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is it worth it to go to Ivy Leagues + Top Schools??

xFocusxFocus Posts: 198Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2010 in College Search & Selection
I mean they are good for education, but they are so expensive $200,000 for just undergraduate >.<
My parents leave the decision up to me, I have 200k in my college fund, but do I really want to waste it all on undergraduate?? I know schools like Cornell and NYU never give any merit scholarships to regular applicants who meet the standards and I do not qualify for financial aid? What should I do!!!
Post edited by xFocus on
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Replies to: is it worth it to go to Ivy Leagues + Top Schools??

  • splat11splat11 Posts: 293Registered User Junior Member
    This is a great thing to think about. Since you have the money, maybe doing the state U and then grad school would be the way to go. Is the $200k plus private better than the 80k public? I would say you can get a great education from both. There are a handful of schools (HYPMS) that may be worth it. 5 years after you graduate, it will be more of what you have done than where you went. Save the money for grad school.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,207Registered User Senior Member
    You are in the enviable position of being able to afford a top institution without financial aid. This means that you can apply to any institution that interests you, and then choose freely between your acceptances next spring without having to think about the money. Don't worry about "is Cornell worth it" just yet. Worry about building a list of colleges/universities to apply to that includes at least one admissions safety that you really like, and any academic matches and reaches that you like as well. Then, get those applications off in time!

    Wishing you all the best.
  • tk21769tk21769 Posts: 7,474Registered User Senior Member
    If you qualify for Ivy admission, then you should qualify for merit scholarships at many schools that offer them. Good schools for merit aid include Brandeis, Davidson, Grinnell, and Rice. Chicago, Duke, and JHU also offer a few merit scholarships (but the competition for these would be especially intense).
  • aserephasereph Posts: 125Registered User Junior Member
    I'd say stay instate man or find another refutable college that gives scholorship money. Graduate school will get you places. Save your money and find a good school that doesn't cost 40+K a year
  • jgraiderjgraider Posts: 2,845Registered User Senior Member
    Just so you know, no Ivy schools give merit scholarships. It's all need based financial aid
  • williamsdadwilliamsdad Posts: 383Registered User Member
    My son chose to spend the 200 on undergrad, then worry about loans for grad later. I can't say I agree, though.
  • kmazzakmazza Posts: 864- Member
    It's really all about grad school which is what you should ideally save your money for. If you have an idea what you want to do early on and do well at it then that is what matters. Grad school is much more expensive than undergrad tuition and classes get more interesting in ones major the further you go. I figure why pay lots of money for the fundamentals plus couple of electives? Some like to party their first few years but I'd save the money to pick a comfy n classy grad school n program that best suited what I want to do with an interesting selection of classes. When you are done with your undergrad essentials, being able to tailor your grad degree to your own personal interests and specialty is what is worth paying more for.
  • noimaginationnoimagination Posts: 7,016Registered User Senior Member
    Define "worth it".

    Anyway, why decide now? Submit your applications and think it over throughout the year.
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Posts: 8,649Super Moderator Senior Member
    Save the money for grad school.
    I see this sentiment a lot, and there's a few things wrong with it.
    • Many people don't plan to attend graduate school and only want a BS/BA. Alternately, many who apply do not get in.
    • Graduate (not professional, there's a difference!) school is almost always paid for. If you're good enough to be an adequate researcher, you should be getting paid.
    • Graduate school admissions is very, very tough in many fields, and attending a top college often helps a great deal.

    A student interested in law or medical school would admittedly often be better off at a cheaper school and/or pursuing merit scholarships.

    Students paying full freight are actually quite common at top colleges. Here's the percentages of students not receiving need-based grants at several top schools:

    61% Johns Hopkins
    60% Brown
    60% Northwestern
    56% Penn
    55% Cornell
    53% Columbia
    53% Stanford
    49% Duke
    49% Yale
    47% Dartmouth
    44% Princeton
    43% Harvard
    40% MIT

    Would I personally pay full cost at a private? Certainly not. I had an excellent in-state public and would not have considered the others worth the cost. Still, others can and frequently do choose to pay full freight at those schools.

    As others have said, there is no need to decide now. Many of the Ivies and other elites have < 10% admit rates, so I think you're counting your eggs before they hatch. ;)
  • noimaginationnoimagination Posts: 7,016Registered User Senior Member
    @warblers: I also find the "save it for grad school" sentiment somewhat odd, unless the money is specifically earmarked for educational expenses and cannot be saved for other purposes. I can think of plenty of advantages to starting out with a small nest egg already in place.
  • Roch2743Roch2743 Posts: 20Registered User New Member
    If you can pay for it, definitely yes. So many people get huge debts just to go to a private school.
  • informativeinformative Posts: 1,716Registered User Senior Member
    The top 25 National Universities and the top 10 LACs are worth it. After that, less so.
  • ChardoChardo Posts: 2,050Registered User Senior Member
    What do you plan to study? Some majors have little appreciable difference in undergrad quality between Ivy/top and 2nd tier schools. If you intend to go to grad school, that could mean huge savings with little downside.

    What careers might you be interested in? For some modest paying careers, that full-tab degree is not worth the price compared to the cheaper schools. Will networking be important, and are you sociable enough to take advantage? That could point you to the Ivies/top, where you are more likely to be surrounded by future leaders.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 61,229Registered User Senior Member
    I have 200k in my college fund, but do I really want to waste it all on undergraduate?? I know schools like Cornell and NYU never give any merit scholarships to regular applicants who meet the standards and I do not qualify for financial aid? What should I do!!!


    What is your intended major and career?

    Do you plan on going to med/law/business school?

    What are your stats?

    (Maybe there are some good schools that will give you merit scholarships and you can save your money for grad/med/law school or a down payment on a house)



    For some modest paying careers, that full-tab degree is not worth the price compared to the cheaper schools.

    This is true...but it's also true for those who will be going to med or law schools. NO one needs to spend $200k for a pre-law or pre-med education when going to a good school for less money can achieve the same...acceptance into a good law or med school.

    My own son is saving his college money for med school. He accepted a full tuition scholarship at a flagship public. He wants to minimize med school loans.
  • vonlostvonlost Posts: 13,727Super Moderator Senior Member
    "I have 200k in my college fund, but do I really want to waste it all on undergraduate??"

    You'll spend $200K at most any private school, so it's not an "Ivy + top" issue. Unless you think that all educations are the same, you may need this $200K advantage to get into the grad school you want. You're fortunate to have this boost; take advantage of it!
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