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MPP/MPA Programs that give out lots of merit-based aid


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Hey everyone,

 

I am going to be a senior in college who will graduate with a BA in Public Policy. One path after graduation I've considered is going to grad school right away and getting an MPP or MPA. I have a decent GPA (3.73) and I go to an original public ivy school, so I'm trying to capitalize on this. I was wondering if anyone knows of specific MPA/MPP programs that give out generous merit-based scholarships/accept applicants directly out of undergrad?

 

Thanks for the guidance!!

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Your definition of merit might differ from schools' definitions.  For their professional programs, schools tend to place a premium on work experience.  Your GPA certainly won't hurt you -- but if you want lots of aid you're probably better off working for one or two years minimum.

 

Alternatively, you could apply to be a Pickering Fellow.

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  • 2 months later...

I am bumping this topic as I'm also interested in hearing which programs (either MPP/MPA or IR) have a reputation for generous aid. Unlike the OP I have been out of undergrad for a few years, but I will be applying this fall, and a big factor for me will be the funding offered. Besides WWS' well-established reputation for excellent funding, based on an anecdotal review of some other other posts on this forum, it sounds like Duke Sanford, Tufts Fletcher, and UMichigan Ford are also known to offer good funding. If anyone could speak to those, or others that tend to offer solid aid, would be much appreciated.

 

I've also read here that GRE score is often a big factor in terms of the amount aid received. Thoughts on that?

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Besides WWS' well-established reputation for excellent funding, based on an anecdotal review of some other other posts on this forum, it sounds like Duke Sanford, Tufts Fletcher, and UMichigan Ford are also known to offer good funding. If anyone could speak to those, or others that tend to offer solid aid, would be much appreciated.

 

I've also read here that GRE score is often a big factor in terms of the amount aid received. Thoughts on that?

 

Not to knock the collective wisdom of these here fora (on which I relied perhaps a bit too much during the application process), but I think that saying one school is more like to give aid than another is a dubious supposition, WWS excepted.

 

After I got my various acceptances and aid offers last spring, I spoke to a number of these schools' financial aid offices. They all said that something like 25-40% of accepted students get aid offers - which could mean 5k or a full-ride. I myself ended up getting a very nice offer from a school that gradcafe would have you believe gives no aid. I got lower offers from schools that are considered "generous" here.

 

Of course, these are also just anecdotes. I think the likelihood of any individual school giving you aid is based on where you stand in relation to their applicants and how their endowment is doing that year, rather than their general propensity to give aid. I remember that a lot of people seemed to be getting full rides from UT-Austin last spring, but that's probably because gradcafe-ers were at the top of their applicant pool. I highly doubt that they have more aid dollars to offer than, say, U of Chicago or Georgetown (although I could be wrong).

 

If I were you, I would call your target schools and ask things like how many students get aid, what the average amount of aid is, and the average amount of debt that students graduate with. Some of this info will be posted on their websites, but not all of it. But don't not apply to a school because it's known as being stingy. 

 

To address your second question - I did have pretty high GREs (stellar verbal/writing, above average quant). 

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