irapplicant17 Posted March 22, 2017 Share Posted March 22, 2017 (edited) Hello everyone, I've been lurking this forum throughout this past application cycle, and it's truly proved incredibly helpful as I applied. All of you have different backgrounds and perspectives, and I thought it would be helpful to hear from the people who probably went through or are going through the same thing as me. I applied to a few IR programs, and I'm waiting to hear back from a few more. But as of right now I am in between American SIS and Syracuse Maxwell, both from which I have received acceptances. I applied to Maxwell's IR program, and to SIS' International Peace and Conflict Resolution program. American was my top choice because my main research goal is in conflict resolution, and the program would allow me to take coursework in more specific interests of mine such as culture and gender. However, I have received no funding from American. While Maxwell's program isn't in conflict resolution, their IR program offers Peace, Security, and Conflict as a career track to specialize in. More importantly, they have offered me a tuition scholarship and graduate assistantship totaling $51,000. I have no loans from undergrad, and I was expecting to take out loans for my Masters. But I wasn't expecting to receive such a generous amount from Syracuse. If I was between American and Syracuse with no money from either school, I would have chosen American. But interestingly enough receiving aid is what is making this decision complicated. I am looking into specific stats of what percentage of alumni ended up in what sector and what positions they're in, as in that's the best way of really gauging how worthwhile a degree from a school is. But I was curious in knowing what all of your experiences were when having to decide between two schools. American is in DC, which is the ideal place to be for IR. However, with the way Syracuse's program is set up, I could do the summer and last semester of the program in DC as well, which works out nicely. If there was anyone who could provide me with some insight on American's alumni networks versus Syracuse's alumni networks in the field, I would greatly appreciate it. I've heard a lot about the "Maxwell Mafia" but I wanted to see if anyone has any insight to offer on the Syracuse alumni network versus American's in the arena of non-profit and government work. I know that this should be an easy answer (pick Syracuse), especially since I want to work in the non-profit sector therefore taking out more loans than I need isn't smart. But I wanted to consider every single thing before I made my decision. Is it even worth considering the $80,000 debt for the ideal location and better ranking of American SIS? American is a better fit for me in terms of coursework, research interests, and location. More professors in the program have the same exact specialization as I hope to have. But Syracuse has it's global internships and Maxwell in Washington, and it's the shorter program (16 months instead of 24 months), as well as the aid. If anyone could share their main priorities to consider when stuck between two grad schools, and how they maneuvered through that decision, I will truly appreciate it! Edited March 22, 2017 by irapplicant17 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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