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Pacific Graduate School of Psychology

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Digitalbliss, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Digitalbliss

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    Hi,

    I applied to their PhD program as a backup and was accepted but am a little concerned about the reputation of the program. Does anyone know anything about the program, its reputation in the field, what students are doing after graduation, internship placements, etc.? Any information will be appreciated.

    Thank You.
     
  2. RayneeDeigh

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    I applied too but haven't heard anything. All I know is that it's the most expensive school I've heard of so far. Since I'm coming from Canada, I had to send in financial forms with my application and I had to prove that I had $42,000 and that's just for the first year. Since it's a private institution, they don't have much in the way of assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships.

    The program itself seems neat but I'm not really sure how anyone pays for it...

    as for the reputation, it's connected to Stanford in some weird way from what I remember so it's not too bad I don't think...
     
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  3. leftbrian

    leftbrian Junior Member
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    i applied there and was interviewed for their psyd program last year. after i got into another school, i was surprised i never heard back from pgsp because it was already late april. so i had to call them to find out i didn't get in, which didn't really matter at that point. but it's terrible that they didn't even have the courtesy to let you know about the result. it looked like a great program though if you don't care about the price tag.
     
  4. SFPsyd

    SFPsyd Psychologist
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    I think people should be aware of the difference between the PGSP Ph.D. program and the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. I did some consulting work for the Psy.D. program a couple of years ago, so I can speak more to that particular program.

    As far as Psy.D. programs go, it is bar-none one of the absolute best in the country. When I say that, I'm referring to the quality of training, not the price-tag, which is a separate issue. Again, I don't want this to turn into another argument about funded vs. non-funded programs, etc. I'll just say that in terms of the program itself, the PGSP-Stanford program is awesome, right up there with Rutgers, Baylor, etc. It's very course-heavy, which may turn some away; in fact, I think it has one of the highest # of credits needed to graduate of any program. In terms of clinical training, you have excellent access to many good practicum sites, including various Palo Alto VA sites. And if research is an interest of yours, there are a plethora of opportunities through Stanford to conduct research. In short, this is a top-notch program.

    PGSP also has a Ph.D. program, which is separate. As far as I know, this is also a solid program, but lacks many of the benefits associated with the Stanford program. It is, however, much easier to get into and is a good program.

    Hopefully that helps answer some questions!
     
  5. 73BARMYPgsp

    73BARMYPgsp Post Doc
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    Hi-

    I am in my 3rd year of the PhD program at PGSP. Since I cannot compare it to the University System, it may be difficult for me to comment. It seems like a good program, and there are a lot of opportunities to do great research around here. It is very expensive though.

    My supervisor in my 2nd year practicum and the one I have now are also PGSP grads. They are/were fantastic, knowledgeable and helpful. I know we have a good pass rate for licensure. Don't know if that helps,

    Scott.
     
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  6. CAB481

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    I've been accepted to the Psy.D. program and am seriously considering attending. I loved the location as well as the resources available at Stanford. My only reservation is that it is such a new program, and also, is still awaiting APA accredidation. Any advice?
     
  7. lfeiner

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    I too have recently been accepted into the PGSP-Stanford Consortium Psy.D. program. I am having a really tough time deciding between that program and the University of Denver. I am even losing sleep over the decision. I just dont want to regret whatever decision I do make. I would also appreciate any comments or suggestions.

    Thanks! :)
     
  8. CAB481

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    I wrote this in another posting but wanted to reach everyone concerned with PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. program. I just met with a professor in my current program who actually suggested it over a much more established program. He said the resources available from being associated with Stanford are amazing and that basically it's just a great place to live - although more expensive. he said accredidation doenst matter immediately but is important particularly when applying for internship so that is my main concern right now. Any word on it?
     
  9. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    Nevermind, I am an idiot
     
  10. lizzlybear

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    Hey all,
    I was accepted for the PhD program at PGSP and have decided to attend. I am interested in talking with other students who will be matriculating in fall 2007.

    I chose to attend because it is near my family and I think it is a good program. It is not a large university funded research machine but that is not the type of place I want to go to. Its' students secure APA internships and the school has an excellent licensure passing rate. I also like the program due to its small size and affiliations with the VA system and Stanford University.

    Its' major drawback is definitely the tuition, which I am still trying to figure out how to tackle...
    I am attending the open house this April 7th, anyone else? Anyone want to talk about local housing or other issues?
    elizbth
     
  11. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    How are you going to pay for it and what's the payback plan if this involves loans?
     
