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Are you willing to pay or loan for the expensive ivy or top 20 schools instead of cheap state Univ.?

compilercompiler 26 replies14 threads Junior Member
If a student is accepted by both of a very expensive top private university and very cheap state university with the same major, are you willing to pay for the expensive top university instead of very cheap state university and why?

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Replies to: Are you willing to pay or loan for the expensive ivy or top 20 schools instead of cheap state Univ.?

  • 88jm1988jm19 813 replies19 threads Member
    There are far too many variables to consider with such a generic question. There are many (huge understatement!) threads on CC where people pose questions regarding prestige, value, overpaying, etc.

    Two of the largest factors that affect the decision are the familiy’s financial situation and the individual student. With the first factor, family financial situation, realize there are different degrees of affordability. With the second factor, the student, there’s so much to consider....student ability, their wants versus needs, degree of resiliency, expectations, self-awareness, etc. Having said that, cost is not the indicator I would use when determining the quality of the educational and personal experience.
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  • NASA2014NASA2014 2354 replies130 threads Senior Member
    Yes, if I was a pre-med student. You want to leave your undergrad with a small possible amount of debt.
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2401 replies0 threads Senior Member
    Answer is it depends. On a number of factors. Many of which have already been identified above. Kids that are accepted at an Ivy are likely to have gotten accepted at a lower cost school (safety if nothing else). It wont be uncommon for at least one of those other schools to offer merit scholarships making that school "cheap" (and certainly if you are looking full pay at an Ivy). So the decision isn't uncommon. And those decisions go both ways. Again, depends on a number of factors.
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  • bgbg4usbgbg4us 1458 replies44 threads Senior Member
    I think money talks here really loud - with our family of 4 kids. If one got into an IVY, I'm guessing that kid would have some cheap options elsewhere. As parents, we can't take out huge loans for one kid and not the others; that's not right. If the total difference between the two colleges was say $50K or less, then we'd probably think about it! but if it were a lot more than that, nope. Thankfully we are in the midwest where the culture isn't elite-driven.

    kid around the corner turned down an Ivy a few years ago cuz of costs. He's at a small local unranked private college and happy as heck.
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  • gpo613gpo613 356 replies23 threads Member
    I think I would have paid $15K more a year for an Ivy compared to a state university that meets my student's needs. I know people here will say there are too many variables to answer that question to me most just don't want to say. It is a what if question. If you don't have general idea of what you might do if your student did get accepted then to me you might have to scramble to make a decision. I believe in being somewhat ready for the question if it does come up.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    We discussed college costs with our two kids before they sent their applications. We also discussed their application choices....which really were not an issue at all.

    We agreed to fund the college of their choice from the places to which they applied. No restrictions. In other words, they were very free to choose the lowest ranking school on their application list as well as the most costly. Because we had the conversation about money and college choices before the applications were sent.

    So...no...we did not say we would fund only high flying colleges at a higher cost.

    And we also did not say our kids had to matriculate to the lowest costing school.
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  • compilercompiler 26 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Let's specific. If the ivy school or top 20 university costs at least $30k more than the local college with the same major for 4 years, are you willing to pay for the expensive top school? If you are pretty rich, please ignore the question. Thanks for sharing.
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  • gpo613gpo613 356 replies23 threads Member
    @compiler I am sorry to say but you are not going to get a ton of answers to your question. People here just don't want to say. I asked a very similar question about 1-2 months ago and really got no one to bite. I was given all the reasons with all the variables and rankings for specific majors, etc. I got the feeling people just don't want to say. Like I said earlier I would have gone up $15K per year and that would have mainly been loans for my D19 if the situation had come up.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1779 replies33 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    You might want to review this thread I started back in April that has lots of opinions on this subject:

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/2136770-pros-and-cons-of-public-flagship-vs-private-colleges.html#latest
    edited July 2019
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  • gearmomgearmom 3960 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Paying 20-25k year for a state university is not very cheap.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2247 replies8 threads Senior Member
    At the end of the day it is what the family can afford and what value means to them, but i don't think there are many cases where taking out significant loans can be justified.
    There is also wide variability between "cheap state universities". Flagships like UIUC, Cal/UCLA, Michigan, UNC-CH etc are a very different "cheap university" than many non flagships or say Nebraska, Tennessee etc.
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  • LuckorWorkLuckorWork 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    OP's question would pertain mostly to families with high incomes : 150K - 250k for three to four member family. Below 150K, ivies are very generous with their aid packages. It takes all kinds to make this world - so we are likely to hear varied answers. If my hypothetical family of 3 was making 150K annually, we would have no problem paying 50K extra to any Ivy U. if my child was accepted and wanted to go there.
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