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Got into both programs I applied for (Georgetown Asian Studies and Security Studies) but got no money from either so I'm probably not going to grad school anymore :)

 

Applied on a whim due to pandemic and waived GRE, already employed, was gonna attend for personal enjoyment. But 75k+ for "personal enjoyment" is a bit expensive. That's a lot of personal enjoyment traveling the world five times over.

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On 2/26/2021 at 3:52 PM, DargSchoolDarg said:

Also got the GW Elliott acceptance, no word on funding info. Congrats to everyone else as well! 

You feeling Elliott or SIS? I was accepted to both too! 

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14 minutes ago, EC1225 said:

You feeling Elliott or SIS? I was accepted to both too! 

Congrats! I got a pretty minimal amount of aid from both, and 0 aid from SAIS, but if I do decide to take on an ungodly amount of debt, I’ll probably end up of choosing SAIS since at that point what’s a couple more thousand...Still waiting to hear from Georgetown and Columbia, so who knows. Best of luck with your decision! Really compelling things about both Elliott and SIS obviously; it’s a hard choice!

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On 2/23/2021 at 5:23 PM, Rheana Gray said:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MA in Security Studies - Technology and Security Concentration
Schools Applied To:  Georgetown SFS
Schools Admitted To:  GEORGETOWN <3
Schools Rejected From: None.
Still Waiting:  None
Undergraduate Institution: GWU
Undergraduate GPA:   4.0
Undergraduate Major: Cybersecurity
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  n/a
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  n/a
Years of Work Experience:  1
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  1 year working in cybersecurity policy and risk management for a government contractor.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  9.5/10 - Had about 3 completely different copies initially, final draft was revised by multiple people including 2 PhDs (one of which served on HKS admissions) and alumni of the program I applied to. Really identified niche areas of the program I felt I could contribute to, strong interest in research thats directly based on work done by the concentration head.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  10/10 (President of the Company I work for, Director of my undergraduate program who knows my academic strengths and leadership skills very well, and a Professor with over 30 years in the intelligence community who's written LORs for students who successfully were admitted into the program.)
Other: President of a student org in undergrad, balanced full-time work and full-time school for multiple semesters while maintaining a 4.0, strong national competitor in cyber competitions, niche technical internship experience.

 

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I've been doing the sums. I received financial aid from all schools so far, with Tufts offering what I think is the most attractive package at around 40% tuition. Yet Elliott, despite offering a smaller amount of aid, works out cheaper and all the classes are in the evening (though that sounds like a way for me to burn out quickly). 

SIS (Cheapest)

GWU (Cheaper than Tufts)

Tufts (Affordable)

SAIS (Too Expensive)

Still Georgetown and HKS to go... 

At the moment, I'm keenest on Tufts because my partner and I like the area. 

Edited by EscapingBrexit
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1 hour ago, DargSchoolDarg said:

Congrats! I got a pretty minimal amount of aid from both, and 0 aid from SAIS, but if I do decide to take on an ungodly amount of debt, I’ll probably end up of choosing SAIS since at that point what’s a couple more thousand...Still waiting to hear from Georgetown and Columbia, so who knows. Best of luck with your decision! Really compelling things about both Elliott and SIS obviously; it’s a hard choice!

How minimal is minimal? Is that like $ or $$? It’s all so expensive!! And I misunderstood! I thought it was AU SIS; it’s Johns Hopkins. 

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I received admission offers from UChicago (25 percent aid) and Tufts (40 percent aid). I'm a lawyer from India with 6 years of experience in law and about 3 years in the policy sector (at the cusp of IR and PP). I am keen to focus on technology policy but also to develop some basic quant skills. 

Any thoughts on either of these schools? How do they compare against each other?  Is Tufts a good brand name? 

I am also waitlisted at UC Berkeley for the MPP. 

Edited by AR89
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On 3/12/2021 at 3:04 PM, MPPNYC said:

Okay, adding this pretty late in the game, because I could use some thoughts from the hive-mind:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPP/MPA
Schools Applied To:  Harvard Kennedy, UChicago Harris, UMichigan Ford, Georgetown McCourt, GW Trachtenberg, American SPA, Syracuse Maxwell, UVA Batten
Schools Admitted To:  UMichigan Ford (Nuthin’), Syracuse Maxwell ($$$), Georgetown McCourt ($), American SPA (No word on funding yet)
Schools Rejected From:  N/A, so far
Schools Waitlisted From: UChicago Harris, UVA Batten
Still Waiting: Harvard Kennedy, GWU Trachtenberg  
Undergraduate Institution: DC-area university
Undergraduate GPA:   3.3
Undergraduate Major:  Political Science & Economics Double Major
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  156 Q/164 V/5.5 AW
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  12
Years of Work Experience:
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Previously earned a JD and have been working for the last 6 years working in the financial services industry in NYC;  ~2 years in private practice at small firms prior to that. Some quant experience from my work experience, but not necessarily significant. Significant non-profit volunteer experience over the past 8 years, mostly in fundraising/development as well as some state lobbying. Currently a commissioner of a small county commission (on a volunteer basis )(sadly, was appointed after the HKS app went out)
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I think I did a great job of addressing why I want to go back to school after so many years out of academia and having already obtained a JD, as well as highlighting a specific policy area that I am interested in, why, and why they should care about it too.  But who knows. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Good, but I did not read them before they were submitted, so who knows!

