NC State vs. UW-Madison: Where should I go?

Hey people! I’m a senior in high school who was accepted to UW-Madison and NC State for the fall of 2021. I am currently living in California, but I am originally from Alabama and New Jersey, so I’m not really worried about moving somewhere new (and yes I know Madison is always super cold, I would buy all the proper gear and I think i’ll be ok). Now I’m just gonna give a rundown of comparisons between the schools for more specifics, including cost (I still have yet to hear back about scholarships but I imagine I’ll get roughly the same amount in the end from both).

NC State: I would be a Zoology major and probably an Environmental Sciences minor. I am on the waitlist for the honors college. It also currently would cost me about 10,000$ less to go here, but I still would have to pay about 25,000$ that I don’t have, so either way idk.

UW-Madison: I would be a Conservation Biology and later on a Zoology double major. I haven’t applied to the letters and science honors program yet but I am going to. I honestly like uw-madison’s program more than nc state and would go there if money were no object, but i’m worried about the cost, and also housing bc it seems like less housing is available for students (but if anyone wants to correct me then go for it). But is it really worth the 10,000$ more?

Also which school gives more scholarship aid to out of state students? I still have to hear back from some more colleges, but i’m not super confident about getting into them, so I’m asking this now. Thanks!

It is highly unlikely that you will get any money from Madison. It doesn’t sound like either school is affordable.

nope not really, but I don’t have many other options. I was waitlisted for UCSB and UC Davis so I might still have a shot with them, but considering the schools I have left to hear from are Davidson, Duke, Princeton and Yale, I doubt i’ll get into those. I also got into Seattle Pacific and Oregon State and The University of Washington, but I’m not as interested in those anymore/they didn’t give me as much financial aid.

Among Oregon State, UWashington and Seattle Pacific, which had the lowest relative net cost?
What’s your parents’ budget for your college costs (out of pocket, from current income and savings)?

How much does CU Boulder cost if you subtract your Honors scholarship and whatever else they gave you?

Can you apply to University of New Mexico? They’re still accepting apps and still offering scholarships.

I never applied to CU-Boulder so idk hahaha. My EFC is 4453, I’m a first generation college student and my mom already has plenty of debts of her own so there’s essentially not much. I don’t remember exact numbers from all the schools I have been accepted to, but they all have me paying around 25-30,000$.

I looked into the University of New Mexico but it’s past their deadline, and I imagine I’d have the same problem anyway, but thank you

So what are you going to do when 1st semester payment is due? (And every semester after that?) You can only borrow $5500/year and if your mom has debts, she might not be able to co-sign enough to get you through 4 years.

OOS publics don’t give a lot of aid. Private might come out better for you. If you don’t get into one of your other schools at a better price, you may need to change plans. Is there a school you can commute to? (Even a community college?) If you go far away, will you have money to fly home on breaks?

What are your stats? There are other places that give good merit. I’m really only familiar with ones in the Midwest that my daughter looked at, but for example, Southeast Missouri State just extended their scholarship deadline to 6/1. You don’t have to have super high stats to get cost down to the $10K mark with merit. (So maybe with Pell and the standard loan you could cover it.) Not saying you have to go there but there might be other schools like that- lesser known ones that are looking to attract talent.

Aarfghhh sorry, got interrupted and confused your post with the CU Boulder post. :flushed::flushed::woozy_face:

If your EFC is 4,500 and your mom has debt, then none of these universities are possible. No one will lend her the money for you to go to universities that would cost 25k, and you’re only allowed a 5.5k loan on your own.

UNM is still accepting applications and scholarships, as is Arizona, I think. But I’ll look and in early May there’ll be a list of colleges that miscalculated yield. There will likely be more affordable options.

If you got into UWisconsin and Ncsu, you must have excellent stats.

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Please don’t go to a place like Wisconsin ($50k+ COA) with a <$5k EFC and a parent in debt for a biology type degree.


Write an excellent waitlist essay for UC Davis. They offered great financial aid package in state


^Seconding this: do everything within your power to get into UCD or UCSB.
If you need help with the waitlist essay people here can help (through PM, never post your essay on the internet :slight_smile: )

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yes I knew OOS public universities wouldn’t give a lot of aid, but I figured I might as well try with some of those because most private universities don’t have my major (zoology/ecology), or they just have it as a concentration within the biology major which I didn’t want (because biology is the most common major so that would reduce my chances of getting in). But the private university I did get accepted into didn’t help me much either, so alas I guess hahaha. I was really hoping to get accepted to one of the UC’s so I wouldn’t have to worry about this (Duke is still my top choice but obviously not likely, and I like the UC’s I chose too), but them waitlisting me has really thrown a wrench in my plans.

As for my stats I have a 3.89 unweighted GPA (this might be higher if my grades hadn’t faltered a bit when my dad passed away sophomore year) and a 4.03 weighted at a highly ranked private catholic school (my weighted could have been higher too but my school doesn’t let kids take more than 3 AP’s a year, and we have to take a mandatory theology class every year). My school doesn’t rank kids. I got a 30 on the ACT when I took it my junior year, but I was unable to take it my senior year so I only submitted that score to my likely schools.

And finally, I do have a plan to go to my local community college (which is thankfully one of the highest ranked community colleges in my state) if nothing works out. I was just kind of wondering which college might give more scholarships to out of state students, since I still have to wait a bit to hear back from them.

In the meantime, I wrote my appeal letter to get off the UC Davis waitlist the other day, and I’m going to write my appeal letter to UCSB soon. I’m sorry i’ve not been super clear, it’s just strange basically telling my entire life story to ppl.

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thank you!!

The community college to UC/CSU path is well used in California, so it can be a good lower cost plan if you get no affordable admission offers. can help you plan courses for transfer.

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