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HKS 2016


HKS hopeful

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21 hours ago, marco_p said:

To be honest I feel like being waitlisted is the best option for me. It's good for my ego as it says that they can live with the idea of me studying there (at least that's how I understand it) and on the other hand it also spares me the temptation of trying to go to HKS, as there is absolutely no way they would give me as generous offer as SIPA :)

I feel you! That works out almost perfectly, then. I know I have a low chance of making it off the wait list, but it still feels nice to know that they could envision us plausibly attending (that's definitely how I'm reading it, haha)!

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I'm struggling with that as well.  I don't think I can turn it down even if they offer no funding.  I'll have at least 20k a year from veteran benefits and I'm hoping to find some more other places if possible before they release fin aid decisions.  Last week I would have told you that I wouldn't go in debt for any school, but now that I'm in, I can see why people take on student debt...

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2 hours ago, kbui said:

Is everyone going to go if you didn't get funding? Or very little of it?

Not sure. It's so hard to turn down HKS. As of now it seems like I didn't get the CPL fellowship I applied to because I've gotten no news about interviews. I'm hoping at least some other fellowship I applied to comes through.

Edited by loveglove
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On March 13, 2016 at 8:50 AM, loveglove said:

Not sure. It's so hard to turn down HKS. As of now it seems like I didn't get the CPL fellowship I applied to because I've gotten no news about interviews. I'm hoping at least some other fellowship I applied to comes through.

Fingers crossed for you!

 

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For people's acceptance letters, did you get a handwritten note at the end too? Either Matt or someone else wrote something really sweet at the bottom of mine and it really made me feel like HKS really cares for their students. Also, one of my readers also sent me an email that had some personal touches on it that was great too. They are also providing a small travel stipend for some students to go to their New Admit Day. HKS is amazing!

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Hello all! I'm new to these boards (I really wish I found them earlier!); anyways, congratulations to all those accepted to HKS this year! I'm on the waiting list for the MPA2 program so my fingers are crossed! 

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5 hours ago, kbui said:

For people's acceptance letters, did you get a handwritten note at the end too? Either Matt or someone else wrote something really sweet at the bottom of mine and it really made me feel like HKS really cares for their students. Also, one of my readers also sent me an email that had some personal touches on it that was great too. They are also providing a small travel stipend for some students to go to their New Admit Day. HKS is amazing!

That's great! You must be one if a kind. ;-) 

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2 hours ago, HKS hopeful said:

That's great! You must be one if a kind. ;-) 

HKS hopeful, I wouldn't say that. But thank you for saying so. I was very humbled at the acceptance, and it was definitely a reach school for me. They made the experience so personal for me, so I wanted to know if other applicants are experiencing the same.

And I really hope that you will hear back from HKS to get off the waitlist soon! How are you feeling so far? What are your plans if there's no more space for the year at HKS?

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9 hours ago, kbui said:

HKS hopeful, I wouldn't say that. But thank you for saying so. I was very humbled at the acceptance, and it was definitely a reach school for me. They made the experience so personal for me, so I wanted to know if other applicants are experiencing the same.

And I really hope that you will hear back from HKS to get off the waitlist soon! How are you feeling so far? What are your plans if there's no more space for the year at HKS?

Thanks for asking. Being waitlisted is a humbling experience. I had high expectations but the committee felt some were stronger in building their case. I'm hoping my background is needed for this particular class should someone decide not to enroll. However, given the few Mason MPAs admitted, I'm not confident. :-( It's hard to imagine a Mason MPA not enrolling or the committee feeling I'm the right fit for the class. It would take a miracle to achieve everything I'd hoped during this cycle. Haven't decided what I'll do if I'm not admitted this year. I'm sure I'll figure something out. Can't do anything until  HKS gets back to us waitlisted folks. This entire process is a learning experience. Fingers and toes crossed until mid-April.

Again, congrats! Quite an awesome position to be in. :-)

 

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17 hours ago, kbui said:

For people's acceptance letters, did you get a handwritten note at the end too? Either Matt or someone else wrote something really sweet at the bottom of mine and it really made me feel like HKS really cares for their students. Also, one of my readers also sent me an email that had some personal touches on it that was great too. They are also providing a small travel stipend for some students to go to their New Admit Day. HKS is amazing!

HKS is amazing! I also got a personalised mail from one of my readers. Don't know if it is standard practice, but certainly feels amazing! 

