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Pitt GSPIA ($$) vs GWU Elliot (no $$)


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I am looking at the MA in International Development at GWU, and the MID at Pitt.

Basically, if I go to Pitt, I will graduate about $50K in debt. If I go to Elliot, it will be closer to $90K in debt (I pay full tuition plus cost of living in DC).

Obviously this is my decision but...advice would be great. Is it worth it? Is Elliot that much better? According to the rankings, Elliot is #7, GSPIA is (I think) #16. Its a big difference, but I don't know if its worth $40K!

Edit to add - I want to work for a nonprofit or NGO after getting a masters. One day I want to return for a PhD but I want to work first.

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For me, the debt isn't worth the rankings unless you're guaranteed to get a high paying job post-graduating, and let's be real- in this economy .. ? is anything guaranteed?

Especially if you work for an NGO or a non profit, you'll have to start repaying the debt as soon as you graduate, and the time it might take you to pay off 90K as opposed to 40K might interfere with getting your PhD later rather than sooner.

I personally chose the undergrad institution that offered me the most money, and I'm graduating this year with only 3K in debt. Looking back on it, it was a pretty tough decision for me- but considering how the economy turned out and my roomies are struggling to find jobs once we graduate, I'm very thankful that I did make that choice.

Just ask yourself, is the debt worth going to the #7 school or not? That's what it really comes down to.

Hope that helps :/

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Entry level nonprofit and NGO jobs have notoriosly bad pay. (And they're hard to get!)

I'd check out a loan repayment calculator to figure out the difference in your monthy loan payments between these two amounts, but I'd lean heavily toward GSPIA.

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This is making me feel much better. I think I have already made this decision (to go to GSPIA) but I am doubting it in the back of my mind. But your replies are calming my nerves. Thank you.

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