  12. RG11

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    I think I too will be attending PGSP in the fall. Where is everyone living? Palo Alto, San Fran? More to the point--where is the closest/least expensive place to live? RG
     
  13. RayneeDeigh

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    East Palo Alto is really cheap but it's kind of dangerous.
     
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  14. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    How about how you're going to pay back the 150K+ debt you get from attending this school?


    I can't believe anyone actually goes there.
     
  15. SFPsyd

    SFPsyd Psychologist
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    By building a practice and earning around 6 figures within a few years, as nearly every psychologist I know in the Bay Area does. With some aggressive marketing and hard work, I see no reason why psychologists can't earn a comfortable living. The salary surveys are skewed BIG-TIME by issues such as part-time practitioners, etc. The reality is much different.
     
  16. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Six figures in the bay area? Low six figures, I assume, unless you get into forensics. . .and you won't with a degree from a place like that. Assuming you can actually pull that off (making six figures, which about twice the average income for a psychologist) after getting an internship, a postdoc (going on economic hardship deferrment for your loans) and so on, that's still not a great situation. Here's some numbers. . .

    interest rate = 7.00% (federal is 6.8, you can't get 150 K in federal so I'm being generous on the rate)

    loan = $150,000
    length of loan = 20 years
    annual salary = $100,000.00 (unlikely, but let's assume you'll be one of the lucky ones)

    Monthly payment = $1,162.95
    total repaid = $279,107.62
    Interest paid = $129,107,62

    effective net income after taxes = $49,044.6

    In the bay area?


    Sounds stupid to me.
     
  17. RayneeDeigh

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    Actually, all the PGSP grads I've spoken to so far work in forensic settings since PGSP has a forensic concentration.

    But I agree that postdocs make it hard to justify loans, which is why I'm turning down my PGSP acceptance.
     
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  18. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    civil or criminal?
     
  19. RayneeDeigh

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    Both. Although I forgot about one woman who wasn't working in forensics, she was working at Kaiser.
     
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  20. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Money is definitely a factor for most people. Jon has a valid point, though I know people who work in CA (LA, SF, etc) and they clear $150k+, though the standard of living is still a killer. I wouldn't live in one of those cities without a combined income of at least $250k or so (if you have major loans)....but that is due mostly to crazy properties pricing.

    Money wasn't a huge factor for me (clinical will be the minority portion of my career), but it is definitely something to consider. The problem with projecting the cost of a loan is the large swing in total cost when you factor in pre-payment options (paying more per month that is applied to the principle). You can cut 3-5 years off of that 20 year loan (and a SIGNIFICANT amount of interest), if you pay down another $300-$500/mon. I didn't crunch the numbers with these figures, but i've done it in the past, and there can be a legitimate savings in interest payments. Depending on the real estate market where I settle, I'll be looking to front-load my payments the first few years out. The principle will always be the principle, but you can save yourself a bundle front-loading your payments (though that is easier said than done).

    -t
     
  21. lizzlybear

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    For the Clinical PhD:
    APPIC MATCH: 2000 - 2006
    N = 246
    Percent Matched = 61.4%
    Percent Not Matched = 25.2%
    Withdrawn applications = 13.4%
    http://www.appic.org/match/5_2_2_match_about_statistics.html


    Compared to other California doctoral programs:
    School : % matched, % not matched, % withdrew
    Alliant Fresno: 63.4% 25.0% 11.6%
    Argosy Richmond: 51.9% 31.5% 16.7%
    Azusa Pacific U. : 64.5% 25.8% 9.7%
    CIIS: 39.2% 32.9% 27.8%
    CA school of Proff. Psych Alameda: 56.7% 27.5% 15.8%
    CA Sof PP- Alhambra : 52.4% 33.5% 14.1%
    CA S of PP San Diego: 49.1% 30.6% 20.4%
    CA graduate institute: 33.3% 33.3% 33.3%
    Fielding Grad. Inst. : 48.3% 31.5% 20.2%
    Wright Inst: 53.5% 33.7% 12.8%
    USC : 94.6% 5.4% 0.0%
    UCSB: 86.4% 7.6% 6.1%
    and the list goes on..

    It seems like it does a little better than average than other proffessional schools.
    Yarr, what to do.
     
  22. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    61.4%....yikes.

