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Higher Ed/Student Affairs Fall 2014- Where are you applying?


JBums1028
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I guess I'll start one of these "where are you applying" forums for individuals looking at Fall of 2014 matriculation. Applications will be released in a few months, so I can imagine most people have either narrowed their list or are in the process.

 

So, what programs are you looking at applying to?

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The only ones that I know of for sure at the point are:

 

Michigan State

University of Michigan

 

I've tossed around a few other out of state programs: USC, Rutgers, Univ of Washington, UMass, NYU to name a few. I'm also looking at smaller in state programs that I feel like I have a pretty good shot at getting in to...

 

Hoping to narrow the list to a much more manageable number of schools to apply to (like 5 or 6)

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I'm planning to apply to USC, UPenn, HGSE, TC, and MSU so far... there are so many great programs out there but the cost of application fees stacks up!

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I'm planning to apply to USC, UPenn, HGSE, TC, and MSU so far... there are so many great programs out there but the cost of application fees stacks up!

 

Are you looking at Master's level programs? For MSU are you applying to HALE or Student Affairs?

 

I'm just asking because if so it looks like we're applying to some of the same programs. And I hear you on app fees!

 

Just out of curiousity, what factors did you guys use in narrowing your search? I'm kind of all over the place so suggestions would be quite helpful!

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Are you looking at Master's level programs? For MSU are you applying to HALE or Student Affairs?

 

I'm just asking because if so it looks like we're applying to some of the same programs. And I hear you on app fees!

 

Just out of curiousity, what factors did you guys use in narrowing your search? I'm kind of all over the place so suggestions would be quite helpful!

 

Yes I'm looking into Master's programs!

For MSU, I am planning to apply for Student Affairs.

Well personally, I narrowed my search based on rankings, rigor of program, recommendations from alumni/advisors. Plus, I thought about where I would be able to see myself living realistically - I had a few other schools in mind like Vanderbilt, Kansas and Indiana but couldn't really see myself living in those areas. 

I've been doing more and more research and I am growing less confident by the minute.. haha what are your top choices?

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Yes I'm looking into Master's programs!

For MSU, I am planning to apply for Student Affairs.

Well personally, I narrowed my search based on rankings, rigor of program, recommendations from alumni/advisors. Plus, I thought about where I would be able to see myself living realistically - I had a few other schools in mind like Vanderbilt, Kansas and Indiana but couldn't really see myself living in those areas. 

I've been doing more and more research and I am growing less confident by the minute.. haha what are your top choices?

 

I'm applying to Student Affairs as well!

 

Like I said above MSU and U of M are the only ones I know for sure right now. I did my undergrad at MSU so I already know I'll like the area. U of M will really depend on whether I get an internship working directly with students since it's a general higher ed program. However, I can complete the program in 2-3 semesters which is nice.

 

I'm going back and forth on Rutgers. On paper their program looks awesome. However I'm getting mixed reviews on the safety of the city the school is located in.

 

I'm also back and forth with the smaller in state schools. On the one hand I feel like I have a good chance at getting in and they'll be affordable, so they are good to fall back on. On the other hand, I feel like I'll most likely have to look out of state for work (I live in MI. The outlook for higher ed jobs isn't incredible) and I'm concerned about the recognizability of their programs in other states.

 

For USC, UW, UMass, and NYU I really just need to do more research on their programs.

 

I totally understand you when you say that more research is almost more confusing. All the programs are so different from one another that it makes it more difficult to figure out which ones are going to meet your needs the best. That's the struggle I'm facing as well.

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I went to UW for my undergrad and talked to my advisor about the EDLPS program - which is the one I would assume you'd be applying for - and she recommended that I don't even bother applying. For a large scale state school, I don't think our student affairs system is so great and there aren't many opportunities open for graduate students to work unless you're a PhD student with interest in research. I also know someone who is in the program right now (working at the UW)- she went to Berkeley for her undergrad and got her Master's in education in Harvard and decided to take classes in the EDLPS department and told me that her experience at Harvard was more worthwhile. But I guess it really is a matter of opinion and how fitting the program is to the individual? If you're looking into Seattle as a potential place to live, I'd recommend you also look into the student development administration program at SU - I've heard lots of praise for that program in comparison to the EDLPS program at the UW. 

 

It's an exciting process but nerve-wrecking at the same time! I saw that you're doing Americorps - I was accepted for a position also with Washington Campus Compact but the grant funding got cut last minute so now I am trying to look for another opportunity in student affairs until next September. Time is going by so fast!

