (where applicable) and your personal statement. Order doesn't always matter, but it might occasionally. 

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Hi all! Nervous and freaking out first timer applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs here ! :D

I was wondering how is everyone reaching out to their PIs for Fall 2021 admissions? Like, what do you say in the email and how do you get them to respond to you? It seems so scary to reach out of the blue...

I would really appreciate any advice y'all may have. Thank you!!

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12 hours ago, ssg said:

Hi everyone! I'm getting my list of PI's together in order to narrow down my list of schools and I have a question.. I was wondering if anyone has any advice about applying to a program and indicating two mentors? Some of my schools have two PI's that are taking students that i'm interested in working with. Does that look bad to indicate two different PI's on my application/statement of purpose?

 

Thanks everyone and good luck!!!!

The only reason it wouldn't look good was if the PIs had totally different research interests. Otherwise, it's completely normal to list multiple! 

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1 hour ago, CoffeeErryday said:

Hi all! Nervous and freaking out first timer applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs here ! :D

I was wondering how is everyone reaching out to their PIs for Fall 2021 admissions? Like, what do you say in the email and how do you get them to respond to you? It seems so scary to reach out of the blue...

I would really appreciate any advice y'all may have. Thank you!!

I agree this is scary. I've been on the fence about it myself. I have emailed a few and briefly introduced myself, my research interests and what I do in a clinical manner. I make it short and sweet, some PI's appreciate this and some don't, it really depends. Don't be bummed out if they don't answer because they must be getting 1000 emails. ALSO, something my advisor had told me: the communication you have with the PI could tell you if you would like to work with them or not. If the response is cold, that should tell you something about their mentorship style as well...

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3 hours ago, CoffeeErryday said:

Hi all! Nervous and freaking out first timer applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs here ! :D

I was wondering how is everyone reaching out to their PIs for Fall 2021 admissions? Like, what do you say in the email and how do you get them to respond to you? It seems so scary to reach out of the blue...

I would really appreciate any advice y'all may have. Thank you!!

Instead of it feeling scary, use it as a chance to learn more about them and determine if you want to work with them or not. Also, consistent feedback I've heard is that sending/not sending an email isn't going to influence your chances of getting an offer. So the best thing you can do is use it as a way to gather information about them and their lab! 

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40 minutes ago, psychcoffeegal said:

I agree this is scary. I've been on the fence about it myself. I have emailed a few and briefly introduced myself, my research interests and what I do in a clinical manner. I make it short and sweet, some PI's appreciate this and some don't, it really depends. Don't be bummed out if they don't answer because they must be getting 1000 emails. ALSO, something my advisor had told me: the communication you have with the PI could tell you if you would like to work with them or not. If the response is cold, that should tell you something about their mentorship style as well...

I never thought about their email response potentially highlighting their mentorship/communication style too. That is actually very enlightening and I'll keep an eye out for the response type. Also, if you see below, @justacigar provided amazing email templates to use for emailing PI's. Hope this helps!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anybody have experience with video chatting with a PI you emailed? Reached out to a PI to express interest, ask if they're taking a student, and ask about current and upcoming projects. PI emailed back and offered to video chat about their research, and I'm wondering how these calls have gone for people before. Very excited, and want to be prepared for anything that might come up!

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2 hours ago, pokemim said:

Anybody have experience with video chatting with a PI you emailed? Reached out to a PI to express interest, ask if they're taking a student, and ask about current and upcoming projects. PI emailed back and offered to video chat about their research, and I'm wondering how these calls have gone for people before. Very excited, and want to be prepared for anything that might come up!

I had a video chat with a faculty member last cycle! It was definitely a little scary but overall she made the meeting feel super casual and it flowed well. I would recommend writing up an agenda and having a clear list of questions to ask before the call, and sending the agenda to the faculty member as well. Good luck!

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Hi! I am a senior looking to apply to clinical psychology PsyD programs! Specifically, Chicago School of Professional Psych (DC), George Washington U (DC) and Loyola U (MD).
Can any current PsyD students or anyone with more info on these programs please provide me with some more insight? I’ve done my own research but i’m looking to hear from real people. Also please feel free to add any more advice if you have any more advice to offer regarding the PsyD application process in general!!
 