    2007 Match Statistics: 75%.

    I know there is a lot more than match statistics, but I'd be careful. CA is unique in that quite a few people who attend schools there, don't plan on leaving, and they don't care about going to an APA approved internship site. I think it is short-sighted, but some just want to hang a shingle and do their thing. I think you can still get a good education there, but make sure to go in with your eyes open.

    -t
     
  23. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    With regards to internship, it's not just about matching but where .


    Also, even if those schools had 100% match rates, it wouldn't change anything.
     
  24. CAB481

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    FYI - the Psy.D. program just announced they're accredited for 5 years
     
  25. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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    Hello to all! I also accepted my offer to the Ph.d Program at PGSP for fall 2007. I am interested in talking with others who have accepted this year (lizzlybear) I am starting to get even more uneasy abou the cost (although i was always uneasy abou that before) I am also interested in input regrading the Ph.D Program at PGSP and how it differs from the Psy.D Program (besides the obvious). Seems like the Psy.D is more reputable than the Ph.D? I am going out in june to vist and look for an apartment......can anyone help or recommend?
     
  26. RG11

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    I am on the fence about accepting. I love the program, but it Id end up owing about 1000 a month for like 25 years if I take out loans. The cost is such a downside...To anybody who is attending--how do you plan on affording it? This is no criticism, Im genuinely interested in how youve justified the cost because Id like to, RG
     
  27. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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    I dont know....I just dont know....thats all i can say. Im worried myself. However, I think we can be somewhat comforted by the fact that that it is not difficult to get obtain a well payed position as a psychologist in California. Flawed or simply a desperate rationlization? please comment.......ha
     
  28. RayneeDeigh

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    It actually IS getting a lot harder, especially in California where you're competing with all the other people there. On the PGSP website they mention that in order to get internships, your best bet is to apply outside of California.

    I wanted to accept my offer there because the training is the kind that I want... but they a) lost my acceptance letter twice, b) don't return their emails, and c) haven't managed to send me information about whether or not I got a fellowship. And without a fellowship, well the cost is just TOO much. Especially considering that PGSP doesn't even have a cafeteria. You'd think with all that money they could make things a bit more convenient.

    I'm really disappointed because I wanted to go there. It's really a personal choice, but I just couldn't handle paying that much money to a school that doesn't really seem to have its act together administrative-wise.
     
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  29. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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    You are right about that, they do not return emails and have not informed me of fellowhip status, however, my interactions with them by phone have been extremely pleasant and helpful. Anyways, my choices are limited at this point and this is my 3rd time through this merry go round, so I think I will choose a rediculously expensive program with great clinical and researcch opportunties and a solid reputation. Seems like the lesser of the 3 evils I have to chose from at this point (all the other programs will drive me into debt as well). Anyway, would like to know more about program rep and from others excepting for fall 2007.....?
     
  30. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Erg,

    Have you considered a different career? . . . or even a different career path towards the same goal? It doesn't have to be doctorate in clin. psych.
     
  31. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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    yes i have......and im being somewhat overdramatic too. I am comfortable with my decision, just venting concerns..no worries
     
  32. lizzlybear

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    Heya erg,
    I'm also not sure if I'm going to attend afterall. I got an email saying I was accepted into a program I didn't think I would get into, but I have yet to receive the acceptance letter in the mail so i'm fretting thinking the email was a mistake..

    I was/am concerned about the tuition of PGSP. Here is how I was planning on paying for it: first off I will have about 30,000 dollars saved up already in the bank from working for a few years, secondly I was planning on getting a job wihle I was in the program (since I think during the first year you only meet at school two days a week and have no clinical practica or research until the second year), I have also been applying for many scholarships that I get off of fastweb.com in addition to the fellowships I applied for at PGSP, I also was planning on trying to go into an apartment deal with a fellow student to cheapen living costs (PA is very expensive), and yes I was/am going to take out student loans but hope that with all of the above I would be able to pay it off much earlier than normal. I was also going to get a little bit of help from my mom maybe, but not sure about that.
    I think that while in the program you can hold down a job since it is not a major university program where you are basically there everyday all day long. Of course it will be grueling to feel like you don't get a break, but it would only be for a few years. Also, I think that the dissertation tuition is less than the normal tuition and also when doing the internship you get paid a little bit (if it's APA approved). So the cost for those last two years will be alot less, and depending where you do your internship the cost of living is likely to be less than palo alto as well.
    Despite all this slandering talk about PGSP from some people, it is a pretty good program, what's unfortunate is that it is grouped in the proffessional schools programs. It has official affiliations with the VA system and Stanford, and the california VA system is excellent! The faculty are very accomplished.
    The school is a little weird itself, its' like a weird hybrid of a residential house turned into an office building but used as a school or something. But who really cares about that anyways!
    I've visited the school and grown up in the bay area my whole life so feel free to private message me to ask me about whatever!
    -e
     
