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SLO vs UCI (finance)

R3achForTh3StarsR3achForTh3Stars Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
edited December 2013 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
So lately i've been thinking strongly where i would like to go to UNI and i came down to UCI and SLO for my top two choices. If i were to go to SLO i would have to dorm for 4 years so i will most likely have to take out loans to pay for dorming for 4 years as i live about 3 hours away from SLO, and this would leave me about 40k in debt or around there. However, if i were to go to UCI i could dorm my first year, and commute the other three or commute all 4 years if i wanted to and be essentially debt free. I really like both schools but when i graduate i want to get into the industry quickly and i feel that SLO's hands on approach and how their students get lots of experience as undergraduates would benefit me alot more, however, i would have to weigh it against getting into debt vs debt free and i'm not sure if the experience and possibly connections i would make at SLO would be worth that debt. My major is in comp science and although both are fantastic schools for CS i'm at a lost.

Any input and thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Post edited by R3achForTh3Stars on

Replies to: SLO vs UCI (finance)

  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
    I agree that SLO will be superior to UCI for hands on experience and SLO and UCI will be two totally different college experiences. Please do not forget that one of the plus points of SLO is that they emphasize paid internships and co-ops. Some students can earn $10,000 for an internship and up to $20,000 for an extended co-op. Also, you can work in town if you wish. All these things can mitigate the cost of SLO. More importantly, internships and co-ops often lead to job offers. Of course internships and co-ops are not guaranteed, but those that apply themselves get the opportunities. So, think out of the box, there is more than one way to accomplish you goals and get out of college relatively debt free. By the way, I am not saying that UCI does not have these opportunities as well. It is just that internships and co-ops are considered a core experience at SLO.
  • swimdogmomswimdogmom Registered User Posts: 170 Junior Member

    I'm glad to see you thinking this way as I think too many college students don't think through the ramifications of a compounding student-load debt in the end that is more than the face value of the loan - including my kid who will be paying out of state tuition. You're right CP is a great school, but so are other schools. I've been told it is either some peace of mind with a manageable debt or possibly a great stress to add to your other ones when you graduate. Always trade offs.
  • NCalRentNCalRent Registered User Posts: 5,795 Senior Member
    UCIs higher tuition will eat up about half of the CP dorm expense. The rest, you can probably make with a part time job.

    I'd pick SLO
  • blindmonkeyblindmonkey Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    Besides $$, there is also the issue of what kind of college experience you desire. Living on campus that is very residential (Cal Poly) versus a commuter campus (UCI) is VERY different and will profoundly shape your college experience. These kind of differences can't be measured just by dollars and cents.
  • R3achForTh3StarsR3achForTh3Stars Registered User Posts: 15 New Member

    Yes i know that UC tuition is higher than that of CSU, however, i will probably receive enough financial aid to pay for tuition. If i were to go to a cal state the most i can get from grants is around 11k because cal grants for csus are around 5.5k while for UC's they are about 12k. Pell grants are around 5.5k grand regardless of the school i go to. If we were to compare the tuition/fees of both school then cal polys would be around 10k-11k. and that is how much i would receive from the grants. UCI, on the other hand, would add up to around 14k-15k which means i would have around 2k-3k left if i were to go to UCI.
    Also if i were to go to SLO i would HAVE to dorm for FOUR years and that will come up to at least 30k in student loans where as i can commute at UCI and save a lot of money. In terms of finance UCI would be greatly better than SLO, but what i'm asking is IF that debt i would take from SLO would be worth the experience,hands on experience, connections.


    Indeed there is a HUGE difference in college experience. You are right in that they can't be measured by dollars and cents.I know that. At SLO it would be more hands on, more exciting, more connections and networking. My problem is whether or not those are worth the 30k-40k debt i would have in student loans. I mean if i got a degree but wasn't able to get a job quickly, then the degree/experience that i got from SLO would not be worth it in contrast to UCI where i would get the same degree but not have to worry about debt if i didn't get a job.
  • blindmonkeyblindmonkey Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    I get that having debt is very worrying. I like to point out you are assuming you will stay in the dorm for your entire time at Poly. This will probably be not the case since upper class men typically move off campus to share a flat after year 2. Off campus housing costs will be a lot lower than dorm. So your cost estimations might have been over inflated.

    Also, if you graduate from SLO in CS with reasonable grades, you Will be able to get a good paying gig.
  • jackechanjackechan Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    @R3achForTh3Stars My question to you is why did you apply ED to Cal Poly then? It sounds to me like you are just in denial of how much you love CP and maybe not being admitted through the ED process let your hopes down a bit? I remember seeing your numbers and, personally, I would be surprised if you are not admitted through the RD cycle. Even if this is not your rationale for contemplating UCI, I would strongly advise you to wait for the actual award letters to be sent to you. While speculation is good to get a general idea, I wouldn't rule either school out until the school sends you the actual statement outlining what your actual cost is going to be. I'm not trying to be blunt, but I am playing the devil's advocate. Based on your posts in the ED thread, it sounds like you really like Cal Poly and I know that CP will provide a more true college experience. Ultimately, it's up to you but I'd say just keep a level head on your shoulders and take problems as they come instead of worrying yourself prematurely. Best of luck!
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
    @R3achForTh3Stars -- You make a compelling financial argument for UCI and it appears that you are enthusiastic about living at home and commuting. UCI just started their undergraduate business program and it could be fun being with the department from the ground floor. Another good thing about UCI is that it is located near many top companies in OC that you may want to work for someday. This will give you an opportunity to continue stay in your community. Your family should be happy for sure.

    I agree with jakechan in that you are jumping the gun here and that you should sit tight until you get the acceptance offers. It is quite probable that the schools will make the decision for you and you will only be accepted to one or the other.

    Nevertheless, now that I see your argument, I retract my previous post that was pro-Cal Poly. You may be a really good fit for UCI. It is a great school.
  • R3achForTh3StarsR3achForTh3Stars Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    @ OsakaDad and Jackechan

    Thank you both for your inputs! I know that i am getting over my head and jumping the gun, but i can't help but feel excited for college :D and i'm a person that if i get excited about something i do alot of pre-planning, you could call it about the topic, and so although i have not gotten letters of acceptance yet, i'm trying to figure out what school would give me the best college experience and least financial burden and try to find the better deal.

    Recently i have been thinking about whether or not i would prefer dorming or commuting, and i think i'm leaning towards dorming because i feel that if i were to commute at UCI it would just be exactly like my high school years where i just go to school, hang out with friends during break/lunch and then go home and the whole cycle repeats itself everyday. If i were to dorm at SLO for example, i could do exciting things everyday and get involved with the community more and make new friends! I'm not saying that UCI doesn't have the same options if i were to commute, but to me it seems SLO offers a more active and fun experience.
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