- 6 years ago
- Wedding: January 2015
Hi bees, today I was accepted into my second (2 out of 2) grad school! I applied for MSW programs, and when I’m done with my MSW I want to work toward eventually being a licensed clinical social worker and work in a school. I am leaning toward one of the programs (I won’t tell you which) but I made a pros and cons worksheet, and I’d like you guys to help me make sure my logic is sound, and which program you’d pick. I would be paying for these with student loans; I know it sounds like a lot but I have to go to grad school because my undergrad degree (psych) is useless without it. Paying back the loans monthly won’t be a problem though.
My two schools are pretty different. School One specializes in undergraduate and graduate programs for deaf and hard of hearing students. 45% of the graduates are deaf or hard of hearing, but I am hearing. I would have to learn ASL this summer and be pretty much fluent, as all my classes would be in ASL and I have to pass an ASL test at the end of both years of my program.
School Two is a Roman Catholic university, and is pretty prominent in the social work field. Although I consider myself an atheist, I have gone to Catholic schools my entire life, and I do have a profound respect for those who are religious as long as they don’t try to convert me. Being in a Catholic school, even praying out of respect or reverence does not bother me, but hateful speech of any kind (anti-catholic or anti-atheist) does bother me.
That being said, here are the pros and cons-
School One Pros:
-Price (~30k, 15k if I get a grant)
-Graduate with a fairly unique skill (fluency in sign language, working with deaf populations)
-Offers the possibility of getting a federal grant to be a school social worker (and pay only half tuition) but it is difficult to get this.
-Non-religious (less political and religious bias)
School One Cons:
-Have to learn sign language starting right now
-Have to be completely fluent in sign language by end of 1st year
-Focus is on deaf people, not so much the general population
-Possible social stigma against hearing people (I know hearing people who went here and said they were often excluded or were treated somewhat unfairly because they were hearing, not sure of the veracity of this though)
-Program not as specialized (a very general MSW program, not split into micro/mezzo/macro)
-Not as popular, I have found no school or program rankings at all
-I don’t exactly have a fiery passion for working with deaf or hard of hearing people, I don’t know if this would cause me to burn out because I don’t LOVE it.
School Two Pros:
-Don’t have to learn a new language. I am terrible at learning language, and I really struggled with learning other languages throughout HS and undergrad.
-Lots of specialization and opportunity to study what interests me (micro, mezzo, and macro programs are pretty separate and well defined)
-Well developed, prominent program (higher ranked, well known)
School Two Cons:
-Strongly Catholic, classes/faculty/students may be politically or religiously biased
-Don’t get the specialization of learning ASL
-Perhaps stigma in job search? (Catholic vs. non-religious)
-Don’t qualify for scholarships. They have full and half tuition scholarships but my GRE score didn’t qualify me for either. I’d have to get outside grants, or perhaps the very small possibility of federal aid.