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apples or Oranges?


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I was recently accepted to the Teacher's College Columbia (Art and Art Education) and Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (Art Ed and Nonprofit Management). VCU offered me a graduate research assistantship with a tuition waiver and a hefty stipend. TC forked over about a 50% aid package. How much should I factor in reputation? TC is top five for education while VCU is ranked #35. I mean it's hard to turn down a free education but will the payoff be better in the end from a well respected program? There's a huge difference between the two schools. New York, NY and Richmond, VA are on two different planets. I feel like a bigger city would offer more opportunities for research, projects, networking and job placement but at a high cost. Richmond is my hometown and I already have awesome connections and opportunities for post-grad work. Thanks for any input, I need something to tip the scales!

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Prestige and reputation goes a very long way. What is your long-term career plan? I suggest reading Burris, V. 2004. "The Academic Caste System: Prestige Hierarchies in PhD Exhange Networks" American Sociological Review 69:239-264

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