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NDH

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Can anyone please provide me advise on choosing a grad school. I have 3 days to make a decision between 2 different schools and cannot seem to make a decision. I am deciding between the University of Washington and Midwestern University. The UW is very reputable, established, and ranked #9 by News World and Report. However, I do not like living in Seattle and worry that my next few years may not be the best experience. It is always cold, the health science building is run down and not study compatible in my opinion. However, it is the UW. My other choice is Midwestern University in Arizona. This is a smaller school and is less well known but I feel in my heart I would have a better experience. The campus is BEAUTIFUL and I desperately need a change. I have been waiting to move and cannot believe I am hesitating. My head tells me to stay in Washington and stick it out, but my heart tells me to go to Arizona. Do I make a decision like this based on my head or my heart? If I am happier in Arizona but may receive a less renown education, will that "hurt" me in the future???? Can you please tell me why you all picked the schools you did and for what reasons??? HELP!!!
 

teamusaepee

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I have to say that, while I do not have any direct experience myself with UW, your fears are not totally unfounded. I have two family members who had bad experiences with UW and one was very, very negative. These were not in the OT department but it would certainly make me think twice about going there. There also may be someone on the board who can comment directly on the OT program and give you another opinion.

That being said, the general feeling on this board for PT/OT is to choose a school based on cost & exam pass rates. In fact, I don't remember anyone saying that reputation was important. Let me add to that list from my own personal experience, though - what will ultimately make you happy? Only you can answer that...just be honest with yourself.

My advice would be to compare the two schools based on cost and exam pass rates - if Arizona is comparable or better, then it wins hands down because you feel you would be happier there.

Best of luck with your decision. Let us know what you choose - it might help someone else later.
 

NDH

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ok this leads me to a broader question- does the reputation of the school you go to affect your career? Will a more reputable school make you a stronger candidate for a job opportunity and give you more flexibility in where you go, or is having a license all that matters? How do you know what school is "good"? How important is the reputation of a school later on??? What significance is the ranking system if the reputation of a school is irrelevant in the "real world?" I am referring to the Best Grad Schools List by U.S. News & World Report. I am trying to choose between a #9 ranked school or a #27 ranked school. What does this mean???? I have researched online, called people who hire OT's and would like to know what others have to say here. How do I say no to a school that has the "9th" best OT program, is ranked 3rd in nation for its rehabilitation department, and is a part of a world renowned medical school? I think that I would love the program but not much else about Seattle. What about those humble schools with respected reputations only within the communities they are amongst? Are those intimate settings more profitable and do they allow you to build stronger connections/relationships with students and staff? How different can the programs and quality of teaching be? Ok, sorry for the thousand questions, I am just at a cross roads in my life and finding it quite difficult to choose.
 
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NDH

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In hope of some reply I ask another question: As I struggle to choose between the two schools I mentioned above, I am wondering if the $30,000 tuition difference between the schools should be enough of a reason to keep me in Seattle even though that is my last choice? Will I regret it financially if I take the plunge and go for the private school that I truly want to attend??? Or do I suck it up and stay put for 2 more years? Any advise from those paying back student loans? Is it difficult to find scholarships and grants? I do not want to regret my decision but both have their pros and cons. I am simply struggling to itemize my priorities. DoctorJay- do you have any sage advice??
 

PTapp

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In hope of some reply I ask another question: As I struggle to choose between the two schools I mentioned above, I am wondering if the $30,000 tuition difference between the schools should be enough of a reason to keep me in Seattle even though that is my last choice? Will I regret it financially if I take the plunge and go for the private school that I truly want to attend??? Or do I suck it up and stay put for 2 more years? Any advise from those paying back student loans? Is it difficult to find scholarships and grants? I do not want to regret my decision but both have their pros and cons. I am simply struggling to itemize my priorities. DoctorJay- do you have any sage advice??

If I weren't married and were to pick a school, and if I were you, I would pick Midwestern over UW. I mean you will spend 2 years in that school so you might as well enjoy those years. But I don't know about the financial aspect of it because I did not even start my PT school yet. Good luck. It is a hard decision.
 

NDH

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has anyone else struggled making a decision between grad schools? how did you choose???
 
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