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Thread: Columbia MsRED

  1. #51
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by LA_arch View post
    I was accepted to USC (MRED), Columbia (MS Real Estate) and Harvard (MDesS in Real Estate) for 2009-2010.

    I am leaning toward USC, as I live in LA and will most likely be out here for a while after school. I am also looking for a school with a very strong financial component and entrepreneurial emphasis.

    For those of you with experience with any of these schools, I would be grateful for you input. What are your thoughts on these schools, specifically for entrepreneurial development?

    Thanks!

    (For those of you still waiting, USC let me know about 2 weeks ago, Columbia and Harvard within the last week. So I believe all the schools are still making decisions.)


    Did USC mention specific date that you need to reply back with your intention?

  2. #52
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    Article from NY Observer about Columbia MSRED grads.

    http://observer.com/2009/real-estate/lehman-babies

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally posted by m.conroy33 View post
    Did USC mention specific date that you need to reply back with your intention?
    I don't think USC mentioned a specific deadline in their letter and seem relaxed about it. All my dealings with their administration so far have been very relaxed and pleasant.

    In contrast, Columbia, which accepted me on the 13th, insists on an answer by the 27th. I even tried to push the date to make a more informed decision and they would not allow it. As it was explained to me, as soon as accepted students decline the offer, they immediately draw from the pool of those still in limbo.

    Hope that helps...

  4. #54
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    Hi all. The way things are coming together over at Columbia is very intersting.

    Hempdiddy. If you would be so kind and tell me a little about your background I would appreciate it. I too am an applicant for Columbia MSRED this year and the suspense is killing me. I have over 7 years of direct development experience as role of principal developer and have been involved in various projects at different capacities totaling over 4 Billion dollars.

    I still havent heard from Columbia and they keep telling by April 1...
    legdev1, in summary, my experience (5 years) comes from the municipal side. I've worked as lead City Planner on a wide, wide range of projects in a City which a few years ago was the fastest growing city of it's size in the US. I've worked on all things from 3000 acre developments of regional impact through creating citywide architectural design standards.

    In contrast, Columbia, which accepted me on the 13th, insists on an answer by the 27th. I even tried to push the date to make a more informed decision and they would not allow it. As it was explained to me, as soon as accepted students decline the offer, they immediately draw from the pool of those still in limbo.
    LA_arch, this is the very point that I'm struggling with myself. I did the same thing today, exactly. When I asked for an extension they flat said, "No." I didn't know about the immediate slot replacement...

    Let me ask an obvious question: How can Columbia expect students to make a dilligent, lucid, and thought-out decision prior to knowing what their FINANCIAL AID packet will look like AND prior to hearing from other top programs which everyone knows won't notify applicants until April 1st?!?! The applicants hands are being forced and it's not right.

    Funny how the 27th of March is the Friday before April 1st.

    Funny how your acceptance isn't official until your deposit is paid.



    But really - not funny.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally posted by LA_arch View post
    As it was explained to me, as soon as accepted students decline the offer, they immediately draw from the pool of those still in limbo.
    LA, I have pieced together a similar conclusion.

    Was this a direct quote from admissions?

  6. #56
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    Columbia/MIT Dilemma

    To Hempdiddy,

    I am aware of the situation of Columbia wanting the deposit prior to MIT releasing decisions. I contemplated contacting Columbia and asking for an extension, but decided against it. Rather, I contacted MIT and asked whether there was a possibility that decisions would be released prior to the first week of April. The answer I got was not no, but not yes either. It was basically, we can't release decisions until they are finalized and they are not yet finalized. So, it lookes like I will probably pay that $700 deposit to Columbia.

    Interestingly, it seems that Columbia has not sent out any rejections because I haven't seen anyone post on here and say they got flat out rejected. Seems Columbia sent out acceptances to what "they" deem to be their strongest candidates first. After the 27th they will evaluate how many seats remain open based on their deposits. They will then probably send out acceptances to the remaining candidates on their wait-in-limbo list and then send out the rejections as well. Just my take on it.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally posted by jaruss01 View post
    LA, I have pieced together a similar conclusion.