  33. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    FYI, at non-professional school programs, you actually get to keep the meager salary you get on internship instead of paying the school for doing nothing. Think about it, they want tuition for a year where you are working for another organization full-time, not attending classes, and not interacting with PGSP faculty. Where do they get off charging for that? Can you say scam? I know you can.
     
  34. Ollie123

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    Did I read that right? I thought they were referring to the 4th(ish) year when you were doing your final project that you have reduced tuition, do they actually charge you for going on internship? That seems insane and completely unethical to me....
     
  35. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Yeah, you read that right and I agree.
     
  36. lizzlybear

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    Hi Jon,
    It is not a scam if it is an approved program which grants you the degree you are working for. Private institutions need to stay afloat through student tuitions since they aren't relying on governmental funding. The tuition is reduced during internship year as well, so you are not giving your full earnings back to the school.
    In the end, as long as you have your degree it doesn't really matter where you go to school.
    I am surprised that you are so inflammatory, is this how you treat your patients when they have a different opinion than you? I understand the dislike of proffessional schools and the only two proffessional schools I was considering at all were PGSP and The Wright Institute, because I believe these programs really are very good, despite the financial considerations involved. Some proffessional institutions are good and worthy of APA accreditation, even if the majority are not.
    Which university are you a faculty at?
     
  37. Ollie123

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    I'm pretty open to professional schools when they have high standards (which unfortunately, it seems like many do not), but I still have to call into question the concept of charging someone tuition to go on internship. The idea of tuition is that you are paying the school money to cover what they have to spend training you. If you are on internship their cost of training you is zero. Do all professional schools do that?

    I'm a fairly open-minded person with regards to training, but that actually strikes me as bordering on something that should be reported to the Better Business Bureau. Its the equivalent of an undergrad institution expecting you to pay tuition if you take a year off to work, taking no classes, and having no contact with them. You should pay them for services rendered, even if it lets them turn a profit. Once they aren't doing anything more for you though, you shouldn't have to continue paying them (loans aside, obviously). That borders on criminal in my eyes.

    Edit: Even better example - med schools (even private ones) do not charge you for another 3-6 years when you are on your residency. Apparently this is unique to the psych field.
     
  38. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Not a professional school ;)

    I consider it a scam when you charge for services you don't provide. Charging for externship and internship is unethical. There are no university resources involved in those activities. Why should someone pay the university thousands of dollars to engage in them? If it were me, that would chafe. These are businesses, not universities. That is why they charge as they do. . . because they can. . . and it's pure profit. They don't even have to provide a service and people pay it. What business wouldn't like that? There's no overhead. There's no expertise required. There are no expenses. Just, "pay me." Beautiful arrangement they have there. These businesses basically are profiting from loan monies. They understand that hardly anyone is paying them out of pocket. The only reason they are able to exist and charge what they do is because of banks. People don't add it up before they go and don't really understand the finances involved. They get loans and just throw it at these programs, who greedily lap it up all up, mortgaging their customers' futures.
    Oh, come on. Wtf. . . I mean, really. I don't consider the "scam" description inflammatory. . . only accurate. These programs are a ploy to raise money. What else is it when you con someone into paying for services you don't provide?
     
  39. RayneeDeigh

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    When I was considering them, I took a look at the accounting info they have on their site. They paid off their line of credit a while ago and their tuition is still going up. They're making a HUGE amount of money considering they don't provide much (if any) support for students.
     
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  40. lizzlybear

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    I believe that it is standard to pay fees for internship if the program is not funded and that hte school is in contact with you and monitors your internship somewhat while you are away, so you still do have a contractual relation to the school during that period.
     
  41. RayneeDeigh

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    I could see still paying student fees of a few hundred dollars, just for maintaining contact with the school.

    But paying tuition when you aren't taking classes? And it's pretty substantial too, about $10,000

    I'm pretty sure it isn't standard, as most professional schools charge by credit hour. They can't really charge "credit hours" if you aren't taking any "credits" during internship.
     
