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Fordham vs Columbia - International Development


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Hello all!
I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer interested in continuing a career in development. I have narrowed down my grad school choices to: Columbia vs. Fordham. Let me explain why.
I basically fell in love with SIPA's MPA in Development Practice as I was serving in West Africa. I also understand the value of the Columbia name and network, BUT Fordham has offered me a full ride, plus an amazing living stipend, plus a one year internship in the UN, plus a fellowship to go abroad in the summer, plus a fellowship that most likely leads into a job with CRS as soon as I graduate. I think you will all agree that this is an amazing offer that I have to consider. 
Any advice/suggestion would really be appreciated. 
Thank you! 
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Because you asked for an opinion, I'll just go ahead and reply - the Fordham offer sounds fantastic! I understand Columbia is prestigious but realistically, Fordham really seems to offer you so many more and not just academic-wise - there's plenty of room for both professional and personal development with the 1 year internship in UN AND summer abroad. PLUS there's the potential for a job security after? My humble opinion is to go for this one, unless you strongly, strongly feel that rejecting Columbia will haunt you forever.

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Follow the money.  What you do in grad school can often be more important than where you go, and with Fordham you will have zero debt plus an internship with the UN and a fellowship that could lead to a job.  I think you would be crazy to turn that down.

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I agree with what has been said above. I wrote this in your other thread on the subject, but will quote it here too (in case anyone else reading this is debating a similar decision):


That sounds amazing... the opportunities at the UN and abroad, as well as the likely job at the end of the program make Fordham the clear winner here, hands down. Yes, Columbia has better name recognition, but name recognition will only get you so far. All of those internships and fellowships at Fordham will probably take you even further. The generous funding doesn't hurt either. :-)


Congratulations on the fantastic package! Go with Fordham. It's not a bad school by any means (I know a lot of happy Fordham alumni).

Edited by zabius
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