I had a question for people here. I am not sure of fin aid/scholarships. Didn't get a CPL call for interview, so that isn't working out. Incase other scholarships don't work out, does it make sense to take a huge loan (100K) for the MPA program? 

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1 hour ago, ag89 said:

HKS is amazing! I also got a personalised mail from one of my readers. Don't know if it is standard practice, but certainly feels amazing! 

I had a question for people here. I am not sure of fin aid/scholarships. Didn't get a CPL call for interview, so that isn't working out. Incase other scholarships don't work out, does it make sense to take a huge loan (100K) for the MPA program? 

 

19 hours ago, kbui said:

For people's acceptance letters, did you get a handwritten note at the end too? Either Matt or someone else wrote something really sweet at the bottom of mine and it really made me feel like HKS really cares for their students. Also, one of my readers also sent me an email that had some personal touches on it that was great too. They are also providing a small travel stipend for some students to go to their New Admit Day. HKS is amazing!

I got the email too! Live a little far to know about the signed letter. I hope it gets here soon and doesn't get lost in the mail!

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4 hours ago, ag89 said:

HKS is amazing! I also got a personalised mail from one of my readers. Don't know if it is standard practice, but certainly feels amazing! 

I had a question for people here. I am not sure of fin aid/scholarships. Didn't get a CPL call for interview, so that isn't working out. Incase other scholarships don't work out, does it make sense to take a huge loan (100K) for the MPA program? 

2

There has been quite a number of sub-forums that touches on this subject, and the overall consensus is that:

  • Unless you know (not reasonably believe) that you will be making over 60-80K a year immediately after graduation, it may be incredibly tough to live while paying the $1,200+/month in loan payments. You can defer or put your loans into forbearance, but then it collects interest.
  • You can have Income Based Repayment (IBR) and it will only take a chunk of your paycheck, but it will take a lot slower to pay back all of your loans (if you ever pay it off).
  • If you enter public service for 10 years and make 120 eligible payments and sign up for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, it's possible to have a large portion of the $100,000+ loan forgiven. However, as we've seen with some policies, when there's a different party/president/leader it can change without notice and the government may be at no obligation to honor something that their predecessor agreed to. One caveat: whatever is forgiven will be taxed as earned income in addition to your own income! Here's a great quote from a NYT's article, “Let’s say your debt has grown to $180,000 over 20 years, and by that point, you’re making $120,000,” he said. “If $180,000 is being forgiven, then you’re looking at paying taxes on $300,000 in total income in one year. At that point, you’re over the $250,000 income category, my friend.”
  • In the end, a public service position is not going to rake in the money, so many should think twice, thrice, even four times before getting an MPP/MPA with a crippling amount of loans to support it. Especially if one hopes to have a family, buy a house, and other big purchase items down the road.

I want everyone on here to be healthy and happy, and to calculate the future in a dispassionate way.

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If you are working in public service, may agencies will help pay back a portion of your student loans based on your income.  Harvard also has the LRAP (see attached file).  

LRAP_PSLF.pdf

http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/sfs/learn-more/lrap

(if the attachment doesn't work, click the link)

Edited by Danbrenn
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@naso I've just bought my airline tickets and I'll be seeing you there! HKS was so gracious to offer me a small travel stipend or else I wouldn't be able to afford the $375 plane ticket on a whim. Also, did people sign up for the Black Policy Conference? I will definitely attend on Saturday after the New Admit Day.

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1 hour ago, kbui said:

@naso I've just bought my airline tickets and I'll be seeing you there! HKS was so gracious to offer me a small travel stipend or else I wouldn't be able to afford the $375 plane ticket on a whim. Also, did people sign up for the Black Policy Conference? I will definitely attend on Saturday after the New Admit Day.

I've been to two BPCs. They're great for meeting people and the talks are often quite good as well. If you're going to attend HKS definitely go if you can.

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I didn't get any travel money for new admit day. I'm afraid this may be an early indication of little money from HKS  :( unfortunately won't be able to attend new admit day.

Also, anybody have ideas of when we'll get money news? Last year they released the info April 1st, but considering they've finished everything 2 days in advance this year maybe we can hope for March 30th?

Edited by loveglove
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@loveglove Did you request a travel stipend? They had an option on the portal for you to type in your name. And I wouldn't be too quick to think that this means no money in terms of tuition.

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