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Hello all,

I've been offered admission (with no funding) to the SAIS strategic studies program, 7k a year to Elliott's security policy program, and 20k a year to korbel's international security program. I know the debate about prestige vs debt is getting old, but does anybody have any advice? Will I be so severely disadvantaged not being in DC? I've also heard that though korbel is 11th for IR in general, its strength is in its security program.


Also I have heard of other students using acceptance into top tier schools as leverage to get more funding from lower ranked schools, has anybody tried this?

The elation of getting into these schools is definitely wearing off as I try to figure out how to pay for them. Any and all advice is welcome.


ps I already live in Denver 

thanks and congrats to everyone who got the acceptances they wanted :)

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there's a lot of threads here that talk about using other schools as leverage even if they're lower ranked. honestly, i don't think it would hurt. they wouldn't rescind an existing offer simply because you asked for more. a little birdie told me that for elliott, at least, funding appeals will be reconsidered in late april. i don't know how much bargaining power you'd have as far SAIS since you initially had no funding, but again, i'd still try.

but unless you get funding out of SAIS, i feel like it'd be a throw away just saying goodbye to funding at elliott and korbel. SAIS is top, but damn, it's so expensive plus cost of living in that area is a killer.

also, go with the program, not the school. the same idea applies to how IR schools are ranked differently than their university counterpart. if korbel's specialty is security studies, then i'd say it's a good idea to follow the program.

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Hi there,

I'm currently a grad student at Elliott and I have to say I personally cannot imagine being in school for IR/security/that whole realm without being in DC. I get how important it is to not go into too much debt, so it definitely still warrants a balancing act, but I have had SO many experiences already in just my first year that I never could've gotten living in a different city. My focus is Russia, so I'm currently a semester intern at State, I get to go to events all the time with total bigwigs in the field, I have informational interviews with the Russia desks for various government agencies (NASA, DOE, etc), I can easily pop over to interview for future internships or jobs so I'm much more likely to get them, and my professors are often also practitioners in the government/think tanks/etc. I know other schools have some great profs and opportunities too, but I just don't think it would be nearly the same for me if I weren't in DC. It all depends on your career goals, though! :)

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