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Stanford vs. Michigan for Higher Education


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Hello all! I've been a longtime lurker on this forum and I was hoping that I could get some input on the decision that I have to make regarding grad school. I was recently accepted to the Stanford Ph.D. program in Higher Education (full funding and fellowships) as well as a Master's program in Higher Education from the University of Michigan (in-state tuition).

On paper, it seems like a no-brainer because Stanford is a better program with better funding. I'm torn though because I'm an Ann Arbor native and my whole family has attended Michigan. I went to an Ivy for undergrad, but I always expected to come back to Michigan and finally become a Wolverine if accepted to the grad program. I'm crazy about college football (something I didn't really get to experience in undergrad), and I love the atmosphere in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, I was only accepted to the Master's program so it would take a lot longer before I could get my Ph.D., and the program will be more expensive. 

I can't deny that Stanford is amazing - it's absolutely beautiful and they have a perfect mix of academics and athletics. But it's not home and it's not the school that I grew up loving. I worry that I'll end up regretting it down the line, even though it's the clear choice because of the program and the overall atmosphere. Any input would be greatly appreciated! My head and my heart are really at odds and I need help making this decision. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few schools, but Stanford and Michigan were my top 2 so I'll be visiting both over my spring break. I know that both are great schools and I feel so lucky to have such great choices. 

Thanks everyone!! 

Edited by malikapotter
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Don't forget to consider cost of living. While one may offer more money on paper, it isn't always the case. Consider rent prices. Consider living arrangements. Consider transportation.

Consider the school's atmosphere as well as the support that both places will be able to offer you.




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