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Ed Policy -- Vanderbilt Peabody or Duke Sanford


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Hi everyone! I have a few weeks before decision time, but I wanted to pick your brains about my top two choices. I want to work in education policy, and I applied to a mid of ed policy and MPP programs this cycle. My best options are Vanderbilt Peabody MPP and Duke Sanford MPP. Both will cost around the same price, so I'm not so much concerned about the financial component as I am the fit educationally and career-wise. Cost of living in Durham is significantly lower than in Nashville, so Duke technically wins out in the cost category, but Peabody offers pretty generous assistantships, so they could end up balancing out. 

The main difference that I can see is that Peabody is an education specific degree program whereas Duke is a general MPP but with incredible ed policy faculty and research centers. Peabody is an incredibly respected and ranked education college, but Duke's MPP program is a top 5 powerhouse as well. Has anyone else here had this dilemma with education policy? What should I do?? 

I'm currently leaning more toward Duke because I like the flexibility that a general MPP program would offer in terms of career outcomes in the event that the rona slump turns into a full blown 08 level recession. Plus it would provide a more thought-diverse cohort which could prove beneficial in terms of connections. Peabody is still really appealing because from what I've gathered, they encourage and facilitate full-time policy-related employment for their students, and that's a pretty big deal to me since I'm only one year out of undergrad. Duke has very solid experiential components but they aren't full-time paid experience.

TL;DR -- I need advice on picking between these two programs. Vandy is an education policy exclusive MPP that offers great work experience and Peabody is incredible and Duke is a general MPP with great ed policy faculty and a strong ranking and reputation. Cost is the same -- just need to know thoughts on which is best. Also reposting this from the education forum so I'm hoping to see what the gov. affairs folks think!

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