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  42. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    I know of at least three other businesses that do this. I know of none that do not. It appears to be a standard part of the professional training business scam model. I know one business, for example, that charged about $8,000 for the internship year. You do understand these businesses are about making as much money as they possibly can, like any business. They are going to charge as much as they can get away with charging, regardless of their operational costs or the effect on the consumer. They don't care if your career is profitable later. They only care about taking as much of that future income for themselves as they can. That's what it's about.
     
  43. Ollie123

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    I'd want to see evidence of what they mean by "monitoring" given that APA watches those sites like a hawk itself.

    The students I know who went on internship only remained in contact with their advisors, and that was just to work on getting papers submitted (something the advisors generally want to do as much or more than the students themselves, so that hardly justifies charging tuition;) )

    I've never heard of schools "monitoring" accredited internship sites itself before this (med schools sure as heck do not). That just reeks of a token statement to justify charging you money for nothing else and given the demand for graduate schools it makes me wonder if a school that would do that has any interest in actually producing good scientists/clinicians, or is solely in it for the money.

    Not trying to be a jerk about this, if you are willing to deal with things like this, please understand I have no problem with the STUDENTS at these schools. I just have concerns about it cheapening the degree if these schools aren't actually motivated to produce quality graduates, and are rather focused on bringing in lots of people so they can charge them money and turn a profit. If they have the gall to charge people for going on internship, in my eyes at least, that speaks volumes about where their priorities are.
     
  44. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Oh, they have the gall. . .

    Just think, in four years or so, you get your internship after years of huge tuition payments. You make $18,000 for the year and you have to give half of it to the program (who is doing nothing). That means, you'll likely have to take loans out for internship, too. Nice.
     
  45. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    OOOOOOOOOOKAY.....time to get this back on topic.


    -t
     
  46. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    I thought we were.

    you know. . . reputation = scam

    what the students are doing after graduation = paying back debt
     
  47. DSMMad

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    Hi everyone. I am new to the boards but I have been lurking for awhile. I hope you don't mind my input for those deciding on PGSP. I live close to the school and have done my undergrad in counseling psych close by so I wanted to tell you what I have learned after researching PGSP over the last year. I am not trying to sway anyone one way or the other, just giving you what I learned:
    1. One of my professors earned her PhD at PGSP and says it is an amazing program
    2. Another PhD level Psychologist I know said that in the early years, PGSP had its problems but now has achieved status as an extremely excellent school.
    3. PGSP has professors that are known all over the United States (many that are from Stanford.)
    4. PGSP is currently looking into the buying a new building that can house the clinic and school.
    5. I asked what the student loan default rate was and was told that it was almost zero, meaning former students are managing their debt.
    6. I was told that entry level psych's make about 75k starting out after leaving PGSP. (This is not a horrible salary for someone beginning--even in the bay area.)
    7. The Bay Area is the best place to live although it is expensive: unfortunatley, you get what you pay for.
    8. I have friends from the midwest who are begging to get into internships at the VA hospital in Palo Alto which is very connected faculty wise to PGSP.
    There were a lot of cons out there mentioned on the board that I appreciated as well. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, housing prices are crazy here. Yes, paying for an internship seems wild. (I wondered about that, thanks, Jon.)

    To those of you who were accepted into the PsyD program, congratulations--that is hard to do and you will go far with that degree. If you are younger, I would jump headfirst into a program like that. Loan repayment is flexible and you can defer it if you hit hard times down the road. You have to look at it as an investment like Jon did in his post. If your goal is to be a stay-at-home mom or work part-time in the future, it may not be the school for you. If you want to dive head first into a career and make that your life, it may be an investment you want to make. There are so many variables that it is hard to say what program is right for who. If you want to stay in CA after graduation, you won't have a hard time paying off your loans. I think it depends where you want to end up. If you choose to live somewhere where the payscale is lower, it may be tougher for you. It all depends on how hard you want to work and what your choices of schools are.

    Nice reading all of your posts.
     
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  48. DSMMad

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    How does one go about interpreting match statistics? Is it percentage accepted/percentage that were not accepted/percentage that withdrew or declined?
     
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  49. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    You look at it compared to the national average, which I believe was 74.9% for the 2000-2006 study, and 75% for 2007. As a rule of thumb, I suggest that you should go somewhere that has AT LEAST the national average, of course sometimes that isn't possible. I'd think think most decent programs should be able to place 80%+.

    -t
     
  50. DSMMad

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    Thanks for the information.
     
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