Dilemma! A state school or a top school?

<p>I have a big problem. My mom wants me to attend my state school for undergrad (or at least to start off in my state school (University of Minnesota) and transfer after my sophomore year). She thinks, it will save a lot of money and is refusing to help me pay for a top school with a big tuition (if I get accepted to one). Unfortunately, I will not qualify for need-based aid b/c my mom makes more than 100,000 a year. (But we've been in US for only 4 years, and my dad has passed away)</p>

<p>I have pretty good stats (Maybe, not by CC standards :)) 3.8-3.9 GPA, 33 ACT, fluent in 4 languages + etc.
University of Minnesota is an amazing school, the campus is lovely, the professors and students are friendly, and U of M is very close to my heart since I've been there so many times. However, if I am planning to possibly go to a grad school, what do you think I should do? Go to U of M? Go to U of M and then transfer? Or just go to a top school.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
(Also, Thanks for reading this long post!)</p>

<p>If you like U of M, go there. You'll save some money and you'll still get a top-notch education. Getting into grad school shouldn't be an issue, provided that you do well at U of M. Also, many state schools have top honors colleges within them - you should find out about this kind of opportunity at U of M.</p>

<p>Thats actually the SMARTEST way to save a load of cash.</p>

<p>Do well at U of M and then transfer after your freshman year or sophmore year.</p>

<p>Its the final degree that matters. My cousin got went to Umass, then transferred after the second year to Bentley and finished his degree there. This was all preplanned to save money.</p>

<p>I am going to give you a different perspective. College is more than just academic. It's friends you will make and experience you will have. I think many top schools have raised the maximum household income to be eligible for aid. You may want to check out some top LACs for good merit scholarship. I think you should get into the best school you could afford and stay there for 4 years.</p>

<p>Depends what school....If it is say Harvard or Brown, they cover all needed FA,so it is a no brainier.</p>

<p>I'm in a similar situation. I'm planning on applying to a wide range of schools. I'll include both Amherst and Ohio State. I'm going to wait and see how much money I can get from the schools before I decide. If your parents refuse to pay tuition, I think the state school is a very good option for you. It might be wise to apply to a few top schools, even if you won't qualify for aid. Just make sure you're applying for the top scholarships at UM. If you can get most or all of your state education paid, it will be a very good deal. Personally, I'd have a tough time choosing between a full ride at OSU and even $10,000/year at Amherst.</p>

<p>Pretty sure that many graduates of public universities are accepted into grad school every year.</p>

<p>As oldfort noted, college is not just about academics; go where you hope to stay. Develop friendships with peers and relationships with faculty. Don't start expecting to leave. A flagship state university will provide you with an excellent educaitno and many other opportunities outside teh classroom.</p>

<p>If you are interetsed in grad school, be especially aware of the need to establish relationships with professors in your major so you can get good recommendations for graduate school--certainly doable though perhaps a little more effort is required than at a small school where you cannot help but get to know people. And of course get the best grades you can to maximize your post-graduate chances of success.</p>

<p>It seems like Minnesota is a perfect match. Your mom wants you to go there, you would be happy there. Also remember you will receive MN Resident tuition at WI-Madison.</p>

<p>Look into scholarships. You have great statistics and lots of schools would offer full-ride or partial-tuition scholarships to you. If you are going to grad school, undergrad is all about saving money. Check out the Scholarships/Financial Aid forum.</p>