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Princeton WWS Strengths/Weaknesses

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I'm starting this thread with little to no hope that I will get in, but I have been curious lately what other folks have heard about the program. These school specific threads have been the most useful to me on this board. And frankly, it will give us a clear place to go on friday to celebrate the superheroes who get in, if Princeton sticks to their "on or around March 13" notification estimate...Or freakout because we haven't gotten an email.

Here's what I am thinking about the WWS MPA:

Pro's

1. Access to great research centers and faculty who (i hear) move between practioner and academic roles frequently.

2. Name Recognition.

3. Strong emphasis on advising, both from faculty and 2nd year students.

4. Curriculum seems well-balanced between building solid foundation and freedom to define your policy track.

5. Funding funding funding.

Cons

1. It's not in the beltway if making connections to dc during school is your aim (although I don't see why you couldn't do the summer internship in dc)

2. No formal master's thesis/capstone. Instead you do a Qualifying Exam, which, if you are contemplating a PHd someday (I might be) is not as helpful as an extensive reasearch project.

3. I can never decide if I heard or just have the impression that the resources for international research and study are stronger than domestic. I'm planning to do domestic policy, so that impression weighs heavily for me, but i'd be happy to hear someone correct it.

Of my top 5 schools, Princeton is the one where I made the least opportunities to meet with faculty and students, etc. This list is just based on a conversation with the admissions director, and conversations with faculty at other mpp programs. Please add and correct, I feel like i know woefully little. and GOOD LUCK everyone....who knows, we may have WWS material in our midst! :D

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3. I can never decide if I heard or just have the impression that the resources for international research and study are stronger than domestic. I'm planning to do domestic policy, so that impression weighs heavily for me, but i'd be happy to hear someone correct it.

I spoke to a student in the Domestic Policy concentration and was told that there are a lot of support and resources available to those who choose that route. The program also has many connections to set you up for an internship at places that may interest you. Plus have you seen their list of courses for DP? If it weren't for the quantitative focus of the concentration, I would have chosen it myself.

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We all know that WWS funds their students quite generously, but I'm wondering if anybody has an idea what the average package looks like. I remember reading something on the website that mentioned that 90% of the students get significant funding. I'll admit that I've had visions of being part of that 10%! Then, I realize how audacious it was to assume that I got in! Perhaps its part of the that warped application mentality that swings from nightmares to fantasies!

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We all know that WWS funds their students quite generously, but I'm wondering if anybody has an idea what the average package looks like. I remember reading something on the website that mentioned that 90% of the students get significant funding. I'll admit that I've had visions of being part of that 10%! Then, I realize how audacious it was to assume that I got in! Perhaps its part of the that warped application mentality that swings from nightmares to fantasies!

I don't know what the average package is, but I do know their top stipend is $18,500 per year for masters level students. I do not know about the doctoral level.

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All I did was send in an application, which in retrospect was very generic and bland. I made no attempt to contact faculty or get school-specific recommendations. It was the first application I had to complete and it was very rough... I wonder how much that hurts me.

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Here, let's ratchet the anxiety up a little bit more. For some fun (and nerve-racking) reading material, check out the WWS student bios, if you have not yet.

http://wws.princeton.edu/grad/admission/studentbios/

They're all along the lines of "Bobby speaks 17 languages, including three dead ones, fluently. He finished a translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the age of eight and then created a Broadway musical out of his experience. He spent three years in Mauritania teaching sign language to manta rays, which then became his assistants in early childhood education programs in Bolivia and in demining operations in Cambodia. Bobby funded his own initiatives by selling his left lung, spleen, and liver. Even though he is a man, he has breastfed hundreds of orphans to save them from starvation. He is the only student to ever score a 4.1 gpa in nuclear-astrophysical-geothermal engineering. He devotes his free time to fighting forest fires."

Actually, no, they're not that bad. They might actually reassure you that these students are mere mortals.

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They're all along the lines of "Bobby speaks 17 languages, including three dead ones, fluently. He finished a translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the age of eight and then created a Broadway musical out of his experience. He spent three years in Mauritania teaching sign language to manta rays, which then became his assistants in early childhood education programs in Bolivia and in demining operations in Cambodia. Bobby funded his own initiatives by selling his left lung, spleen, and liver. Even though he is a man, he has breastfed hundreds of orphans to save them from starvation. He is the only student to ever score a 4.1 gpa in nuclear-astrophysical-geothermal engineering. He devotes his free time to fighting forest fires."

