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Need to tell Penn and Columbia tomorrow and don't have decision! HELP!


MissyTee
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Anyone else absolutely down to the wire with 4/15 answer date? I have to get back to both Penn and Columbia with an answer tomorrow and I'm absolutely freaking out about it. I don't know how many more pro/con charts I can make! I was in Philly last week and love that city and found Penn so friendly and wonderful but don't know if they have enough for international social work and work with refugees that Columbia is more known for. I could choose classes in other schools and take advantage of some of their fledgling global opportunities to craft my own program though. But Columbia has courses with SIPA and of course it's New York and has all the connections that come with being in Columbia. I like New York, I'd be happy there but I know living in Philly might be less stressful. Columbia would be ~$12,000-$15,000 more and while that doesn't need to be the deciding factor, it does stick out.

 

To compound to the problem, I begged Boston College to tell me if I was admitted and I am but have no idea of any $ yet. I don't have to give BC an answer tomorrow so I still have time to consider it along with either Columbia or Penn (which I hate to do to another program but oh well). BC has a great focus on immigrant integration which I'm very interested in but their global practice program is something I would have to apply for and not know if I was accepted into until winter of next year. If I didn't get into it, I suppose I would be happy picking something else but it wouldn't be ideal. I basically grew up and currently live next to Boston College, but would not be living be at home if I went there, I have spent enough time living at home. I like Boston and everything here is familiar and there would be little to change but I wonder if I should try a new city, even with a great program in line with my interests right in my backyard.

 

Any advice at all would be so appreciated. I have never met anyone as indecisive as I am- for undergrad I sent in deposits to three different schools and mostly picked the one I ended up at because it gave me a Facebook before any of the others (back when Facebook was college kids only!). I mean, it turned out fine, but I can't do that this time around. Thanks!

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First of all, there is no bad choice.  Wherever you go you'll get out of it what you put into it.  They're different programs with different opportunities but either way you'll have a solid degree at the end.  With that, I'm a year out from finishing my MSW and I can honestly say I wish I would have paid more attention to the financial aspects.  Loans suck and paying them off with a social worker's salary sucks too.  Unless you have lots of help from elsewhere to pay for school I would really look at that 12-15K difference.  I can also say that I've had to do the whole "create your own program" thing before and I absolutely loved it!  It took more work but it forced me to seek out opportunities I would have overlooked otherwise and created solid connections with professors and other professionals who were passionate about what I cared about.  For me that would be a selling point.  Sorry I don't have much to help ease your decision making!

 

Good luck!!

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BC tends to be the most generous of the three from my personal experience compared to Penn and Colombia and they all have similar tuitions . They are also really good programs that offers a lot of experience. I lean to BC or Penn.

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BC actually didn't offer me any scholarship which I'm a bit surprised by- I got offered at least a little something by everyone else and I thought BC was known to be generous but it was actually one of the cheapest I applied to- the tuition with no scholarship comes out to about $5-6,000 more than Penn with scholarship I was given. But maybe this is the universe's way of telling me I need to leave the neighborhood. Other than my 4 years undergrad and 2 years abroad, I've lived my whole life in Chestnut Hill. It's just hard when certain opportunities they have for working with immigrants and refugees is strong (but competitive). I'm hoping I could replicate that experience at Penn but I worry they just don't have "enough". 

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Last night, I flipped a coin between my top two choices (best 2 out of 3) and then slept on the outcome to see how I really felt about it. I've decided on Columbia, and am finally at peace with that decision. A part of me will wonder the "what if" of the other school, but I think it's the right choice for me. 

 

I highly recommend the coin-toss method. If you're not comfortable with the outcome, then you have your answer. At this point it's about preference and fit. Good luck!

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