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Making a decision!


rad1993
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Hi everyone!

 

So as I'm sure many of you are receiving acceptances (and maybe some rejections), I am sure you're all freaking out about which program to commit to! At least that is my current experience...

 

I was wondering if I could get some input about the programs of each of these schools. 

 

I was first accepted to Adelphi University on Long Island. Adelphi gave me 10k in scholarship, bringing the tuition to 23k a year. They also seemed very willing to place me in the field that I'm interested in - healthcare settings and with children/adolescents. They mentioned the option to specialize and possibly get placed at an Adolescent Trauma Center at a local hospital.

 

I was then accepted to Columbia School of Social Work. They offered me 9.5k in scholarship, which is currently under review for additional funding. At the moment it would be 30k a year. They've been lenient with my concerns regarding my commute from Long Island. However, they haven't been able to guarantee me a field placement closer to my home - their policy is that it must be 90 minutes from the student's home. So, that could mean 5 days a week of commuting to Manhattan which would amount to 15 hours a week spent commuting. No time for a part time job! They have extended my deposit deadline to April 6th.

 

I also have an interview set up at Hunter on April 8th. Now this is a dilemma because, say I commit to Columbia, I wouldn't hear back from Hunter until long after. UGH. But they are the cheapest program by far, at least 10k cheaper per year. Downside is that the commute would be even longer from my home and I'm not thrilled about the area.

 

Some background information: I am moving back home to live in an apartment style basement with my boyfriend, who will be working full time. I did my undergrad in 3 years at NYU, getting a BA in Psychology as of May 2015. Money is a concern as is the commute, since it will eat up a LOT of time that could be spent working part time to make extra cash. However, I will be graduating with about 70k in loans from NYU. I'm hoping to do clinical social work in a hospital in a pediatric unit. I definitely don't want to settle in NYC or Long Island, but I do want to live at home during grad school to save some money. So it's important to me to go to a school where I can go possibly upstate or New England to get a job....

 

Sorry for the wall of text! I'm just super stressed about making the wrong decision. Feel free to share your situations as well for input! :)

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All the programs I was accepted to were pretty good ones. My choice ultimately came down to financials.  You already have 70k in loans from NYU and SW isn't a 6 figure field, you have to be smart about what happens after you graduate. I already have 16k in loans from my undergrad and didn't want to finish my education with more than 50K in loans. Also look into assistantships, stipends, fellowships, work studies etc that the schools offer to get tuition or credit waivers. 

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I agree, I think people don't realize how serious taking loans out and accumulating that much debt is. Yes it's school, it's an investment etc.,but reality is not all degrees are created equal.

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Once you are accepted at a school, when do schools notify regarding financial aid?

 

Do you have to formally accept before receiving a Financial Aid offer? That doesn't seem to make sense, because in my case finances will impact my decision.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Once you are accepted at a school, when do schools notify regarding financial aid?

 

Do you have to formally accept before receiving a Financial Aid offer? That doesn't seem to make sense, because in my case finances will impact my decision.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

No. Well some schools are on it but some schools are very casual about something as important as this. In my case it sucked because I am expected to start classes in June yet I only recieved 1 out of 4 packages and it came today Apr 4. By the way the the one package I received only packed me for fall and winter/spring and my summer package is still pending.  I was also told by not one but two schools I got into that I won't even know if I received fellowships I applied to or extra aid or scholarships until MAY(again class starts for me in June). I went with the school that was the most upfront to me and gave me the highest scholarship.  

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Hi everyone!

 

So as I'm sure many of you are receiving acceptances (and maybe some rejections), I am sure you're all freaking out about which program to commit to! At least that is my current experience...

 

I was wondering if I could get some input about the programs of each of these schools. 

 

I was first accepted to Adelphi University on Long Island. Adelphi gave me 10k in scholarship, bringing the tuition to 23k a year. They also seemed very willing to place me in the field that I'm interested in - healthcare settings and with children/adolescents. They mentioned the option to specialize and possibly get placed at an Adolescent Trauma Center at a local hospital.

 

I was then accepted to Columbia School of Social Work. They offered me 9.5k in scholarship, which is currently under review for additional funding. At the moment it would be 30k a year. They've been lenient with my concerns regarding my commute from Long Island. However, they haven't been able to guarantee me a field placement closer to my home - their policy is that it must be 90 minutes from the student's home. So, that could mean 5 days a week of commuting to Manhattan which would amount to 15 hours a week spent commuting. No time for a part time job! They have extended my deposit deadline to April 6th.

 

I also have an interview set up at Hunter on April 8th. Now this is a dilemma because, say I commit to Columbia, I wouldn't hear back from Hunter until long after. UGH. But they are the cheapest program by far, at least 10k cheaper per year. Downside is that the commute would be even longer from my home and I'm not thrilled about the area.

 

Some background information: I am moving back home to live in an apartment style basement with my boyfriend, who will be working full time. I did my undergrad in 3 years at NYU, getting a BA in Psychology as of May 2015. Money is a concern as is the commute, since it will eat up a LOT of time that could be spent working part time to make extra cash. However, I will be graduating with about 70k in loans from NYU. I'm hoping to do clinical social work in a hospital in a pediatric unit. I definitely don't want to settle in NYC or Long Island, but I do want to live at home during grad school to save some money. So it's important to me to go to a school where I can go possibly upstate or New England to get a job....

 

Sorry for the wall of text! I'm just super stressed about making the wrong decision. Feel free to share your situations as well for input! :)

 

I currently commute 12 hours a week for my MSW program and work 20 hours per week on a graduate assistantship that is paying for my second year of school (meaning I will graduate with 20k in loans).

 

My advice: DO NOT DO IT. I *hate* it. Between 24 hours a week in internship, 20 hours a week in assistantship work, 12 hours a week in commuting, and about 30 hours a week in classwork (not to mention attempting to train for a marathon), I'm going about 90 hours a week right now. I'm lucky that I have a partner who cooks and cleans, because otherwise I would be eating fast food and living in a trash heap at home.

 

It really takes a toll on everything. I don't have time to invest myself fully in anything, including my schoolwork or in my relationship at home. If I had those extra 12 hours a week, I would be sooooooo much happier. I cannot even describe it.

 

I would say that financial considerations are really important when you are considering a career in social work. Sure, there is IBR and loan forgiveness programs, but carrying that much debt will impact your ability to take out other loans (for cars or homes), particularly because you won't have the salary to compensate for it, no matter where you graduate from. And loan forgiveness programs limit the types of jobs you can take.

Edited by pippapants
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