LMFAO - Brilliant Linden, just brilliant :D

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Here, let's ratchet the anxiety up a little bit more. For some fun (and nerve-racking) reading material, check out the WWS student bios, if you have not yet.

http://wws.princeton.edu/grad/admission/studentbios/

They're all along the lines of "Bobby speaks 17 languages, including three dead ones, fluently. He finished a translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the age of eight and then created a Broadway musical out of his experience. He spent three years in Mauritania teaching sign language to manta rays, which then became his assistants in early childhood education programs in Bolivia and in demining operations in Cambodia. Bobby funded his own initiatives by selling his left lung, spleen, and liver. Even though he is a man, he has breastfed hundreds of orphans to save them from starvation. He is the only student to ever score a 4.1 gpa in nuclear-astrophysical-geothermal engineering. He devotes his free time to fighting forest fires."

Actually, no, they're not that bad. They might actually reassure you that these students are mere mortals.

Actually, I think I remember reading this bio on the site. My sources tell me that Bobby was accepted off the waitlist.

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My general feeling is that the admissions officers at WWS probably focus mostly on the intangibles when putting together their class. I think the numbers matter insofar as they show you can do the work. But once that's established they probably turn their attention to finding people who can bring in a unique or atypical experience. I remember watching a video on their website from the head of admissions. He said that first they figure out if the person can do the work. It usually ends up in a 75%/25%, and then they turn their attention to the 75% and try to ascertain their commitment to public service.

I'll try to find the video. No luck so far.

Edit: Found it. http://wws.princeton.edu/coverstories/t ... terview08/

This is a cross-post.

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Thanks, Linden, for taking off the edge. I'm sitting in Peru (five languages, four continents, no musicals or breastfeeding for the betterment of humanity) continuously hitting the refresh button on my email account. In times like these I try to remember noteworthy personalities that have not attended any of the top three Ivy League schools...Ghandi, Muhammed Yunus, Neil Armstrong.

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3. I can never decide if I heard or just have the impression that the resources for international research and study are stronger than domestic. I'm planning to do domestic policy, so that impression weighs heavily for me, but i'd be happy to hear someone correct it.

:D

That's definitely the impression that I get, and I believe it's intentional on their part. However, I am interested in domestic policy as well (specifically educational policy), and they offer a significant number of relevant courses. So we'll see. WWS is the only policy school I could justify leaving my job for...you simply can't match the resources, prestige, and convenience (their MPP prog is only 9-months long). Hopefully, I made a strong enough case for myself. I guess that question will be answered very soon.

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I spoke to a student in the Domestic Policy concentration and was told that there are a lot of support and resources available to those who choose that route. The program also has many connections to set you up for an internship at places that may interest you. Plus have you seen their list of courses for DP? If it weren't for the quantitative focus of the concentration, I would have chosen it myself.

That's great to hear.

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All I did was send in an application, which in retrospect was very generic and bland. I made no attempt to contact faculty or get school-specific recommendations. It was the first application I had to complete and it was very rough... I wonder how much that hurts me.

Well, I just realized the other day that I failed to put my policy memo in memo form--which is both irritating and surprising, given that I write no less than 5 memos per week. And I put ALL of them in memo form. :lol: Hopefully, the decision doesn't come down to that....though I'm sure it could.

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Reading the princeton 3/13 announcement again, I'm less convinced that Wednesday is the day for the lucky admits. The message says "...available until on or around Friday, March 13th, 2009. You will receive an email after that time." I think this language is enough to prevent a tidal-wave of applicants e-mailing WWS on Monday asking for their decisions, but maybe not.

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Indeed, dayafterxmas, especially now that younglions dashed everyone's hopes. :D And, one second I will freak out about the decision coming soon, the next I freak out because I am freaking out about something that I should have given up on before I even applied.

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Reading the princeton 3/13 announcement again, I'm less convinced that Wednesday is the day for the lucky admits. The message says "...available until on or around Friday, March 13th, 2009. You will receive an email after that time." I think this language is enough to prevent a tidal-wave of applicants e-mailing WWS on Monday asking for their decisions, but maybe not.

I hate the way that message reads. Why not just say, "Decision emails will be sent by ." Any time someone uses "on or around" or other squirrely language like that, I get nervous. And does "after that time" mean "on or around" late Friday, Monday, April, May, June?! I can't tell if the message is the result of deliberate deception or simply poor writing.

OK....that's my rant for the day. I've stepped down from the ledge. I'll be happy to hear from WWS on or around whenever admissions decision notifications are made available and I receive an email after that time. :lol:

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This makes me thankful I am getting my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow. I cannot be upset when I don't hear since I won't be able to do anything. :lol:

God bless valium... :D

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I just want this to be over. I either want my spirits to soar like an eagle upon hearing some good news or my hope to die if I fail to receive the news. But, I want it to be over.

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i've discovered a way to take my mind off of princeton for the next three days. the twilight book series. i know, silly, right? whatever, they're easy reads and i've almost completely removed myself from reality...

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