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Thread: Where to go? 2007 EDITION

  1. #1
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Where to go? 2007 EDITION

    So, now that decisions are starting to roll in, we can start wringing our hands about the decisions that may or may not make us poor for the remainder of this decade, as well as the lion's share of the next (counting loans).

    Are any of the schools asking for deposits right away? So far I've only heard from Rutgers (complete package, doesn't seem they require a deposit) and NYU (just the electronic acceptance letter with a link to their accepted students package--don't remember reading about a deposit.)

    My current plan is to accept at Rutgers (because that's where I really want to go) and if I'm thrown a financial curveball, I will keep another in my back pocket (probably Hunter--HOORAY for NY residency!)

    Anyone else have a strategy for dealing with the information/deadline mismatch?
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Well I will throw my two cents in. So far I have been accepted to USC and PSU, rejected from Berkeley and have yet to hear from MIT. USC has thus far offered a half tuition scholarship, renewable for the following year. Portland is sending out financial information this week.

    At this point I have no idea which school to choose. Both have strong programs, USC is perhaps better known and a stronger school overall, however it is in LA (not a top choice location for me or my husband to be). I do eventually want to work in California, but northern California. We both love Portland, but it is farther away and so might be less practical in terms of networking. I would love to hear from anyone who has an opinion or experience with either of these programs. So far, I haven't heard much chatter about either on this forum, but have read some stuff in old threads.

    Where are other folks headed and why?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    I just got (or, rateher, just read), the offer from Wagner--50% remission.

    Now to wait for Rutgers... hopefully I won't have to use Wagner as a bargaining tool

    Oh, as I said in the other thread, PSU accepted me, but they'll have to show the $$$ for me to consider...
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I am making the grad school plunge along with my girlfriend who is applying for her Masters in Social Work. We decided to apply to schools in two places, Boston and Chicago. So I have already been accepted to UIC and Tufts, waiting on MIT.

    Basically, we decided that if i am accepted to MIT we'll stay here and she'll go to Boston University where she was accepted. She really wants to go to Chicago where she's from, and I'm happy to do that so if she gets into one of the Chicago programs she applied to, I'll likely end up at UIC.

    However, I'm still waiting on my financial aid decision at Tufts (stupidly submitted the aid application late) so that could have some bearing. I've worked closely with students from the Tufts Planning and Policy program at my job over the last few years, and it makes me think very highly of what they offer. Plus, they have Rachel Bratt there who is one of the foremost experts on U.S. Housing Policy, one of the areas I'm very interested in studying.

    So I guess that's all to say... I don't actually know yet where I'm heading, but it's good to have some options.
    "I was trying to daydream but my mind kept wandering."
    -Steven Wright

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Are any of the schools asking for deposits right away?
    University of Maryland asked for a $300 deposit in the acceptance letter I received.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Domo-kun View post
    University of Maryland asked for a $300 deposit in the acceptance letter I received.
    That's crap. April 15th is the day for all these schools, they shouldn't be asking for a deposit...

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumbach View post
    That's crap. April 15th is the day for all these schools, they shouldn't be asking for a deposit...
    Sorry, I should have clarified: they asked for the deposit, but I wouldn't have to pay the deposit until April 16th.

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    I wanted to stay in the Balt-Wash-VA area and applied to geography and urban planning programs in the vicinity. I got into the five schools I applied to and two are offering me very attractive assistantships. One is a Geographic and Cartographic Sciences program and the other is an Urban Planning program. Of course the programs are fundamentally different and I have no idea what to do!!!!!! The GeoSciences research assistantship will be in conjunction with a government agency and I'd be working on a specific GIS project and I'd probably be making as much as I make now while working with people in land use, economics and geography.

    For the Urban Planning program I have the option of a full time or part time teaching assistantship in a graduate class I loved in undergrad. The stipend is very low but I'd get the experience of teaching and working closely with a professor. And this is a more prestigious school.

    I could be wrong but I feel torn because I think the GeoSciences degree in the Geography department will be too technical and GIS/spatial analysis-focused while the future of that technology IMO is up in the air. And I feel the Urban Planning program with a specialization in economic development is more broad and not technical enough to warrant me a decent salary after graduation.

    I always assumed I would go part-time while keeping my economics-related government job that I've been in for less than a year. But I will most likely otherwise be coming out of my pocket to pay for grad school if I do go part-time since the programs are not directly related to my job, and quite frankly, I'm not all that satisfied with what I'm doing, coming from a consulting firm where I got to work on different projects as opposed to the routine tasks I now perform. Ultimately I want to go back into reasearch/consulting with a policy/design firm and don't really have any desire to work for a municipality/CDC or the like.

    So while I'm not tied into my job I have moved around a lot since graduating 3 years ago and quitting would require me to move, sell my car, my dog and probably get a roommate . Working at my job part time and taking the part time urban planning assistantship might be on the table since all the courses are at night, but I want to think this out more before I approach my supervisor. And I'm not even sure I would be able to do that and survive, even though I'm working 2 jobs and taking a class now and believe I have the stamina. Advice anyone???

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally posted by njm View post
    Now to wait for Rutgers... hopefully I won't have to use Wagner as a bargaining tool
    Stupid question: You can do that?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by nofunk View post
    Stupid question: You can do that?
    Sure. It may not work, but it doesn't hurt to politely tell schools what you are being offered by other programs. If you are a high priority admit, they may well adjust your offer to make it more enticing.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Exactly... if you are very honest and tell them that you're very excited about the program and, as Rumbach said, they want you as well, they might find money for you. Remember that some of those receiving the first offers will turn them down (i.e. will accept at other schools), so getting your name in early for the pool of unused money is good... and it shows initiative as well.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  12. #12

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    Three schools

    NJM - hi! We might in the same program this fall, as I've applied to Rutgers, in addition to UIC and Michigan.

