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What are my options?


zj868
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I'm an international student currently applying for Master's in Electrical Engineering. Here are my options right now:

 

Current School: Accepted and Offered TA-ship for the first and second semester but no guarantee of funding for my second year and I have to accept/decline in 10 days. School ranking is average, decent research but professor is quite laid-back and my lab-mates are not very helpful or inclusive. I generally feel as if I don't belong and I'm not sure I should stay here.

 

Higher Ranked programs: Still waiting but these are schools that I would love to attend with good POIs who have very interesting research.Funding is going to be an issue as well. Honestly though, I don't mind incurring debt if it means that I am accepted to one of these programs.

 

GPA: 2.9 (I faced a lot of adversity with health, finances and late diagnosis of ADHD but I’m hoping moving from 2.3 in my freshman year to >3.0 by graduation counts for something).

 

GRE: 163Q/153V

 

Other Info: 1 year of research with no publications, Dean’s List (x3), strong LORs from distinguished professors. IEEE member, president of on-campus club, created my own business to help finance studies.

 

Should I suck it up and take the offer? Worst case scenario, if my only acceptance for this cycle is my current school, what are my options in terms of boosting my application to reapply for Fall 2016? I have improved dramatically now, constantly earn A's in all my upper level courses and I would love to continue to graduate school but I feel as though schools focus more on overall GPA than transcript.

 

I’m remaining positive that an acceptance is coming though!

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Personally, I would take it. It's usually easier to find funding once you're already on campus and you'll have a year to line up something. You may be able to get an assistantship in student affairs (residence life, student union, etc.) or find a TA position in another department. You might also be able to find a RA position for your second year. 

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