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Would I be crazy to turn down an Ivy?


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Everything was great. I got a full tuition scholarship to a great program, and was over the moon! Then, I got a notification that I was accepted to an Ivy League Masters program, with a 20% scholarship. It has a great reputation and is an Ivy League, and close to relevant archives, but I'm not sure if coming up with the other 80% (plus living expenses) would be doable or worth it. 

I usually advocate for not paying for grad school, but would I be crazy if I turned this down?

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12 minutes ago, Just in Case said:

I am confused as you mentioned that you were accepted to PHD programs in your profile... why not go to phd programs?

I think maybe the text marked in red are the programs that he has applied while the school names which are marked in green are the universities who have offered admission to him.

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16 minutes ago, zjppdozen said:

I think maybe the text marked in red are the programs that he has applied while the school names which are marked in green are the universities who have offered admission to him.

She*, her*. I know sexual dimorphism is really not as pronounced in humans than other animals, so it's best to use "they/them" unless you're absolutely sure of their gender. ;)

31 minutes ago, Just in Case said:

I am confused as you mentioned that you were accepted to PHD programs in your profile... why not go to phd programs?

I'm confused because I never said anywhere that I was accepted to a PhD program... The red in my signature indicates a rejection.

Edited by historygeek
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1 minute ago, historygeek said:

She*, her*

I'm confused because I never said anywhere that I was accepted to a PhD program... The red in my signature indicates a rejection.

then it must be a typo? you did write accepted in red, that's why I was confused.

If I were you, I would go to Columbia, which would enhance the chances of going to a good phd program (if that's your goal).

Once you are in, you can do TA or RA to make some money on campus.

 

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Just now, Just in Case said:

then it must be a typo? you did write accepted in red, that's why I was confused.

If I were you, I would go to Columbia, which would enhance the chances of going to a good phd program (if that's your goal).

Once you are in, you can do TA or RA to make some money on campus.

 

Thanks for pointing out the typo.

The scholarship I got for Columbia is only 20%, so I would have to cover 80% of tuition and living expenses in Paris. I received a full tuition scholarship from another school, which also has a very highly regarded program.

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I would go with the full tuition remission. While it still means something, ivy league isn't as impactful at the graduate level as it is at the undergraduate. Definitely not enough to justify the cost difference. If you have an acceptance for a solid program that gives you a full tuition remission, the savings in loans is going to probably benefit you more financially down the line than getting a masters from Columbia. 

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If the Ivy is Columbia or Penn, be careful. These schools run very lucrative Masters diploma mills knowing that tons of students will pay $50k-$100k because ... IVY!  

Now, I do not know if this is true in history, but this is true of my field at Columbia and Penn - engineering. Students shell out $50k-$100k for what most employers know is an extra year of undergrad (only classes, no research experience or meaningful interaction with faculty). If your parents are loaded, do it. 

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I do not think that your MA degree has to be at a fancy school--the funding is way more important. Consider that in humanities, an MA is not going to make you much more employable. So paying tens of thousands of dollars for a prestigious name is not a great idea--plus as someone has mentioned, some schools like Columbia do use their MA programs to fund the PhDs; it's an expensive racket to be avoided. In my own experience, I got full funding at a state school for my humanities MA--it was a great two years. I learned a lot, I met great people, and while school was stressful, I was seldom stressed about the money, because I had a tuition waiver and living stipend. In that program I got the experience I needed to get accepted into an Ivy PhD program. To sum up: Go to the program that gave you full funding. As long as it's got a pretty good reputation, it's a solid choice. And the fact that they are funding you tells you that they are willing to put resources towards their students, which is hard to find at the MA level. Good luck!

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Thanks, everyone! I decided to go with my fully-funded program for a few reasons: a) it's fully funded, b) it has enough time for me to explore my interests, c) more opportunity for language training, d) I wouldn't be thrown right into PhD applications again... I think I was caught up on the fact that it was an Ivy and in Paris/close to archives.

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