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Should I go to my Ivy League Dream school or another less prestigious school for way less money???

kmd22222288kmd22222288 7 replies2 threads New Member
I’m currently deciding between three schools: Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Villanova. At Cornell, I would have to pay full tuition, but I love the campus and atmosphere. At JH, I’m offered off 2/3 tuition, but I’m not sure if Id like the cutthroat academic environment there. I could however play soccer at JH and I couldn’t at the other schools. At VU, I’m an alternate for a full tuition scholarship and in the honors program. I’m currently undecided with my major. Which school do I choose? Should I pay full price for Cornell? I’m not sure if I should bother going to JH if I don’t end up doing something health/medicine or STEM related.
edited April 1
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Replies to: Should I go to my Ivy League Dream school or another less prestigious school for way less money???

  • kmd22222288kmd22222288 7 replies2 threads New Member
    If I were to go to a school full price, I’d have to take out loans and probably be over 200k in debt.
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  • oldlawoldlaw 324 replies14 threads Member
    Who will be co-signing the loans, since that amount is way past the current allowable maximum?
    And don't know why you believe JHU would be more challenging than Cornell; both are full of high-achieving academically talented students.
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  • kmd22222288kmd22222288 7 replies2 threads New Member
    edited April 1
    I think my parents would be co signing the loans. and yeah everything i’ve heard about hopkins is that everyone studies all the time and there’s no school spirit or like social activities because everyone is so focused on their school work. please correct me if i’m wrong.
    edited April 1
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  • Bill MarshBill Marsh 502 replies5 threads Member
    Cornell is no less intensely cutthroat and competitive than JHU. Depending on your major, it can be more.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6419 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "over 200k in debt"

    This is WAY TOO MUCH DEBT. There is no way that you should even consider a school that would leave you with $200,000 in debt.

    Also in this case you are choosing from among three excellent schools. Academically there is no bad choice as long as you are okay with working very hard.
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3729 replies181 threads Senior Member
    If your parents are signaling that you will need to pay them back $200k in cost of attendance for Cornell, it means it isn't affordable.
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  • blossomblossom 10338 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I don't get it- what does it mean to be an alternate for a scholarship- right now you are full pay if you aren't selected for the scholarship?

    You can't afford a school which leaves you 200K in debt so that's moot. What are your options if you don't get the scholarship at Villanova?
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  • oldlawoldlaw 324 replies14 threads Member
    The schools are all solid academically, but please think long and hard about taking on 200K+ in debt for college-with interest being added regularly. Think about what you could do with 200K cash, or how long it will take to pay back that amount, plus interest.

    And you mention STEM/pre-health. STEM covers a lot of territory, but regarding pre-health-all-every single one-of the professional schools for the health professions is extremely expensive, with few or no scholarships/grants. Using JHU medical school, per their website, the COA is $86,599/annually.

    Do you have any lower-priced options for UG?
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  • OneMoreToGo2021OneMoreToGo2021 608 replies6 threads Member
    This is a no brainer: JHU.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3780 replies51 threads Senior Member
    If you're sure about pre-med, then I would strongly consider Villanova, esp if you get the full tuition scholarship. You'd probably graduate at the top of your class, and also debt free.

    But if you aren't so sure about pre-med, then there are a handful of fields where the prestige of the undergrad college does matter (namely finance, consulting). For these fields, having an ivy league degree from Cornell would make a difference.

    For the vast majority of fields, the undergrad degree makes little difference once you join the workforce.
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  • oldlawoldlaw 324 replies14 threads Member
    What is your COA for each school?
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  • inthegardeninthegarden 1697 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Unless you consistently have a very high income AND low cost of living in the future, the interest alone for $200,000 could keep you in debt for most of your adult life. Want to travel, buy a house, have children, send those children to college? The interest/loan payments would be expected EVERY MONTH. You’d probably be better off financially going to your local cc.
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  • inthegardeninthegarden 1697 replies30 threads Senior Member
    edited April 1
    Could someone with better math/accounting skills than me demonstrate what a likely monthly payment for a $200,000 bank
    loan would be? I don’t know what the current interest rate for such a thing is now.

    @kmd22222288, do you understand compound interest (no shame if you don’t....I didn’t at your age....and paid the price when I had graduate school debt that was much less than $200,000 and had me financially swamped for quite a few anxious years). Please don’t put yourself in a financial straightjacket....college is supposed to free you and open doors, not the opposite.
    edited April 1
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  • kmd22222288kmd22222288 7 replies2 threads New Member
    edited April 1
    being an alternate means that if someone who got the villanova scholarship decides to go to another school then I’ll get it. If I don’t get it, I’d have to pay full price at Villanova (so the same as cornell roughly). the cheapest option then would be going to the honors college at Arizona State on a full tuition scholarship, but that’s across the country from where I’m at. Also it doesn’t have the prestige that hopkins or cornell has.
    edited April 1
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  • kmd22222288kmd22222288 7 replies2 threads New Member
    yeah i’ll be honest I’m not the best at understanding money..... I hear some people on the internet say an Ivy League school is worth the money, and others say it’s not
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  • OneMoreToGo2021OneMoreToGo2021 608 replies6 threads Member
    I doubt there would be any real prestige value to Cornell over JHU, frankly. My answer might be different if we were talking about Harvard, Yale or Princeton.

    Two-thirds off JHU tuition sounds very good to me versus full pay at Cornell. Your family would be saving approximately $36K per year, or more than $150K in future value terms by the time you graduate. I do not think the Cornell name would be worth more than $150K over JHU. ESPECIALLY if that $150K is borrowed money.
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  • oldlawoldlaw 324 replies14 threads Member
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7757 replies82 threads Senior Member
    Anything is worth the money if you have it. You don't. And "people on the internet" isn't who will be paying off your college loans for the next 10-20 years.

    What would the debt be from JHU- and are there any conditions on it? any chance you could get less support after year 1? you need to ask that question really explicitly.

    If debt from JHU is still too high (probable), accept ASU and drop it if you get the Villanova scholarship.



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  • PublisherPublisher 11197 replies147 threads Senior Member
    edited April 1
    OP: JHU is the easy choice among your options.

    Cornell with $200,000 of student loan debt is not an option; it should be viewed as a rejection.

    Johns Hopkins University is among the best schools in the world and, although an intense experience academically for most, few perish in the process.

    P.S. After re-reading your original post: I think that, as an undecided major, Villanova University Honors with a full tuition scholarship may be the most suitable option for you. (As an alternate for a full tuition scholarship, is Villanova assuring you of any substantial merit award ?)

    P.P.S. Do not go to Villanova as a full pay student since you will need to take out an unconscionable amount in student loans.

    Just read that you also have a full tuition scholarship at ASU. Please limit your options to those offering more than a 50% tuition scholarship.
    edited April 1
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