Jump to content

Planning Admissions 2021: Discussion Thread


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, yellowsurf said:

Just got my official letter with funding from UMich. OOS tuition is $50k a year, and the funding they gave me barely even scrapes the surface of it. That’s too bad... I was really excited to be accepted, but there is absolutely no way I can afford that. Anyone else in a similar situation?

Yep! Got a scholarship which is a nice feeling but it would only cover books/supplies and a few extras. Even if I were to get in state tuition next year, the cost would still be too much 😕 

Edited by beatlesforever
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, yellowsurf said:

Just got my official letter with funding from UMich. OOS tuition is $50k a year, and the funding they gave me barely even scrapes the surface of it. That’s too bad... I was really excited to be accepted, but there is absolutely no way I can afford that. Anyone else in a similar situation?

I got offered ~10,000/year and got nominated for other funding with Rackham (but i guess i might not get it). I'm a bit stressed since my other options have offered little or no funding as of now too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, yellowsurf said:

That’s disappointing. I’m sorry that you didn’t get enough and hope your other schools will be better.

UNC also gave me very little money — just barely enough to cover books! I guess out of state was never meant to be. Best of luck to everyone else!

Hey @yellowsurf was your UNC scholarship indicated in the email/admission letter?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, futureplanner said:

I got offered ~10,000/year and got nominated for other funding with Rackham (but i guess i might not get it). I'm a bit stressed since my other options have offered little or no funding as of now too. 

Congrats! Hope you get more!

 

5 minutes ago, beatlesforever said:

Hey @yellowsurf was your UNC scholarship indicated in the email/admission letter?

Yes, it was stated in my letter. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My stress about getting little to no funding at UNC and UMich goes doubly so considering that no schools have indicated whether next year will be virtual or in-person. I can’t bring myself to add significantly onto my undergraduate debt by paying for online learning.

If this trend keeps up with UCLA and UCI, then I guess I’m going to a Cal state (unless I’m willing to bite the bullet — we’ll see). Lesson learned: Always apply to safeties!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, yellowsurf said:

My stress about getting little to no funding at UNC and UMich goes doubly so considering that no schools have indicated whether next year will be virtual or in-person. I can’t bring myself to add significantly onto my undergraduate debt by paying for online learning.

If this trend keeps up with UCLA and UCI, then I guess I’m going to a Cal state (unless I’m willing to bite the bullet — we’ll see). Lesson learned: Always apply to safeties!

I'm really surprised we haven't heard back from Cal Poly yet!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do most people wait until April 15 to commit?

(My application is still pending, but I'm trying to figure out the latest timeframe that my school might release decisions.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, cityplace_uptown said:

Hey! I'm in the same boat, I've targeted those places as I would like to work in the NYC area (and applied to UT as an instate alternative). Can't say anything too definitive because I'm just a fellow applicant but here are my impressions:

  • Rutgers is probably my top choice. Bloustein seems to have a ton of resources for a planning school and according to Planetizen guide they are able to fund a lot of students. They have a strong concentration and research center for transportation, a robust professional network in the region, and overall very strong job outlook. The main potential "con" is location compared to the actual NYC schools, but that's not even much of a con because NJ cost of living will be a bit cheaper and it's easy to access the city from New Brunswick (with Philly not being too much further!)
  • NYU (unsurprisingly at Wagner) is heavily policy-oriented but seems to also have plenty of resources for students and concentration coursework/research. I've heard Wagner has a great network as well for those interested in policy roles. The main issue is cost, scholarships/assistantships/aid doesn't appear to be so abundant according to Planetizen guide, but that may be a consequence of their two-deadline system and the demographics the NYU brand tends to attract.
  • Hunter is very solid for the price and has a good professional network within NYC. That said the program doesn't appear to have the resources of Rutgers or NYU so facilities aren't as nice and I'm not sure how it translates into funding (no mention of it on acceptance email). 
  • Columbia I applied to, but I'm not too high on. It's tied to an excellent design school in GSAPP but I can't shake the feeling that their MS-UP is a cash-cow type of program. They do have accomplished faculty and research centers so it may be a great option if you're looking for design or if you want to go into academia. I wouldn't be surprised with a rejection from there as I'm just not a great fit honestly.

