Friday, February 29, 2008

Coming Into Focus

Last night I had an informational interview at Simmons with one of the Admissions staff. It was a really great experience, with no pressure, and a lot of honesty. Coincidentally, we had both done the same M.Ed. program--she finished the semester before I started--and we swapped some stories about our favorite faculty and advisors.

We also chatted a little more about the GMAT, and I was comforted to learn that the Admissions Committee (a faculty service group) actually feels that it's not a good predictor of academic or professional success. In fact, one professor declared that she would like to take it off of the Admissions requirement list. This isn't likely, since it seems to be a criteria for accreditation, but it's good to know that at this school you are evaluated as an individual and not just by numbers.

We went over the options for scholarships, and I'd have to have my application folder in by May 1st to qualify for scholarship consideration. It's a telling attribute of the school that scholarships are merit, rather than needs based.

One thing that the Admissions woman mentioned was that a Marketing faculty member had actually happened upon my blog and read my posts about weighing the decision on whether to pursue the MBA or not. I found that to be pretty amusing (Hello to any Simmons staffers that may be reading this!), particularly since one of the women I met at the info session last week had popped by and left a comment on here.

I guess I could say what's holding me back is approval from Nate and perhaps his folks, and the funding issue. There are no full-ride scholarships for part-time students; the top award is something like $15,000, and the average is about $7,000. I know my employer will kick in $2500/yr for tuition reimbursement, so if the total cost is about $40,000, and I get the "average" amount of scholarships, I'd still be paying $26,000. That's a lot of money, especially when I'm still paying for my undergraduate degree. It's a very big roadblock for me, and I will just have to figure out how to work it out.

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