--

Would love some insight from the group on what’s going on in my head right now! 

For starters, doing my darndest to get off the waitlist at Harris; I will probably drop everything and just go if I do. HKS probably takes priority over Harris, even, but I am not especially expecting to be admitted there, especially given the competitive year. I will be shocked! 

So, putting Harris & Kennedy aside, I am probably between UM’s MPP and Syracuse’s MPA. According to USNews (FWIW), Syracuse is #1 in Public Affairs Schools, #8 in Public Policy Analysis, and #7 in Local Government and #2 in Public Finance.  Michigan is #1 in Public Policy Analysis, #8 in Public Affairs Schools, #28 in Public Financing, and not ranked for local government. I did not get any funding at UM and received ~75% of funding of the 1 year MPA program at Syracuse (+a graduate fellowship and stipend). UM appears to have the more serious national reputation, particularly as it comes to their quantitative program (which is my reason for going back to school).  Syracuse appears to offer plenty of quantitative coursework, but I may have to go out of my way a bit to get the same sort of quantitative focus given the structure of their MPA program and the limitations of 1 year. 

I am hoping to get into policy research/implementation related to rural economies, probably with smaller policy research groups or state government agencies. Michigan does have some scholars who work on that, just perusing their website, but it is heavily tailored to Michigan.  Syracuse appears to be a little broader, but as a NYer, their NY focus does not necessarily bother me. Plus, I already have the graduate assistant position which which I can hopefully get involved in their research. If I went to UM, I would also have to resign from a local government position I am currently volunteering for, which isn’t a huge deal, other than it affects the community that I eventually want to be working with, so maybe isn’t the best look (small town life, ya know?). I can probably make it work with Syracuse, since it is a much shorter drive.  

I feel like the stronger national prestige factor of UM and the closer focus on quantitative coursework might be worth pursuing for beefing up my resume and math chops, but Syracuse has plenty of benefits too (and ranked highly too, for whatever that’s worth). Thoughts? What would you choose? Anything additional that I am not considering? 

At the end of the day brand recognition only matters if you go to a school with a less than stellar one (like American in DC). Beyond that, it is what you do that matters. Rankings don’t matter for jobs. What skills you learn and experiential learning opportunities do.

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3 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

At the end of the day brand recognition only matters if you go to a school with a less than stellar one (like American in DC). Beyond that, it is what you do that matters. Rankings don’t matter for jobs. What skills you learn and experiential learning opportunities do.

How bad is AU’s brand recognition? I have $$ funding to AU MPP and $ to G-town MIDP, in addition to MAID stuff from AU and GWU. 

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42 minutes ago, EC1225 said:

How bad is AU’s brand recognition? I have $$ funding to AU MPP and $ to G-town MIDP, in addition to MAID stuff from AU and GWU. 

It’s brand recognition is amazing in the IR and policy space as the school that makes people wonder why you didn’t go to a better one given a similar sticker price (as in before scholarships)

Edited by GradSchoolGrad
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Oh yikes! Does GW have a better rep? And do you have thoughts on the size of the MPP? Like, 57 units (NYU) vs 40 (AU). Why are some so many more units if they’re all MPPs and all two year programs? 

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16 minutes ago, EC1225 said:

Oh yikes! Does GW have a better rep? And do you have thoughts on the size of the MPP? Like, 57 units (NYU) vs 40 (AU). Why are some so many more units if they’re all MPPs and all two year programs? 

So I haven’t done a deep dive even different credit variants and how they are executed, but I will say that some schools (notably DC area schools) have a soft expectation that you will work part time throughout the semester to pad your resume and therefore structure their program accordingly. Some programs are more administratively academic and often allow options to do internships as credit (since they are through the school more often than not).

Yes - GWU is decently more respected that AU. I am not trying to brand focused or mean about it but just what I seen. Seen too many of my friends from AU struggle with the competitive job market.

 

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24 minutes ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

So I haven’t done a deep dive even different credit variants and how they are executed, but I will say that some schools (notably DC area schools) have a soft expectation that you will work part time throughout the semester to pad your resume and therefore structure their program accordingly. Some programs are more administratively academic and often allow options to do internships as credit (since they are through the school more often than not).

Yes - GWU is decently more respected that AU. I am not trying to brand focused or mean about it but just what I seen. Seen too many of my friends from AU struggle with the competitive job market.

 

@EC1225

 

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28 minutes ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

So this is what I wrote about SIS, which is American's premiere program. It is more devastatingly negative for SPA. 

