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How do I decide on which school to attend?


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I applied to and was accepted into three different university's School Counseling programs, set to start in two weeks. I still haven't made a decision (I know). I'm also about to graduate with my BA, so I'm heading right into my Masters. I know the answer to my question already, but I wanted to see others opinions and experiences.

I did choose to go to University A, as they had given me a large scholarship, I liked the way their internship program is set up, and I had "a good vibe."  The day before winter break began, University B offered me the chance to interview for a GA position. I interviewed, but they don't have a decision just yet. I wasn't thrilled about their program for various reasons, even though it is very well-respected.

i currently have $13K in debt for my undergrad (from University B). If offered the GA, it would be totally ridiculous for me to forfeit the funding for at least one semester, possibly three. The funding from University B would include tuition remission and a stipend of $3500 per semester. The amount in loans I would have to take out from the other school is between $30-40K. How would I choose between a program I feel really good about and clicked with, and one that is well-respected and offering funding? 

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I, like @rising_star, would take the money. When I was deciding between law school and my MS program one thing that helped give me clarity was to not just look at the probable debt in terms of the lump sum, but figure out what it would mean moving forward. For example, 35k at 6% could mean a 400 dollar a month payment for 10 years (this doesn't include your UG number, nor the accrual of interest while in school).

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Yes, as long as you feel even reasonably comfortable at the school, take the funding. School counseling is not a lucrative profession (I work in public education), and strengthening your financial profile will be valuable. While I'm not a school counselor myself, it is also my impression from speaking with my colleagues who are that your particular degree program serves essentially as a credential. In other words, it is not imperative that you chase institutional prestige to make your job applications stronger down the line. If you are offered an opportunity to minimize educational debt, my sense is that it would be wise to take it. 

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Same. The funding. On top of what others have said, for school counseling it won't matter so much where you went to school in the end, especially if you are choosing between two good programs (even if you "clicked" with one better). 

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