    Was this a direct quote from admissions?
    Basically... I spoke with their admissions for an extension and they were very adamant about getting an answer on the 27th. A non-reply would be viewed as a no. She said that "real estate programs are very competitive" and that my slot would be given to students who were not yet admitted.

  8. #58
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    GK83, are you contemplating paying the Columbia deposit just so you don't lose your spot while you wait for the MIT decision? I'm considering doing that myself, but have a very hard time doing so. It reallty seems like a silly thing to make yourself go through.

    Considering the two posts above, I reitterate my previous point:

    Let me ask an obvious question: How can Columbia expect students to make a dilligent, lucid, and thought-out decision prior to knowing what their FINANCIAL AID packet will look like AND prior to hearing from other top programs which everyone knows won't notify applicants until April 1st?!?! The applicants hands are being forced and it's not right.

    Funny how the 27th of March is the Friday before April 1st.

    Funny how your acceptance isn't official until your deposit is paid.
    Any thoughts?

  9. #59
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    well, after much pushing and pulling with Columbia, i was finally flat out rejected this afternoon.

    Top B.Arch undergrad with 2 yrs experience, one of the youngest promoted within 30 yr old firm...and a development portolfio that trumps anything you could find on the RED website. im very disapointed. interestingly enough, Columbia only had 10 architects in the program last yr. so it could not be more competitive from my standpoint.

    I would not be surprised if most of those accepted are already directly in the field of development. Considering where the job market may be in 2010/11, Columbia may not be able to offer that "transitional" step into the market of development. Nor do they want to risk already dwindling job placement stats. Students come in as developers and leave as developers...which really takes away from the luster of a MsRED program. Thoughts?

  10. #60
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    Columbia Deposit

    To hempdidy,

    Yes. I do plan to pay the deposit just to hold my spot while I wait for MIT. Not paying the deposit and not getting into MIT would be a nightmare of a situation. I just don't want to take that risk and I don't see any other way around it unless MIT lets me know before next Friday.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally posted by GK83 View post
    To hempdidy,

    Yes. I do plan to pay the deposit just to hold my spot while I wait for MIT. Not paying the deposit and not getting into MIT would be a nightmare of a situation. I just don't want to take that risk and I don't see any other way around it unless MIT lets me know before next Friday.
    Thats messed up. Only Ivy League schools pull that crap. On top of that you dont even know what your financial aid package is before you accept? Even worse...

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally posted by GK83 View post
    LA Arch,

    I think USC is really good from the entrepreneurial standpoint. I hear its a good school if you want to come right out and do your own development. I'm not as familiar with them with regards to finance, but I suspect their decent. The vibe I get from USC is that they take a pretty holistic approach to real estate development. I get that same vibe from Columbia as well.

    Harvard's program is something I'm not sure about. The School of Design does not seem too committed to the program in terms of resoruces. I think their program is also 3 semesters (Fall-Spring-Fall) if I'm not mistaken. I consider the length a drawback. You'll also note that they don't have their own dedicated center for real estate like some of the other top schools. I think you're basically getting the Harvard name and networking, but not too much else. The nice thing about Harvard though is that you can cross-register and take classes at MIT's center for real estate. I considered that scenario myself, but decided to balk on applying to Harvard and just applied to MIT and Columbia.

    Basically, in my opinion your decision should come down to Columbia or USC unless for some reason you are especially bent on having that Harvard name on your resume. Personally, I did not apply to USC even though I live in California. I view going back to school as an opportunity to explore a new city in a different part of the country.

    Did you apply to MIT? I would say they are the best with respect to finance. They put out tons of finance related research.
    From what I know at least 5-10 yrs ago, Harvard's MDes program was considered pretty soft. Even within the school, the MDes program was considered mainly a money making operation for the school, a way to increase revenue as opposed to having major scholarly reputation. I would reckon the RE portion of the MDes program is still v small.

