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Cost vs prestige when deciding between schools


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Hoping to pick the brains of PA grads....

I've been accepted to two name-brand PA schools. Both are affiliated with major academic medical centers.

One is private and has a strong legacy/alumni base. It is ranked very highly. The cost of living in the surrounding area is very high and the tuition is >$85K for two years. I loved the faculty and the area, which happens to be near my hometown. I am excited about the idea of having the social support of family and friends during the rigorous two years. 

The second school is in-state tuition for me currently (about $57K for two years), however it is a very new program. Although it has a great affiliation, no class has yet to sit for the PANCE and I worry about the clinical sites as they have not been as heavily vetted. Due to its affiliation, I do have faith that it will become a very strong program. It is also a very small cohort compared to the legacy school, but I do worry about peer support as it attracts non-traditional students, which I am not. 

Right now, both seem like a lot of money and the debt doesn't feel real (despite the fact I'm paying off about $20K of undergrad loans). Is the cheaper tuition worth passing up a school with such a solid reputation?

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Agree with EMED.  If this were a comparison of 2 established programs 1 well known and 1 state school then I would say save yourself the money for sure.

But brand new vs established regardless of cost would make me say established every time.  (especially when you LIKE the first program and it's close to home, more points in the 'pro' column for that one).

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