I've been going back and forth, back and forth, stressing myself out.
Here are the details: I'm out-of-state and was offered a $15,000 scholarship by the LSA in addition to about $7450 in a Michigan grant and $3400 in Pell, and $6500 in loans and $3000 in work study. I noticed that juniors and seniors have a higher tuition; that worries me, as well as travel expenses (though I'm planning to work my butt off this summer and make some cash). I'm undecided but am interested in something in the international/political/social work route. My family makes around $40000-45000 a year and we have $110,000 in savings. I have a younger sister that wants to go to Penn State, a school notorious for poor financial aid. Michigan is my dream school.
If I go to the University of Richmond, we'd pay about $14,000 a year.
Is it worth going to Michigan? Common logic would say no...right?
If you're only paying 6500 in loans a year I'd say it's definitely worth it to come to Michigan. Richmond isn't in the same league in any sense of University life (academics, social life, location, etc.) and if you get into the Ford School you'd really be getting a top notch social work education with a lot of connections. You did get a pretty solid fin aid package.
$53,000 - 15,000 - 7450 - 3400 - 6500 sounds like a $20,750 gap for freshman year. Work/study will end up being your walking around money and you need to find the job and you'll be paid like any job.
Where will the $20750 come from? How is your finaid structured at Richmond? Is that $14,000 after all your grants and federal direct loans...is the $14,000 what your parents will need to pay? Are your parents prepared to pay $6,000 more a year for Michigan? This is more about what your parents are prepared to pay or co-sign as opposed to what you will pay since the only loans you are eligible for all on your own are the federal direct loans.
Read the fine print for all your financial aid particularly the scholarships...are they renewable every year? And yes, the tuition increases at Michigan as you move up through the years.
Wow I'm actually in the same situation. I'm deciding between Richmond and Michigan although Michigan has always been my dream school. My numbers are close too. For Richmond, I'd only have to pay around 13,000 with federal loans. For Michigan, my aid package was no where near as good. Everyone tells me to go for Michigan, but I honestly can't sit down with my parents to talk about it. I can't bring myself to put a burden on them. I'm visiting Richmond on Friday/Saturday. I hope I won't be biased since I did campus day last weekend...but it's hard not to be.
Holy crow, that's so weird. We're in exactly the same boat, down to the prices and everything! I'm planning on visiting Richmond Friday and Saturday too, but Campus Day/Spring Welcome Day (?) for Michigan is the same weekend so I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Where I choose to visit this weekend is probably where I'm going to go to school. Let me know what happens with you!
I honestly can't sit down with my parents to talk about it.
You need to sit down and talk to your parents. Unless you have an actual credit history chances are you alone will not be able to take out loans greater than the federal direct loans. Don't be afraid to ask your parents how much they can contribute. That is a more important component of going to college than getting accepted. You can't attend until the money situation is figured out....trust me, the bills from the college do come starting with the dorm deposit!
mysliwiec5: you will be short $20,000 just for this year at Michigan. Make sure that your family is willing to cover that (instead of $14000 at Richmond). Then make sure they are OK with that gap for 4 years. You can perhaps trim some of that (cheapest dorm, cheapest food plan you are able to take, used books, cheap transportation etc.) but in broad terms what needs to be paid out of pocket is the difference between the federal direct loans + grants + scholarships and the actual bill from the university..both for Richmond OR from Michigan. Best wishes both of you whichever choice you make.
Oh no! You should definitely visit both. I'm assuming you love and know more about Umich. You should give Richmond and shot a visit. Campus day was great and all, but I honestly didn't learn anything new because I pretty much read a lot about the school online and such. But they have Campus day every Monday and Friday. Richmond's main event is on Saturday! But since I'm Asian, they actually paid for my plane ticket through this diversity program.. so I'm doing an overnight at a student's dorm. The program is called ANSWER if you want to give it a shot.Register for The ANSWER, Undergraduate Admission, University of Richmond
I would argue especially for anything in the political science/public policy field Michigan would be worth it. That is a very competitive field, and going to a name school like UM where their poly sci program has been top 5 for decades would give you a huge advantage over Richmond. The only program I know is very good at Richmond is their business school.
Of course, money must come first, but I would look at it in terms of whether or not you believe a UM degree vs. a UR degree would pay itself off in under 10 years.
UM degree vs. a UR degree would pay itself off in under 10 years.
Not sure I understand...5 years after graduation financial success is dependent more on the individual's work track record then where they went to college. Can you explain what you mean by "pay itself off in under 10 years?
Is it a good idea to incur $26,000 of student loans from attending Michigan? I know it's a great school, everyone knows it, but that's a lot of money.
Mysli...while student debt is never a great idea if it can be avoided, most IN-STATE UMich students end up with $26,000-$30 k in Fed Student Loan debt.
The payback is just under $300 a month for 10 yrs on the low end -to $330.
That is considered the "national average" and not "excessive."
The problem in your case is whether or not your parents are comfortable going BEYOND that loan and paying for or financing the $14,000 a year additional gap. Given that they DO have savings and that there are TWO of you, and that this over 4 years represents less than half of same savings, perhaps they had intended to use that money that way. Discuss it with them.
However, if their savings were meant for retirement or a rainy day...$14k would be a LOT for them to find out of their regular income.
"Not sure I understand...5 years after graduation financial success is dependent more on the individual's work track record then where they went to college. Can you explain what you mean by "pay itself off in under 10 years?""
I meant would the opportunities for financial success (at say, more prestigious companies) presented at UM be better then at UR so as 10 years down the road, there is a significant difference.
This is always how I've been told to look at problems, sorry if it is confusing.
^^Ah, If a Fortune 50 company hires two individuals perhaps one from a local directional U and one from the state flagship for the same position it is most likely that the salary difference will be negligible. After that initial hiring the salary adjustments, promotions, etc. in year 2,3,4 etc. will be predicated on the individual's success or company policy. In my case, kids that were hired from Michigan Tech, UofM, State, all started at the same salary and no one kept track of which ones went to which school as the years went by. Their salaries and success were/are predicated on their individual strengths. Strong leaders are strong leaders regardless of which college they attend...the difference 10 years down the road would be based on the individual, not the educational institution. If there is any "college halo" effect it is my opinion that it happens only in the initial job after college if at all. If anything, with regard to students assuming debt above and beyond the federal direct loans, research starting salaries for the major and the industry and put together a modest earnings projection to see the impact of the debt. The National Association of Colleges and Employers has good, accurate information.
Thank you so much for the advice, everybody. I've decided to spend the upcoming weekend at Richmond. My brain keeps telling me to enroll at Richmond (although my heart is screaming "Michigan"), so I'm visiting with hopes that I'll fall in love with it and the decision will be easier. We'll see how it goes.