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Son weighing 4 Schools

MomkeyMomkey 7 replies1 threads New Member
My son has yet to commit to a school.
He's not sure what he wants to study.
We live in northern CA

Choice 1
Gonzaga
Major Human Physiology
Merit 22K a year

Choice 2
Fordham
Major undeclared
Merit 27K a year

Choice 3
LMU
Major Health & Human Sciences
Merit 14K a yr, 2K work study

Choice 4
Santa Clara
Major Business
Merit 11,500K a year
No alumni merit even though dad went to SCU
32 replies
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Replies to: Son weighing 4 Schools

  • MomkeyMomkey 7 replies1 threads New Member
    Out of pocket costs:

    Gonzaga: $33,804
    Fordham: $44,484
    LMU: $49,540
    SCU: $57,193

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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30246 replies59 threads Senior Member
    How much of an issue is money? How much will paying for SCU stress family finances? How much in loans will have to be taken? If money is absolutely no issue, let him choose whatever school he likes best. SCU has the best name recogniction (for better and for worse) Otherwise, I don't see huge lifetime difference among the other three schools. though going to Fordham will give him an East Coast experience. Extra Travel costs should be added to Fordham's bill, for both you,the parents traveling, and your student. I pay the premium each year of having a student in a far away school.
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  • MomkeyMomkey 7 replies1 threads New Member
    We will be talking with our financial advisors in a couple of hours; will follow up later.
    We have about $75K in a 529. If he chooses Gonzaga, it will cost no more than what we're paying for the private HS that he's in now. If he chooses SCU, we'd have to take about $24K loan/year to make it work. He is our only child but I wouldn't say that money isn't an issue. We're well aware that traveling to/from Fordham adds to the costs.


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  • Smileyface1Smileyface1 33 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Business at Santa Clara or Human Physiology at Gonzaga. Two totally different majors? I think he should narrow down the options based on Major first.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30246 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Whoops, on my part. Thought SCU was Southern Cal, and I take back my statement. I think the 4 are all great Jesuit universities and it comes down to how much you and he want to pay for preference of environment. I agree that he should check out the schools' policies on switching from Schools of Liberal Arts to Schools of Business at any given university, if he wants that flexibility. One of mine got locked out of such a transfer at his college.
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  • RiversiderRiversider 934 replies111 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2019
    He is an 18 year old who is not sure about what he wants to study. Pushing him to decide on a major and then picking a school for that is not necessarily viable solution. Odds are heavy for a change of major and that’s fine. I would make a spread sheet, add cost, fit, location, strong majors, flexibility to change major, ranking, prestige, job placement, alumni support etc. While doing the mundane drill, your minds would process this issue in a better way then picking the cheapest one.

    If your family has a high EFC, $75k in college fund, an accountant and only one kid, chances are you can afford all of these options. You don’t have to or want to but look at whole picture to come to best decision and to find best value.
    edited April 2019
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  • MomkeyMomkey 7 replies1 threads New Member
    @BivalentChomps We are not trying to choose based on $, he hasn't decided, we're trying to figure out how we can finance the most expensive option in case he chooses SCU.

    Was curious also if anyone has some insight as to whether LMU or Gonzaga had a better pre physical therapy program.
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  • BivalentChompsBivalentChomps 49 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @happy1 @Momkey
    Maybe I did a poor job expressing my thoughts and/or misunderstood your post, so if I offended you I apologize.

    You said in your first post that he's not sure what he wants to study, but I assume that Health, Psych & Business are the majors he's narrowed it down to? SCU is a lot more out of pocket for business vs. LMU or Gonzaga for health/psych; so when you say "in case he chooses SCU" you mean he'd be choosing to pursue business over health or psychology. Got it!
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  • MomkeyMomkey 7 replies1 threads New Member
    @BivalentChomps actually he has not chosen yet. We're just trying to be proactive.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30246 replies59 threads Senior Member
    How to finance the most expensive option, or any option for that matter depends upon your family financial situation. The schools have told you how much they will kick in towards the costs. That will probably be the MOST you will be getting from them in future years, and you should make sure that the awards are going to be annual, and what stipulation there are for him to keep the awards if there are any. Usually the costs go up, as costs do, and it is generally expected for students to pay more as they become upper classmen.

    College expenses are expected to be paid from past, present and future $s. The past involves what you and your son have saved. We don't know this--how much do you have that you can put towards college costs, about 1/4 of this stash a year towards the expenses. The present involves what you can take out of your current pay or income. You tighten the belt if you have to do so; you do have some savings when the kid leaves home. When you got a kid in college, it can mean an austerity regiment. The kid should also work, summer, and maybe a few hours during the school year to put towards his school costs. Every bit helps. He can start this summer, maybe even right away if things are going to be tight.

    Future costs usually involve the loans. How much are you able to safely borrow? Your son will be offered Direct Loans in his name only, in the amount of $5500 for freshman year, increasing to $7500 in senior year. Any more will involve your signature and credit and responsibility to repay.

    Add all of this up and it's up to you as to whether SCU is affordable for you and how much financial risk you are taking, how much discomfort. Is it worth the extra cost between Gonzaga and SCU? Only you can answer that question.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77981 replies3490 threads Senior Member
    Our kid is a Santa Clara grad. However, we were able to fund the costs out of current income...not loans. Honestly, $100,000 for undergrad loans is not what I would suggest even though I think SCU is a great school.

    Will he also be taking the Direct Loan in his name?
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  • TS0104TS0104 1367 replies31 threads Senior Member
    What about non financial factors...has he visited all? Does he have preferences/leanings? I too have a mostly undecided son with only vague career ideas, so our search was based more on fit and less on program. Incidentally, my D is at LMU and loves it. She was decided when she applied (Theater), and is sticking with it so far (current sophomore), but has experimented...added and dropped minors, investigated a major change, now is possibly adding a second major...all with great, supportive help from her advisors and profs there. My son eventually ruled out Fordham after deciding the NYC lifestyle would be a little much for him. The environments of LMU and Fordham are quite different. Sorry, no info on the others at all, but we love Jesuit schools and congrats on the merit offers!
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  • happy1happy1 23821 replies2384 threads Super Moderator
    @BivalentChomps You did not offend me -- I just thought you were saying the the cost of college should not play a factor in the final decision so apologies if I misunderstood your post. I do agree (and said as much in my post) that the preferred area of study could be an issue although it appears that it is still in flux (as it is for many that age).
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43090 replies470 threads Senior Member
    Gonzaga seems like the best value. .
    Email and ask how easy it'd be to switch majors, especially business.
    Has he done overnights? Attended freshman classes?
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    I wouldn’t borrow more than his federal loan amounts, $27K total over the 4 years. If it isn’t too hard to switch to a business msjor at Gonzaga if he wants to, then it seems like an obvious choice. None of those schools are worth a lot of debt.
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  • gpo613gpo613 361 replies23 threads Member
    These are all fine schools, but none of them jump off the page as one that your S should attend over another.

    I would do the exercise of ranking all four based on all the basic factors of a school. He does a bunch of the rankings. After you do that then the choice might be crystal clear. Step back and take a honest look at them.

    My D19 did not pick the cheapest school, but she also did not pick her #1 choice either. We weighed all the factors. Money might have played a bit of a large roll in her choice, but being financially prudent is not a bad thing especially if one school meets your needs and is affordable.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27872 replies196 threads Senior Member
    all excellent schools. If you can swing it and he likes the campus, I'd vote for going cross country to college. The maturation alone is worth it, IMO.
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