erikw

10+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2008
21
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
So on April 15th I committed to Harvard, but for some strange reason asked Hopkins for an extension till May 2nd which they granted me.

Yesterday, Hopkins offered me 17 grand for my first year, in addition to the 25k that 2nd years are eligible for.This scholarship money coupled with my anticipated earnings from the one year mandatory internship requirement makes JHU almost 50-55k cheaper than Harvard which is offering me no money.

However, Harvard is much stronger for what I want to study- Health Economics/Policy. The breadth of courses that you can take at other Harvard schools is unparalleled. I also like Boston very much and think that I would enjoy the 2 year experience at Harvard much more than the rushed 11 month stint at Hopkins.

However, Hopkins as a program that is very tailored to my interests:MHS in Intl Health Systems. I am also a big fan of the 9 month internship requirement. However, I am afraid that the 11 month intense study period during the 1st year is not going to let me enjoy the experience as much. I am also concerned that I might not be able to make firm contacts with profs during my short stay at Hopkins. I also know that I will hate Baltimore.

Money however is quite an issue and I am not sure what to do. Should I ask Harvard to release me and go with Hopkins or should I maintain the status quo?

Any comments would be appreciated
 

Cster0905

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2008
244
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So on April 15th I committed to Harvard, but for some strange reason asked Hopkins for an extension till May 2nd which they granted me.

Yesterday, Hopkins offered me 17 grand for my first year, in addition to the 25k that 2nd years are eligible for.This scholarship money coupled with my anticipated earnings from the one year mandatory internship requirement makes JHU almost 50-55k cheaper than Harvard which is offering me no money.

However, Harvard is much stronger for what I want to study- Health Economics/Policy. The breadth of courses that you can take at other Harvard schools is unparalleled. I also like Boston very much and think that I would enjoy the 2 year experience at Harvard much more than the rushed 11 month stint at Hopkins.

However, Hopkins as a program that is very tailored to my interests:MHS in Intl Health Systems. I am also a big fan of the 9 month internship requirement. However, I am afraid that the 11 month intense study period during the 1st year is not going to let me enjoy the experience as much. I am also concerned that I might not be able to make firm contacts with profs during my short stay at Hopkins. I also know that I will hate Baltimore.

Money however is quite an issue and I am not sure what to do. Should I ask Harvard to release me and go with Hopkins or should I maintain the status quo?

Any comments would be appreciated
If money is a very real issue, I think Hopkins is the obvious choice.

Despite the 11-month program, you'll still be in touch with Hopkins throughout your second year. I think you may be underestimating how much face-time you'll get a Hopkins that'll allow for the development of meaningful connections.

Also, is your interest in international health systems vs health policy/econ equal? Will you be happy doing either? If so, Hopkins seems to be the better choice. If not, maybe that interest in the program will outweigh the high costs at Harvard.

I don't really think you can go wrong with Hopkins, despite the perceived difference of strengths in their programs. You just have to realistically weigh the pros against the cons and see if the risks (esp the financial ones) are worth it.
 

Generals

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2008
101
1
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Money however is quite an issue and I am not sure what to do. Should I ask Harvard to release me and go with Hopkins or should I maintain the status quo?

Any comments would be appreciated
I would strongly encourage you to go with your gut on this. It sounds to me like you really like Harvard better and are mainly considering Hopkins for the money - only you know what you can afford, but if you think you can swing it, go for Harvard! It sounds trite, but I also made a list of pros and cons. I thought I had a pretty good argument for either school, but when I made the list, I realized that the only real reason I was considering Harvard was the prestige factor. (Not to say that that is why YOU are considering Harvard!) Also, as Cster mentioned, it sounds like you have two different interests - health econ and international health. If you can figure out which one of those is better for you, then go for that one. Best of luck - I empathize with your position! (Don't you hate it how everyone says "What a great decision to have to make!"? It is very stressful and difficult!!)
 
OP
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erikw

10+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2008
21
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
I would strongly encourage you to go with your gut on this. It sounds to me like you really like Harvard better and are mainly considering Hopkins for the money - only you know what you can afford, but if you think you can swing it, go for Harvard! It sounds trite, but I also made a list of pros and cons. I thought I had a pretty good argument for either school, but when I made the list, I realized that the only real reason I was considering Harvard was the prestige factor. (Not to say that that is why YOU are considering Harvard!) Also, as Cster mentioned, it sounds like you have two different interests - health econ and international health. If you can figure out which one of those is better for you, then go for that one. Best of luck - I empathize with your position! (Don't you hate it how everyone says "What a great decision to have to make!"? It is very stressful and difficult!!)
I spent last summer at HSPH and really enjoyed my time there. Furthermore, some of the personal reasons that you alluded to in one of your previous posts, General,that made you pick Hopkins apply to the Harvard scenario for me. I am coming straight out of my undergrad and some of my friends will be moving with me to Boston. But that's not that big of an issue.

The thing that worries me most, is if I decide I don't like the program as much, I am pretty much stuck at Hopkins. Harvard offers more flexibility. I'd be essentially intl health/policy/management at Harvard as well.I've gotten into Population and Intl Health and would have taken most of my electives with HPM/HBS/KSG.Also,Hopkins is really not known for its policy/systems/finance stuff. Someone at JHSPH admitted as much.

Moreover, I want to work in the private sector after I graduate and have heard that companies like McKinsey/BCG/Bain are a bastion of ivy elitism. Not sure if attending JHU would disadvantage me in the application process.I want to work in the NYC/Boston area more so than the DC area and am not sure if going to JHU would impede my networking opportunities in the New england corridor.

Some of my friends are urging me to place a premium on personal happiness and take the risk of taking out 100k in loans for Harvard while others are urging me to consider finances and the possibility that I might be equally as happy at Hopkins.

Harvard may or may not be worth the 100k investment. The Hopkins experience may or may not be more fun than the Harvard one.

God this is difficult.

Thanks guys for the responses.