Making your list of schools
Here is what is happening:
- By now you have completed the workshop on Choosing the Right School.
- You went on “school speed dating” with people who talked about where they went to school and how they made their choices.
- You have learned more about “filtering the databases thanks to Rossa.
- You have read the relevant materials on the firstname.lastname@example.org
- You have perhaps read the 8 Habits the World’s Most Successful People Have in Common and if not you can spend some time reading it.
- You know that applying to a U.S. university is not a rocket science, and you just have to do it.
Here is what you also know:
- There is no ONE school that is right for you. There are many out there.
- Not everybody can, should or will go to Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
- You know that if you are a graduate student you MUST apply to at least one LPDP school.
- You also know the principle of “safe”, “match” and “reach” schools. Ideally you will want to have one or two of each of these categories in your list.
- There are no hard-set rules and you are the driver. You decide. We follow.
Let’s continue your research:
As we have probably said during the workshop, if you are applying for an undergraduate school, a number of factors are important – academic requirements, people you know, location, overall reputation, etc. Most of you are candidates for graduate programs, which makes YOUR process a bit different.
Here is what you need to consider:
- Your specific goals (academic, MBA, networking, Ph.D. specific knowledge in a discipline, any key words that come from your vision of what you want to do. For example, you want to study public policy. OK. Do you want to work for the UN, national economic policy – macro, micro, international policies, do you want more of a practical training or academic……)
- The strengths of the particular program (you may have chosen the University of South Carolina and you want to study public policy. Check and make sure the program of public policy is strong in the aspects that are important to you.
- The match between your goals, your program and the expertise of its faculty members. Make sure there is an alignment between your goals and the program you choose. Find a faculty who seems important, well-known, interesting, or in any way intriguing to you.
Consider all of these when you make your first list of places.