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HMcneil
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Hello all, 

I am in need of some advice. I was accepted into my top choice (Sociology), University at Albany, SUNY, which I was so happy about, but they offered me very little funding. Then I was accepted off the waitlist for Washington State University, with FULL FUNDING. But also only my third choice....very hard decision because I would feel very guilty turning down a free ride. But I also want to go to a institution that will open up more doors for me in the long run. 

I was hoping to gain some advice from you all. Which do you think matters more in the long run, a degree from a better ranking institution or a debt free degree????

I also want to mention that I have established a relationship with a potential adviser at SUNY, which could also benefit me as well.  

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It doesn't hurt to reach out to SUNY and request funding. I have discussed this a few times with people on this board, and many have had success calling up the admissions officers at schools and giving them some iteration of: "Your program is my top choice, but It would be really hard for me to attend without funding. How can we make this work?".

Of course every field is different, but from what I have heard from IR, Public Policy, Poli Sci and Anthropology Majors, this is something that can be done.

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Can you elaborate more on your reason for choosing SUNY-Albany over WSU? I know you say ranking, but really the two are not substantially different in terms of ranking imo. Certainly not enough to pass up the fully funded offer. If you have an established relationship I think it's definitely worth inquiring about more funding, but I would not consider going into debt for SUNY-Albany at all, especially when you have a fully funded offer from what I believe most in sociology consider to be a peer institution.

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I like the research centers and professors research interests at SUNY-Albany and their close relationship with the School of Criminal Justice. I also have been able to visit campus and liked it as well. I think reaching out to ask for more funding is a good idea though. 

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I would definitely reach out for more funding. But ultimately, what you need to ask yourself is if the extra expense of SUNY-Albany is worth it to you personally? None of us can really tell you that.

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