Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum although I've been browsing for a couple of weeks. Let me introduce myself -
I'm a 21-year-old undergrad student attending a mostly unknown state school, majoring in Community Planning and Urban Studies (yes our program is PAB accredited, btw), and minoring in political science. I graduate in the fall of 2009, and as of right now, my GPA is a 2.7. I have yet to take the GRE but I plan on taking it sometime in the spring.
I want to attend a highly reputable, respectable school for grad. I know that to an extent, the only thing that really matters is that you have a degree but I'd like to attend a larger, more well-renowned school for grad.
The ony problem is, as I've said before, is that I've fooled around too much in undergrad. Honestly I didn't even know HOW to study until my junior year...........and I'll be a senior in January.
So with all of that being said..........I've downloaded the Plantizen.com guide to urban planning grad schools and after doing some research based off of that, I've seen a couple of schools that capture my interest. But the one school that stands out to me as being almost perfect for my career interests and my particular situation is the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).
Now I know that UNC is a highly competitve school, not an easy one to get into. But the program seems perfect for me - they offer what I want to concentrate in (transportation planning), not to mention almost every other concentration available in planning, so should I decide to focus on something else between now and grad school, I can do so. Plus, for such a competitive school, its tuition rates are pretty reasonable - $20,000/year for out-of-state but only $6,000/year for in-state residents! I thought I was dreaming, I had to double check the school's website to make sure it was accurate. That's only slightly more than what I would pay in tuition as an in-state student at the school I'm at now. All I'd have to do is become a NC resident. Bottom line, UNC seems to offer a LOT of bang for my buck. It almsot seems to be too good to be true.
So with all of that being said, what hope does a kid with a 2.7 GPA, and only 3 semesters left before graduation have of getting into such a highly competitive planning program as UNC? Will an extraordinary GRE score help? I should also mention that I had an internship this summer at a community development non-profit............I definitely plan on getting another one next summer (2009). Will having two internships under my belt and an above average GRE help make up for what will probably be at best, a 2.9 or 3.0 GPA upon graduation? The website says that they "prefer" a B average or better, but the word "prefer" implies that there is room for flexibility and that they're open to accepting students with slightly lower GPAs. So basically I'm just looking for an honest answer guys - what are my chances of getting into UNC, or similarly-ranked schools such as Virginia Tech or Rutgers?