We finally received our financial aid from Cornell and now have to decide whether or not to switch from JHU, where kid had committed while he waited for the FA determination. Cornell is more expensive but has a better reputation and more classes in Materials Science, kid’s prospective major.
Below are the pros and cons, as I see them. Wondering whether there is anything I’m missing.
- Kid prefers the larger, less urban campus
- More classes in subject he’s interested in (Materials Science)
- Better engineering reputation, in general (he’s not interested in BME)
- Better CS reputation
- He feels like he will find his people more easily, partly because of the school size but also because there are more athletes
- Its an ivy and, post graduation, there are alumni benefits to being an ivy grad
- Overall administration seems disorganized (based on this financial aid issue and what we’ve heard from other parents)
- Approximately $20k more per year than JHU (this includes $7500 of loans); upon graduation he would owe around $30k (edited to correct numbers)
- Unlikely he can play a varsity sport since Cornell is top tier D1 in the sports he plays
- He was incredibly excited to receive a likely letter (non-athletic) and was ready to commit on the spot; however, the lack of FA responsiveness from Cornell has really discouraged him and tarnished their image in his eyes
- He has a spot on one of the D3 teams and the coach has been good about communication. Even though the team hasn’t done that well recently, he’s looking forward to being part of a team.
- It’s a great school, overall
- No loans required, FA is generous and parent contribution is well within my budget
- He is worried about fit, particularly since there are so many kids focused on pre-med
- Not as many classes in Materials Science and professor’s research interests are not really aligned with kid’s interests
- Campus is relatively small and kid really hates urban cities
- Alumni network doesn’t seem that strong (relative to Cornell)
So, given the above - is Cornell worth the difference in price??