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Thread: Deferring enrollment?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Deferring enrollment?

    I will be applying for Grad Schools in the next coming months and also taking my GRE's. I will be graduating from DePaul with a BA in Geography and I aiming for a dual Master's degree in L.A/U.P.. I have some concerns though. While my debt from my undergrad is nothing too bad in studet loans, it is not light by any means. I would say I am close to 30K in debt, and this is excluding my upcoming senior year. My concern is, that more than likely for grad school there is a high chance that I would not be going to my state school, I will apply, but I am not too crazy about their MLA program (It's U of I's).

    I have thought of maybe deferring my enrollment of the school that I get accepted to and accept the acceptance, and moving to that state, work there for the year and become a resident in which I would then get instate tuition, which would be much cheaper.

    I have also thought of assitantships, which I know covers a lot of grad school costs in tuition.

    What have your experiences been? Should I just dive in? Should I become a resident and save some money? Please let me know any advice at all.

    Also, is a dual degree really worth it if my BA is in Geography?

    Also, if i get into Illinois there is a high chance I will go there due to cost (but I don't want to go there!)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    I waited 8 yrs before going to Grad School.

    We have have posted this answer about cost many times-

    Do not go deep into debt over the name of a school.

    If you already have in-state tuition there is nothing wrong with that.
    Miminal relocation costs are a big plus.
    The only difference in schools is their concentrations/specialities;
    core requirements are the same according to/by accreditation.

    Another re-occuring answer or question to consider and matters job hunting is -
    internship placement and experience.


    I am not a big fan of dual degrees, sorry.
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by lucifer View post
    I have thought of maybe deferring my enrollment of the school that I get accepted to and accept the acceptance, and moving to that state, work there for the year and become a resident in which I would then get instate tuition, which would be much cheaper.
    Deferring enrollment means you were accepted but are choosing NOT to enroll immediately. Depending on the program, you can defer for at least a year or two without having to re do all of the application. If you submitted a portfolio/work samples you might have a grace period of 3-4 years before having to re-submit the entire application packet.

    Read through the graduate handbooks for each program to find out how they define residency requirements. It's a good idea to work in the state and then go to school. It doesn't necessarily need to be a planning job (that's a bonus) so long as you live and work in the state where you plan to go to school in order to meet the residency requirement.

    In some programs, assistantships are offered to first year graduate students, and in other programs they are reserved for second year graduate students or first year students with prior experience in planning. Lou, based on our meeting a month ago, I think that the double-masters would be a good way to go or probably just an MLA degree based on your interest in more design-heavy work.
    Last edited by nrschmid; 22 Jul 2007 at 11:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    For what it's worth, U of Illinois at Champaign/Urbanna has a great reputation as a Landscape Arch. program. I can't speak to the Planning side of things, but I'm pretty confident that you'd get as strong of a MLA education there as anywhere.

    Still, go where it makes you happy, especially if it's in the location that you'd like to stay after graduation.

    The idea of taking a deferment, working a year in-state, and getting residency seems like a pretty good plan. Make sure you can get a decent job, though....

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I think one of the biggest setbacks about UIUC's LA program is the lack of heavy CAD work taught in studios, which is a very important building block in any design program. If you are okay with this, then go for it.

    See earlier post I had written about my experience with the planning program:

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...highlight=UIUC

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I think one of the biggest setbacks about UIUC's LA program is the lack of heavy CAD work taught in studios, which is a very important building block in any design program. If you are okay with this, then go for it.
    I'm not sure that there are many MLA programs that are CAD heavy, and I think that's OK. The attitude of most programs (and I agree) is that they'd rather teach you the concepts rather than specific software. If you know the general idea of how CAD works, and what needs to be included in a plan set, you'll have the skill to get an internship, and that's where the real learning starts.

    From what I've seen you'll get the basics of CAD during school, but you won't get proficient without major time, and that's best done on-the-job.

    YMMV.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Out of state with assistantship may not be that off from in-state without. Try to talk to somebody at the schools you apply to, about your chance at an assistanship and make it clear it will play a large part in which school you choose.

    I didn't have to take out any loans for graduate school. I commuted about an hour each way, to live in the cheap apartment I was already settled in, and if I remember correctly my assistantship paid for most of my tuition, plus gave me a stipend of $175/week, which was enough for me to live on. Some people assume graduate school has to put you deep in debt, but that isn't always true.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Yeah but I will have to take out some loans. Unlike you I can't commute. The nearest school to me is U of I, which is a two and half hour drive, and Wisconsin which is about the same length. I am thinking I would most likely just defer, unless of course i decide to go to U of I. Then become a resident, and then enroll. I mean I am not worried about debt but,I know there are intellegent ways to make things workout so you don't have bad debt when you graduate. Regradless most schools I am applying to their out of state tuition is less than DePaul's so, if anything grad school will be none the less cheaper than undergrad. So we will see what happens. Schools like Texas out of state tuition is not that far off of U of I's tuition. But thanks for all the advice and keep it coming!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    UIUC has actually seen a rise in tuition over the past few years (the State of Illinois, which is one of the most corrupt in the nation, made serious cut-backs in funding state schools when I was a senior in college). Fortunately, they tend to grandfather each class so that they are paying the same amount all four years. The alumni association is asking more and more money from me each year to offset the state cutbacks. UIUC, which has some of the top programs in the country for engineering, accountancy,etc. is also trying to pass itself off as an Ivy and they look ridiculous (it is a state school).

    If you plan on going for an MLA, you will need 3 years (2 years if you have a BLA). If you combine that with a dual degree in planning, slap on another 2-3 semesters. Residency requirements for in-state tution at most public schools is around a year. Since you are going to be in school for more than 2 years and you have reservations about UIUC to begin with (I don't blame you) I think it would be better to go to a better program out of state that might cost less.

    I forgot you went to DePaul. Is that about $20,000 a year now?

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