MIT or in-state Honors College

We don’t have a lot of money, but could make MIT work with a lot of loans and help from family. Family contribution would be $30k per year versus full ride at state college. I don’t think he’s planning on grad school right now, but who knows. I"m sure he would have unique experiences at either school, but is an MIT education worth $120k more? Thanks for any opinions.

Oops - posted in wrong thread.

Okay. Wrong thread. Let’s make sure that you meant MIT, and not RIT, before proceeding further.

Also, which state college is significant.

MIT and UConn, thanks.

MIT is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. It is in a class with Harvard, Stanford, the US Military Academy at West Point, the US Naval Academy & Notre Dame in the respect of identifying the graduate as something greater than his or her individual accomplishments.

Yes, MIT is worth $120,000 investment.

Based on what evidence? Yea, MIT has a great name, but the opportunity cost on $120k over 40 years is $1.2M. They will unquestionably get incrementally more opportunity at MIT, but will they earn $1.2M MORE over their career? Doubtful. That’s not even taking into account that there are plenty MIT grads out there who claim it was a less than ideal experience. I would not council anyone go into debt $120,000 for ANY undergraduate degree from ANY institution.

We can’t tell you to take the loans and cripple your family for MIT. Do you have other children this would affect? Are you otherwise financially stable, have certain job security, money for household expenses and adequate retirement funds set up?

MIT or any elite is worth it to those who can pay their share out of pocket or from college savings. The costs may not be worth it when you have to scrape exorbitant loans together. And what if something interrupts his education, you lose a job, someone gets sick and you have high medical expenses, or other crises?

And depending, it’s possible you could get the first loans and not for subsequent years. Did you know this was so financially risky when he applied?

MIT is absolutely NOT worth the difference. “Making it work” by taking out loans for almost 150K is absurd. Schools become prestigious because we allow them to become prestigious…it’s people who decide that something is prestigious or name brand. And yes, I went to a very, very well-known prestigious school, but my parents paid for it. Parents are confident that they can pay the loans, or makeup the retirement funds, etc, etc. But as looking forward wrote…you can never predict what will happen…job loss, market correction, illness, etc. You can never mortgage YOUR future for the sake of your child’s education. They have a lifetime ostensibly to earn money for school, if they don’t go this minute.

Good points above by Lookingforward.

My opinion is that it’s worth it. I took out loans and worked to put myself through MIT. From a financial standpoint, I don’t have the data to say your child will recoup the tuition differential. What I can say is that MIT is a special place with incredible opportunities and people. Your child may for the first time in his life be surrounded by true peers. I don’t know what my life would be like if I took a full ride to my state school. Would it be better? Possibly. But to this day I enjoy close friendships with the people I met in college. I married an MIT alum who earns enough that I retired in my 30s and never worry about money. Life is uncertain. Do what you think makes the most sense probabilistically.

How would you pay for MIT?
Loans, HELOC, belt-tightening, postponing retirement?

Thanks for everyone’s input. Interesting article this morning in the NYT on the topic:

The answer really sounds like a no-brainer. Prestige is an irrational emotion that drives people to do crazy things. There’s no college degree I’m aware of that’s worth $120k unless it says M.D. next to it. A full ride is a win/win for everyone. You really need that money to save for retirement. UConn is a great school. Let him go there, trust me, he’s not missing anything.

We had this exact discussion recently among a group MIT alum friends in our 50s. The consensus was that it would most definitely be worth it. The experience is life changing and none of us could imagine our lives with out this experience. Quality of life is measured in experiences.

I fully concur with ClassicRockerDad.

The experienced and the education I got at MIT were definitely worth any added tuition and living cost premium.

I’ve surveyed nearly 3 dozen MIT alums to ask whether they would choose MIT or a full ride state school. Every one of them picked MIT. It isn’t necessarily the prestige. That degree opens doors because people know unusual intelligence and grit are necessary to obtain it.

Did your child go to CPW or some sort of overnight visit? Are they begging to go to MIT?

MIT is a unique in all the world, with resources and opportunities beyond what is available to undergraduates at almost any other place, but they do take every dime they think you can pay. They also take every ounce of brainpower and emotional energy your child can give and then ask for more.

If your child is indifferent between these two choices, it’s not worth paying for. He needs to be ambitious and mature enough to want to go for it.

What major?

Students who pick state schools over elites would probably also say they’d make the same choice over again. You see it on cc all the time.

We’re paying approximately that amount, but we have it. With loans you’re paying 120K plus interest. If we had to borrow it, we’d pass.

That said the opportunities are incredible, you might get a third of that back in summer internship earnings, but the same might also happen at UConn.

OP didnt ask if MIT is better. He asked if it’s worth 120k in loans vs a full ride.
Lol, significant difference. We’re yoy and the friends you surveyed paying back $1300/month for ten years?

I didn’t go to MIT but I think it would be worth it.

How would you pay for MIT?
How much in loans exactly?
Loans, HELOC, belt-tightening, postponing retirement?