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Top 10 program w/o funding vs. top 20 program w/ funding

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Hey everyone,


So I've been admitted to both Syracuse Maxwell's MAIR program (top 20) and American SIS's masters program (top 10).


I just got financial aid information from Syracuse and they are offering me $16k for the first year with a half-time GA position with stipend valued at $7k. Syracuse's program is 1 1/2 years long and costs a total of $56k.


American University offered me no money and their two year program costs $62k. All I was offered was $42k in loans, the rest will have to come from somewhere else.


I'm caught in a tough decision. American was my top choice and remains my top choice but Syracuse is offering me a decent amount of assistance. On the other hand, American University is in Washington DC and right in the neighborhood (almost literally) of the career path I want to take with surely more opportunities to network, Syracuse is a bit further off from DC and I imagine more difficult to get into the field. Plus American has the program that suits my career better (United States Foreign Policy and National Security) while Syracuse only has the International Relations degree with a security track.


Any advice?


I think I'm leaning towards American but Syracuse's offer has really given me something to think about.


Thanks in advance

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