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Notre Dame vs. George Mason

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I know I know, on name recognition alone people will be saying CHOOSE NOTRE DAME! But let me explain...


I have been accepted to the MS in Global Health programs at both Notre Dame and George Mason University.


Notre Dame is quite expensive and even with the scholarship I was offered, the program still costs more than GMU. I adore the program and faculty at ND. I am in the process of working out some funding to work in a lab during my time there but some of the details will be up in the air by the time I need to give an answer.


The program at George Mason will allow me to live at home (no living expenses!!!) and offers the possibility of a research lab assistantship that would pay for all of the tuition and then some. Only catch is that they don't announce which students will actually receive the assistantships until the summer... meaning that again I would need to commit to the program having my future funding unclear.


ND is my dream school but I don't know if I can justify taking on around $30,000 in loans if funding and some outside scholarships didn't come through. The ND program is also 1 year long while GMU is 2. Lastly, the faculty and admission committee of ND has actually seemed excited at the possibility of having me as a student while GMU has seemed very mechanical as if I'm just another student coming through and they could care less whether I accept or decline...


Anyone have some words of wisdom? Please and thank you

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