What about in the development field? I would love to either end up at USAID or UNDP or something similar. Have you heard about AU/GW/G-town for that? And is SIPA as much of a cash cow as everyone says? 

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8 minutes ago, EC1225 said:

What about in the development field? I would love to either end up at USAID or UNDP or something similar. Have you heard about AU/GW/G-town for that? And is SIPA as much of a cash cow as everyone says? 

I don't now about UNDP. As for USAID, I mean at the end of the day its about who you can network with to move your application to the top of the pile. That is unless you have amazing credentials + developmental experience. Ultimately that depends on two things.

1. What strings your professors can/will pull for you.

2. What experiential learning you can do to pad your resume (this is where a better branded school gets you access to)

All grad programs are cash cows for Universities (think about it, you don't have to worry about student housing + and student life, at least not as much). That being said, SIPA is well known for being impersonal for having massively large classes + poor community (at large). When I was considering SIPA, I was told on the DL that in some classes I might not be able to have desk as they were in the process of moving/construction.  You do end up with great career opportunities, stud professors, and amazing NYC experiential learning access + awesome peers. However, all my friends who went to SIPA and enjoyed it had their separate NYC lives on their own. 

Wagner suffers from a lesser version of this problem as well. A weak community because there are too many NYC distractions. As in ALL of my Wagner friends all comment how they didn't really make any grad school friends and there wasn't any meaningful get togethers. 

Edited by GradSchoolGrad
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49 minutes ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

I don't now about UNDP. As for USAID, I mean at the end of the day its about who you can network with to move your application to the top of the pile. That is unless you have amazing credentials + developmental experience. Ultimately that depends on two things.

1. What strings your professors can/will pull for you.

2. What experiential learning you can do to pad your resume (this is where a better branded school gets you access to)

All grad programs are cash cows for Universities (think about it, you don't have to worry about student housing + and student life, at least not as much). That being said, SIPA is well known for being impersonal for having massively large classes + poor community (at large). When I was considering SIPA, I was told on the DL that in some classes I might not be able to have desk as they were in the process of moving/construction.  You do end up with great career opportunities, stud professors, and amazing NYC experiential learning access + awesome peers. However, all my friends who went to SIPA and enjoyed it had their separate NYC lives on their own. 

Wagner suffers from a lesser version of this problem as well. A weak community because there are too many NYC distractions. As in ALL of my Wagner friends all comment how they didn't really make any grad school friends and there wasn't any meaningful get togethers. 

Makes sense that NYC schools are worse about community, do you have thoughts about USC or UCLA for policy? Or are you more familiar with East Coast? 

Edited by EC1225
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On 3/12/2021 at 10:38 PM, AR89 said:

I received admission offers from UChicago (25 percent aid) and Tufts (40 percent aid). I'm a lawyer from India with 6 years of experience in law and about 3 years in the policy sector (at the cusp of IR and PP). I am keen to focus on technology policy but also to develop some basic quant skills. 

Any thoughts on either of these schools? How do they compare against each other?  Is Tufts a good brand name? 

I am also waitlisted at UC Berkeley for the MPP. 

I’ve heard great stuff about Tufts. What are you looking for specifically? 

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7 hours ago, EC1225 said:

Makes sense that NYC schools are worse about community, do you have thoughts about USC or UCLA for policy? Or are you more familiar with East Coast? 

I don’t know. USC or UCLA that well other than that they are great programs. However, since California is its own world of special when it comes to policy, those schools really are great for a California / West Coast network. I heard you can pull off pivoting to East Coast / DC but why walk uphill both ways?

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12 hours ago, EC1225 said:

I’ve heard great stuff about Tufts. What are you looking for specifically? 

My main concern is if it's a well known school in the policy sector in the US, Europe etc. I heard from some that it isn't but I don't know why. I really like the way that have structured the MALD curriculum and the flexibility that it provides. I'm also keen to understand about what tech companies think of Fletcher grads - because that's my interest area. But I guess that question can be answered by some alumni.

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On 3/12/2021 at 8:16 PM, EscapingBrexit said:

I've been doing the sums. I received financial aid from all schools so far, with Tufts offering what I think is the most attractive package at around 40% tuition. Yet Elliott, despite offering a smaller amount of aid, works out cheaper and all the classes are in the evening (though that sounds like a way for me to burn out quickly). 

SIS (Cheapest)

GWU (Cheaper than Tufts)

Tufts (Affordable)

SAIS (Too Expensive)

Still Georgetown and HKS to go... 

At the moment, I'm keenest on Tufts because my partner and I like the area. 

What programs did you apply to at GWU and SIS? If Tufts is going to leave you with $50K or less in debt, I'd take that route. 

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1 hour ago, Ravine55 said:

What programs did you apply to at GWU and SIS? If Tufts is going to leave you with $50K or less in debt, I'd take that route. 

That's my current plan! And 50k is the most I want to take on.  ?

Security Policy Studies at GWU & IPCR at SIS. 

Edited by EscapingBrexit
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