Syracuse vs IVY (help me)


Here's the deal, Accepted to Syracuse (Advance standing,8k), Penn(14.5k), Columbia(15k) and CUNY(?)

I am still torn between saving mega cash and going to Syracuse, or going Ivy. I am seriously Interested in Academia down the road, and is the main reason I am still interested in the Ivy route (Columbia,Penn) Any info/advise would be welcome!

Option 1. 

Go to Syracuse for two years, I would come out around 20-30k in debt(.......yes...... why am i still even thinking about this), and thats if I don't get a TA spot, living in Syracuse is also dirt cheap comparative. Work for a year or two, figure out what I want to do and if anything has changed and reapply for M.S or M.Arch 2 degrees (Harvard or Columbia preferable) if I feel like its needed. Also the likely hood I would get more funding at this age and this stage of the game seams to be higher(?), also it only would be an extra 1.5-2 years total( but only an extra year over the normal march 1 since I have advance standings)

Let me note, I'm really interested in Syracuse, from what I've heard its a good program, but im getting torn in all directions.


-Advance Standings

-Decent Scholarship

-Michael Speaks

-Looking like there coming up within the ranking(their undergrad has always been top5, how does this transition into there grad program)?

-not ny(cheap, and also different experience from work destination)

-kinda inline with my own school of thought an interest

-study abroad within school year(super exited about this)

-more likely to get TA spot(?)



​-not as well known within academia 

​-unsure about alumni relations

-besides Michael Speaks im unaware  of a lot of their professors 

-less funding 


Option 2.

Figure out which Ivy school I want to attend,this is also a problem. 

Pros and cons



-Higher respect within the Academic world

-Pedagogy very within line with my own, and vs Harvard, they were both my top choices.(although Columbia had more cons and I would of chose to go to Harvard )


-NY, I want to work here and for that reason I would like to get another experience(im coming from the west coast), also who can actually afford to live there as a student.....

-Tuition is about 10k more than Penn

-not really a campus




-Cheaper than Columbia

-Interesting Balance(?) of Digital to theory/ that this is their driver,  not exactly their platform as schooling goes and there are options to move within in and out of it......unlike say....SCI-ARC

-studying and experience a new pedagogy from what im used too 

-Has a campus

-Philly is one of the cheaper cities to live in on the East coast(for its size)


- not as highly known for academia

- Pedagogy not super within line with my own


So for the Ivy, obviously the biggest issue is cost. If we say my merit scholarship really only goes to pay for my living each year, I have to ditch out tuition for three years.... this is to say I dont get a TA spot or something.....and this doesn't even include other expenses..... like as im writing this......idk why Im still thinking about it.......



I also have no real way to leverage money from either, although im going to try through email and in person when I visit.



Convince me to go to Syracuse or the latter, why should I, what do they have to offer. Am I over-looking anything?

I plan on visiting all the schools, but only have the chance to visit one open house, which one should I go to? Syracuse?

Mar 18, 17 9:07 pm
Non Sequitur
No arch degree is worth $100k (or more!)
Mar 18, 17 9:25 pm

Thats kinda what im realizing.... even if its more than just for the ability to become an "architect"


the Marine Corps pays less than being an Officer in the Army, but their adds sure make you want to be a Marine.

same principal calebehly with Ivy league.  You're only as good as you want to be  in this profession. Ivy has that "allure".

get your first degree at a state school then go Ivy if still interested.

(Kansas '02, Penn '07)

Mar 18, 17 9:53 pm



true, I have my undergrad from a state school, I will be going for my March 1(im not sure if i was clear on that)

Yeah. The cost alone...

I feel like most people don't know much about Syracuse's program, but it's ranked, and I think generally well regarded.
Mar 19, 17 1:25 am

yep, im trying to find people to get some more info on them. I just booked flights to the east coast, and im going to set up visits for each school, and attend Syracuse's open house. Hopefully that will convince me!


Syracuse...then after you graduate if you still want to go to an gsd or gsapp apply to m.arch2. Or try princeton to see if you can get a free ride.

