I am torn, although in the end, I may not have any choice. Maybe, some can share their rational, objective input here fr CC/Stanford community. Please note that I am not comparing Stanford vs Cal per se, but Stanford vs Cal Regents.
I am lucky enough be accepted to Stanford and Cal with Regents Scholarship, both for BioEngineering. I am unsure yet whether I will go to graduate school or medical school in the future.
Stanford is my dream school, although I get to like Cal very much since acceptance and esp since the Regents decisions, while waiting for Stanford results.
I am from a middle class family with separated parents. The difference between Stanford and Cal for us is ~$30K. With Cal Regents, our family share would be down to our EFC of $6500 which were offered in loans. With Stanford, they double our EFC ($12500), plus student share (work) of $5K, plus non-custodial parent, also middle class, share of $19K, which I am very sure he cannot afford. Maybe, he can afford $5-6K at the very most. I dont understand how Stanford came up with those numbers.
Is it worth the difference, and being in debt, of +$120K over the next 4 years, just to choose Stanford over Cal Regents?
With Regents, I get priority registration, so graduating in 4 yrs would not be a problem. Also, there is also housing priority, so it's a non-issue too. The professor advisor & research opportunities for regents scholars are good advantages too.
Both areas, location and environment are fine with me. I am sure I will adapt well to either environment. I will be a good fit to either one. Stanford is 1-1.5 hrs farther fr home compared with Berkeley, but that is a not a big issue for me.
I realize Stanford is very selective (7% acceptance rate), but Cal Regents is very selective too (~ < 1/2% out of ~53K applicants).
I am really torn. I like both schools, maybe leaning towards Stanford more, since it is my dream univ since I was a child, that actually motivated me to work hard.
Also, what is the best way to appeal to Stanford Financial Aid ~ in person, by phone or by letter? Will they take it negatively if I bring up the Cal Regents offer, or will it not make any difference at all?
Thanks in advance for any input or advice. I intend to post this thread at UC Berkeley forum too. Sorry for the long read...