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lesser-known, highly ranked school or nearly-ivy league, unranked school?


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i have a bit of a dilemma here that I'm trying to figure out. I got accepted into my first choice master's program, which is at a fairly unknown school to people outside of my state, but the program is ranked #2 in the US for my subject area. however, I also got accepted to a very well-known university throughout the US, but their program is not even ranked at all. I really want to go to my first choice, but I'm starting to consider if I might have better job opportunities graduating from a popular university solely based on the fact that it's well-known and prestigious. how do these things work??

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Congrats on your acceptances! Your post mentions that your top choice is unknown, but what I am wondering is who does not know about this program? If it is ranked number 2, this would suggest that it is well known by people in your field and that is what matters the most. If your family and friends do not recognize the significance of this offer, I'd suggest educating them about it or not caring so much about what they think about your educational plans. If this program is highly regarded in your field and it will open the career doors you seek in the future, it sounds like a win-win situation to me.    

Edited by jenste
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thanks, jenste! that's exactly what my dilemma is. my family tells me I would be dumb not to choose the more well-known school and that's what kind of got me reconsidering my initial choice because I do take what my parents have to say into high consideration. but then I have to remember that they never went to grad school, so this is new territory for all of us. i think i will stick with my first choice and go to the higher-ranked school because that is where I wanted to go from the beginning!

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Definitely go with the program higher ranked in your field. Your parents probably just think the other school is better based on the name, which is not a good reason to choose a program. My parents were similarly telling me to choose the Ivy school I got into until I explained to them why it was not the best choice.

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