I received an RA'ship related to an NSF funded project and a fellowship from the same place -- how much would you weight something like this in your decisions? It's not the highest ranked school I've gotten into and it's a small department -- I'm concerned that not going to the best school I get into might limit my opportunities, specifically in academia, in the future. How much would you weight RA/fellowship offers against reputation of the school? I know RA positions are quite rare for first year students as well, so I'm trying to gauge how much of a 'boost' this is. Anyone in a similar situation?
Best of luck with everyone in making their decisions!!