Anyone going to Penn State, how do you afford it?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by PatsGirl1, Aug 26, 2010.

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  1. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    How do you guys afford it? I've looked at the MPA at Penn State for years now (and yes, I am aware an MPA and MBA could be redundant) and I love the program. I would LOVE to add it one day to my resume.
    But...how do you guys who currently attend (or did in the past) afford it?
     
  2. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    I could be wrong, but I think that especially in the business disciplines, you'll have people using employee benefits (reimbursement) that fund or assist with funding. But, I'd estimate many students simply borrow the money. I intended on borrowing for much of the grad program I started (Harvard Extension) but paid cash at first... and I'll borrow HEAVILY if I get into one of the programs I'm applying to next year.
     
  3. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Jennifer,
    I miss the good ol’ days of tuition reimbursement! I work for government now and there is NO reimbursing (or pay bumps/educational incentives, but I digress)… I’m borrowing some (not all) for Ashford. I am just already starting my preliminary search for the next degree after this one, and stumbled on some notes I had made on Penn’s MPA. I assume I would have to borrow for that as well. With some course transfer it’s only like $21k but to me that just seems HUGE! Lol

    I just wonder if alumni/name advantages are truly worth that $.
     
  4. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    I would think an MPA would be a step back.....but Penn on a degree would look great. You should go on to a Phd, then I would have to call you Dr. Patsgirl1
     
  5. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Yeah I am actually looking at a PhD eventually... The problem is (like everyone else here lol) my interests are wide and varied... Mostly they lie in nutrition and the business environment and factors of the one on the other (it's weird I know but I'm fascinated by it) and finance. And writing. Oh and learning languages :D
     
  6. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    Unsub and Sub Loans! I paid for my AAS and BS with cash but I knew that i couldn't do that for my MPS. Since the gov now controls student loans they make it very easy to borrow. I knew that once I FINALLY decided that Penn State was my school I would be paying for the name. However, in researching my professors I was very happily surprised at how highly regarded they are so not only am I paying for the name but also for the high quality instruction.

    The bottom line was this though. I love and am not at all ashamed by my degree from TESC, but I felt in order to stand out I needed a master's degree with a punch. You can't get much better ranking or name recognition than Penn State. I debated Penn State and St. Louis University for a while (you can search my prior posts here) but ultimately name recognition won out. (Sorry for my rambling )

    Last thing I'll post which someone else posted in my thread...
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  7. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

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  8. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    My exact feelings as well! I did TESC, now I'm doing Ashford (no name rec, but they made the fin aid process easy and bent over backwards working with me, plus I knew I'd get a good education), neither of which have any name rec. I'm young enough and just starting out enough that I could use a good name rec and alumni association.
     
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    An MPA and MBA are quite different. Have you looked at UI-Springfield? They are only $12-15K. Also, Troy is about the same price.
     
  10. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    They're redundant on some of the background quant concepts and things like that, but budgeting constraints, HR, etc. are all very different from the private/public sector. I've worked in both.

    Yeah the thing I liked about Penn is the instant name rec of "Oh I KNOW that school!" and the gigantic alumni network.
     
  11. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    Like I said though you will pay for it. In my situation Penn State will definitely stand out on my resume.

    What you need to ask yourself and compare is your ROI. If you can find a school that costs $15K will that extra $10K paid to Penn State be worth it? I've spoken to a few Penn State Alumni that swear by the Alumni Association and how it helps, but I have not personally experienced it yet (since I'm not done). Hopefully they are right.....;)
     
  12. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Yeah UIS and Troy both look like good programs in their coursework offerings and are about $14,800 and $13,900 respectively. The lowest I could feasibly get Penn down to would be about $27k, so almost double the price. Is it worth the extra $ for that?

    (I know, almost a rhetorical question, but one I'm mulling over)
     
  13. tiffer

    tiffer New Member

    Gah! Get out of my head!!!
     
  14. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    Do you realize that Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania are two entirely different schools? When people say "Penn", they are usually referring to the latter. I just want to make sure you didn't confuse the two when looking at the alumni network.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2010
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Well, my brother once told me (when buying a CD player many years ago), "always purchase with an eye to the future". Will UIS or Troy or another program give you want you want in the long run? Will you complete a UIS or Troy program and wish you went to Penn State and end of doing something else the second time around? Do it right the first time, spend the money and have no regrets or second thoughts...I say this as I am in the final stages of my NCU PhD and look at other programs for a masters for that "name recognition" :cool:
     
  16. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I believe you mean Penn State. Penn and Penn State are not the same thing. It's funny, even people in Philadelphia, where Penn is located, confuse the two. So much so that the campus bookstore sells t-shirts that have the Penn shield and say "Not Penn State".
    Penn doesn't offer an MPA, they offer a Masters in Government Administration through the Felz Institute. It is essentially the same thing as an MPA, but it is not available online though it can be completed on a part-time basis if you live in the Philadelphia area.
     
  17. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    Just so I don't come off as sounding like a school name discriminator I did it for my own personal reasons. Other schools may have programs comparable to the one I'm taking through Penn State but ultimately Penn State won the war of names. I knew about Penn State's reputation long before I researched the program I was interested in but after searching it just reinforced what I had already heard. I debated for along time between St Louis University (relatively unknown school) versus Penn State. Both have great programs but the nudge over to PSU came from name and price. While PSU is expensive SLU was way more than I was willing to pay. :)

    Congrats on wrapping up your PhD btw!
     
  18. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I went with UF for a graduate certificate because it was in something I enjoy and work in (healthcare) but also the name can not be beat. Okay, it can but that is a figure of speech. Also, thanks - I am almost done....almost.
     
  19. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I understand everyone; I know Penn and Penn State are two different schools. I was at work and typing quickly and had to use quick abbreviations. I figured since it was in the thread title and initial post you guys would know which one I was talking about. I will use PSU next time.
     
  20. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    That's the thing that is already driving me nuts on my resume- there is no name rec at all. I have gotten a good education (largely self-designed but if you get down to it, isn't that really what education is, anyway?) and learned things thus far that I know will serve me well, but at least in the gov where I work, if there is no instant "Oh ok, THAT school! I've heard of them!", it automatically puts you at a disadvantage. It's like that in private co. here as well. Maybe because it's MI and jobs are so hard to come by that HR is getting extremely picky? *shrug* no idea.
     

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