This is just based on short visits (right before the world ended), their websites and the 2017 Planetizen info, I'm by no means an authority. :) (Edit: I have discussed this with a few professionals in the area and they've generally agreed with these sentiments.) 

Best of luck, wherever you end up choosing!

Thank you!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate this, it's incredibly helpful. 

I'm leaning towards NYU at the moment but it's all subject to change when financial aid info is released. Fingers crossed. 

Good luck to you as well! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, Michigan offered me $9K over 3 semesters (rather than 4 since I am doing a dual degree with SEAS MLA) and the MLA offered like $23K. It's the school I've been the most excited about, and because its a state-school, if I can get a GSI/GSRA position, they offer a full tuition waiver for those, but its hard to commit to that when I don't know if I even will get one.

I really want to go to Michigan, as it is the only school so far that I've been admitted to for both L. Arch and Planning, making it possible for me to pursue that path. They also are the only ones who have offered me money so far. Penn Planning is supposed to release that info on March 11, but I haven't been admitted to the MLA yet (haven't been rejected either, go figure) but Penn has an estimated total cost of attendance of $82K a year and is not ranked significantly higher than UMich (Penn is #7 and Mich is #9) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone else finding it hard to make a decision between schools?

For me, funding is my biggest consideration, and the tuition gap between the schools I’m considering is about $25k. I don’t know how worthwhile it is to spend an extra $25k on a school that I don’t know is *that* much better. How much do schools and locations matter when getting a job in planning?

Edited by yellowsurf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, yellowsurf said:

Anyone else finding it hard to make a decision between schools?

For me, funding is my biggest consideration, and the tuition gap between the schools I’m considering is about $25k. I don’t know how worthwhile it is to spend an extra $25k on a school that I don’t know is *that* much better. How much do schools and locations matter when getting a job in planning?

Going straight from undergrad so I can't say with authority, but from my impression the location really matters when you're looking at career pipelines. This has more to do with the quality of the cheaper school than the more expensive one. If both schools graduate lots of quality workers that end up in a place you like, then the cost difference isn't worth it. However, if the cheaper school has a rinkydink program without many students or established faculty then the extra $25k may be valuable for a legit curriculum/research/job outlook (if you can reasonably afford it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@cityplace_uptown Thank you! I’m also a fellow undergrad, and this is very helpful. 
 

Like @sh2405, I’d also love to hear anyone’s opinions on SJSU and Cal Poly SLO! 
 

From what I gather about SJSU, I heard it’s a good program with great faculty. I talked to a student a couple years ago, and they said it had small 3-hour evening classes (with occasional Saturday morning classes) and a capstone thesis. It’s right next to San Jose City Hall, and a lot of students work during the day there and elsewhere. They also told me that all of their close friends in the program got jobs within months after graduation in the Bay Area. To me, it might not be the most well-known school, but it definitely is in an area with lots of hands-on opportunities and with a caring group of faculty (and it’s cheap!). I suspect students tend to be slightly older folks (not straight out of undergrad like myself), who might be working full-time jobs or changing career paths (thus the evening classes), so that’s a bit of a different social vibe than possibly other schools.

Edited by yellowsurf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone has any information on why there was huge jump in tuition cost at Tufts? For 19-20, their tuition was 38k. 20-21, the tuition ballooned to 54k. Increases in tuition are to be expected, but I certainly was not expecting it to be 42%!

It severely dampers my excitement of receiving 31k in funding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, does anyone have any tips or advice on how to ask a program for funding? I've been accepted to UNC with no funding offered, and received a small scholarship from UMich. UNC is my top choice, should I call or email the department? I don't feel like I can leverage my UMich scholarship that much since UNC would still be lower, even at full price. Would appreciate any guidance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, beatlesforever said:

Hello, does anyone have any tips or advice on how to ask a program for funding? I've been accepted to UNC with no funding offered, and received a small scholarship from UMich. UNC is my top choice, should I call or email the department? I don't feel like I can leverage my UMich scholarship that much since UNC would still be lower, even at full price. Would appreciate any guidance!

I’m practically in the same boat as you with UNC and UMich. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try (the worst they can say is no, right?) but it wouldn’t be the most convincing argument with the cost difference. Would appreciate someone’s insight as well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/6/2021 at 1:18 AM, yellowsurf said:

Like @sh2405, I’d also love to hear anyone’s opinions on SJSU and Cal Poly SLO!

