Notre Dame with ? debt or State University with a full scholarship?

My son was admitted to ND and we are very happy about it. However, we had already worked out a package at a well regarded state engineering program for where he earned a full tuition scholarship for 5 years and earned a scholarship with the National Guard to pay for housing and other costs. The state school is local for us, whereas ND is far away. We have not received a financial aid package from ND, yet, and I’m concerned about the cost. He is excited about the opportunity to attend ND, but we are hesitant to let go of a guaranteed local opportunity. Any advice?

With the economy crashing around us, I would take the no-debt route in a heartbeat. ND is an amazing school, but for engineering, all that matters is ABET accreditation, and your state college probably has that. I would wait to see what financial aid ND offers you, so your son won’t have to wonder “what if”. l don’t see them coming anywhere close to full ride, though, unless you demonstrate high need. Even then it probably won’t be a 5-year offer. In engineering, that fifth year can truly be a gift.

With both My boys scholarship was more Important and now I am happy that I’m not concerned with what’s happening around us. Both engineers and both did not go to their first choice as I wasn’t willing to pay. Don’t forget sometimes they need to do summer and that’s an added cost

Thank you both for your replies…I really appreciate your feedback. My son has been offered a AFROTC scholarship, which would cover 4 years of tuition or an Army ROTC scholarship which would cover 3 years tuition. That would leave us with housing, food, fees, etc. which would be about $20,000 per year. (And the one year of tuition if he goes with the Army ROTC scholarship).
There’s so much emphasis on the Notre Dame alumni network. As long as he gets his engineering degree and ABET accreditation, is there a big difference in what his opportunities would be?

Which is the state school?

University of Louisville JB Speed School of Engineering

isn’t there a service obligation if your son takes a ROTC scholarship? That is a big difference between what he does after college compared to ND

That could be either a positive or a negative. Maybe the military would pay for him to go to med school.

I feel mom and dad love the Irish brand! I would too! ? I think at the end it will come down to if you guys can afford it then go for it. This year this uncertainty is messing us up. I know it’s stressing me with both kids not in class but online and one being stuck away from campus with all his stuff in the dorms unable to get them. Plus being on the other side of the planet

If he wants a military career, wouldn’t the most prestigious college with the best alumni network be the academy associated with the branch of service?

Yes, he will have a service obligation with both scholarships. 4 years of service minimum. But, a guaranteed job and he will be commissioned an officer, 2nd Lieutenant. He can transition to civilian at that point or stay in. And they pay full tuition and fees.

Any idea when you’ll get the FA from ND? And ND has ROTC; at one point you mention National Guard, in another ROTC. I’m guessing NG apply to that state, but aren’t ROTC scholarships student specific-in other words, he could use it at ND?.
Not sure why it was mentioned, but if the military paid for med school, there would be an additional service commitment.

Sure, typically 4 more years. But that’s also 4 years of experience before you’re out on your own.

I don’t think the ABET accreditation is ALL that matters. ND provides a lot of other advantages, including many through the vast alum network. My daughter went to an ABET school/program and yes, she has a job. Would she have received more choices had she gone to ND? I think so. If an employer is looking at a pile of resumes of qualified ABET grads, there needs to be something that stands out, and it may be ND. It may also be ROTC, a specific project or internship, but it may be ND.

If Louisville is the local school, ND is not that far away.

I think you should keep both options until you receive the ND financial package.

That’s the million dollar question…when will we get the Financial aid package from ND?! I’ve been told it will be in the next week or two. And yes, he can use his ROTC scholarship at ND, but the National Guard option is for our state only, and wouldn’t apply to ND. He’s interested in engineering, so there wouldn’t be additional service years required on top of the 4, as far as I’m aware. I am keeping both options open, but one of the scholarships that will apply to U of L wants an answer this coming week. ?

Generally, those scholarships are one year service for each year of scholarship. And I’d recommend that you give ND a call tomorrow(may be better to send an email). It’s ok to say your son is deciding between two options, and one of those options-not ND-has already given you the needed information), so you need the ND info ASAP.

Contact U of L, and ask for an extension on accepting that scholarship offer. It could well be extended due to the current craziness.

Your son can also go ahead and accept everything from U of L, then change his mind before May 1 or whenever ND’s date is.

Personally, I would encourage your son to accept admissions at a place that he would be able to afford if he decides to drop out of ROTC or if he has a health issue that forces him to drop our of ROTC. Not everyone ends up completing the ROTC program.