supbla20 Posted April 13, 2013 Share Posted April 13, 2013 Hey Guys, I am deciding between Fletcher, SIPA and SFS and having an almost impossible time making a decision. Can you please help me think this through and give me advice? Goal: I am trying to make a career change from the private sector to public service. Particularly interested in one day working for the State Department or some other policy career. I want to do a Boren and/or critical language scholarship while in grad school - possibly to learn Turkish. SIPA: One of the lucky few to get some first year funding (13K scholarship), but the program seems insanely impersonal and unnecessarily competitive. Also a little worried by the extreme quantitative emphasis. Unclear what second year funding could look like and I have never had a chance to visit the campus. Also got into the International Fellows Program - does anyone know if this is really a big deal or not? Does this mean I will get more personalized attention? I am skeptical. I would think SIPA really wants me since they gave me money and let me into this "special" program. But I find them very noncommunicative. Seems hard to learn languages at SIPA due to time issues. Fletcher: Gave me 13K scholarships for MALD program and there are options for more money second year, but this is very uncertain. Love the community and how flexible the program is. Interested in languages though, and the options seem very lacking - I could not take Turkish there which I assume would make me less competitive for language scholarships I want to apply for. But they allow up to two language classes to apply toward the degree. Also there is no chance to do internships during the year due to the crappy locations and crazy amount of studying Fletcher students do. Insanely awesome alumni network. SFS: Offered half tuition scholarship. But due to cost of living, in the end the price tag will be similar to Fletcher. Would get half-tuition scholarship second year, but no options for additional funding. Got into tight-knit regional studies program that is extremely flexible and offers outstanding language options and extensive help to get language scholarships. Super-low student to faculty ratio. But the program is very new and has a tiny alumni base. Worried about being pigeonholed by employers. Already did undergrad in DC, so not sure I want to be here again. I think it is really coming down to Fletcher and SFS, but I cannot make up my mind. There are things going for both like better language options at SFS but possibly lower pricetag second year at Fletcher. I am not necessarily so excited about being in DC and the outcomes seem equally positive at all three of these institutions since they are all top-tier programs. Funding is a serious issue for me and I feel lucky to have gotten money for a master's program. I have thought about deferring for a year and applying to programs like Princeton, which offer fuller funding packages. But I have nothing concrete that I would do for the year, so I am not sure that is the best option. Don't know what to do and feeling overwhelmed. Please help me!! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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