Thanks

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8 hours ago, JCidel said:

Hi! I am a senior looking to apply to clinical psychology PsyD programs! Specifically, Chicago School of Professional Psych (DC), George Washington U (DC) and Loyola U (MD).
Can any current PsyD students or anyone with more info on these programs please provide me with some more insight? I’ve done my own research but i’m looking to hear from real people. Also please feel free to add any more advice if you have any more advice to offer regarding the PsyD application process in general!!
 

Thanks

Chicago School has a pretty poor reputation, so I would steer clear of that one. The size of their last year's incoming cohort is larger than my entire PsyD program's entire program....including staff. At minimum, you want a program that is connected to a university. Those tend to have better training programs versus the ones that are a business such as Chicago School and Alliant (Argosy was the biggest, but they were shut down recently). 

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8 hours ago, JCidel said:

Hi! I am a senior looking to apply to clinical psychology PsyD programs! Specifically, Chicago School of Professional Psych (DC), George Washington U (DC) and Loyola U (MD).
Can any current PsyD students or anyone with more info on these programs please provide me with some more insight? I’ve done my own research but i’m looking to hear from real people. Also please feel free to add any more advice if you have any more advice to offer regarding the PsyD application process in general!!
 

Thanks

Agreed with Psyduck90, I wouldn't advise applying to chicago school. Of your other 2 options, a quick look at the outcomes data shows that GWU has larger cohorts and is much more expensive (46,000) compared to Loyola (31,000, smaller cohorts =more individualized attention from the faculty to help you meet your goals).

As a side note, it is also important to see if you want to pursue a doctoral degree. If you only want to do therapy, then a 2-3 year masters level degree may be more suited to your needs. You can do therapy as a MSW, or as an LPC (typically through masters in counseling or social work). This would require less time to complete your degree, less opportunity cost, less tuition costs, and you could start working in the field sooner.

If you have an interest in doing research some day, or doing assessment, then it may be worth it to pursue a doctoral degree. But note that it is a long and hard road (5-7 years) where you have to constantly be waiting for the payoff.

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Looking for advice I guess. I developed a list of schools I was interested this summer and was feeling ready for this cycle and was just waiting for schools to announce which faculty were accepting students for this upcoming cycle. And now that some schools finally are, it's feeling like none of the faculty I was interested in are accepting students for the 2021 cycle. I was going to apply straight out of undergrad, but now I'm wondering if I should take a year off, just feeling discouraged by this process already somehow.

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8 hours ago, psychkels said:

Looking for advice I guess. I developed a list of schools I was interested this summer and was feeling ready for this cycle and was just waiting for schools to announce which faculty were accepting students for this upcoming cycle. And now that some schools finally are, it's feeling like none of the faculty I was interested in are accepting students for the 2021 cycle. I was going to apply straight out of undergrad, but now I'm wondering if I should take a year off, just feeling discouraged by this process already somehow.

If none of the faculty that you want to work with are recruiting, try finding a research assistant/coordinator position to get more experience if you can! It helps to make you more competitive. I recently made the decision to take two gap years instead of one. :) 

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Hi everyone! It's great to have a place to connect with fellow applicants.

That being said, it's my first cycle of applying and naturally, I am a bit nervous. I am applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs and would love input on if I seem competitive/ready... I have a strong GPA (Cumulative 3.8 and 4.0 Psych), no GRE, and about 3 years of research experience in diverse backgrounds (undergrad, big pharma, clinical and academic) mostly working with neuroscience/cells. I That being said, I have significantly more research experience than I do clinical experience, which is making me nervous. I have a pending publication in Nature but who knows if it will be submitted prior... I have had several presentations (10ish) but potentially 1 publication. What do you guys think? 

Also, I'd love advice/input on selection of schools... I am trying to apply to schools that I believe I will want to attend (location, size, reputation etc.) and have faculty that fit my research interests as well. I know it's important to apply to several, but I find myself only being excited and drawn to about 7 programs. I am more confident in this method but I fear I will hear back from 0 and be incredibly disappointed. My current list includes(and yes, I am aiming high/reaching)- Suffolk, UMass Boston, Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, U Southern Cal., and URI. Please let me know your honest thoughts; I greatly appreciate it! 

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36 minutes ago, scientistsam said:

Hi everyone! It's great to have a place to connect with fellow applicants.

That being said, it's my first cycle of applying and naturally, I am a bit nervous. I am applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs and would love input on if I seem competitive/ready... I have a strong GPA (Cumulative 3.8 and 4.0 Psych), no GRE, and about 3 years of research experience in diverse backgrounds (undergrad, big pharma, clinical and academic) mostly working with neuroscience/cells. I That being said, I have significantly more research experience than I do clinical experience, which is making me nervous. I have a pending publication in Nature but who knows if it will be submitted prior... I have had several presentations (10ish) but potentially 1 publication. What do you guys think? 

