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College vs Break


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I got accepted into one of my safety schools and I am awaiting official letter. I am guranteed tuition waiver with $22k stipend, 1k travel grant, and probably some fellowship money. The college is not bad, neither is the program I am applying to. I think the professor I talked to during the visit is also knowledgeable and has genuine concern for students. However, I think I can get into my top choice (smaller-sized) college, in a better place where it's not freezing half of the year.


I haven't heard back from other colleges so I decided to prepare for the worst and have been thinking about whether it would be good idea to attend my safety college or take a year off.


Here's the problem: as an international student in the U.S, after I graduate I will either have to apply for optional practical training (OPT) and look for a job, or go back to home country within 3 months.


Cons of OPT: Getting a job is not guranteed; in addition, I want to work somewhere that can improve my application (in the field of chemistry).  Might have to rely on parents for living (expensive compared to back home), GRE fees, application fees.


Cons of going back: No way to find job for anything related to chemistry to improve my application.


Any suggestion?




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Similar situation here, waiting for all the results coming out.

I will definitely go with the OPT instead of going back.


The cost for not getting into a great school, I guess especially for majors like chemistry, might be much bigger than the cost of living during the OPT.

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