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I have been tossing and turning the past few days over my decision and I am gonna throw it out to you all and see if I can generate some advice that will help me decide. I am going for my master's degree in mental health counseling with the intention of going on for my PhD.

Should I go with the expensive, well-known private university simply for the experience of going to "that school" and the connections I could make at that school and in that large city? This school would cost about twice as much (including living expenses, etc) although I was offered a scholarship that would cover about half of the tuition.

Or should I go with the state school, also a good research institution, with the smaller, more intimate program, CACREP accreditation, cheaper tuition and living expenses, and basically all the sensible pros that would flag me down and say "COME HERE"

My logical side says go with the state school. You can go with a big name for your PhD. But my loftier side says the private university has such name recognition that it would be worth it just for the networking opportunites and doors that might open because I went there. I am not saying that randomly...I have talked to a few alum of said school who have reported that they were offered experiences, jobs, and other opportunities that they don't think they would have gotten without that "name" on their CV. Plus, I get excited when I think of the "name" school - I just don't when I think of the state school.

Sorry if this was long and rambling but any advice would be appreciated. Sensibilities or gut feeling?

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I say you go with your gut on this one. Take the state school for your masters, and then the expensive one for your PhD. Especially since the state school has a good research program. Your gut is telling you state for a reason!!! Good luck to you!

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