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Elliott, SAIS, Josef Korbel- prestige vs. debt?


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Hello all,

I'm going to add to the chaos this decision-making season.  I have been accepted to the strategic studies program at SAIS DC with no funding, GWs Security Policy Studies Program with 7k a year, and Korbel's International Security program with 20k a year.  I already live in Denver, and I know that Security is one of Korbel's top programs. But, will I be at a disadvantage if I am not in DC? I know Korbel offers the Global Security Program in DC for second year students, but it is highly competitive.

Also, GW allows for two concentrations, the second of which for me would be development. 

I know a lot of people will say follow the money, but it's hard to turn down an opportunity like SAIS or Elliott.

Also, has anyone tried appealing for more funding to any of these schools? I know it's unlikely with SAIS, but if Elliott and Korbel were aware of my acceptance to SAIS, is there even the slightest chance of receiving more funding?  I've heard there's no harm in asking, but I would like some advice.

Congrats to all who got in and good luck!

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I'm facing the same dilemma too. But mine is between SAIS and Elliot. SAIS also does not provide me an funding (tho they did say for the second year student, they are looking at funding 50 to 60% of graduate), while Elliot offers me 7 grand per semester. My agony is that I'm a foreign student who are hoping to get a job in DC for conflict management field, and a name like SAIS and Johns Hopkins are tooooooooo shining. 

I wrote to my adviser. And below is  what he replied, it may help you too:

"Consider this, if cost and reputation were the only two factor it would be a 1:1 tie (JHU wins on reputation while GWU wins on cost). Are there other factors that you aren't considering in this equation? In general, I like to consider the following:
  • Access to local markets. Which school has greater access through projects, internships, and networking in the local market? 
  • Post Graduation Employment within your field - are these numbers available?
  • Support for international students.
  • Which school possesses faculty, academic focus, or regional expertise the greater aligns with your areas of interest.
  • What is the size of classes and professor-student ratio (the smaller the ratio the better).
Now, if after all these factors you still come to a tie, my get feeling would be to go with GWU, just because prestige and reputation means less and less these days. What really matters is access to the labor market, practical experience, and one's network. You can get all of that and more in any school in the D.C. region."
Good luck and maybe we will see each other in DC.
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I am also deciding between Korbel, SAIS, and Elliott but in addition got accepted to to Committee of International Relations at UChicago. I think that I want to be in D.C. just for the opportunities available within the city narrowing it down to SAIS and Elliott. I love GWU but I can't get over SAIS and JHU's reputation. Any further advice?

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Hi everyone,


I'm trying to decide between a few of these programs as well. The only funding decisions I've heard about is from Korbel:

20k founders scholarship plus 8k from another scholarship program.

I like many things about Korbel and I was excited to live in Denver. However, I honestly thought I would at least be interviewed for the Sie Fellowship. Has anyone heard of people on the waitlist? 


Best of luck with your decision!

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