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Should I go to an expensive out-of-state school, or go to a decent state school?

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Replies to: Should I go to an expensive out-of-state school, or go to a decent state school?

  • 123Mom456123Mom456 Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    edited May 18
    Saying my parents can afford UCB, but they have to sell all of their investments to fund my education is one thing but will they do that. Personally, I could have striped my savings accounts (which will be needed for a comfortable retirement) and send my kids anywhere but that was not an option I was willing to do. They had great options in our family budget.

    UCB also has a 17% acceptance rate and you are guessing at your scores so it is really hard to predict anything this early. There are a lot of other schools out there that will help you meet your goal and will meet your family budget.

    You also indicated you feel you won't be able to be the best at Rutgers. Why do you feel that way?
  • carachel2carachel2 Registered User Posts: 2,311 Senior Member
    "They did say that they have a 401k investment plan or something, but they did not go into much detail. '

    Allowing your parents to raid their 401K for your college is foolish. It guarantees you almost that they will be depending on you financially as they age. Also, the tax penalties are huge. Do NOT let them do that.
  • 123Mom456123Mom456 Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    edited May 18
    Your parents don't have to divulge what is in their 401(k).

    You need to do some more work in coming up with options. There are a lot of great schools that will be within your parents budget and help you achieve your goals. Come up with some reaches like UCB, some matches and some safeties. Talk to your parents about what they are willing to spend.

    Your profile is speculating what your grades and test scores will be. What is your GPA right now after sophomore year and what are your PSAT scores?
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 2,338 Senior Member
    Your parents and you can borrow to finance your education. They cannot borrow to finance their retirement. It seems the only strategy for you is to go to a school you can afford without borrowing (much).
  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School Registered User Posts: 2,381 Senior Member
    edited May 18
    The idea is to get through undergrad maximizing your education dollar, with an eye on grad school. For a family in your income bracket, you will probably be full pay at most schools. If you want to go OOS, you will need schools that have good merit or low tuition. Some schools have combined BS/MS programs too, which usually saves a year. Some highly ranked OOS schools are a lot cheaper than others- Rutgers is $34K (in state), Georgia Tech is $48K, UCB is $62K.

    Next fall as a junior you will take the PSAT, which could qualify you for national merit scholarships if you do well enough. It is definitely worth studying for over the summer and perhaps taking the SAT in June for practice. You could get full tuition at schools like Alabama, Oklahoma and Nebraska, or half tuition at USC (making it close to Rutgers pricing), along with many others. If you are committed to social/environmental change you could receive other scholarships. Look into it now so you have a year to start something.

    Should you decide to go to grad school for business you have several options: Nearly free as a Ph.D. student in a funded program (you'll also get an MBA when you submit your dissertation at many colleges), on scholarship (often determined by your GMAT score or if you work in a non-profit, or as a full pay student ($125-$200K)

    I would keep my undergrad costs as low as possible while still attending a reasonably highly ranked uni as the best mix. Life has a way of altering plans so maintaining flexibility is a good strategy.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 10,930 Super Moderator
    As a sophomore, your job is to expand your list of options, not constrict it. Keep UCB and Rutgers on the table and also explore other colleges. There are lots of great places where you can get a degree in both CS and business; you don't need to go to the "best" (subjective, anyway) school in this area to get an MBA from a great school. Keep an open mind, too, in that you may change your mind a whole lot between now and later.
    Nearly free as a Ph.D. student in a funded program (you'll also get an MBA when you submit your dissertation at many colleges)

    This isn't quite true. Most business schools that award a non-terminal master's to business PhD students 1) award that after the student has submitted a thesis, which is usually in the second or third year of graduate school; and 2) award an MS or MA, not an MBA. MBAs are usually pretty defined courses of study and the courses you'd have to take in a PhD are quite different. It's my general opinion that pursuing a PhD when you really just want or need a master's (especially a professional master's) is a bad idea.

    There also are not that many scholarships for MBAs.
  • StPaulDadStPaulDad Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    You have way more choices than just Berkeley or staying at home. In fact most of your choices are not either of those extremes. Look at more schools than just those familiar to you, stay open to figuring out what you want, and don't start making hard choices until you've sifted through a lot more options. Begin by following the steps outlined by @happy1 above: find out your actual financial constraints from your parents, figure out who you are and what you want from college and what you want to do (grad school?), find schools that match all criteria, and then go out and work hard and enjoy your life.
  • bssurlybssurly Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    edited May 19
    If your parents' annual income is 50,000 after taxes + expenses how would you be able to pay for UCB?
  • poblob14poblob14 Registered User Posts: 328 Member
    To say what others have said, in a different way: My wife and I could sell all of our investments and send both of our daughters to Cal.

    But we won't.
  • LostLilKidLostLilKid Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    As someone who also dreamed to go to UCB or honestly I just wanted to go to a UC in general. It's just not feasible for people in the middle class who would be oos. And since you plan to attend grad school, it just wouldn't make sense to spend it on undergrad. I definitely understand not wanting to go to your state flagship where everyone else is going. With your projected stats (Which I suggest not relying on them and go with where you are at now) you could possibly get some significant merit aid from several other universities around the country. I would advise to keep you options open after all you have all of junior to research and explore.
  • SpacemanEdSpacemanEd Registered User Posts: 278 Junior Member
    Here's a business lesson pre-Wharton:

    Forget UCB now. A 401(k) is not just an investment fund, it has a particular purpose - to fund your parents' retirement since Social Security and Medicare aren't enough. The way it works is that they contribute toward it from their wages and pay income taxes on the net rather than the gross. It is a piggybank not to be broken until they are 59 1/2. It is not a Want; it is a NEED.

    The market is at its historical peak now. It will, at some point, go down, It always does. In 2008, it went down so far that many people's investments weren't worth what they had put into it. I'm one of them. Fortunately, the market and I recovered.

    If that bank is broken or cracked, by the market or you, your parents lose the tax savings. The money withdrawn counts as additional income, so they'll pay even more in taxes. Plus a 10% penalty for doing so, That, Destroyer, is a non-starter!

    It's good to dream, have a plan, and do your own research. It's still early. You'll have your PSATs, SATs and, hopefully, a wise guidance counselor to help you navigate through the process. But let's keep it real. Focus your dreams on a long, happy life after college. College is merely a step to getting there, and there's a lot of choices.

    My advice is to find the right fit for undergrad. The right fit for your current plan us a school where you can realistically get your undergrad diploma in four years, where you can be involved. Maybe a place that you can get a dual-major degree. A value place that allows you to save money for grad school. Don't forget, you don't want to live your life with high debt which will limit your ability to borrow money if needed. You want good credit - making promises that you can keep 100% of the time. And, if something happens (and it will), you don't want to start over.

    Good luck!

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