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CHICAGO vs. WashU (and possibly UMAA)


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Hello all, 


I know it is finally the decision time for many of us and I have also been struggling making the right call, so hear me out.

So, I have been fortunate enough to have a few admissions including WashU and Uchicago for Social Work/Social Service Administration program.

I am also waiting for Michigan’s decision, but apart from that I think I will choose between two; Among many factors that I consider, my priorities are: Price, Research Opportunity, Career Lookout, and Doctorate degree (how creative, huh?).


1.    Price : The price tag for WashU is $39,956 UChicago $46,740. I’ve gotten more funding from Chicago than WashU that the actual price for Chicago would be about $1,000 cheaper than WashU. My concern is living expense. When I add up all the numbers provided including book/supply, housing, other living expense witht his subtracted tuition, WashU is $7,000 cheaper. I know ranking-wise WashU just a tiny bit better, but I believe Chicago has an edge regarding overall name of the school (I guess not that this will matter in my career as a social worker from what I understood). Also I prefer living in Chicago cause I personally think it would be an opportunity that I may not have later in my life. Plus, I assume chance of getting job placement near the Chicago area is higher if I go to Chicago


2.    Research Opportunity : I have heard that research opportunity is one of the key things that one has to look for in master’s program, especially if you are looking into getting a doctorate degree in future. It seems like WashU is giving out many fellowship opportunities as it send out many emails to encourage for applying. I wonder whether an opportunity like that is also somewhat abundant in UChicago. I could not find many information regarding that at the website, so I wonder if it is because there is not that many opportunity, or because they just don’t advertise as much as WashU does. This factor is also connected to the above as WashU is promoting that the wage would be around $5,000 annually, and that’s something that I can count on that will go toward my expense in gradschool as well as the experience itself.


3.    Doctorate degree possibility : Not that I am looking to pursue an advanced degree right now. I simply do not know if I want that. However, if I become someone who desires that, do you guys think there is any significant difference in these two places that would make it more convenient? I do understand that it’d be a case by case and much rather depend on how successful I am in the school and in the field, but I also assume there is a school that produce more doctors than the other, so I’d like to listen you guys’ opinions.  


4.    So, regardless of number 3, I would like to develop my career in international development / community organization work overseas / and quite possibly a social venture type of thing. I know both schools are very global and assume they have many connections and resources internationally, however, I find it a little difficult to find detailed information regarding what kind of program they have and what support they provide for that kind of career. WashU is more kind in its website in introducing some, but Chicago I hardly could find information regarding their Int’l program. My question would be, which place will be better off in consideration that I will want to pursue my career in international development? Or will it make any difference?


I guess it all sums down to whether to follow my heart or my brain haha. I do want to go to Chicago, then it's more expensive, and WashU is also a very good school if not better. These schools possible impact on my career would be something I cannot guage, so help me out in that respect.


I especially value the opinions from those who have actually attended one of the two schools (+Michigan). I know I have spoken many nonsense and made too many assumptions, so please criticize me! I’d like to be broken into pieces haha. Thanks for reading this long piece of whining and may you all have the bestest week!



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