Is SUNY Albany worth it??

Hi everyone,
I am a first year incoming student to SUNY Albany’s honors college. I was originally excited to go there, but then a lot of stuff happened that turned me off to the school. For one, the financial aid office is SNAIL SLOW. I have waited weeks and weeks to get my aid reviewed for an appeal and I still have gotten anything, whereas a lot of private colleges I looked at gave me the appeal right away. Another thing adding onto that is for the money I have to pay for SUNY Albany, I could’ve gone to a private school for almost the same price. I was accepted at Siena College and wanted to go there but didn’t because of the party school and sexual assault reputation, but now I feel like Siena College could’ve been less expensive AND I would’ve had smaller class sizes, no TA’s, etc. Another college I looked at was Hartwick College, which would’ve been pretty much the same price and would’ve had the same benefits as Siena. Another thing is the feeling I got with the group of freshmen I was with at orientation. I was with several honors students at orientation as well as many regular students as well, and I did not fit in at ALL. They were very cliquey, the honors students thought they were better than everyone else, and a lot of people were just plain mean. I was (key word WAS) in a group chat with a bunch of the honors students as well, and they talked like the kind of kids who partied every night, smoked pot and drank alcohol in the dorms. That was NOT what I was expecting from honors students. Another thing that happened during orientation is that a couple of kids in the room right down the hall from the suite I was staying at starting smoking pot in the middle of the night, which was fun. I originally picked SUNY Albany for the opportunities I had there, because they had really interesting classes in the honors college and in the university overall. I was unsure of what I wanted to study, and I still am slightly unsure, but I’m pretty sure I want to study history. Another reason I chose SUNY Albany is because of my mental health and how close it was to my house. I struggled a lot in senior year of high school dealing with several psychological disorders I have, and the proximity of SUNY Albany to my providers and my support system was beneficial at the time. Now that I’ve seen some of the way the people act at the University, including my advisor (who was kind of a jerk), and that my mental health is better, I am unsure if its even worth going to Albany and paying all the money to do something that I am unsure if I’ll like or not. I’m going to give the first semester a try for sure, mostly because my parents are making me, but if I don’t like it I want to transfer immediately. The problem with transferring is usually transfer students don’t get as much money, so I’m nervous about that. I think I would transfer to SUNY Adirondack (a community college) and just transfer somewhere else after I’m done there. Thoughts? Do you think I should give it a shot, or should I just go straight to SUNY Adirondack (I would have to live on campus but they have housing that is cheaper and nicer than Albanys. There is also still time for me to enroll). What are your thoughts on my situation? Please help! Thank you!

I think you should give it a try at SUNY Albany. The things that you originally liked about it are still true. You should stop rethinking all your earlier decisions, and go give Albany a chance.

Didn’t your mom have to apply for a PLUS loan for you to dorm? And she’s having issues repaying her own student loans? Did you qualify for any grants at Albany or is your package all loans?

Congratulations getting into SUNY Albany Honors! I think it’s going to quite the experience. As one of the major SUNYs, you are going to get a far more diverse group of students than you would at Siena or Adirondack. This is a bigger school with more resources and opportunities, but, yes, it’s going to be more intense. Give it a try for a term, if it’s not the right environment for you, Adirondack is there.

I’m not up on SUNY Albany prices. Tuition is generally reasonable at the state schools in NY, but room and board does tend to be high. I don’t doubt that a main SUNY would be pricier than a smaller one, but Im surprised that Siena would be less!?!

I remember a previous post where you were trying to decide between Albany, Hartwick and Sienna.

I don’t think the issue is SUNY or any of the schools (Sienna is not a party and sexual assault culture). The issue is your own fears and anxiety. You are really amped up right now and freaked because you are experiencing something new and different. This is life - you are going to meet a lot of different people who might make different choices from you. You need to do you. Focus on yourself. If you don’t smoke pot and don’t party, then don’t. You will find other like minded people. It may take some time and effort but you will. When you encounter people who are mean, you move on.

Are you working with a counselor? It might be a good idea to do so to develop strategies for dealing with the unknown, people who are not what you’d like, and changes in your life. You can do this. Just relax, take a deep breath and find a way to develop coping strategies.

I will answer anyone. The first thing: Albany did give me a couple things but nothing need based except for a small pell grant and a small tap. The reason why siena was cheaper was because they are really good at giving aid to lower income familys. I got a LOT of need based aid from them, even though they are more expensive, so it essentially ended up being the same price. Also, thank you for the advice. I am struggling really bad at dealing with this because i dont like the unknown. The only reason i said the party thing about Siena is because people I know have had trouble with that on the Siena campus. I appreciate you giving me advice

I agree that talking to a counselor regularly can help. I finally have gotten through to one of my adult kids to go regularly and to work seriously at it. It has finally made some headway. Most colleges have counseling facilities available to their students. It’s an excellent time in your life to avail yourself of these resources, something my kids should have done more of. Look into it. Getting a non involved trained person to listen to your issues and give their take and advice can help especially if you keep your mind open to it, not go there begrudgingly or with unrealistic expectations that it’s going to instantly solve all issues

How much do you have to borrow per year to dorm?

I might go see a counselor. I thonk that might help. Also,i will be borrowing about 12,000 to dorm there for the year

Can you commute to Albany? Since your family income is less than $125k your tuition should be free. Why borrow $12k you don’t have? Loans of $50k are too much for college, especially for a lower income student.

Congratulations on getting into SUNY Albany AND it’s honors college!
I think dorming your first year is a good move simply because it’ll help you fit in and get acclimated.
Sure, some honors students are going to be jerks, but most wont be. Make friends with the many non-jerks. :slight_smile:
(Also, most future freshmen are feeling very uncertain just like you and compensate by saying obnoxious things online trying to sound cool&jaded or whatever. Don’t pay attention).
There are special scholarships for the best honors students so focus on your academics. It means tutors to ensure As (not as remedial work but as a way to push yourself), office hours, study groups.
After the first year you may have to commute but you’ll have established yourself at Albany.

I would definitely give SUNY Albany a chance. It’s one of the research SUNY’s and a school with lots of diversity. I think you are feeling freshman jitters right now and that is completely normal. Give it a chance ( the semester) and I’m sure you will adjust to living away and you will most likely find your group of friends. If by Christmas you are not impressed with Albany you can transfer to CC. Best of luck to you !

@brinuge16 : how is it going now?