so i did a little recon. US News has a WA school in the top 10 best MPA programs in the country. University of Washington in Seattle has an MPA program ranked #9 by US News. For non-WA residents, the MPA costs ~$64,000. that would be a no go.
duke’s program ranks #16, but the deadline was jan 5, and the cost and competitiveness likely prohibitive.
i looked at Portland State University earlier this year, but see now it’s ranked #46 after UNC. nc state is ranked #53. the MPA@UNC virtual program, at $52K, is toooo d@mn expensive. i can dispense now with applying to UNC-Greensboro and NC Central.
other top programs outside of nc, well, the deadlines have all passed, and idk that i would have been accepted or could have afforded them anyway. so, i can reason now UNC is the best US option for me for pursuing an MPA.
i’ll poke around at some international options and then be able to put this puppy to bed and start planning this year.