Pratt (3 yr) vs Parsons (2 yr)



I need some help choosing an M Arch program

I was accepted to Pratt, 3 years, no scholarship and Parsons, 2 years advanced standing with 50% tuition covered.  Both are great programs but based on my research, Pratt seems to have more of what I love, that being the more conceptual, even bizarre side of architecture.  I also plan on living in Manhattan so Pratt's Brooklyn campus as opposed to Parson's downtown location is not as convenient.  

I was wondering if someone could give me some insight into Parson's program because there doesn't seem to be so much info about it from other people.  Also, due to the coronavirus situation, I can't visit these places in person.

It might seem like an obvious choice but I just want to make sure I am making the right one!  Thanks!

Mar 18, 20 9:47 pm

 Pratt, 3 years, no scholarship and Parsons, 2 years advanced standing with 50% tuition covered

I say Parsons just because of this. Pratt is not that much better than Parsons, if any at all

Mar 18, 20 10:03 pm
Janhavi Savalia


I am in the same situation right now. Though I am more inclined to Parsons because of the advance placement with 50%  scholarship. However, I would like to make a decision based on their programs and and the learings I will have at the end.

Mar 24, 20 6:00 am

hi guys, apparently my situation resembles quite a lot but i have admission offers from RISD with 13K per year and Parsons 50% scholarship. I am also having trouble deciding between these schools. Parsons M.Arch seems young and i had no idea how respected Parsons architects are in job market. Anyone please share some information.

Mar 25, 20 1:33 pm

there are many many threads on this issue, but to reiterate...

let's assume each school will cost you 50k per year for simplicity. the school that is offering no scholarship will cost you a total of 150k, the school with scholarship 75k, appx 40k with the scholarship.

you can find the calculators yourself, but let me translate this to per month cost after you graduate (also assuming a 50k salary):

150k-$2400 ($28,800/year, 58% of your salary)

75k-$1200 ($14,400/year, 29% of your salary)

40k-$600 ($7,200/year 14% of your salary)

these are crude estimate, but based on a salary of someone working in nyc at the moment these all assume some form of the income based repayment plan. in the last two situations, you'll be making enough that you will likely have to pay that full amount. in the first, see below.

in my mind, the choice is obvious.. go where you get the most money. these school are not so radically different as to pay over 3x as much to go to one over the other. as soon as 1/4 instead of 1/2+ of your income starts leaving your paycheck every month for your loans, you'll be thankful you took the cheaper option and didn't waste an entire house's mortgage on a degree that will land you with a job making 50k out of school. best case, paying off 150k in debt will take you 10 years living like a destitute pauper.. if not the loans will be extended to 20/30 years, at which point you'll pay a huge tax penalty on the remaining amount, well into your 40s (at least).

no architecture degree is worth over 100k; it is truly an absurd number that you have no conception of until you have to start paying it off. i got "lucky" walking away with less than 80k, and it's still extremely painful. i can JUST make it work. i can also assure you my classmates who were not so lucky are utterly miserable under the crushing debt, or doing their best to live in complete ignorance. it severely constricts your ability to do anything else, as you will need a professional job that allows you to pay these debts off. that doesn't sound bad now, but after 5 years of running the rat race working at architecture firms, you'll probably want a choice. not to mention adequate savings to purchase anything else in life other than shelter, food, and the occasional splurge on a nice beer. don't count on forgiveness now that bernie is out of the picture....

in terms of my personal preference, i work with and know many parsons grads- they are wonderful. im highly skeptical of pratt's pedagogy, on the other hand..

Mar 26, 20 3:23 pm


Mar 27, 20 7:02 pm

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