Free ride or Dream School?

<p>Im a current college sophomore graduating from a 2-yr. community college and finished last semester with a 3.91 GPA. my first year I attended a private university that cost me $22,000 for my freshman year. so i went back home and did a year of free community college to help save $$$. so now after that, im now trying to decide on where to continue my education for the last 2 years to get my bachelors degree. </p>

<p>my major is communications and more specifically i want to do sort of a broadcasting/ sports communication/ multimedia journalism specification. my goal is to become a sports anchor/reporter. </p>

<p>my family unfortunately isn't in the best financial circumstances and paying for college is very hard (less than $32,000 a year / dad's retired & mom owns a small business), especially after that 1st year. we took that $22,000 out of our savings and my family has sent me on a guilt trip every time they bring it up. I have about $13,000 of my own in savings, but am scared about loans, and emptying it all, but then again everyone tells me that "everybody has loans," and my proposed debt would be average (see below). </p>

<p>here are the two schools im trying to choose between:</p>

<p>CUNY Lehman:
- 54 min. commute / bronx, NY
- major is called: multimedia journalism
- i will have a free ride to this college and wont have to pay to attend here
- have worked here since high school (internship) on a public access tv station run on campus
- in the city, where my major is based (but thats not a guaranteed plus for me, just a fact)</p>

<p>Marist College:
- 44 minute commute / Poughkipsee, NY
- major is called: sports communication (more specified for what i want to do)
- would cost $12,192/ a year (or about 24,300 after 2 yrs.) (this includes federal aid + work study)
- more accredited than lehman (by U.S. News top colleges in northeast at #10, lehman is #121)
- have wanted to go here since high school
- could look into possible continuing student scholarships to knock down cost (but not guaranteed)</p>

<p>so the real question is, do i take the free ride, avoid student loans, get a degree and listen to my parents..........or go to a school i wouldn't mind going to, with a major that appears to be more specified, but pay money and have loans.</p>

<p>Take USNWR out of the equation. What matters now is your specific department. It is perfectly OK for you to talk with each of these departments about internship opportunities and job placement. Considering how lousy the overall economy is, do they really have significantly different success at helping their graduates find jobs? If part of your question is really "Marist or CUNY Lehman for transfer student interested in sports journalism?", you could use a title like that, and re-post this in the Parents Forum.</p>

<p>How much of that $12,192 can you pay for yourself out of your own current income and savings, and how much would be student loans? If you use up all of your savings going to college, will your family feed and house you until you have a job that pays well enough for you to live on your own? </p>

<p>What would your debt at Marist look like if you go to school part-time, and work part-time? Would the financial bite be more tolerable if you did that? The $22,000 of your parents savings that you used up at your first private university, is that something that you are obliged to pay back, or something that you fee morally responsible to pay back?</p>

<p>You do have a lot to think about. Here is a calculator that might help you sort through everything: FinAid</a> | Calculators | Award Letter Comparison Tool</p>

<p>Why is Marist your dream school? What does it have that CUNY doesn't, besides a specific major? </p>

<p>I doubt if the major being "Journalism" vs "Sports Journalism" will make a major difference in getting your first Sports Journalism job. I'd think a young journalist (regardless of major) may have to start with the less desirable fields anywayand a more general degree would help more.</p>

<p>Make a pros-and-cons list; to me (not a journalist and not interested in sports ;) ) the CUNY looks BETTER for you.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Unless Marist has a record of <em>significantly</em> better job placement in the industry of grads from that program--and by significantly I don't mean they placed 2 or 3 kids out of 30--there is no way you should be considering that kind of debt when you have a debt-free alternative. Working hard at CUNY, continuing to make connections and build your resume, would probably do you a lot more good career-wise. Consider that without debt you may be able to look an unpaid or low-paid internships that will help you get a real job, while with debt it is out of the question.</p>

<p>BTW, $22K out of savings for a family with a post-retirement income of $32K is a huge bite. Presumably no one put a gun to their heads, but it sounds as if you got bad financial advice in the first place. I understand that the guilt trip is unpleasant, but don't minimize what happened--and don't add to it.</p>

<p>First off CUNY has a way better program than Marist. CUNY is one of the top ranked programs and Marist isn't even there in the rankings.</p>

<p>Second, you should explore your options more. I notice you are limiting yourself to two universities. What happens if you apply to say, The University of North Carolina and they offer you an assistantship? Top ten program, free ride, definately sports journalism there, and you cover the Tar Heels. Maybe Tar Heels basketball. That's smart if you can do it with a free ride. </p>

<p>It's ok to explore options away from home if it can be done. I am doing exactly that but I am in a similar situation. I have student loan debt I need to knock off. I have things I need to get in order. If I go to graduate school, I am willing to wait 2-5 years to do it so things don't get any worse.</p>

<p>I would rather explore options both in state and out of state then settle for Kent State or Ohio University. I earned a B.A. in Journalism at Cleveland State.</p>

<p>Now, I am not trying to knock down Ohio University. They have one of the top graduate journalism programs out there. However, I would much rather go to Southern California, North Carolina, Stanford, Miami, or Arizona State. I am listing a few just to give you the idea. There are other universities I am willing to look at.</p>

<p>I'm saying if you go to school away from home without worrying about massive debt, it would be an advantage both academically and in terms of life skills. I mean you may work very far away from your family and if you can, it's good to get used to that ASAP.</p>

<p>If you'd rather stay close to family, i'd say forget CUNY if Columbia offers admission. Columbia is always ranked number one or two.</p>

<p>A job like sports journalism requires opportunities and networking. I would go for CUNY, then pound the pavement to make things happen. Why not start a blog with your unique take on sports teams? Grab internships with sports-related people then do an article series based on your experience?
Being without debt gives you options. You will be able to use your savings for unpaid internships, or travel to hunt down other opportunities.</p>

<p>Networking is very important. This can be done with freelancing. I work for Washington</a> DC News, Washington DC Information, Washington DC Events | reporting on the Cleveland Gladiators arena football team. There are several professionals there including reporters from The Plain Dealer. This gives you the opportunity to network and showcase your skills in front of professionals. That can lead to bigger and better things.</p>

<p>If I lived in New York, i'd contact ESPN right this second. I mean I know some of their studios are in New York City.</p>

<p>You want to do sports journalism? There are opportunities in your own back yard. Did you call the New York Times? Seriously, I would make it big time if I could live, work, and go to school in New York City. You have a great opportunity to do big things very quickly. I'd take full advantage of it.</p>

<p>Honestly, being in New York City has big time advantages over, say, Cleveland.</p>

<p>I forgot to mention, try to become a member of The Society of Professional Journalists. They have helpful seminars, workshops, and networking opportunities. On top of that, it looks great on a resume.</p>

<p>You already know you have $30K in scholarships for each year for Marist (since it actually costs $42K+ annually)?</p>