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UPenn Fels - worth it?


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So I haven't read anything on here about Fels lately, but I got in yesterday with $16,000 a year, which only puts a dent in a really expensive program.  I know everyone says not to pay much attention to the rankings, but it can't be denied that Fels is super low; it also can't be denied that the UPenn name is clearly prestigious.  So the question is: is it worth it?

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CharKel27, the answer depends on several factors including

1) Is there a particular field/sub-field you want to concentrate in? Does Fels have a strong program for that field?

2) What kind of jobs will you be looking for after completing the program? Will the UPenn name help you in your chosen career?

3) Are you interested in living/working in DC, NY ?

4) What's your next best option as far as MPA programs go?

Edited by MPAStudent
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CharKel27, the answer depends on several factors including

1) Is there a particular field/sub-field you want to concentrate in? Does Fels have a strong program for that field?

2) What kind of jobs will you be looking for after completing the program? Will the UPenn name help you in your chosen career?

3) Are you interested in living/working in DC, NY ?

4) What's your next best option as far as MPA programs go?

 

Thanks for the response, MPAStudent. 

 

1) I am looking to specialize in nonprofit management.  I like the sound of the electives in that concentration offered by Penn but I also get the feeling that the school is very gov't oriented.

2) I believe the UPenn name would really help any career...but I'm looking to work in the nonprofit sector.  I would think it'd help?

3) I'm originally from CT but I currently live in UT and imagine myself out west.  But to me, UPenn is nationally recognized, although I could be wrong...

4) I have a full ride from UConn but it isn't my fav program at all.  I just can't decide how much $$/name should play into my decision.  I also have a 1/2 scholarship from USC and I'm into the University of Washington, which may be better options considering they are ranked higher and out west?  But then again everyone says the rankings don't mean much, and if I did decide to return east I'm not sure UW would mean anything to anyone.

 

Someone decide for me!  Kidding...but any advice is helpful, thanks!

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1) Fels is definitely oriented towards government and nonprofit mgt. (Fels offers a certificate in nonprofit administration as well). If you were interested in international policy/international affairs type programs then Fels wouldn't be a good choice for you. Since you are interested in nonprofit management, curriculum/concentration wise Fels is as good as (if not better than) your other options.

2) Have you tried reaching out to people who work in the nonprofit sector (specifically the type of organizations that you want to work for) and getting a sense of how much the Penn name will help you in your career?

3) Penn is definitely nationally recognized whereas UW and USC have very good local recognition. I think Penn would provide you better geographical mobility.

4) Since UW didn't offer you any money and you aren't too excited about UConn, I think your decision is between USC and Fels. You need to figure out exactly how much more expensive Fels is going to be and what that would mean for your loan payments. If the Fels/Penn name, the opportunity to take classes at other reputed graduate programs throughout Penn, the personal (small program size ~35 full time students per year) and practical nature of the program, and strong national Penn alumni network (as opposed to USC's local network) will help you improve your career prospects then Fels might be a better option for you, otherwise as they say- follow the money.

 

Hope this is helpful.

Edited by MPAStudent
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