  13. #63
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    Originally posted by GK83
    To hempdidy,

    Yes. I do plan to pay the deposit just to hold my spot while I wait for MIT. Not paying the deposit and not getting into MIT would be a nightmare of a situation. I just don't want to take that risk and I don't see any other way around it unless MIT lets me know before next Friday.
    Thats messed up. Only Ivy League schools pull that crap. On top of that you dont even know what your financial aid package is before you accept? Even worse...
    That IS totally messed up. I can't believe people like me and GK83 (or ANY applicant) are put into a position like that. It's non-sensical and not a good first impression of the program.

    From what I know at least 5-10 yrs ago, Harvard's MDes program was considered pretty soft. Even within the school, the MDes program was considered mainly a money making operation for the school, a way to increase revenue as opposed to having major scholarly reputation. I would reckon the RE portion of the MDes program is still v small.
    I believe Harvard's MDes programs admits about 25 people per year.

  14. #64
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    I emailed MIT last week to request for the admissions result via email. I was open with them that I needed to know before the deadline to accept the offer from another program.

    They responded on Monday that the committee already met for a final decision and that I was accepted and will be receiving their official letter by mail in a few days. They must have sent out all their letters then as well.

    For those who are also waiting for MIT's letter and considering whether to pay your deposit to another school, perhaps you could try this.

    Good luck!

  15. #65
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    Columbia!

    Hello, I was also accepted into Columbia's program, but am still trying to decide between it and Cornell. Although Cornell is in the middle of nowhere (Ithaca), it does seem to have a more well-rounded program with more focus areas and a more dedicated faculty. Are any of you guys in the same boat? I'm leaning towards Columbia but am nervous that it might be too much of a free-for-all.

  16. #66
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    Large Texas & Others admitted to Columbia.. Congrats on getting in. I was also accepted on the 13th. Have worked 4 years in Real Estate, some brokerage work and most recently as Development Manager with an affordable (tax credit) developer in New Orleans..

    Columbia was the only school I applied to, so needless to say I researched the heck out of it and was pretty elated to get in. That being said I am in the same boat as all of you in regards to the concern of the debt load vs the job prospects in 2010 and the actual nature of the Columbia MSRED program. The program was in transition phase this past year and I believe we will be the first class to experience the three academic semester program.. The program also relies heavily on Director Buckley. If he were to retire or drop dead during the middle of the year I am not sure where it would leave our class.

    That being said my $700 deposit is in. I am flying up the 3rd week of April to try to meet with faculty and current students to figure out the morale and their job prospects.

    Large Texas.. You mentioned earlier that you got a hefty package from Columbia? Do you mind mentioning how much? I inadvertently missed the scholarship deadline and am worried that I may have left $$ on the table. The program's real cost will be close to 100k after tuition, travel, housing & board and I am a little concerned about paying that back if market is where it is now in 2010..

    My understanding of the actual program is that is very solid. The 3rd academic semester will allow us to cover more territory and possibly take an elective throughout Columbia each semester...

    But I have also heard from former graduates that the school will not hold your hand while job hunting.. Unlike the MBA program where on campus recruiting, the alumni network, and program career centers are utilized to help graduates land jobs.. We will have to hustle.. I heard this personally from a graduate in the class of 2005 and 2007.. We will have to sell the program to employers, especially those outside of New York because it does not have nearly the brand recognition of an MBA.. Just a thought..

    Anyway, it would be great to hear from others who got in and are going to Columbia(and if they got any $$ from the school or how they plan to finance it)..

    Goodluck everyone.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally posted by Hempdiddy View post
    That IS totally messed up. I can't believe people like me and GK83 (or ANY applicant) are put into a position like that. It's non-sensical and not a good first impression of the program.



    I believe Harvard's MDes programs admits about 25 people per year.
    If it is 25 for whole MDes at most 10 ppl studying RE. But I would guess even less.
    The MDes historically has been mainly a mixed group of designers, planners, and other disciplines like RE or construction tech.