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I went to UW for my undergrad and talked to my advisor about the EDLPS program - which is the one I would assume you'd be applying for - and she recommended that I don't even bother applying. For a large scale state school, I don't think our student affairs system is so great and there aren't many opportunities open for graduate students to work unless you're a PhD student with interest in research. I also know someone who is in the program right now (working at the UW)- she went to Berkeley for her undergrad and got her Master's in education in Harvard and decided to take classes in the EDLPS department and told me that her experience at Harvard was more worthwhile. But I guess it really is a matter of opinion and how fitting the program is to the individual? If you're looking into Seattle as a potential place to live, I'd recommend you also look into the student development administration program at SU - I've heard lots of praise for that program in comparison to the EDLPS program at the UW. 

 

It's an exciting process but nerve-wrecking at the same time! I saw that you're doing Americorps - I was accepted for a position also with Washington Campus Compact but the grant funding got cut last minute so now I am trying to look for another opportunity in student affairs until next September. Time is going by so fast!

 

I saw on their website that they are changing the EDLPS program at UW and that the first cohort will be the Fall of 2014 group. I guess that is a huge risk to take as well. I looked into SU's program (I visited Seattle last summer and I loved it there! I'm drawn to the idea of living on the West Coast now, however I also like the idea of the East Coast as well, hence why all my schools are on either coast or in Michigan), my only hesitation is that it is religiously affiliated. I know that going to a catholic college doesn't mean that they are going to try to indoctrinate me with their religious beliefs, but I still have reservations. It would probably be worthwhile to contact them for more info though and go from there.

 

That's a bummer about your program! I'm pretty excited about mine, I get to work in the student services department of a local community college, but then also do college access work at a local high school. I hope you find another program though or work experience.

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I saw on their website that they are changing the EDLPS program at UW and that the first cohort will be the Fall of 2014 group. I guess that is a huge risk to take as well. I looked into SU's program (I visited Seattle last summer and I loved it there! I'm drawn to the idea of living on the West Coast now, however I also like the idea of the East Coast as well, hence why all my schools are on either coast or in Michigan), my only hesitation is that it is religiously affiliated. I know that going to a catholic college doesn't mean that they are going to try to indoctrinate me with their religious beliefs, but I still have reservations. It would probably be worthwhile to contact them for more info though and go from there.

 

That's a bummer about your program! I'm pretty excited about mine, I get to work in the student services department of a local community college, but then also do college access work at a local high school. I hope you find another program though or work experience.

 

I see what you mean with SU's program - makes sense! Good luck with your Americorps program and the grad school research. We will probably be writing more in here as time passes... :)

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I have a list of schools I would be very happy to go to, but I am worried about shooting too high/funding for MA students (though, graduate school is not a must--I am very happy with my job now).

 

The schools I am considering (for higher education administration) are:

 

Vanderbilt, Harvard, Stanford (POLS), Ohio State, Boston College, and UPenn.  

 

I am in-state for Ohio State and it if I was admitted, it would be very affordable/is a fantastic program.

 

 

 

 

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This is general advice for prospective students: If you live in a state with a reputatble higher education/student affairs master's program, apply to that program so that you won't graduate with a lot of student loans! This is extremely important if you plan to remain in the state/region after earning the master's degree.

Edited by michigan girl
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This is general advice for prospective students: If you live in a state with a reputatble higher education/student affairs master's program, apply to that program so that you won't graduate with a lot of student loans! This is extremely important if you plan to remain in the state/region after earning the master's degree.

 

I'm assuming based on your name that you are from Michigan... what program are you enrolled in right now? How do you like it? I'm another MI resident, hoping to go to either MSU or U of M. I just worry since the cohorts are so small (and also the job prospects in MI concern me), that I will need to branch out a bit in my search. Also I'm just not sure on the programs at smaller state schools (Western, Eastern, Central, GVSU, etc)... Do you have any good info to share on those programs by chance?

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I am wondring if I should not look into UW a bit more..

 

I'd recommend contacting them directly about their program. From my research they looked like more of a general higher ed program that focuses on leadership, not as directly focused on student affairs. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a program whether that's a pro or a con. But it did specifically say that they are making changes to the program. There is no new incoming class for Fall of 2013 and the next class (Fall 14) will be the first under the new program. If you speak to a faculty member, a director, or someone who works for the program they'll probably be able to explain the changes. They haven't responded to my email yet (I did just send it on sunday, so maybe they were off for the fourth...)

