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Selectivity, Funding, Ranking (oh my!)


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I've heard from almost all the schools I decided to apply to (the last one being a safety, and at this point it will not influence my final decision) and have the wonderful position of getting in to everywhere I applied (tentatively).

I've seen all sorts of responses about PhD programs, but I was wondering about those who have advice for just Masters students.

I've gotten into great programs for what I want to do (2 of which are ranked in the top 10 in the country for the specific program). One of which assigned me an advisor who I've been told is quite respected in his field.

The others are very good education schools (top 20 grad in education), but the programs themselves aren't as well known. The interesting part is that these schools may give me more funding. In fact, I'm a top master's candidate at one school, and they're giving me a chance to apply to special assistanceships which could cover most/all tuition and give me a stipend... which to my knowledge is outstanding for a Master's student.

The problem arises is that this is my undergraduate university, and I feel that it would limit me in terms of program reputation and that I already go here... but then giving up nearly a full ride/having no debt after getting a graduate degree seems silly. At the same time, these other programs have yet to give me my financial aid packages (there's the possibility I would be doing an assistanceship/get aid from these universities).

I guess my question is if I should go to the better ranked, slightly more expensive school based on the promise that they will provide more opportunities, or should I wait until I go for my PhD (which may not be right away) to go somewhere perhaps more expensive?

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