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When is it worth paying a premium for a "dream" school?

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Replies to: When is it worth paying a premium for a "dream" school?

  • shortnukeshortnuke Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    edited April 17
    I usually advise going with the lower cost option unless there are specific reasons to go with a more expensive program (such as a specific program within the major that is unique to the school and is something that the student is passionate about). However, I think there are a few things worth considering in your case.

    First, if your D is only borrowing $26K over 4 years, then you're really only looking at $3K over the $23K subsidized loan limit. That's not too bad.

    Second, is your D interested in participating in any loan forgiveness program that is available to teachers? That could erase $17.5K of that debt within 5 years. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher#what-are-the-eligibility

    Finally, I would ask what your strategy was when saving for college. Did you always plan to take out loans if the costs exceeded what you could contribute in savings prior to enrollment and towards tuition, R&B, etc. afterwards? If so, are your retirement savings strong enough to support taking out $26K over the next 4 years?
  • lvvcsflvvcsf Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    One thing I want to mention is that it is good that you considered your contribution. Regardless of what your D decides, she understands what it will cost her and you understand what you are comfortable borrowing. On the whole I think like many others do that the debt will look very different in four years than it does now. Now it looks like a solution to a problem. In four years it will likely be the problem.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,138 Senior Member
    YSU "average caliber of student would likely be lower than at BW," - You're right, that could be a concern. But flipping it around, there could be advantage to being closer to the top of the class at YSU... more solo opportunities, possible job connections etc.
  • paize038paize038 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @lvvcsf - "the debt will look very different in four years than it does now. Now it looks like a solution to a problem. In four years it will likely be the problem"

    Yep - that is one of my biggest concerns.

    @colorado_mom - "closer to the top of the class at YSU" As it turns out, she's toward the top of the flute studio at either school. But according to the YSU grad student with the BW undergrad, YSU has a more developed network for job opportunities than BW apparently has...at least, for her.
  • eiholieiholi Registered User Posts: 271 Junior Member
    I'd ask your daughter if money isn't an issue where she'd go. She only goes to college once and $23k isn't that much over her lifetime. Happy memory is priceless, and as parents we should do our best to make our kids happy.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,138 Senior Member
    "$50,000 in loans(split between student and parents)" - There would be loan burden for student AND parents.
  • CanuckguyCanuckguy Registered User Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    @paize038 I would start off with this study:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-elite-colleges-lead-to-higher-salaries-only-for-some-professions-1454295674

    I do of course understand that ROI is not everything, but this is where I would start my analysis. YMMV.
  • paize038paize038 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Update: We got an email yesterday afternoon from BW that they have revised her scholarship offer and added $2000~ Not 100% clear if that's a 1 time increase, or renewable. This is in response to our request for a review, having sent them YSU's offer. So I must say that BW definitely will do what they can to work with you.

    Not 2 hours later, we got an email from the YSU flute professor that they have awarded D an additional $2000/year music merit scholarship! This is all due to the professor's urging - we did not request any review there, since YSU is already so less expensive.

    I'm going to hold off sharing her decision until after she makes it official. I appreciate all of the input, advice, links, and personal stories you all have shared - every one of them has been very helpful in seeing as many perspectives on this as possible!
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    edited April 22
    When?

    1. When you can afford the cost.

    2. When the top school is a great fit for your kid.

    3. When YOUR KID (not you) wants to go to that top school.

    4. When you feel that the process of his/her education at the top school is important as well as getting a job.

    5. When the top school has a great program in the area your kid is interested.

    6. When the top school has a prestigious brand in the geographical region where your kid wants to work.

    7. When the top school has other great programs in the event your kid wants to change a major.

    I would say the above factors are the minimum requirements for you to pay a "big" premium. If the premium is not that big, one or two factors can be missing.
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