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Accepted with very minimal funding vs Holding out for waitlists


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Hi all,

I've been accepted to an MA (New Arts Journalism) at SAIC which is very exciting - I already have an MA but in contemporary art history, and this program seems really practical and interesting. I also am on the waitlist for 2 phd programs, 1 I really love (commcult at McMaster) and 1 I don't (comm cult at Ryerson). SAIC wants me to accept within two weeks, but I applied really late and so have very little funding, I'd be moving from Toronto to Chicago which is super exciting but expensive. It would be like $45k a year + living costs (CAD).

If I wait it out and decline SAIC, I have no idea what my odds are. Part of me thinks it's worth holding out for a phd program to just keep the ball rolling (I hope to be a professor) but the MA program could open more doors career wise, maybe in addition to teaching? But I could also do a phd after. I feel like 2 MAs and a Phd is ridiculous lol. 

Would you:

a) wait it out for the #1 pick / potentially take another year working with no admits
b) take SAIC and adventure! and debt... 

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I have never been in the position of being waitlisted for funding, but I would not pay $45k a year for a master's, especially if I already had one and wanted to be a professor. Also, I don't know how Toronto compares to Chicago, but Chicago is expensive. That is a big move for two years and over $100k and to still not be getting a phd. Would you be able to get a job that would allow you to pay off that debt easily and still have a good quality of life? What if you go for a phd after that and you are back to a limited budget but are also potentially paying off your MA loans? Ultimately it's about what experience you want to have, but I would also think about what kind of financial impact your choice is going to have in the long run.

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