Can't speak for SLO and I believe I might've touched on this earlier in the thread but I've done the most research into SJSU and spoke to the most people affiliated with the school there than any of the other schools I've applied to (Grad Advisor, 2 professors, and about 4-5 students).

It seems there is definitely a significant chunk of students that go to SJSU part-time or while they work as a way to get ahead within the field in the Bay Area (almost all of them seemed to view the school as public sector-oriented except for one person who worked for Lyft). One of my contacts said that a number of her colleagues today (she worked first for MTC and then for SF County) were her peers from school. Planning, Community Development, and Transit agencies across the Bay are choc full of SJSU grads. As she said "It's a small planning world so I know a lot of the planners in the public sector through SJSU. Your reputation from grad school definitely follows you."

Of those I talked to, they all said SJSU's program is well known throughout the Bay Area (in part because it's just one of two Bay Area programs - the other being Cal). The Capstone Community Planning course is really unique and not something I necessarily saw duplicated elsewhere since most community-involved work at other schools seems to be reliant on your internship choice. I think this gives you a built-in opportunity to network within the San Jose/Santa Clara County community even beyond your internship so you get to double down on potential job opportunities. I also asked each school's (SJSU, Cal, UCLA, CPP) Grad Advisor "Do you help students find internships?" and SJSU seemed to give the most help - I think in part because, at least for UCLA/Cal, they expect the prestige and connections of the institution to make securing internships easier.

The certificates are also an interesting twist. I talked to both Cal (which I didn't get into) and UCLA and both said the concentrations are just within the department and your course planning, there's no official documentation stating it on your transcript or diploma, whereas you actually receive a certificate at SJSU. Not that important knowledge wise but could be an edge at face-value re: resume.

That being said, I'm still holding out hope for UCLA (even though it's a big reach for me) in part UCLA's program seems to draw from social justice/critical race theory principles. I feel like the theory vs. practical argument always finds a way to put down "theory" - but if the planners of the past were schooled in the "theory" we might expect from UCLA today, perhaps there wouldn't be so much harm left to undo.

There's one really telling statistic about UCLA's planning program though - the largest employer of UCLA planning grads... UCLA. That tells me that the program is probably 1) PhD Heavy and 2) More focused on contributions to the field of planning than making planners out of students.

Phew, essay over. Bored on a Sunday... lol

Edited by jbourne1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/6/2021 at 2:27 AM, hayamate said:

Anyone has any information on why there was huge jump in tuition cost at Tufts? For 19-20, their tuition was 38k. 20-21, the tuition ballooned to 54k. Increases in tuition are to be expected, but I certainly was not expecting it to be 42%!

It severely dampers my excitement of receiving 31k in funding.

Looking at the website, I think the tuition was about 39k for 20-21. Unless you’re talking about the MPP, which looks like it is 54k. Some programs only require the tuition for the first year (not the MA/MS UEP though)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, planning said:

Looking at the website, I think the tuition was about 39k for 20-21. Unless you’re talking about the MPP, which looks like it is 54k. Some programs only require the tuition for the first year (not the MA/MS UEP though)

You're right. Tufts public information link from PAB has 54k, while the link from the admitted students portal has the 39k. Not sure why Tufts keeps the conflicting info up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, I'm starting to go crazy waiting on these funding offers. Really wanting to know what my financial situation will be like over the next few years... if not longer. 🙃 As of now I don't know how competitive my profile is and feel like I could get either a decent scholarship or absolute zilch from any of my programs.

Edited by cityplace_uptown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, cityplace_uptown said:

Man, I'm starting to go crazy waiting on these funding offers. Really wanting to know what my financial situation will be like over the next few years... if not longer. 🙃 As of now I don't know how competitive my profile is and feel like I could get either a decent scholarship or absolute zilch from any of my programs.

I'm on the same boat. At least I'll know about Penn on Thursday, although I'm tempering my expectations.

Also have not heard back from Temple, but I'm definitely not expecting any financial aid package there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, yellowsurf said:

@cityplace_uptown Totally relate. I’m also checking this website too often in hopes that someone has finally heard back from UCLA!

Same here!! One weird benefit to this horrible drawn out process is that it has really clarified for me that UCLA is my top pick, which is just increasing the anxiety. 

Edited by anxiousplanner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.