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Hi all, I'm going down to the last minute with my decision. I'm deciding between Berkeley's Masters of Journalism program and Rutgers-Camden's Creative Writing MFA. I'm ultimately interested in pursuing some type of career in journalism, with a preference for longform, reported stories and working at magazines, websites, other platforms that do that type of storytelling. So, both programs appeal to me. Ultimately, I think Berkeley Journalism would offer a more direct path into the journalism industry via the network of alums/profs/peers from Berkeley, the ability to build a solid portfolio of journalistic clips, a concrete skill set that would make me more employable, an internship program that's required, etc. But, it costs a lot of money and has minimal funding to offer, so I'd be looking at somewhere around $40k to $50k in debt by the time I completed the two-year program. And I'd be entering an industry that doesn't pay much, especially at the entry-level jobs I'd likely be working at for the first few years. Basically, I don't know if the debt is worth it, especially, since j-school is not the only way to break into the journalism world. Rutgers-Camden's MFA is fully-funded, so total tuition remission, healthcare provided, and a $26,000/yr TA stipend. In addition to journalism, I also write poetry and creative nonfiction, which would be my main focus at Rutgers. Their program is super flexible, so it's possible I could try to do the work of longform journalism along with pursuing poetry and some other interests of mine. They have awesome professors and it seems like a great program. It's just that an MFA doesn't really lead to an concrete professional paths, and the one it most often does lead to--academia and being a professor--is both an oversaturated market and a path I'm not that interested in. It would offer me the time to focus on my writing and seek out freelancing opportunities, to try to break into journalism that way. But, ultimately, I worry that an MFA won't really get me any closer to the type of journalism I want to pursue. Any thoughts from anyone? I'm still really on the fence. In particular, anyone who has some background in journalism, j-school, an MFA program, or creative writing. I gotta decide by tomorrow!!! Eeek!!!!
So I have been up all night trying to figure out where the hell I want to go. I feel a lot like this Iady. I figured I would apply to five schools and go where ever I got in. Jokes on me, I got into every single one except Columbia. While I realize this is NOT the worst problem to have, hear me out. The Lucky Four: Berkeley NYU - Reporting in NY Mizzou CUNY Now I really love Berkeley's program, and as a life long New Yorker, it might be great to get the hell out of dodge, but NY is where everything is happening! And then there is Mizzou.... which is in the middle of no where, but has a great program. CUNY is good too, but luckily I still have a lot of my undergrad savings as I had a scholarship, so I can splurge for name recognition. I think I'm leaning towards NYU or Berkeley but that still doesn't help me with my location problems. Thoughts? Has anyone had any similar issues, even with different schools?