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Spelman College or Dillard University Fall 2018

SimplySydneySimplySydney 13 replies9 threads Junior Member
I am very indecisive about choosing the right college. Spelman College (approx. 2,200 students) is a private all female HBCU in Atlanta, and Dillard University (approx. 1,300 students) is a private co-ed HBCU in New Orleans. Spelman's cost of attendance is around $47,000 annually while Dillard's is around $34,000 annually. I have been accepted to both and Dillard has given me an annual scholarship that covers tuition which is around $16,500, while Spelman has given me nothing. I like how big of a name Spelman has, how many opportunities are presented to the the students, and I like how smart the students are. For Dillard, the campus seems to be a little bigger, I like the location, but I don't like how small the student population is (my high school is bigger than that). Is Spelman worth the cost when I can go to a perfectly fine HBCU for much cheaper? Do people really value which school you attend to the point that I should attend Spelman over Dillard? My parents are also paying for my older sibling to attend college and we would both like to go to grad school.
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Replies to: Spelman College or Dillard University Fall 2018

  • happymomof1happymomof1 30853 replies198 threads Senior Member
    Can your family pay for either of these without taking on any debt other than the standard federal student loans? If not, then you need to kiss them good-bye and move on. If your family has no problem whatsoever in paying for Spellman, and you prefer Spellman, then it is OK for you to graciously thank your parents for this gift, and head off to Spellman without guilt.

    Save worry for grad school until you have a specific grad school goal. Law and med school you will probably have to pay for as there are only limited scholarships. A PhD program should be fully funded by by the grad school. An MBA should wait until you have at least three years of good work experience after college. An MsEng, MSEd, or MAT you might get help from an employer to pay for if you wait until you have a job, or you might pay for yourself if you enroll right after college, or might even be part of a combined program with your undergrad degree.
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  • SimplySydneySimplySydney 13 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @happymomof1 Hi, if I attended Spelman, I would probably have to take out loans that would equate to more than a new car. If I went to Dillard, I would not have to take out any loans because of the scholarship.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3377 replies12 threads Senior Member
    What are your options in non-HBCU's (e.g. state flagships)? Surely some of them are more affordable than Spelman.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43281 replies471 threads Senior Member
    Would your parents have to take on loans for you to attend Spelman?
    (I assume you would be taking the Federal loans for Spelman and not for Dillard).
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30853 replies198 threads Senior Member
    The federal loans are $5,500 freshman year, $6,500 sophomore year, $7,500 junior year, and $7,500 senior year. So yes they do come to more than some new cars. You would need to pay back about $270 each month for ten years. Many students do find that manageable. However, choosing to avoid debt in the first place is not a bad thing!

    Do read the information about the merit scholarship at Dillard very carefully. Must you maintain a certain minimum GPA? What happens if your GPA drops? Can you get the scholarship back if you pull your grades up?

    You should communicate with the career center at each campus, and find out about internship, job, and grad school placement for your probable major.

    Also, take a look at the graduation requirements for your major, and the specific course offerings. Find out if some classes are offered only every other year. Find out how any crossregistration programs with nearby colleges and universities work. That kind of thing can make a big difference for your experience.

    Lastly, how soon do you need to deciede one way or the other? If both of these places don't require an answer until May 1, you have lots of time to work through everything.
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  • SimplySydneySimplySydney 13 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @TooOld4School Hi, I did apply to non-HBCUs and got nice scholarships, but really want to attend an HBCU for undergrad. It is a goal of mine to attend an HBCU ( for undergrad) and have that experience.
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  • SimplySydneySimplySydney 13 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @happymomof1 Thank you for the advice! I will definitely look at everything that you said. In order to keep the scholarship at Dillard I have to maintain a 3.2 GPA and I think that I can get it back if it drops. I have three majors in mind: computer science, spanish, and/or graphic design. Also, I know that the name of Spelman is so big that a company like Microsoft or Dell saw an Instagram post of the Spelman computer science graduates that they were offered jobs on the spot. But is Spelman tuition worth that exposure when I have enough self-determination to reach any goal?
    Thanks!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83881 replies744 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    In another thread, you mention a 3.99 GPA and 26 ACT. Would a full ride scholarship at Prairie View A&M (a HB school) be of interest?
    http://www.pvamu.edu/faid/home/types-of-aid/scholarships/university-scholarships/
    Even without the scholarship, PVAMU's list price is $37k for out-of-state students ($24k for Texas residents).

    At Tuskegee (another HB school), you would get a $10k scholarship:
    https://www.tuskegee.edu/programs-courses/scholarships/freshman-scholarships
    It looks like list price there is about $30-35k, so taking $10k off of that would result in a $20-25k net price.
    https://www.tuskegee.edu/Content/Uploads/Tuskegee/files/2017-2018PolicyandFeeBrochure.pdf
    edited December 2017
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3377 replies12 threads Senior Member

    Spelman is considered in the elite of HBCUs.
    Spelman students average HS GPA is 3.46, 25/75% range ACT is 22/26.
    Dillard average ACT range is 17/20.

    The US average for ACT in 2017 is 21.0. So you will have mostly below average students a Dillard and mostly above average students at Spelman. Your peers make a huge difference in your educational experience, much more so (IMO) than HBCU vs non-HBCU.

    Spending $34K/yr for a below average college doesn't seem like much of a bargain to me. You could go to a CC and spend 10% of that. Are your other non-HBCU options around the same price as Dillard? Unless those are either more expensive or similarly ranked, you would do yourself a disservice not to consider those in the mix.

    Finally, you don't mention what subject you plan to study, but you do mention Microsoft & Dell. Does that mean you are planning to do CS? If so, look at your highly ranked CS options vs Spelman. A CS major at a good school can afford to take on some debt while it is more problematic for an English major.
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  • SimplySydneySimplySydney 13 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus Wow, I had no idea about these! I am now definitely considering Prairie View! I think I'll apply this week haha. As for Tuskegee, I toured their campus and didn't like it as much as the other colleges that I toured (hopefully that doesn't offend anyone).
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  • SimplySydneySimplySydney 13 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @TooOld4School I mentioned earlier that I would like to do a combination of computer science, spanish, and/or graphic design. I am passionate about art, cultures, and languages but am good at math as well. I know that CS is a good gateway for many opportunities, but I do not know which HBCUs are good for these three fields.
    Thanks
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