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ITP/Parsons: Go with reputation, price, or not go at all?


eff

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The subject pretty much says it all. I applied to a few design/technology master's programs and got accepted to three, and now I really don't know what to do. I blame the financial situation, actually - I was really planning on getting at least partial funding from most schools, which would've made my decision way easier.

So NYU's ITP is where I'd like to go, but at a full price of $40K (per year) it seems completely insane. Also, from what I gathered from this forum and others I understand the consensus is to avoid debt at any cost (no pun intended). Since I'm not a U.S. citizen, I'm ineligible for federal aid, so my situation is even worse than the usual. Still, there's a little voice in my head saying "try to look at it as an investment... it's gonna be so much fun and there are so many opportunities for networking that you're bound to land a good job when you're done." I know, I know... I'm going to regret it if I do this.

The second, more viable option is Parsons MFA Design + Technology. They've given me a partial scholarship, which brings the tuition down to about $23K - way better than NYU. But... they simply don't have the reputation of NYU. I'd be happy to hear evidence to the contrary, of course, it's just that I see ITP alumni all over the place, and hardly any DT alumni.

Anyhow, when I compare the two I sometimes forget even the so called "more viable option" still amounts to tons of money. When I remember that I think maybe I should give this thing up altogether, or at least wait another year, save more money, and try again.

Several things about me that make my situation somewhat different: my bachelor's degree is in Psychology, so it's not an option for me to "just start working in the field". Even if I could do that, I'm currently situated in a less-fortunate part of the world, where it's far from easy... so the opportunities for global networking are priceless in my case. Also, I do have savings that might pay for one year of studies.

So, what say you? Right now I'm kind of leaning towards trying again next year, but the idea of passing up on these acceptances is killing me.

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  • 9 months later...

Sorry I won't be able to shed much light onto what you should do with your acceptances, but congratulations nonetheless! I did want to ask you whether you have any design/multimedia/tech background in addition to your degree in psychology? I am applying to both ITP and DT with a non-design liberal arts degree and wanted to get a sense of the diversity of the pool of accepted applicants. Thanks for your time.

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First of all -- you say NYU will be 40K a year. Is this just tuition, or is this the total cost of attendance? Considering that you have money to cover your first year saved up, if 40K is the total cost of attendance, you will graduate roughly 40K in debt. What kind of loans can you take out to finance this? Are they interest free? I would add it all up and calculate what your monthly payments will be.

I would then think about other ways you might be able to cut your costs. Can you work part-time? Can your family contribute? Could you work during the summers and live at home to cut costs?

I would also talk to alumni and current students at both institutions and get a sense of what your tuition money will get you. You mention the networking opportunities at NYU....I would suggest considering all aspects of the educational experience. Its just my opinion -- but either school means your borrowing some money. Personally, I would go with the one that is the best fit and the one thats going to help the most with your career. I don't know a lot about your field, but I feel like networking and the reputation of the school will give you certain advantages when you hit the job market.

You could also look into deferring admission at one of the schools -- save up as much money as possible next year, apply for as many scholarships as possible, and then enroll next year, with more money saved up and less money taken out in loans.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello there- I am in the same spot as you right now. I have an offer but ZERO money and no scholarship either. What was your decision? Did you take it up?

The subject pretty much says it all. I applied to a few design/technology master's programs and got accepted to three, and now I really don't know what to do. I blame the financial situation, actually - I was really planning on getting at least partial funding from most schools, which would've made my decision way easier.

So NYU's ITP is where I'd like to go, but at a full price of $40K (per year) it seems completely insane. Also, from what I gathered from this forum and others I understand the consensus is to avoid debt at any cost (no pun intended). Since I'm not a U.S. citizen, I'm ineligible for federal aid, so my situation is even worse than the usual. Still, there's a little voice in my head saying "try to look at it as an investment... it's gonna be so much fun and there are so many opportunities for networking that you're bound to land a good job when you're done." I know, I know... I'm going to regret it if I do this.

The second, more viable option is Parsons MFA Design + Technology. They've given me a partial scholarship, which brings the tuition down to about $23K - way better than NYU. But... they simply don't have the reputation of NYU. I'd be happy to hear evidence to the contrary, of course, it's just that I see ITP alumni all over the place, and hardly any DT alumni.

Anyhow, when I compare the two I sometimes forget even the so called "more viable option" still amounts to tons of money. When I remember that I think maybe I should give this thing up altogether, or at least wait another year, save more money, and try again.

Several things about me that make my situation somewhat different: my bachelor's degree is in Psychology, so it's not an option for me to "just start working in the field". Even if I could do that, I'm currently situated in a less-fortunate part of the world, where it's far from easy... so the opportunities for global networking are priceless in my case. Also, I do have savings that might pay for one year of studies.

So, what say you? Right now I'm kind of leaning towards trying again next year, but the idea of passing up on these acceptances is killing me.

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