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Son weighing 4 Schools

MomkeyMomkey Registered User Posts: 8 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
«13

Replies to: Son weighing 4 Schools

  • MomkeyMomkey Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Out of pocket costs:

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

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,507 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.
  • MomkeyMomkey Registered User Posts: 8 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.


  • Smileyface1Smileyface1 Registered User Posts: 27 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.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,507 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.
  • RiversiderRiversider Registered User Posts: 565 Member
    edited April 16
    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.
  • MomkeyMomkey Registered User Posts: 8 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.
  • BivalentChompsBivalentChomps Registered User Posts: 43 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!
  • MomkeyMomkey Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    @BivalentChomps actually he has not chosen yet. We're just trying to be proactive.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,507 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.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,657 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?
  • TS0104TS0104 Registered User Posts: 812 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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