 

I'm personally going to look into Seattle U now instead (unless they respond to my email and convince me). They're more focused on student affairs which is what I'm looking for... I'm only applying to one higher ed focused program and that's because it's in state and convenient.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey all,

 

I am new to all of this and would really appreciate any guidance on narrowing down my list of schools for student affairs. I am looking to applying to :

 

USC, UPenn, Michigan State, Indiana-Bloomington, Ohio State, UMD, University of Georgia,  Rutgers, Loyola, Vanderbilt, and UMass-Amherst

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Here are the criteria that were recommended to me that I used during my search:

 

1)  Cost.  Spend as little as possible to get this degree.  That means applying to programs that have full (or close to it) funding and as well as in-state public universities (or other inexpensive options) with programs that fit your other criteria. Some public universities are very affordable, even for out-of-staters.  Caveats:  the fully funded programs are super hard to get into because lots and lots of people apply, and some have strong SA orientations that may or may not fit your interests.  And many of the "top" ranked programs in USNWR are pricey while their return on investment is questionable.  (See below for more on following rankings.)

 

2)  Internship.  If you're just out of UG, your program should have a very substantial internship component in a field that interests you.  Once you're 3-5+ years out of UG the internship component probably becomes less important, unless you're trying to change fields.  (It's another matter entirely whether it's wise for someone just out of UG to go right into a master's, but I'll leave that for another thread.)

 

3)  Orientation of program.  This one's tricky.  Many people reduce it to "theory vs. practice"...but that's not quite right.  The better distinctions are HE (ie, "theory") vs. SA (ie, "practice") or weak/no internship requirement ("theory") vs. strong internship component ("practice") or institution-centered ("theory") vs. student-centered ("practice"), but all of these are a little crude and reductive.  The truth is, even the most theory/HE/course-intensive/institution-centric program and the most practice/SA/internship-intensive/student centric program still end up spitting out the same degree with relatively the same entry-level and mid-level earning potential.  But there are differences and you should be aware of them.

 

4)  Length of program.  This is closely related to (and sometimes and artifact of) points one and two and three above.  Shorter isn't always better, particularly if you're new to the field.

 

5)  Where in the country you want to work.  Irrespective of reputation, programs in this field often place regionally, and some professional networks (eg, ACPA/NASPA) work on a regional level.  If you don't care where you end up, ignore this point.  But if you really want to be in the northeast, for example, then go to grad school in the northeast.    

 

6)  Prestige.  Reputation/rankings matter far less at the master's level in education than in other professional fields (law, business, etc.).  Master's degrees in ed (MA, MS, MEd, MSEd, MAT) are essentially commodities.  If you can go to a "name" school for free that meets all of your other requirements, that's fantastic!  But it's not worth compromising on the other things that really matter in the pursuit of reputation.  And determining what qualifies as a "name" school is tricky because...the USNWR rankings of HE are of doctoral programs, not master's programs.  There is a big difference between the two, and you cannot conclude that a highly ranked doctoral program would be a great place to get your master's.

 

So, Jsparks63 (and others) - because I'm a dork, I turned this all into an Excel spreadsheet that helped me weigh the pros and cons of various programs and narrow my list.  I used a simple plus or minus system and got more detailed for places that were on the bubble.  I also was applying on a budget (I vowed that I wouldn't spend more than $xxx on app fees, transcripts, GRE reports), which definitely helped limit the number of programs I could keep in the mix.

 

Hope that's helpful!

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@hesadork: that list is perfect! I purposely want to get out of NYC/Northeast because I've been here my entire life. I have been looking for a way to narrow down my list, but now I'm worried I've narrowed down too much (I'm strongly applying for MSU and UPenn, and kinda wishy-washy on Mich) and should add maybe another East coast school to my list (on my original list: UCONN, University of Maryland-College Park). As for staying in NYC, the only school I had was Baruch, but I feel like that would limit me to staying here professionally.

 

I have very little interest (right now) being in the south or west. Considering Michigan is far enough!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

Recently decided to go into this route after spending 4 years pursing going to Occupational Therapy Grad School. I have a 3.17 GPA (not as high as I would want) and will be taking the GRE in November to hopefully increase my chances. Looking to stay in California, planning on applying to USD, SDSU, USC, UCLA. I am actively involved in the Associated Students Inc. on campus. I am bit scared about the admissions process, (scared my GPA and my involvements aren't that great) any suggestions or help will gladly be appreciated! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am currently looking at Loyola-Chicago, Michigan, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, USC and UConn. Hopefully my two years working in fraternity life will help offset my 3.0 GPA

Edited by scfitz5
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Is anyone taking faculty research into their consideration for programs?

 

Not really to be honest. I probably should be though. I've been focusing more on the practical experiences I will gain through the program instead (assistantships, internships, etc). A lot of my mentors who are currently working in higher ed said that should be one of my highest priorities.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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