Is Colorado College worth the price?

When I got into CC during the early action round, I was ecstatic because it was my first choice. However, we do not qualify for need-based aid and I did not receive any merit scholarships. My other option right now is my flagship state school , where I would have in-state tuition and got into a special research program. I have been trying to get excited about the state school because I know it is the best option financially and it is an incredible school, but I can’t get CC off my mind. Basically, my parents said that if I want to go to a private school, they won’t pay for any travel, extra expenses, or grad school for me. However, if I go to the state school, they will pay for all of that, which would save me from debt. Does anyone have any insight into whether it is worth it to pay the money for CC? I really wanted a small school and loved CC but I just don’t know if it is worth it.

I don’t think it is worth the debt, personally. I was in the exact same boat as you; this year, I got into CC—my DREAM school (I’d visited it and toured it multiple times, talked about it to everyone I knew, and honestly could only imagine myself there)—early Action. I was extremely happy and excited…until I saw the aid package.
They gave me a good merit scholarship (I mean good relatively, out of the few they offer) but even with that I would have gone into debt. I appealed for financial aid, got rejected, then visited campus again solely to meet with the financial aid office and explain my situation. They did not give me aid, but instead the woman explained to me that while I could take a loan, “cc is not the only good university out there” and that I could find “a great education elsewhere without the debt.” This was the turning point for me; as much as CC was my DREAM school (I still cry when I think of how I got accepted but couldn’t afford to go) I realized that it was NOT worth the loans.
My other option was the University of Denver. They gave me a huge merit scholarship that would allow me to graduate loan free. My parents really wanted me to go here for financial matters. So, even though I toured it and hated it, believing that I still would choose CC, I did some thinking and I decided that the best decision for me would be DU, simply because of the fact that my parents could pay for this school and I could graduate debt free. This sounds similar to your situation with the state school.
I think you should consider the big picture here. Undergrad college is only 4 years out of our entire lifetime; and I think we are all blowing this perfect “dream school” idea out of proportion—I know I did, with CC. But I am, ultimately, happy with my decision, because I think the most important thing is to try not to take loans when in college. Private loans can stick with someone for the rest of their lives, and they can double quickly with the amount of interest they can accrue. It’s just not worth it for a 4-year undergrad college experience.

I was the exact same way about not being able to get CC out of my mind. I even talked to my school’s college counselor about it, and her advice was that I just had to FORGET about CC. She said, 100%, the cheaper financial option is the best choice.

And it sounds like your state school has some great opportunities, such as this special research program! You’ll definitely be able to find “your group of people” and get a good education even if not at CC (I’m certainly hopeful that I will at DU, even if it’s not CC)—my college counselor told me it’s not WHERE you go, it’s what YOU make of it.

Just know that you’re not the only one with this problem. I was really torn about CC (too expensive but my dream school) vs DU (affordable but literally my last-choice safety school). I chose DU because I couldn’t justify CC and saddling myself with a loan for the unforeseeable future, and I think you need to consider the same, especially if you want to go to grad school, which is MUCH more expensive than undergrad. It also matters more where you go for grad school, so I think you should try and save the money for grad school.

Is there a college counselor at your school that you could talk to about this?

You can also feel free to reply to me if you need someone to talk to about it! :slight_smile:

Hi there, just wondering what your package was like for you? Was it very different from the calculator on their website?

@applepicker123 I’m not sure what it was like for the original poster, but for me, the total cost that Colorado college wanted me to pay (after the merit scholarship, etc) was a bit more than the net price calculator (but I only remember doing the quick/basic myintuition one; it might be different if you do a more intensive one and takes more factors into account).

@applepicker123 I didn’t even apply for financial aid. The calculator basically showed my EFC as the whole cost to attend CC, so we didn’t bother filling out the FAFSA because it is time consuming and tedious. Even if I had gotten anything, it wouldn’t have been enough to make a difference.

@bonjour1 Thank you for the response, glad to know I’m not alone!! I have committed to UNC and it is getting a lot easier to not think about CC.

@mountainmama19 I went to my state flagship instead of my dream LAC, and I assure you that my state school was not as amazing as UNC! For me, it ended up being a great experience and I’m confident that you’ll find your place in Chapel Hill. Congrats!

Yes, CC is wonderful. It’s also expensive and if your parents are stretched in paying for it and are reluctant, it’s not affordable to you.

UNC is a wonderful school! Enjoy your experience there

@mountainmama19 : Congratulations ! You definitely selected the better option if you are in state at UNC (about $21,000 total COA per year) versus Colorado College (about $68,000 per year plus travel). You will be saving about $190,000 for your undergraduate degree.

Enjoy UNC !