I'm currently a sophomore (or, will be a sophomore in less than a week) at a liberal arts school that costs my parents (in necessary fees not including books, spending money, etc.) about $18,500 a year. My state flagship I just found out (to my amazement), would cost only about $7,500 a year if I live with my grandmother for a year or two as I did this summer, or about $11,000 if I live in an apartment or house.
My state has a new lottery that provides a $5000 scholarship to all students who qualify for undergraduate education. I heard that my current school is going to increase their tuition each year (for ranking purposes I assume), but that my state flagship is committed to keeping their tuition the same in the coming years despite the economy and despite the scholarship.
So if I stayed at my current school, my parents would spend about $15,000 on average the next three years; and if I transfer, my parents would spend only about $6,000 per year.
Is my liberal arts school really worth the difference? My parents aren't exactly wealthy, and my dad even recently asked, "So what is your GPA?" He's asked this before. I answered, "Around a 3.00." He responded, "Ok, well can I see your grades? I don't really want to pay $18,000 a year if you're making less than stellar grades. You could be at [state flagship] making all A's with little effort." I'm not so sure that's true, but my grades probably would be a lot better if I went there.
So, leaving all the unsaid variables behind like how much do I like my current school, how much would I like my state flagship, how good is my state flagship, how good is my current school, etc (because I think I can account for them), what should I do? I have less than five days to decide.