I think I’m stressing out more than my S21 on this (and way more than husband), but the folks at CC have been so great so… LOL!
I’m trying to balance being financially responsible with my natural instinct to do whatever I need to make my kids happy, especially S21 who has had his senior year basically ruined by COVID.
S21 is going into sports management. He wants to lead a professional soccer league (preferably Chelsea) some day, so strong on the business, but with a good dose of industry focus. His schools were are chosen by literally looking at curriculum and focus of program. Exception is his reach - UPenn Wharton, because, well, Wharton. Still waiting on hard targets of UMich, Rice, and Syracuse. Syracuse would be a safety, but SM is one of their more competitive programs. It’s his first choice closely followed by UMich.
Of his 4 admitted schools that are still in the running (actually admitted into 6), we have:
Miami (OH): full tuition scholarship, new honors program with study abroad stipend, and direct admit to dual degree program so he’d come out in 4 years with BS in Sports Leadership & Management and Masters in Econ (or something in Farmer).
UMass: $16K scholarship. Isenberg direct admit. Sports Management.
Loyola-chicago: $25K scholarship. Quinlan Sports Management. Can also do dual bach/masters degree, likely in 4 years.
IndianaU: $10K scholarship. Direct admit to Kelley (would minor in Sports Management).
All of these are within budget. We’d want S21 to get the $5.5K loan just for liquidity, but we’d help pay some or all of loans depending on his job and D25’s college cost. Of these 4, despite Kelley’s reputation, I’d go with Miami just because I don’t see any reason to pay, essentially, double to do to others. Are any of those schools worth $50K-$70K more over course of education? However, I’m open to arguments against that (point of this post).
Now, if he gets into the other 4, we have a money problem. Based on what the other FA packages listed as EFC, we likely won’t get any FA from these others than the student loan. I must not have put the right numbers into cost calculator because the EFC from IU was $25K more than what I remember seeing in the fall. Otherwise, I would not have S21 apply to UMIch/UPenn/Rice. We could do it if 1) income remains stable, and 2) I took out of my IRA, didn’t contribute to D25’s 529, and didn’t contribute our retirement funds. He should get some merit aid from Syracuse, and if it’s more than $20K, then that closes the gap enough that we’d might just have to take out some for senior year. It would still be 3 times as much as Miami.
Are any of them worth it, even to have a degree from Wharton? $250K - 300K over 4 years vs. $80K (Miami)? It isn’t like he is aiming for a Wall Street job. I don’t think his salary out of school in professional soccer is going to vary much, though I get that contacts/network to get jobs might be better with the T20 schools.
It seems like a no brainer, but I want to provide S21 something other than cost savings as reason to go with less expensive options. We even told him we’d bank at least $20K if he chose Miami to have at graduation. I think he thinks Miami is settling as he is putting Syracuse on a pedestal for sports management (first to offer Bach degree).
This may be moot because he might not get into those pricey 4, but want to be prepared with justifying breaking his heart if he does get in.