Mar 19, 17 5:00 am

Thanks, most likely what ill be doing!

Syracuse is an excellent school. And it's still very expensive. Don't spend any more than you need to, it would be stupid. Maybe even look into more affordable schools.
Mar 19, 17 6:53 am

Actually their grad program is cheap (18k tuition)!


But to be clear you were offered it at 8k? I mean that's a pretty sizable difference right there too.


Yep, and a 4k work study( i didn't use it during my undergrad), i also have 3 semesters of TAing under my belt so hopefully i can get some sort of ta spot. I have an extra day in Syracuse before my flight leaves so i might try and set up some meeting on that!


Currently there are $137 billion dollars in defaulted student loans. Last year alone there were 1,100,000 borrowers who defaulted. I would consider moving to a state that has a "public ivy" and establishing residency there by working a full-time job for however long it takes and then attending that school. What does paying a high tuition at Syracuse get you?

Mar 19, 17 9:22 am

A myth of public ivy programs is that they're cheap. Not to mention you've posted your acceptances and tuition outright correct? 

But further to this thought and others keep in mind that 2yr programs are different animals from their 3yr counterparts. Once you get past facilities (do you really need that big-ass robot?) and find faculty who will work with you (preferably before you walk into the door), what do you need? 

Mar 19, 17 9:46 am

Its a 3 year program technically, but yes i would be there for 2 years, which is defiantly something im not really concerned about but have noted. i have work experience in afirm and rather competent "school" skills, and the fact im interested in coming past is enough for me!


I'm in the same boat with different schools. My undergraduate program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has a way about literally paying you to go to grad school there. They offer full tuition plus $1000/month assistantship. On the other hand I'm looking at $60k at Yale and around $100k (plus interest) when you factor in living expenses since I won't be able to hold a job while I'm in one of these programs.

Having an MArch and zero debt is very tempting, and I'm thinking that it might be better to complete the program at ULL (which is a 4+2 or 4+1.5) to have an accredited degree and then try again later for MArch II and more funding. A friend of mine landed a job in NYC with mostly Yale grads around her because the program is what you make it. It hurts my pride to even consider saying no to a school like Yale, but I think it might hurt a lot more to be drowning in debt.

Mar 19, 17 6:11 pm

yeah, the feeling defiantly sucks, I feel like I worked so hard for this... and got it... just to deny it. I assume its the same for you!


If you borrowed $100,000 at 5% and repaid it over twenty years your payments would be $660 a month for a total of $158,390. If you were to put that same $660 payment into retirement accounts at 5% you would have $272,396 at the end of 20 years. The difference is $430,786.

If you continued making $660 monthly payments into your retirement account for a total of 40 years you would have $1,011,309. If you waited until the $100,000 loan was paid off at the 20 year point before beginning a retirement program you would just have the $272 K at the end of a 40 year career.

Mar 19, 17 7:06 pm

yep, i think its a no brainier, unless I can get major funding. thanks for the break down!

Brew beer, people love that.

Ohio State has an excellent program. 

Mar 19, 17 7:13 pm

I was defiantly clouded by the Ivy and New York areas when applying, which is something I'm starting to realize, i defiantly left out some good programs. But to also be fare to my self I didnt have any guidance really.


Pretty sure Syracuse tuition is 40k, meaning you'll still have to make up the difference between your scholarship and that. 

Mar 20, 17 10:17 am

Syracuse is not 18K ? it is like 48K or more now - it is one of the most expensive schools in the east.

Mar 20, 17 10:26 am

Looks like I was mislead..... its about 18k -25k per semester depending on how many credits you take.... so yeah its more that I expected.... this does change some decisions.


i would visit each school in person. i've been to penn's studio spaces and they aren't that great. i hear columbia's are really cramped.

Mar 21, 17 9:10 pm

Planning one it!


Update, got accepted to UBC with advance standing(i also have duel cit with Canada, so extremely cheap tuition), so if none of the above work out financially i have a good back up school.

Mar 21, 17 11:11 pm

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