Which postgraduate offer do I take?

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Edminzodo
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Hi, I have been offered two really excellent options for my postgraduate degree, but am at a complete loss at which one to choose.

Option 1: USA, 2-year course at a pretty decent university (Big-10), funded by teaching assistant position, but will have to use some savings to make up the shortfall

Option 2: UK, 1-year course at a top 3 university and top for my subject in the UK, fees funded by scholarship and living costs funded by student loan, but will also have to use some savings to make up the shortfall (less than Option 1)

Until the COVID-19 crisis happened, I was set on the USA as I preferred the course, but I have to think carefully as it's very possible that I won't be able to enter the country, and therefore I won't be paid because I can't teach. However, Option 2 would look outstanding on my CV, and would be a lot less financially draining.

Option 2 have only given me a few weeks to decide, whereas Option 1 can't inform me about the possibly about me still being paid if they teach online until after 2's estimated date. I've asked and they are not willing to budge, so now I am at a complete loss as to what to do. I don't want to do a course with zero funding, but I prefer the content of 1, and the options, to 2. The setting and idea of studying abroad isn't really a factor for me (obviously it is now on a practical level, but I've studied abroad before so I don't favour studying in the UK over the USA etc).

I took a year out after my UG studies so I know I want to start this year, and have been doing some classes online, so I know motivation and working like this is not an issue for me.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you!
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nellybelly29
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How firm is the decision for Option 2 if you decide to accept their offer? I know the unis I applied to in the UK have made their process a little more lenient, i.e I still have to put the tuition deposit down (I'm American so I have pretty hefty deposits) by a certain date to secure my place, but if I decide to decline the offer at a later date I'll have my deposit refunded. I was also able to have one uni extend my deadline for accepting the offer.

Otherwise, I have been putting a lot of emphasis when I've been deciding on the program, as for an MSc the content is super important since that's what I've decided to specialize in. That being said, 'brand name' is still important, as much as I wish it wasn't. I guess it depends which big 10 school, but how does their 'brand' compare to the British uni?

Side note: the US is a bit chaotic right now, public universities are scrambling to figure out how to maintain funding, positions, and still have students incoming. My sister is going to be a fresher at a Big 10 university starting in the fall, and she's 85% certain she'll be 100% online, which might factor into your decision-making.

This was long and rambly, hopefully, it made some semblance of sense. And if it didn't, I feel for you. Currently deciding between two British unis and having a heck of a time. I hope you can come to a decision that you're happy and comfortable with.
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Noodlzzz
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Ignore this post!
Last edited by Noodlzzz; 5 months ago
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Arianax
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Option 2 seems more viable.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Edminzodo)
Hi, I have been offered two really excellent options for my postgraduate degree, but am at a complete loss at which one to choose.

Option 1: USA, 2-year course at a pretty decent university (Big-10), funded by teaching assistant position, but will have to use some savings to make up the shortfall

Option 2: UK, 1-year course at a top 3 university and top for my subject in the UK, fees funded by scholarship and living costs funded by student loan, but will also have to use some savings to make up the shortfall (less than Option 1)

Until the COVID-19 crisis happened, I was set on the USA as I preferred the course, but I have to think carefully as it's very possible that I won't be able to enter the country, and therefore I won't be paid because I can't teach. However, Option 2 would look outstanding on my CV, and would be a lot less financially draining.

Option 2 have only given me a few weeks to decide, whereas Option 1 can't inform me about the possibly about me still being paid if they teach online until after 2's estimated date. I've asked and they are not willing to budge, so now I am at a complete loss as to what to do. I don't want to do a course with zero funding, but I prefer the content of 1, and the options, to 2. The setting and idea of studying abroad isn't really a factor for me (obviously it is now on a practical level, but I've studied abroad before so I don't favour studying in the UK over the USA etc).

I took a year out after my UG studies so I know I want to start this year, and have been doing some classes online, so I know motivation and working like this is not an issue for me.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you!
If you can't defer Option1, then Option 2 is your only reasonably secure option at the moment.
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chi2
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(Original post by Edminzodo)
Hi, I have been offered two really excellent options for my postgraduate degree, but am at a complete loss at which one to choose.

Option 1: USA, 2-year course at a pretty decent university (Big-10), funded by teaching assistant position, but will have to use some savings to make up the shortfall

Option 2: UK, 1-year course at a top 3 university and top for my subject in the UK, fees funded by scholarship and living costs funded by student loan, but will also have to use some savings to make up the shortfall (less than Option 1)

Until the COVID-19 crisis happened, I was set on the USA as I preferred the course, but I have to think carefully as it's very possible that I won't be able to enter the country, and therefore I won't be paid because I can't teach. However, Option 2 would look outstanding on my CV, and would be a lot less financially draining.

Option 2 have only given me a few weeks to decide, whereas Option 1 can't inform me about the possibly about me still being paid if they teach online until after 2's estimated date. I've asked and they are not willing to budge, so now I am at a complete loss as to what to do. I don't want to do a course with zero funding, but I prefer the content of 1, and the options, to 2. The setting and idea of studying abroad isn't really a factor for me (obviously it is now on a practical level, but I've studied abroad before so I don't favour studying in the UK over the USA etc).

I took a year out after my UG studies so I know I want to start this year, and have been doing some classes online, so I know motivation and working like this is not an issue for me.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you!
I would say option 2 is better.

It's a strong uni and you have a scholarship there, scholarships will not only help you fund your course but may actually help you in terms of 'status' with finding a job after or even further study. Many job applications I have filled in have asked whether you receive a scholarship, so I can only assume this is something they look at.

Also with uni possibly being online, at least to begin with, you're not paying out of your own pocket for full tuition for an online course.
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mnot
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(Original post by Edminzodo)
Hi, I have been offered two really excellent options for my postgraduate degree, but am at a complete loss at which one to choose.

Option 1: USA, 2-year course at a pretty decent university (Big-10), funded by teaching assistant position, but will have to use some savings to make up the shortfall

Option 2: UK, 1-year course at a top 3 university and top for my subject in the UK, fees funded by scholarship and living costs funded by student loan, but will also have to use some savings to make up the shortfall (less than Option 1)

Until the COVID-19 crisis happened, I was set on the USA as I preferred the course, but I have to think carefully as it's very possible that I won't be able to enter the country, and therefore I won't be paid because I can't teach. However, Option 2 would look outstanding on my CV, and would be a lot less financially draining.

Option 2 have only given me a few weeks to decide, whereas Option 1 can't inform me about the possibly about me still being paid if they teach online until after 2's estimated date. I've asked and they are not willing to budge, so now I am at a complete loss as to what to do. I don't want to do a course with zero funding, but I prefer the content of 1, and the options, to 2. The setting and idea of studying abroad isn't really a factor for me (obviously it is now on a practical level, but I've studied abroad before so I don't favour studying in the UK over the USA etc).

I took a year out after my UG studies so I know I want to start this year, and have been doing some classes online, so I know motivation and working like this is not an issue for me.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you!
Big10!
A great sports league but not a factor of university, that said if you are going to Michigan, Northwestern these are elite schools similar to Imperial level, other like OhioSt/Maryland are very strong unis but more comparable to strong Russell Group like Birmingham/Leeds level.

You can wait till the deadline if you still have a weeks and see how optimistic/gloomy the situation is at that point.

In a worst case scenario option 2 sounds better and perhaps isn't worth risking, a bird in the hand... Ultimately you have to decide how much more you prefer option 1 to the risk.
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