Also, I'd love advice/input on selection of schools... I am trying to apply to schools that I believe I will want to attend (location, size, reputation etc.) and have faculty that fit my research interests as well. I know it's important to apply to several, but I find myself only being excited and drawn to about 7 programs. I am more confident in this method but I fear I will hear back from 0 and be incredibly disappointed. My current list includes(and yes, I am aiming high/reaching)- Suffolk, UMass Boston, Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, U Southern Cal., and URI. Please let me know your honest thoughts; I greatly appreciate it! 

I started a thread, "How Important is it to be Published" which got some feedback if you want to check that out. https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/125497-how-important-is-it-to-be-published/

 

 

Have you thought about adding some "safety schools" to your list? Although safety school isn't really a term that applies to Psychology PhD applications because they are so incredibly competitive and so many factors determine who is accepted, when they are accepted, and why they are accepted. But perhaps if you're already applying to so many schools and presumably preparing multiple Statements of Purpose already, would it add too much to your current workload to add a few more? You could probably tweak SOPs you already have to customize your application to some less competitive programs. 

Also, if you have any time, have you ever considered submitting a publication to an open-access journal? Some people on these threads have frowned upon that idea, stating that it will look strange to be the only author on a paper and that some PI's don't respect Low Impact journals, and that it could therefore hurt you more than help you. I honestly don't believe in that advice at all, because publishing more should almost always work for you not against you. Who cares if it's a low impact journal, as long as it's well written and you are proud of your work. It might look better than a big empty space under the "Publications" section on your CV if that's what you're concerned about. Open access journals generally require you to pay to publish, which can be anywhere from 1k-4k out of your own pocket. However, there are some free open access journals which are completely free of charge to submit and be published. Also, even Open access journals will usually want to see systematic reviews at the very least, but would prefer original research in many cases. Narrative reviews are harder to publish, even in the world of open access publishing. In most cases, review articles will only be accepted if they provide a novel contribution to the field under consideration, not just a regurgitation or summary of what's already been written about.  In reviewing the open access journals, before getting too excited make sure you look at the "Aims and Scope" section on the journal's website to see what kinds of articles they will accept.

Anyway- let's say you found an open access journal and submitted a decent paper to the Journal. You could at least put "submitted" or "in progress" or "under review" or, if time is on your side "accepted" if the editors end up accepting your manuscript on time, and put this on your CV.

Journal of Wellness is one journal that is just starting out, so they're encouraging all kinds of publications. It only takes them 45 days to Peer Review it and publish it. However it's not yet featured on PubMed (they need to have 50 articles published before applying to be indexed on PubMed, however they are close to reaching that goal and once they do, all archived articles will then be featured on PubMed). Perhaps beggars can't be choosers. My PI at a lab I work at, when I said I wanted to publish to an open access journal, said "you don't need to stoop that low". Granted, he is a big shot in his field and has dozens of articles published, obviously. To be perfectly honest, I don't mind this option because I have no other publications, which I feel is even worse! At least this way, I can write a fantastic paper on a topic that relates to my Persons of Interests' research, and they will at least be able to go see the article if they're intereseted. The articles from J of Wellness are immediately featured on Google Scholar once reviewed, accepted, and published. And again, provided it is well written and few revisions are needed, they say there is only a 45 day turn around from submission to online publication. If you do choose an Open Access Journal option, just be aware that there are "predatory" journals out there, which will try to take your money but aren't peer reviewed or legitimate at all. Do some research on the journal before pursuing it. 

If people on this forum disagree with this advice, please do chime in. I am curious to hear what your thought process is.

Good Luck! Having so many presentations should be really helpful for your application.

Edited by EyelandPychePhD
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On 9/5/2020 at 2:41 AM, JCidel said:


Can any current PsyD students or anyone with more info on these programs please provide me with some more insight? I’ve done my own research but i’m looking to hear from real people. Also please feel free to add any more advice if you have any more advice to offer regarding the PsyD application process in general!!

