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MA Conflict Resolution- Georgetown or American?


Gamecock13
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Was accepted into Masters in Conflict Resolution programs at Georgetown and American (rejected by Notre Dame & Columbia), without scholarship offers. Georgetown is the more expensive of the two, but is the better program?

 

I already have $25,000 in loan debt from undergrad. Going to Georgetown would put me at around $150,000 total, American would be a little less. However, Georgetown has a smaller program and is a more reputable school. Both programs have their pros and cons. Help!

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Was accepted into Masters in Conflict Resolution programs at Georgetown and American (rejected by Notre Dame & Columbia), without scholarship offers. Georgetown is the more expensive of the two, but is the better program?

 

I already have $25,000 in loan debt from undergrad. Going to Georgetown would put me at around $150,000 total, American would be a little less. However, Georgetown has a smaller program and is a more reputable school. Both programs have their pros and cons. Help!

 

You'd be adding $125,000 in debt for a Masters? I think you should evaluate if your future career earnings would even make that worth while.

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That is WAY too much to take out for a masters!!! I am taking out 20k total and that its stressing me out even. I would not consider a program if I had to take out any more than that at all.

 

Like above mentioned, really think about how much more money you will be making with the masters. With humanities/social science masters, you really arent going to necesarily make tons more so I don't know that you will be able to easily pay all that back.

Edited by bsharpe269
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Let me break it down for you all: Georgetown's tuition is $44,000/yr. x 2 years = $88,000 plus about $20,000/yr. in living expenses x 2 years = $40,000. That comes to a total of $128,000 for graduate school plus $25,000 from undergrad, making a grand total of $153,000. 

 

I appreciate the concern expressed for my future financial situation, however, these two programs are the best programs for my desired career and both happen to be located in the best city in the country for jobs in my desired career field. Thus, I will be attending one of these two programs and therefore will be accumulating the above calculated student loan debt. So, let's all build a bridge and get over that part and get back to the question I asked- which program is better? The smaller, more focused program at the more prestigious school, or the larger program which encompasses a larger variety of sub-fields?

 

Obviously, I didn't chose this career path for the money. That's just not my style. I chose this career path because I am a member of the 'if you love your job you'll never work a day in your life' club. That being said, once I'm out of school if I work for ten years in a federal government or NGO job, my remaining loan debt will be forgiven, so all is not lost.

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Let me break it down for you all: Georgetown's tuition is $44,000/yr. x 2 years = $88,000 plus about $20,000/yr. in living expenses x 2 years = $40,000. That comes to a total of $128,000 for graduate school plus $25,000 from undergrad, making a grand total of $153,000. 

 

I appreciate the concern expressed for my future financial situation, however, these two programs are the best programs for my desired career and both happen to be located in the best city in the country for jobs in my desired career field. Thus, I will be attending one of these two programs and therefore will be accumulating the above calculated student loan debt. So, let's all build a bridge and get over that part and get back to the question I asked- which program is better? The smaller, more focused program at the more prestigious school, or the larger program which encompasses a larger variety of sub-fields?

 

Obviously, I didn't chose this career path for the money. That's just not my style. I chose this career path because I am a member of the 'if you love your job you'll never work a day in your life' club. That being said, once I'm out of school if I work for ten years in a federal government or NGO job, my remaining loan debt will be forgiven, so all is not lost.

 

The remaining federal loan debt will be forgiven, not private. If you need to take out over $100,000 in loans, I can pretty much guarantee you a significant portion of that will have to be private. And the federal debt forgiveness will only apply if you actually find a federal job that qualifies, and if you stay in that job for 10 years without being let go or decide to leave. For some perspective, at 6.8% interest, your loan payment will be around $980 a month for 30 years. If you decide to pay it back in 10 years, that'll be $1,700 a month. It's all well and good to say you're not in it for the money so you don't care about how much it costs, but will you still be thinking that in 20 years when you'll still be paying nearly all of your disposable income on student loans? And will you be able to find a spouse that will be willing to take on that responsibility as well?

 

You seem pretty set on these programs, but the only responsible advice I can give you is to either try to negotiate to get some scholarships or apply to cheaper/better funded programs next year. Taking on over $100,000 in loans for a Masters is not a responsible thing to do. 

Edited by vityaz
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Again, I appreciate the concern (being called irresponsible, not so much) but that's not what I asked. Feel free to continue criticizing me for paying for an education I have to have to get a job I need to make money, but I was simply looking for some advise on which program to choose. 

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Again, I appreciate the concern (being called irresponsible, not so much) but that's not what I asked. Feel free to continue criticizing me for paying for an education I have to have to get a job I need to make money, but I was simply looking for some advise on which program to choose. 

 

You specifically brought up finances in your first post...

 

This will be my last post in this thread since it doesn't seem like you'll be changing your mind, but saying you have to pay for an education to get a job is just not true. I mentioned in my previous post that there are other options, either trying to negotiate for TA/RA positions or applying to a less prestigious school that will at least partially fund you.

 

If you do end up going this route then I really hope you end up loving your job, because you won't have any disposable income for vacations or entertainment for decades if you go through with this Masters.

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I agree that this is totally not the only option to get the education you want. I would apply next year to a wide range of programs that are known to offer funding or apply for outside scholarship and try to go on that. It's definitely worth waiting another year and to not take this debt. You'll probably start at a fairly low salary after the masters and have to pay half of your income in loans. $1k a month for most of your life is a TON of money.

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Go with Georgetown. They're the recognized gold standard for security studies.

If you're super concerned about finances, one option is to look into military sponsored programs. A good number of my friends who came out of DC international relations programs also worked day jobs while attending school. Financial aid is super stingy (and close to nonexistent) at these programs, but working while taking classes is a good way to cover at least your living expenses while also networking.

Good luck to you!

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I'm pretty sure Georgetown has the better reputation, and American is only a little cheaper.  I'd recommend looking up the faculty members and checking out their CVs.  Which school has professors more experienced in your desired career path?

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Honestly - I'm grappling with this issue right now and it's probably the price tag that is going to influence me most as a couple schools' departments are attempting to drum up more funding.  The SCHOOL isn't going to make your career, you are.  The more important question is, for $125,000 at which school will you be most comfortable acquiring that much debt (i.e. are the professors receptive to mentorship, are the students going to contribute to meaningful dialogue on the topics you're interested in, are there opportunities with the organizations you are hoping to work with, etc.)

 

I'll probably turn down my offer from Harvard because every other school has given me significantly more funding - and it's probably the best school for what I want to do.

Edited by It's A Mystery!
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