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Harvard or full ride U of I?

bangalabangala Posts: 3Registered User New Member
edited May 2012 in Harvard University
So I received both the Stamps Scholarship to University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and admission to Harvard.

The U of I scholarship covers everything, including books, housing, etc., as well as a $12,000 stipend for research study/abroad. U of I is much closer, which would make my parents happier, and I am thinking of eventually going to med school so I need all the money I can get.

On the other hand, Harvard seems like such an amazing school to be at. They gave me a very affordable financial aid package, even if it doesn't compete with a full ride. Besides the stellar academics, the opportunities and people at Harvard seem much more diverse, and I think I like the campus and atmosphere there a little better than at U of I.

My brain is telling me it would be stupid to pass up a full ride, but my heart tells me that an opportunity like Harvard is once in a lifetime. Help?!?
Post edited by bangala on

Replies to: Harvard or full ride U of I?

  • lacrossemomlacrossemom Posts: 630Registered User Member
    If you can afford Harvard, then go.

    I happen to love U of I. My son is having an amazing time. However whenever I dig, he is enjoying the undergraduate experience more than his classes. He is doing very well in terms of GPA, however after two semesters he hasnt raved about either a class or a professor.

    As long as you have visited Harvard and feel the school is a good fit for you, you should go.

    Good Luck!
  • imntwoimntwo Posts: 126Registered User Junior Member
    If you're the kind of person who is aggressive about life, hungry, and wants to get somewhere in a hurry, Harvard will provide opportunities that U of I can't. This is clear to me. If not, then it's a tougher decision.

    What's your expected major?

    Good luck!
  • SikorskySikorsky Posts: 5,851Registered User Senior Member
    There are not very many colleges that are worth turning down that phenomenally generous offer from U of I.

    But Harvard is one of them.

    Sent from my DROIDX using CC
  • SikorskySikorsky Posts: 5,851Registered User Senior Member
    I should add: Harvard is one of them for you, because you gave a FA package from Harvard that makes it affordable.

    Even Harvard would not be worth ruining your family's financial security. But since your family can apparently afford Harvard, you should go. No question in my mind.

    Sent from my DROIDX using CC
  • texaspgtexaspg Posts: 13,454Super Moderator Senior Member
    Depends on how much it is costing your family and their financial situation.

    If they can afford it and feel comfortable, you should go to Harvard. You might end up at UI for med school anyway. State med schools usually end up being the economic options.
  • dadfinddadfind Posts: 65Registered User Junior Member
    I agree with Sikorsky and texaspg.
    My D was admitted to U of I too with decent Merit scholarship money (not full ride plus we don't qualify for need based) and Harvard. She is heading to Harvard.

    We are residents of Illinois and love our flagship but no comparison to H, except may be if you going for engineering.
  • Crystal31Crystal31 Posts: 339Registered User Member
    U of I is a great uni for sure but trust me if you can afford H then go for it because its once in a lifetime chance and not everyone gets it...
    Wish u luck on whatever you choose !

    Sent from my U20i using CC
  • exultationsyexultationsy Posts: 1,100Registered User Senior Member
    It's also easy to get research/study abroad funding here if you want it, even though nobody comes in with a guaranteed package included, so that + is less than it would seem for U of I.
  • SeattleBulldogSeattleBulldog Posts: 1,150Registered User Senior Member
    HARVARD! This is once in a lifetime opprotunity, and if you can afford it than take!
  • SikorskySikorsky Posts: 5,851Registered User Senior Member
    Crystal and SeattleBulldog remind me of a story I like to tell about a former student of mine who had been on a college tour with her mom over spring break of her junior year. She had been talking to some students at--let's say it was Swarthmore, because if it wasn't, it was someplace very much like it--who had been voicing all the usual objections about Harvard: teaching fellows, big lectures, professors who are more interested in publishing than teaching, yada, yada, yada. She said, "They said, 'If you want to go to Harvard, you should really go for graduate school.'"

    I nodded, and thought about what she'd said, and then I told her, "My advice is, if you really want to go to Harvard, you should go every time they admit you, because you can't be sure it's ever going to happen again."

    She went to Harvard.
  • Hmit2016Hmit2016 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Curious to know what final decision you have made if you can share. Good luck!
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