Looking for your brutally honest advice as I have spoken with students, administrators, and faculty at both Harvard's GSD and MIT's DUSP and nobody wants to get real about the numbers.
Here's the story: I was accepted into urban planning programs at both MIT and the GSD with MIT being my first choice. The GSD offered me an "ok" sized grant of almost 17k for the first year. MIT offered me a big fat "0."
I would still really like to go to MIT, but after doing some number crunching I will incur $32K in new debt in my first year at the GSD and $51K in new debt at MIT (to add to my $20K in debt from undergrad). I really like MIT. The students there seem happier. I'm a more policy oriented person than design. I think my schedule at MIT would be more lax so I would have more free time to work. But let's be real about this-- that is a freaking ton of debt, we are talking business school size debt without the potential rewards (I would like to work for organizations like World Bank or USAID after school). Any thoughts on this? Is all of this money honestly worth it?