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jamielee23

Decision Help?! (Indiana U vs Pitt)

9 posts in this topic

What a whirlwind of emotions.  I was very lucky to be accepted to multiple schools.  After visiting a few programs, I had 95% decided to attend Pitt.  I was very impressed with their program, especially the clinical experiences.  At Pitt, students do 5-6 offsite internships.  As someone who would LOVE experience at an acute care hospital, it seems that this type of placement would be very easy to procure.  Today, however, I received an offer of funding from Indiana University.  It would be an assistantship position -- working 12 hours a week -- and in return, I would receive 95% tuition reimbursement for my first year plus a stipend (I'd pay full tuition for my second year, about $30k out of state).  Whoa!  When I crunch the numbers, this means that IU now represents a $30000 savings over Pitt (over the course of 2 years).  This is obviously huge.  However, at IU, students are responsible for arranging their own externships, which only happen the last semester.  So if I wanted experience in acute care, this would be very difficult to set up, and definitely not guaranteed.  I e-mailed an undergrad professor (with years of med SLP experience) for advice, and he wrote back that "hands down," I should still go to Pitt.  This surprised me, since the "go with the cheapest option!" seems to really prevail in this field.  


Anyone have any advice?  Or in a similar predicament?  I'm garbage at making decisions in general, and while I am SO FORTUNATE to have such a wonderful decision to make, I have no idea what to do.

 

Thanks in advance :-)

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So you only get one externship in total and have to arrange it yourself? That would turn me off a lot. Personally I prefer have more variety of placements so I can actually learn in the real world from different people/settings. Also, in the worst case scenario you would have to delay graduation due to not being able to find a placement. I suggest you reach out to current students to learn about their experiences.

How much loans do you have to take out for each school? I would go with Pitt if it's not some insane number like 100k.

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15 minutes ago, zurako said:

So you only get one externship in total and have to arrange it yourself? That would turn me off a lot. Personally I prefer have more variety of placements so I can actually learn in the real world from different people/settings. Also, in the worst case scenario you would have to delay graduation due to not being able to find a placement. I suggest you reach out to current students to learn about their experiences.

How much loans do you have to take out for each school? I would go with Pitt if it's not some insane number like 100k.

At IU you get 2 externships, one school-based and one medical, but yes, you arrange it yourself.  For most of the time you work in the clinic, at the on-site preschool, or at a local aphasia/TBI/dementia support group.  There's also an option one semester to go to Indianapolis Public School District one day/week.  But overall, Pitt has a MUCH greater variety of placements.  

The total cost of tuition at IU would be around $30,000, while Pitt would be more like $60,000.  Not including cost of living, but both cities are relatively cheap.  With my assistantship at IU I'd also get a stipend which would probably be enough to cover rent for my first year though.  So basically, Pitt would grant me more experiences, but hurt my wallet a lot more.

Thank you so much for the input!!

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@jamielee23 Now that you put it like that IU doesn't sound so bad that I would immediately avoid. If you have to take out $60k loan + cost of living it would slow your life down after graduation in terms of saving/buying a house/etc. IU is obviously the better choice financially, just make sure that students there actually find placements instead of getting screwed over!

People always say go to the cheapest program possible but IF you are financially comfortable enough then you should go wherever you feel is a better fit which is probably Pitt :) 

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The price difference is certainly quite a gap; however, you know your financial position and interests best. The most helpful advice I was given while making my decision was to simplify the choices as much as I could, no pros and cons list, and just think about what I would regret. Which one would you regret more: taking out over $60k of loans, or missing the internship opportunities at Pitt? I know it's not the most thorough advice lol, but it helped me make a decision and feel good about it, so I hope it helps you a bit! Good luck on your decision! 

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16 hours ago, pbandj said:

The price difference is certainly quite a gap; however, you know your financial position and interests best. The most helpful advice I was given while making my decision was to simplify the choices as much as I could, no pros and cons list, and just think about what I would regret. Which one would you regret more: taking out over $60k of loans, or missing the internship opportunities at Pitt? I know it's not the most thorough advice lol, but it helped me make a decision and feel good about it, so I hope it helps you a bit! Good luck on your decision! 

I did the same thing!

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13 hours ago, kayyyyy_ said:

I did the same thing!

Haha that's so awesome! When I was first told that advice, I thought it was kinda ridiculous to make such a big decision that way. But it really helped me accept that I was already leaning a certain way and that I should just go for it! Just visited my future campus today and no regrets with my choice :D

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@zurako @pbandj  Just wanted to come back and say thank you to both of you for the advice --   it's so helpful to get unbiased opinions from people who don't know me!  this forum is great :-)

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