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UC Berkeley Goldman vs. U Chicago Harris for MPP?


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Hi everyone,

 

UC Berkeley Goldman was my dream school, but I got rejected. However, one of my top choices, University of Chicago Harris wait listed me. After looking at the tuition/fees/costs for UChicago, I am debating whether I should try for Goldman again next year (especially since it is so much cheaper) or try to take my name off the wait list and try to get accepted to Chicago.

 

UC Berkeley Goldman costs roughly $12k per year according to their website, and

University of Chicago Harris costs roughly $60k per year according to their website.

 

Does anyone know a comparison between the Goldman and Harris program? What are its differences?

Also, if it helps to know, I want to focus on social policy and both schools are great for this.

 

One more thing! I also want to go to a program that is pretty quantitative-heavy.

 

If anyone else can add in their 2 cents not only just for Goldman and Harris, but also USC Price, please feel free to comment below! I would really appreciate anything!

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by cy213
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From talking with several current Berkeley students, unless you come from a very strong quant background, Goldman's core classes will be quite quant heavy. Harris is generally even more quant-focused, but you can always supplement if you want more at Berkeley. 

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I think you missed something in comparing price tags. Goldman costs $12K a semester, not per year. That means it's $24K a year for in-state residents and $36K for out-of-state, depending on which you are. The actual financial cost for both could be about equal, however, if you take into consideration that Berkeley's tuition remission can be generous if you work 10-20 hours a week as a teaching assistant or research assistant. Similarly, UChicago I've seen be very generous with the amount of fellowships they award -- as a private school, they have a deeper pot of money than public schools such as Berkeley.

 

The more important issue at hand is however what your choices are right now. Which schools have you been accepted to and how much have they awarded you? It doesn't quite make sense to choose between Berkeley and UChicago since you would still need to reapply. You mentioned USC Price, so I'm guessing that's an option. I think its focus is definitely quantitative enough, just going by their curriculum. There is much more variation between the programs at USC, UChicago, and Berkeley in terms of their different focuses and strengths, so it really depends on your preference and interest. Try to look at just the schools you've been accepted to. If you still believe that none of them are a satisfying enough choice, in terms of money or in terms of what you want out of the program, then you can decide to refuse all offers and hunker down to reapply for next year. 

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I think you missed something in comparing price tags. Goldman costs $12K a semester, not per year. That means it's $24K a year for in-state residents and $36K for out-of-state, depending on which you are. The actual financial cost for both could be about equal, however, if you take into consideration that Berkeley's tuition remission can be generous if you work 10-20 hours a week as a teaching assistant or research assistant. Similarly, UChicago I've seen be very generous with the amount of fellowships they award -- as a private school, they have a deeper pot of money than public schools such as Berkeley.

 

The more important issue at hand is however what your choices are right now. Which schools have you been accepted to and how much have they awarded you? It doesn't quite make sense to choose between Berkeley and UChicago since you would still need to reapply. You mentioned USC Price, so I'm guessing that's an option. I think its focus is definitely quantitative enough, just going by their curriculum. There is much more variation between the programs at USC, UChicago, and Berkeley in terms of their different focuses and strengths, so it really depends on your preference and interest. Try to look at just the schools you've been accepted to. If you still believe that none of them are a satisfying enough choice, in terms of money or in terms of what you want out of the program, then you can decide to refuse all offers and hunker down to reapply for next year. 

 

 

This is great advice from chocolatecheesecake.  One piece of advice I would offer regarding reapplying next year: in terms of my perspective, I don't think it has really terribly altered the outcome in terms of potential options.  Unless you find something that you think will really bolster the quality of your application, I would advise against waiting another year to reapply.  It is extremely time consuming and the end result is not that much different.  However, if you are really interested in a particular school (in your case Goldman), I would send a signed letter/email to the school to see if there is anyway that you can get feedback on your application from them.  Personally, if I choose to decline all offers, I will not be reapplying for a very long time because I really want to do something that would strongly bolster my application.

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Great feedback guys! I think I'll stay on the waitlist and see if I get into Harris, but I'm going to treat it as if I didn't get in at all. I thought about reapplying next year, but you're right, chocolate and uncgrad. I already feel like one year is not enough time to make a huge difference on my application. I think I'll wait for fall 2016... We'll see.

Thanks guys! Hopefully I do get into Harris though. The application process is just so horrible to redo everything.

Edited by cy213
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Great feedback guys! I think I'll stay on the waitlist and see if I get into Harris, but I'm going to treat it as if I didn't get in at all. I thought about reapplying next year, but you're right, chocolate and uncgrad. I already feel like one year is not enough time to make a huge difference on my application. I think I'll wait for fall 2016... We'll see.

Thanks guys! Hopefully I do get into Harris though. The application process is just so horrible to redo everything.

 

I am still very undecided but I might turn down the Offer at Harris so don't lose hope. 

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