Monday, March 29, 2004

I have a tough decision to make in the next few weeks. I have to decide if I'll be headed to Michigan with a full fellowship or if I'll be headed to Wharton with less money. The cost difference between the two is about $30,000 in loans per year.

My heart says Wharton. I feel like I fit there and I really like the school culture. When I visited other schools, my feeling was, "This could work, I could be happy here." When I visited Wharton, I felt, "I belong here, this is home." I know it's cheesy but I did feel a slightly better fit for me at Wharton. I just like the way they do things there.

But a full fellowship is a full fellowship, and $30 Grand per year ain't nothing to sniff at. Especially since I'm a nonprofiteer. I won't have much money going into school, and I'm not sure I'll have much going out. So it's hard for me to walk away from that money.

Michigan has an incredibly strong program, don't get me wrong. But I would still need to take out a significant amount of debt to attend Michigan. And their loan forgiveness program is not as generous as Wharton's. Also, I believe there are better recruiting opportunities at Wharton for nonprofits and in general. AND it snows twice as much in Ann Arbor than it does in Philly.

So I'm 95% sure I'm headed to Wharton this fall. I'm furiously applying to a couple of scholarships to help bridge the gap. If I were able to cut the differential cost down to $15,000 in loans in year one, I would feel much better about this decision. (I'm mostly concerned about the first year cost. There are MANY scholarship opportunities for continuing students. I've started a log to keep track of them because I intend to be all over the free money next year.)

And oh, for those who wondered - my favorite shoe shopping haunts are DSW, Nordstrom Off the Rack, Burlington Coat Factory, and of course the old standby for inexpensive shoes, Payless Shoe Source.

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