McGill or Cheap local Uni: Which is best?

<p>I have to decide on two great colleges for my undergraduate degree, and I seriously have no idea what to do: </p>

<p>Option 1: The local university in my hometown where everyone goes; I've been given a scholarship of $5,000 a year for four years. If I move out of my parents' house (which I really feel that I need to do) I will be paying $17,000 a year for tution, room, board, etc. (scholarship not yet deducted).</p>

<p>Option 2: A huge international university (McGill) across the country; I've been given $6,000 for the first year (scholarship + financial aid), but there's no guarantee I will get money for years 2 through 4. For a year of tuition, room and board, books, etc., I will be paying $23,500.</p>

<p>I've lived in my hometown all my life and have almost never vacationed, so I feel kind of suffocated by the homogeneous culture and familiarity and want to get out in the world and experience stuff. I feel that I would love Montreal and am excited about being somewhere new and reinventing myself and getting out in the world. The one time I went on a trip to Europe with my high school class, I loved the busy-ness, culture, and internationalism of it all. I don't have a lot of money, so cost is really the only major factor. If not for the price tag, I would go to McGill hands down - I don't want to go to my local university but the scholarship and lower price tag is hard to refuse.</p>

<p>Ultimately, is it worth it to get more into debt to have the undergraduate experience I think I need, personally? Or does undergraduate not matter and will I regret paying off debt as I struggle through a master's degree? Some insight would be much appreciated.</p>

<p>P.S. If it makes a difference, I will be probably getting a degree in the Arts, including Humanities and Social Sciences, but I might switch to Sciences, who knows.</p>

<p>P.P.S. If anyone knows how easy/hard it is to get scholarships or financial aid at McGill for years 2 through 4, please let me know!</p>

<p>RHL, are you aware that you are limited to $5.5K of loans as a freshman in college? Are your parents prepared to pay the rest at either school?</p>

<p>^He/she’s in Canada. How could any US limit apply?</p>


<p>First and most importantly – are you another fan of 221B Baker Street!!!</p>

<p>Ok – that’s out of the way. The “Is it worth it?” question is one of the hardest ones got any of us here to answer. It’s really a combination of how much your family can afford to help, what sacrifices will be made, etc.</p>

<p>My own view – McGill is a world-class University. Personally, I think that reputation is meaningful to employers, and that going to a school like this will expose you to opportunities that may not be available at a local college. Also, I think the experience of having an education with a brighter student population is valuable as a life experience, on it’s own.</p>

<p>So, if it were me (or my child) and you can swing it without tremendous hardship, I’d recommend McGill.</p>

<p>Yes, I am Canadian, I should have mentioned that to make the situation clearer. I applied for financial aid and entrance bursaries, and once my province allows me to, I am able to apply for government loans. It’s really just a matter of how much those loans will be.</p>

<p>I’d also say McGill, unless your local university happens to be UBC, Alberta or an institution of comparable rank. Unless of course, the extra 5000 dollars would lead to immense hardship.</p>

<p>BTW, What is “local university”? UVic?</p>

<p>If i understand, you’re comparing about $50,000 to about $80,000. If the difference is all loan money, it’s sizeable. I agree, montreal is a great place and mcgill is a great school. But could you satisfy your craving by spending summers in montreal -a vacation, an internship, a job? You could pay for a lot of nights in a hotel with $30000 and God knows it’s a lot warmer in Montreal in summer.</p>

<p>sofrustrating, you have a point, but McGill’s sway is a combination of distance/new experience/exciting city and excellent academics and reputation.
If the two schools cost the same, I’d choose McGill in a heartbeat. However, I’m probably also going to get a Master’s degree (don’t know what in, yet) and that will incur more cost. Although, I’ve heard that people often get grants to pursue this, is that true? In which case, I shouldn’t worry about cost.
Also, I understand that I would have a lot of debt coming out of McGill, but what does that mean translated to my life? Rather, how would that affect my day-to-day living?
UPDATE: I probably won’t be moving out if I go to the local university, I would be living at home. While the total cost for tuition and books would be around $9,000.00 I would be miserable at home and I’m afraid I will miss out on the “college experience”</p>