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Teachers College, Columbia vs Penn GSE


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Hello everyone,


I would love some advice. I have been accepted as a Masters student in the International Educational Development programs at both Penn GSE and Teachers College, and I am really torn about which is the better choice. 

Penn GSE offered me a $10,000 scholarship, as well as a $3500 graduate assistantship, while TC - so far - has not offered me anything. They are both very expensive, at about $80,000 per year, and I am so freaked out by the amount of debt I will be in. Is it worth it?? I'm still waiting to see what they offer in their financial aid packages. Anyone know how graduates of TC and Penn GSE fare after graduation, i.e. do they get good jobs easily/soon after graduation?

Internationally, TC has a better reputation than Penn GSE and is more well-known, but do you think it's makes that much of a difference? In addition, Penn's IED program is pretty new, as it just started in 2008. However, they have a relationship with UNESCO and an internship requirement, which they help you secure. Whereas Columbia lets you figure it out yourself - does anyone know if they have relationships with organizations?


Current/prospective/past students and others - any advice? Thank you!

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I do know that reputation matters on the international level, sometimes quite a bit more than it does in the States.


I'm usually in favor of taking funding over not, but in your position and considering the great expense of either school with or without funding, my inclination is to pick the more established "name brand" program.


The UNESCO/internship piece is interesting, though--can you find out what Penn GSE alumni are doing now on an international level?


Perhaps if you post this in the Education subforum, you'll get more input.

Edited by midnight streetlight
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Hi midnight streetlight! Thanks for your response. I am trying to get in touch with current students and alumni at both schools to get a more personal sense of the programs. I think I will follow your advice and post this question in the Education sub forum :)

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What are you planning to do? Penn and Columbia both have excellent schools of education; TC is more of a "name brand" but their reputations are pretty close for those within education.  I'm pretty sure TC has some relationships with organizations; I go to Columbia and a lot of my friends are in TC, and most if not all of them have internships of some kind.  One of my friends turned her internship into a job when she graduated in June.


$80,000 per year?  That seems a bit high.  I know that the tuition and fees here is $40K, and your living expenses should be about $25K for the year.  So $65K - high, but not quite $80K.  Even with the funding, Penn should still cost you around $50K per year, or $100K over two years.  I don't know too many jobs in education that pay that much money, or an amount that makes that kind of debt easily repayable.

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Hi juilletmercredi,

I will be getting a MAsters in International Educational Development, and would like to work for an NGO.foundation or other non-profit that deals with community development in developing nations (especially in Africa). What programs are your TC friends in? I would definitely like to get an internship during the school year.


I say $80,000 because I am including their estimates for books, personal expenses, travel, and health insurance. I agree that even with the scholarship Penn gave me, I would still be forking out quite a bit. I hope to get in touch with current students, and get a better sense. Unfortunately I am out of the country, and won't be able to make it to their preview days :(

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