Thanks

Have you noticed how seemingly personal the PsyD essays (equivalent to the PhD statement of purpose) are? They seem to be asking for autobiographical information which feels strange to me because I have read on so many occasions that self-disclosure about something personal is not appropriate in the context of applications. For example, some of the prompts might say something like, "Describe an ongoing conflict you've had with a person, or someone who you've had feelings of ambivalence toward. What is your understanding of your feelings toward this person. What has happened in your life which contributes to how you view this person?" (paraphrasing obviously)- but then they might even add the caveat, "this question requires a degree of self-disclosure". I have some ideas on how to balance the line between just enough self-disclosure, keeping the topic oriented toward how this situation made me shaped my perception and growth in a way that would make me a better clinician. It just feels so odd to self-disclose in this setting, but I am actually excited to tackle this challenging prompt given the strange ramifications. The perfect formula must be to divulge some hints about how you think and work through problems and how you experience yourself subjectively and intersubjectively, without getting too "wierd" with it. And, of course, only disclosing information to make a point about how it made you a better aspiring psychologist. Again, I have read in so many instances that disclosing personal information is not a good idea (to name some random examples, such as talking about an abusive romantic partner or substance-abusing parent) in the setting of an application. Sure, perhaps this factored into you're decision to pursue psychology, but I've been told not to self-disclose, unless the interviewer asks something like "tell me about yourself, what are your hobbies" and then you can proceed to tell them about how you are training for a marathon or taking up knitting. I was so thrown off when I saw that a lot of the PsyD programs are outwardly asking you to self-disclose. 

Edited by EyelandPychePhD
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1 hour ago, scientistsam said:

Hi everyone! It's great to have a place to connect with fellow applicants.

That being said, it's my first cycle of applying and naturally, I am a bit nervous. I am applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs and would love input on if I seem competitive/ready... I have a strong GPA (Cumulative 3.8 and 4.0 Psych), no GRE, and about 3 years of research experience in diverse backgrounds (undergrad, big pharma, clinical and academic) mostly working with neuroscience/cells. I That being said, I have significantly more research experience than I do clinical experience, which is making me nervous. I have a pending publication in Nature but who knows if it will be submitted prior... I have had several presentations (10ish) but potentially 1 publication. What do you guys think? 

Also, I'd love advice/input on selection of schools... I am trying to apply to schools that I believe I will want to attend (location, size, reputation etc.) and have faculty that fit my research interests as well. I know it's important to apply to several, but I find myself only being excited and drawn to about 7 programs. I am more confident in this method but I fear I will hear back from 0 and be incredibly disappointed. My current list includes(and yes, I am aiming high/reaching)- Suffolk, UMass Boston, Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, U Southern Cal., and URI. Please let me know your honest thoughts; I greatly appreciate it! 

Your credentials seem pretty solid. I wouldn't worry about the lack of clinical experience. Unless you have a master's, very little clinical experience available post-bacc is actually anything remotely similar to what a psychologist does. You have a good number of presentations, and it isn't expected to have multiple publications without an advanced degree. I have to respectfully disagree with EyelandPsychePhD about publishing in open access journals by yourself. PIs want to see that you are open to learning how to properly conduct and disseminate research. Publishing something in a low impact open-access pay to play journal won't necessarily signal the right message, and can instead backfire. They may think you feel you do not need mentorship since you are striking out on your own at this early stage of the game, they may question your academic/scientific standards, etc. While these may in no way represent you, these are just some pre-conceived notions PIs may develop from the limited information they have about you. I don't know how far a publication in 1 of those journals will bump you up, and there is a likelihood it'll bump you down. 

In terms of school selection, faculty research fit should be #1. Honestly, location should be dead last. While it is understandable that you may want to live somewhere "more exciting" like New England or California, so does everyone else. Those schools get hundreds more applications simply for their location, so the competition is much steeper. In terms of culture, even universities in more mid-western areas are typically going to have small city/college town vibes that have things like coffee shops, music venues, etc. on the off chance you actually have some free time (chances are, you won't have very much of it anyway). Plus, this field is one where relocation is more the rule than the exception. You will also likely have to relocate again for internship and possibly for post-doc and your 1st job (if you want to go TT academia, you will almost 100% have to relocate for your 1st job. Given your interest in some clinical science programs like Harvard and UC Berkeley, I'm assuming a research-oriented career is your goal). Also, interviews are just as important for the applicant as for the program. If you apply to a program in a "less desirable" geographic location but a good research fit and are granted an interview, it is fine to go in with the open question of "can I see myself here for 5-6 years?" Chances are that your stipend will go further and make it easier to afford COL in those areas anyway. 

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