By Karina Serrano, MPH’23 in Health Policy and Management (HPM)
Rollins was my first choice, but deciding between other amazing programs was difficult. I am originally from Texas, and the proximity of staying in the south was something I valued. Despite the location, I looked at other avenues to enhance the academic experience. For example, most programs combine health management and policy. However, Rollins had a designated policy track for the Health Policy & Management Department (HPM). Furthermore, I liked how I could take courses in other departments or Emory graduate schools without an additional cost.
The Rollins community was another factor that drew me to the program. Given the virtual experience, Rollins held various information sessions for prospective students during application season. As a result, I learned more about the HPM Department, financial aid, and gained insight into student and alumni’s perspectives. Everyone was excited to speak about their experience in the program and was willing to offer guidance when I was making my decision. This also played into how vast the Rollins network is. Upon acceptance, I received an email from their alumni network congratulating me! This was important to me because I wanted to know that there were alumni across the United States that I could connect with during my job search at any point in life.
Another important factor was the types of industries in the city where a program resided. Since I came to Rollins right after graduating from my undergraduate, I was undecided about my future career. An attractive feature about Rollins was the possibility of gaining experience in public health’s private and public sectors. In addition, I appreciated that Rollins was transparent with their job outcomes which can be found here! I enjoyed learning about the different fields students worked in, and the fellowships offered after graduating from the program.
Cost of Living
Ultimately, I chose Rollins because of the factors listed above and cost-of-living. I knew that I would live comfortably in Atlanta while focusing on school. In addition, rent was significantly cheaper compared to other locations, and flights back to Texas were less than $200!
As a current student, all the factors I listed have lived up to my expectations!