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New School MIA ($) vs SIPA or Elliott School (Anyone w/experience in New School)


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Like most people on here, I'm racking my brain over the pros and cons for each school I got into. I'm in NYC and I applied to SIPA and New School (both MIA) and New School is giving me 20% of tuition. I applied to other schools (see signature) but I'm leaning towards those two. 


SIPA seems more like the obvious choice for career reasons, but I'm really drawn to the creative/progressive aspect of the New School and I feel like I'll meet a more diverse set of people that are not as part of the "establishment" as much as SIPA is. This is a major assumption, but I feel like I'd get along with more of a laid back student body than everyone trying to compete and network all the time. As for my career aspirations, i'd love to land a consulting job related to politics or foreign issues or a state department/government job. And then there's my pipe dream of becoming a documentarian and making films about international issues (hence the interest in the New School!)  


Would I be totally screwing myself over by going to the New School and skipping SIPA? Hoping to hear from anyone with experience at either school to give a general overview of what life is like there. Cheers! 

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What's your aid at the other schools like? Living in NYC is very expensive, and attending SIPA at sticker price while living off loans will, by their own conservative estimates, run you over $104,000 (more if you're interning internationally and paying for flights). 


At 5.8% interest you're generating $495 in interest alone each month with that principal. Since government service that would allow you to discharge that debt in 10 years is highly competitive and could fall out from under your feet any time there is budget cuts, and earnings for early-career MPPs is generally not amazingly high, I would be very careful about taking that much out in loans.


Also consider that $104k debt gives you less flexibility if you ever want to go for a PhD/JD/other program down the road.


At 80% Milano is also very expensive. It's worth a shot to see if you can talk each up by presenting the offers of the other to each school. Columbia has a better reputation than Milano and you could see if they'd offer you more of an incentive to stay there like 30-40% off.


You're financial situation matters a lot to. If you have $40k in personal savings, have inherited money, lotto winnings, or parents who will pay for $25k of your school that makes a big difference in what your principal looks like when you get out. I wouldn't take $100k+ out for anything other than medicine where ROI is pretty much assured and debt is inevitable. It's hard to change the world when you need ANY job just to pay down your interest.

Edited by TimB
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Scratch that, total cost of attending is $150,000 at Columbia. No way it's worth that much, that's an anchor on your standard of living as well as your career.


For what it's worth, I was in the same situation as you last year with the same exact schools + NYU, and I reapplied and am now looking at less than $20k in debt. If you're set on NYC though you should expect cost of living to make things a bit more expensive than that.

Edited by TimB
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