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Maxwell School vs. DC Schools


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Hey all,

I'm going into my masters for IA/IR straight out of undergrad. I've narrowed it down to 3 choices: The Elliott School at GW, SIS at American, and the Maxwell School at Syracuse. My issue is that I know all of the benefits that being in DC would bring: networking, internships, etc. However, neither GW nor American offered me any funding, and Maxwell offered me enough to make my tuition for the entire program $42k, compared to GW and AU w/o funding being $130k an $120k, respectively. Originally I was leaning towards GW, but can I responsibly go into potentially $80k or so worth of debt? Plus with Syracuse it's only a 16-month program as opposed to a full two years, and while Syracuse itself doesn't provide any real opportunities, I can spend my summer's in DC or abroad and my final semester in DC. If anyone has any insights as to whether the benefits of being DC really outweigh these high costs or if Syracuse does an adequate enough job to justify me going, I'd really appreciate it!

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