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Should I accept a partially funded MA offer (UofT, Canada)?


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Hi everyone,

With two weeks left until the decision deadline, I'm having trouble making up my mind about grad school. I have received an offer for the Economics MA at the University of Toronto, with partial funding in the form of guaranteed TA hours, however in light of the current pandemic (and my personal finances) I am afraid to make the wrong decision. 

My background: Econ and Math specialist from UofT, 3.47 GPA, followed by two years of work experience in Big 4 consulting overseas, then half a year without a job, freelancing for personal reasons. The master's program was supposed to be a fresh start to make up for the huge gap in my resume and potentially break into the Canadian job market. However, now that the pandemic has changed everything, I am afraid that if I decide to attend, I will end up with a lot of debt with job prospects that are no better than my current ones. Accepting would likely leave me with approx 10,000 CAD worth of debt. On the other hand, if I don't accept, I'm worried that I will lose my last chance at a master's degree (references were tough to come by), plus the 2021-2022 year will be even tougher in terms of admissions and funding.

The big question: what would you do if you were in my shoes? What is the best decision in the current economic climate?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I heard it is very easy to apply to scholarships and awards in Canada, keep that in mind.
If you can handle the debt, I highly encourage you to go there. Plus, you should know that you can work anywhere you like in Canad ( In case you're international), so if you can handle masters and work, I encourage you to work and study in Canada, then you wouldn't worry about the debt.
 

Edited by Mariam Khanfar
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On 3/30/2020 at 11:05 AM, flatwhiteplease said:

Hi everyone,

With two weeks left until the decision deadline, I'm having trouble making up my mind about grad school. I have received an offer for the Economics MA at the University of Toronto, with partial funding in the form of guaranteed TA hours, however in light of the current pandemic (and my personal finances) I am afraid to make the wrong decision. 

My background: Econ and Math specialist from UofT, 3.47 GPA, followed by two years of work experience in Big 4 consulting overseas, then half a year without a job, freelancing for personal reasons. The master's program was supposed to be a fresh start to make up for the huge gap in my resume and potentially break into the Canadian job market. However, now that the pandemic has changed everything, I am afraid that if I decide to attend, I will end up with a lot of debt with job prospects that are no better than my current ones. Accepting would likely leave me with approx 10,000 CAD worth of debt. On the other hand, if I don't accept, I'm worried that I will lose my last chance at a master's degree (references were tough to come by), plus the 2021-2022 year will be even tougher in terms of admissions and funding.

The big question: what would you do if you were in my shoes? What is the best decision in the current economic climate?

Congratulations on your acceptance and TAship!

On the grand scheme of things $10,000 of debt is not much at all, I'm sitting at $25,000 of debt about to add another $26,000 on top (masters starting Fall 2020):(No matter the job market in the near future, a Masters will certainly make you more marketable in the long-term. Compiling necessary documentation to apply for a graduate program is definitely a lot of work and not something I'd personally want to do again (asking for references/writing statements of interests, etc.). If I were in your shoes I would go for the degree, heck your financial position is better than mine right now and I'm still choosing to accept a program for this fall 😄

 

Edited by SmallBean
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