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7th-Jun-2013 10:35 pm
faith shock
How have you/would you address the need for funding for an MLS in an SOP?

I work in a place now that I thought would provide more institutional support, if not funding/opportunities to find funding, than it has. I've also been taking a non-matriculated class in library science at CUNY-Queens College taught by someone a million years old who spent the entire semester bitching about the internet. Queens COllege also recently lost its accreditation. These things have sort of made me disillusioned with pursuing a graduate degree, but I'm wondering if I should push past that.

I'm looking at UAlbany's MSIS program and, while I know funding at a master's level, especially for a master's in library science, is severely limited...I know I absolutely would not be able to pursue the degree without significant support.

I work now in an archive/research institution dealing with a Latin@ diaspora. I plan to continue work in this direction and believe there's a severe lack of Latin@/Spanish-speaking librarians. People have told me to write about this in an SOP as that would be a good push towards getting funding. I am wondering how does one address the need for tuition funding as a determining factor in an SOP?

Thanks, and sorry if this was ramble-y!
Comments 
8th-Jun-2013 03:19 am (UTC)
You don't. The SoP is like a cover letter for grad programs, of sorts. Just like you wouldn't write your salary demands in a cover letter for a job unless specifically asked to do so, you also wouldn't write your tuition demands in the cover letter to get into the program. The point is to present yourself as a candidate for admission. I would definitely address that there are few Latino librarians and that you want to work on issues facing Latino and Spanish-speaking populations, though - it could lead to funding especially if the school has a pool for diverse candidates.

Perhaps if there is a place for supplemental writing - like an extra essay - you could write a very short one about how you will be unable to pursue the degree without siginificant financial aid. I'll warn you, though, that most people say that about professional degrees. Nobody wants to borrow tens or hundreds of thousands if they don't have to.
8th-Jun-2013 03:25 pm (UTC)
I would ask questions informally about whether tuition funding is available and how much (current students/alumni, program administrators, maybe faculty if you speak to any before applying), but not address it in your formal materials like the SOP. Use those to make them want you, and when they do, then let them know that funding is a determining factor.
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