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First off, I understand that the MAPH is, at best, a controversial program. I'm not trying to get people riled up or to step on anyone's toes. I applied to the MAPH at UChicago, initially, because I didn't realize UChicago had a continuous MA-PhD program in their East Asian Languages & Civilizations (EALC). So I ended up applying to both. I was rejected soundly from the East Asian Languages & Civ. department at UChicago but offered partially (1/3) funding for the MAPH program. I was also admitted into the University of Washington's (UW) Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) Japan Studies program for a full MA. No mention of funding. Now, to be honest, I'm still waiting on Stanford to reply, but I know that I'm not top-pick priority stuff here. I love Chicago's program. The EALC was my top choice. I wasn't overly surprised to be rejected. Course-wise and academic-wise, Chicago fits my goals and ideas for my research. That all being said, I'm very intimidated by the prospect of living there (Chicago), and the cost of the MAPH is like 17,000 more than UW since I live in-state--even after the 18,000 tuition waver/grant/thingy! That all being said, I love Seattle, and the JSIS would fit me reasonably well and allow me to study abroad. No, the courses aren't as perfectly tailored to my goals, but I would be able to accomplish my goals without incurring so much debt (and live in a place I'm comfortable and happy in). As far as Asian Studies, UW is a fantastic school. It also might potentially allow me TA work, though that's not guaranteed. First question: What's your opinion? Second question: Would it be rude/stupid/impertinent/etc. to approach the head of Japan Studies at UW with the information that I've been offered $18,000 tuition waver at UChicago in the hopes that I might earn myself some help and that maybe they might throw a bone my way? If no, why not? If yes, what would be the most tactful way to do that?