Sunday, April 15, 2012

MArch Decision

I applied last year and I have been offered places at Cornell University, Parsons The New School of Design and Pratt Institute, I have also on the waitlist for Columbia University.

I am currently struggling to make a decision about where to go and I have been asking various American friends and acquaintances about their impressions of each school as well as attending students. I have narrowed down my choices to Parsons and Cornell and I was wondering whether you could help me, by also telling me what your impressions/experiences are of both institutions.

The rankings and reputation in this case would suggest that Cornell be the best option, however I would have concerns about living in Ithaca. With Parsons, I am a little worried about whether employers would see it as a lesser institution as it is more generally known for art and design. I am a British applicant and I can only infer these things from a surface level. I appreciate that you cannot offer recommendations but it is important for me to get an opinion from a professional in the field. So I would be very grateful for any information that you can offer in this case.

I was also wondering if you could help me with details of approximate starting salaries for architects or if you could point me in the direction of a resource that would help with such details? I am in the process of applying for loans and I need to develop an out-of school budget.

Again, I would welcome your advice in this case. 

Congrats on your admission.  As you note, now is the struggle.

Truly, I do not have any insights that will be helpful.  I have NOT visited either program.  However, I can suggest the following which I have discussed prior -- Determine which criteria are the most important to you and compare each program against those criteria.

For example, is what is more important location, faculty, reputation, facilities, curriculum, etc.  Rank them in order and grade each program against your criteria.  Which program best meets your criteria?  Selecting a program is not an exact science, but try not to compare each program against the other; if you do, you will be spinning in circles with your decision.

As for salary, I refer you to the following article --

Salaries may be a criteria for you to decide; contact each program and inquire where its graduates go after graduation and at what salary.  Perhaps, this becomes a tie-breaker.

Best and do let me know your final decision.

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