If your child was in my place...

<p>I'm deciding right now between Stanford and Rice. Normally, this would be clear-cut, except Rice offered me half their tuition in scholarships, and it's a lot cheaper than most schools to begin with. I don't know what kind of an aid package I'll get, so it might be a challenge for my parents to finance my Stanford education, especially my freshman year, while my brother is still in college (Skidmore).</p>

<p>Am I being spoiled if I turn down the Rice scholarships and head to Stanford?</p>

<p>Both great schools. congrats! No bad choices there...
Did you read this thread?</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=48740%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=48740&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I would say, don't make any decision until you get Stanford's aid package. You don't say if you qualify for need-based aid; however, if you do, Stanford is pretty generous in that area--or at least, they were for my older son. And remember that EFC is affected by number of children in college, so yours will be lower with your brother still in college.</p>

<p>After you get the aid package, if there is a large discrepancy, it will depend on how you feel about both colleges, and which can better meet your needs--which has the programs you want, as well as where you feel more comfortable. And, of course, it will depend on whether you and your family can afford it. In my son's case, Stanford, his first choice, actually turned out the be the least expensive place to attend, after aid packages were compared. (We had a pretty low EFC then.)</p>

<p>I now have another son making the decision about where to go and comparing offers. He did drop one college from consideration that cost $29,000 and offered only $5000 in loans and work study. As he looks at the others--ones that, with the aid given, we can probably afford somehow--I tell him,"Check them all out and decide where you really want to be. If it's the right place for you, we will work it out."</p>

<p>"Normally, this would be clear-cut".</p>

<p>Why? I don't know anything about you that suggests it would necessarily, or "normally", be clear-cut. (If you were a music student, it would indeed by a no-brainer - Rice by a mile, even if they didn't give you a dime.)</p>

<p>But wait for the aid package, and then consider.</p>

<p>I'm not a parent, but a student in a similar situation. While I have decided to go to Dartmouth, it was a big debate between it, Vanderbilt, and the University of Michigan. At 45k per year, Dartmouth is significantly more expensive than Vanderbilt (I was awarded a 15,000/yr merit scholarship) and the U of M (in-state with merit money). My parents own their own office and my brother's off to college in two years, so I felt a bit guilty about asking them to pay for Dartmouth when I could get a great education for much less. But I thought about it for a few weeks, and came to the conclusion that, while I could be happy at the other two schools, Dartmouth was the school for me. Of course, I also discussed this with my parents and the way the financial situation looks now, I can attend Dartmouth as long as I don’t mind paying for grad school myself. </p>

<p>Will you be incredibly excited to go to Stanford? Will going to Rice make you feel like you're "settling" and perhaps you'll always wonder what might have been? Is avoiding this "settling" feeling worth the extra money? I can't answer these for you, but I know I asked myself similar questions when trying to make my decision. I don't know what your family's financial resources are like, but perhaps (if you decide upon Stanford) you could ask your parents if they'd give you all your education money as a "lump sum," rather than saving some of it for grad school. I would also make a list of the pros and cons of each school and compare what each offers, and maybe prioritize what you want from a college in a separate list - at least for me, sometimes just writing things down helps make a decision more clear-cut. This is a difficult situation, but I'm sure you'll have a great experience at either school. </p>

<p>Best of luck!</p>