    I spoke to one of the top program people at Rutgers who said they'll start putting together aid packages at the end of the month, and hopefully have them ready for the April 5th open house...so until then, I'm just sitting around wringing my hands, hoping something will come through. UIC nominated me for a university-wide fellowship, which I didn't get, so now they've offered all loans (although a UIC alumnus and friend of mine said that they have a ton of assitantships, and it's not too hard to get one, even if you have to go there for a semester on your own first). Michigan offered me a full year tuition remission spread out over the two years of the program.

    I'm trying to figure out if this is all worth the money...Michigan would still require me to take out somewhere between $40k and $60k in loans, depending on part-time employment, to pay the rest of the tuition and support myself. The Michigan program is appealing, but a few of my friends who have already gone through were saying they're not sure that it's really worth it to take out more than about $30k for grad school, and that if I can't do it that way I might be better off just trying to go part-time and working. Anyone else struggling with this question?

  13. #13
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    I've got in at Bartlett in London and at the University of Manchester in England.

    I know nothing really about Manchester's program beyond what I see on the site. Heard neither good nor bad. UCL's Bartlett is the best in the UK, but it's pricey for international students (around $28,000) but it IS only one year.

    Manchester is around $18,000, also one year and there's a good chance I'll get a scholarship or two there.

    Anyone have any advice?

    I'm American, want to eventually practice in the States, but I'm happy in my life overseas right now and want to go to grad school over here.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by dmstrathy View post
    NJM - hi! We might in the same program this fall, as I've applied to Rutgers, in addition to UIC and Michigan.

    I spoke to one of the top program people at Rutgers who said they'll start putting together aid packages at the end of the month, and hopefully have them ready for the April 5th open house...so until then, I'm just sitting around wringing my hands, hoping something will come through. UIC nominated me for a university-wide fellowship, which I didn't get, so now they've offered all loans (although a UIC alumnus and friend of mine said that they have a ton of assitantships, and it's not too hard to get one, even if you have to go there for a semester on your own first). Michigan offered me a full year tuition remission spread out over the two years of the program.

    I'm trying to figure out if this is all worth the money...Michigan would still require me to take out somewhere between $40k and $60k in loans, depending on part-time employment, to pay the rest of the tuition and support myself. The Michigan program is appealing, but a few of my friends who have already gone through were saying they're not sure that it's really worth it to take out more than about $30k for grad school, and that if I can't do it that way I might be better off just trying to go part-time and working. Anyone else struggling with this question?
    I am definitly struggling w/the "is it worth it?" question. in the end i know that i will decide to go, but right now the financial realities plus moving and uprooting my boyfriend feels overwhelming...i too am hoping for an assistantship to com my way second semester.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Well, I think it's decided!

    Rutgers gave me an unbelievable offer that pretty much covers my full tuition the first year, and then covers tuition and nearly all expenses the second.

    Granted, I'll have to work a bit for it... but that's OK!

    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    In the end, an anti-climatic decision. Cornell offered 4 years full funding (tuition + health insurance + stipend), so it was near impossible to pass up! In all honesty, I couldn't be happier - I am quite fond of our department.

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    Quote Originally posted by Rumbach View post
    In the end, an anti-climatic decision. Cornell offered 4 years full funding (tuition + health insurance + stipend), so it was near impossible to pass up! In all honesty, I couldn't be happier - I am quite fond of our department.
    Four years, are you a PHD candidate?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Well, got my info from PSU this past weekend. Nothing enticing.

    I'm in the process of sending my confirmation to Rutgers.

    I wonder how my car will handle having New Jersey license plates. Will I become a worse driver if I have an NJ license (for reference it's currently New Yrok)



    Anyone else made the leap?
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by njm View post
    I'm in the process of sending my confirmation to Rutgers.
    Congratulations on making your decision! Will you still attend the open house on Thursday?

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    Hi njm,

    Jersey Plates...hehehe. Congrats and welcome to Jersey! I'm in the process of pretty much deciding on NYU...

    I was born and raised in Manhattan, transplanted to Jersey City, NJ at the tender age of 7, (It took me about 10 years to truly appreciate the place), then moved out to Seattle for some much needed soul searching...

    I can't believe I'm coming back. Are you going to live in NJ? I haven't decided myself which way to go!

    Julie

  21. #21
    Quote Originally posted by Rumbach View post
    Sure. It may not work, but it doesn't hurt to politely tell schools what you are being offered by other programs. If you are a high priority admit, they may well adjust your offer to make it more enticing.
    Hey, I'm asking a similar question in another thread about getting some kind of funding. How do you suggest I do so? Though I'm applying for Canadian schools, I'm not sure if they have the same type of bargaining that goes on, or if they would find it awkward that I would bring it up.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Domo-kun View post
    Congratulations on making your decision! Will you still attend the open house on Thursday?
    I'd like to, but the collection of islands in which I currenly live happens to be 6 time zones away.

    Quote Originally posted by gonzaja View post
    Hi njm,

    Jersey Plates...hehehe. Congrats and welcome to Jersey! I'm in the process of pretty much deciding on NYU...

    I was born and raised in Manhattan, transplanted to Jersey City, NJ at the tender age of 7, (It took me about 10 years to truly appreciate the place), then moved out to Seattle for some much needed soul searching...

    I can't believe I'm coming back. Are you going to live in NJ? I haven't decided myself which way to go!

    Julie
    I'm expecting to live in NJ; my former home was very Upstate, which would make far a ridiculous commute.

    Living in NYC and going to school in NJ would sound enticing were I not so familiar with the city...
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

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