  18. #68
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    Bleh. Just heard from USC that I didn't qualify for scholarship. Anyone out there get money from them? From what I hear, the grant/ scholarship pickins in MRED are pretty slim.

  19. #69
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    This might be helpful to anyone admitted at Columbia..

    I spoke to someone in the Financial Aid office at Columbia on Friday and got the breakdown of Aid available to all students.

    GSAPP has estimated a cost of $89,500 for Tuition, Fees, Insurance, Room and Board for the program.

    For ALL accepted students 17k of subsidized loans and 24k of unsubsidized loans will be available from Columbia university. Students who need loans to pay for the remaining $48,500 will have to deal with outside lenders..

    The payout of the loans will be dispersed as follows.

    $4250 of subsidized & $6000 of unsubsidized in the Summer and Fall semesters..
    $8500 of subsidized $ $12000 of unsusidized in the Spring semester..

    hope this helps..

    I would love to hear from anyone who got any need/merit based scholarship $$ from Columbia and in what ballpark is the aid.. Thanks

  20. #70
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    VikeGT,

    I'm in the same boat as you...

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally posted by VikeGT View post
    This might be helpful to anyone admitted at Columbia..

    I spoke to someone in the Financial Aid office at Columbia on Friday and got the breakdown of Aid available to all students.

    GSAPP has estimated a cost of $89,500 for Tuition, Fees, Insurance, Room and Board for the program.

    For ALL accepted students 17k of subsidized loans and 24k of unsubsidized loans will be available from Columbia university. Students who need loans to pay for the remaining $48,500 will have to deal with outside lenders..

    The payout of the loans will be dispersed as follows.

    $4250 of subsidized & $6000 of unsubsidized in the Summer and Fall semesters..
    $8500 of subsidized $ $12000 of unsusidized in the Spring semester..

    hope this helps..

    I would love to hear from anyone who got any need/merit based scholarship $$ from Columbia and in what ballpark is the aid.. Thanks

    Are the 17k + 24k from Columbia federal loans(like stafford)? Or some type of loan financed by Columbia?

  22. #72
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    Got dinged by MIT via letter. Wouldve been nice to have a second option but guess I am USC bound.

    Anyone going to USC MRED this yr and want to meet up, send me a line.

  23. #73
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    Hempdiddy,

    Which way are you leaning?

    The 17k is subsidized stafford and the 24k is an unsubsidized federal..

  24. #74
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    Honestly, I'm not sure. This past week I spent time touring NYC and CHI. I'm considering Columbia and UIC's program my top two choices at the moment. At first glance, it seems that the state school in Illinois wouldn't hold a candle to the Ivy program, but after my visit to both places I have a different opinion.

    I was very impressed with the UIC program. I met with the Director, he answered my questions, showed me what I would learn in the program, discussed the job placement success rate of his graduates, and showed how he was generally very concerned with what was going on with his program.

    Compare that to your (and mine, and others') experience thusfar with Columbia and you'll probably see my dillemma. Admins are curt, classes are frantic, and the employment outlook is dim...

  25. #75
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    Columbia's new program

    Good to hear that a few of us are in the same boat. I talked to a few of the current students at Columbia and it seems like a mixed bag - some like it, some don't. There are some very positive steps being taken by the program, however, to adress these issues. I found out that the program is looking to replace Dir. Buckley very soon with a new full-time (not adjunct) director. The head of Tishman is rumored to be the man.

    Also, at least two full-time professors are being hired this year so that there is more interaction with the students. This has seemed to be a big problem with the program before now. I think the entire faculty has been adjunct, thus leading to this kind of rushed feeling around campus.

    The other thing that's happening is that there is a new, state-of-the-art permanent facility that's going to be built at 119th St and Broadway in a couple of years. Seems like the program is getting serious about making this one of the most renowned programs around.

    That said, I think this year will be a little crazy. We might be the guinea pigs for the 3-semester format and the new direction of the program. Future students might find the program to be more settled and with better resources.

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