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I just received an email from UNC Charlotte that may be a game changer. I had narrowed down my options to UCDenver (I don't want to leave the mountains) and Pratt (received a $15,000 renewable yearly scholarship). UNC Charlotte just offered me a full ride and a research assistantship with an $8,000 stipend. I crossed UNCC off my list because I'm not sure where I will end up (won't be Charlotte) and I feel like the program lacks a strong reputation on a national scale. I would have in-state tuition at UCDenver and a scholarship at Pratt but am I insane to pass up a completely free Masters program??? I have to decide soon and I'm incredibly confused.
Hey Nina. I'm a grad arch student at Pratt. Have any questions you'd like to ask?
I went to Pratt; got two degrees. I would say it was worth it(at times). And I didn't get any where near and 15k scholarship. They must really like you. What that said. Weigh your options. How much student debt to you have from undergrad? Are you comfortable with making that kind of investment? A free ride is amazing but it greatly depends on the program and it's reputation to teach you the must cutting edge design or are you looking for professional practice kind of a school. Also keep in mind living expenses in the Pratt area will run you about 1200-1500 a month for rent alone, even with a roommate you still looking to pay about $800. New York is expensive. But the experience is like no other and if you stay you can form a wide network of scholars and professionals. Hope this was helpful
Thanks James. I think you're right, it's all about weighing my options. I'm going to make quick trips out to the schools in the hopes that the better program will stand out more clearly. Talia, I guess my biggest question is why you chose to go to Pratt? One of my concerns about the program is the faculty. Former Pratt students I've spoken with felt as though the professors didn't seem to care much about the success of grad students. I don't need or want professors who will hold my hand and guide me through my education but I don't want the polar opposite either. What are your thoughts?
I would visit UNCC, they are a younger school and lack the reputation that Pratt may have, but you would actually come out in the positive going there. While money isn't everything, going to school for free is nice.
I got into UVa, but opted for UNCC because they offered more funding. I have been there twice and its seems like a great school. I'm sure you have heard this, grad school is what you make of it. If you stood out enough to receive the award they offered I'm sure you will be successful wherever you decide to go.
I decided on Pratt because I was very interested and curious about the projects the school produced - they seemed to really push the boundaries for design process and possibilities through digital means. I haven't been disappointed since I've been here. I've really been exposed to a lot of different programs and ways to utilize them, but in ways that allow me to express my own personal direction as a designer. But also let me stress that Pratt does not rely on the computer alone - it's just the main strength.
It's also the one school I can commute to from home (I live on Staten Island with my family), which saves me a ton of money combined with my partial scholarship. I have a long commute (3 hours a day) but the process has sharpened my focus to succeed. I also have a graduate assistant job (I've had one since I started at Pratt last fall, it's not difficult to get one if you know where to look, and I can tell you more about that if you want- might help w living expenses)
I can't speak for all the faculty at Pratt. However, I will say that the school(on the graduate side at least) tends to lean towards placing more trust in the student's initiative. They will teach you everything you need to know, but it's really more up to the student to make decisions regarding their success and educational development. The resources ARE there, especially in career services, they can be especially helpful if you need portfolio advice and they are very well connected with New York architecture firms. But they're not going to force you to do anything. As for the actual faculty, I'd say in my experience that professors actually do care about the students and will spend a long time with you if you need it. But expect to be treated like a professional and to have your things done to the best if your ability, because they'll call you out on it right away if you don't.
I hope that helps/answers the question- if it doesn't/ you have more, let me know