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Thread: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020 Cycle

  1. #1
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    Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020 Cycle

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    Type of Undergrad: BA Economics , BS Math from Top 30 Econ school in US
    Undergrad GPA: >3.90
    Grad GPA : N/A
    GRE: 165V/169Q/ AWA 5


    Math Courses:
    Undergrad:
    Calc 1/2/3 (all A), Probability Theory (A), Mathematical/ Applied Statistics (both A), Matrix and Linear Algebra (A) , Differential Eq. (A), Partial Diff. Eq. (A) , Stochastic Processes (A), Number Theory (A), Real Analysis (B+)
    Graduate: Mathematical Statistics I (A), Complex Analysis I (A)

    Econ Courses:
    Undergrad: Principles of Micro/Macro (both A) , Intermediate Micro/Macro (both A), IO (A), Econometrics (A), Development Econ. (A), Public Econ (A)
    Graduate: Econometrics I (A)

    Research Experience: 2 year full-time RA at a Fed. Part time RA at Public Policy lab in undergrad for 2 years and part-time RA for Econ professor in undergrad for 1 year.

    LORs : 2 Fed Economists and 1 from Professor who I RA'd for

    Questions:
    1. Which schools to aim for? (Are top 10/15 too high?)
    2. Weakness in application?
    3. How damaging is the Real Analysis grade?

  2. #2
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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020 Cycle

    Two important remaining unknowns are (1) the strength of undergrad reputation at your school, as this varies a bit around the econ top 30 range, and of course (2) the strength of your LORs. On average, your profile probably gets into a 10-15 or 15-20 program. Fed is pretty consistent placing in this range. Adjust this slightly up or down if your UG institution and/or letters are above/below average. I doubt your real analysis grade will have much impact, given the rest of your grades.

    Top 10 is certainly possible, again I'd probably say that having above average (1) and (2) will really help here.

    I would roughly recommend applying a lot in the 10-20 range, a couple/few in the 20-30 range that match your research interests mostly as safeties, and a couple/few in the top 10 also prioritizing match quality. I would apply to lots of top 10 (along with the same 10-20 and 20-30 apps) if your inside info about (1) and (2) is strong, or even if it's roughly average but you're somewhat risk seeking and willing to take the financial gamble.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020 Cycle

    Thank you for that advice and yeah I apologies for not clarifying a bit more.

    I believe that my undergrad has a good/above average reputation and has historically placed people well overall.
    The professor from my undergrad is very well renowned in his field. Having known me a while,I believe the letter would be strong/above average, as would be from one of the Fed economists too, while the last may be somewhat around average. On a whole I think 1) and 2) would be above average then?

    I will aim to apply in the ranges you have suggested. I am not fixed on the number of applications till now but the overall variance in acceptances just make it tough!. Hopefully something should work out though

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Fall 2020 Cycle

    Your undergrad professor letter writer being well known is an important boost (see the recent thread on Top 10 admissions). Yeah, if you're at one of the stronger (in terms of undergrad) top 30 programs and have letters you anticipate will be strong - including one from a well-known prof - this all bodes pretty well. So I'd adjust slightly to the stronger end of what I said above. As in, you would probably expect a 10-15 admit, decent chance of getting a top 10 if you apply to many of them. I hesitate to get anyone's hopes up, though. If your financial constraints allow it, I think it's always useful to approach things safely.

    Personally, I'd probably apply widely across the top 15, a few in 15-25, maybe even one or two in 25-30 as strong safeties. But my risk aversion may be relatively high.

    Anyway, you should absolutely supplement info you get here with asking your writers directly what they think. And know that at the end of the day, there will always be noise in the process and you can never be too sure.

    Good luck!!

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