Parent guidance on selections

My daughter has been accepted to Colorado School of Mines and Mississippi State. She wants to be a mechanical engineer. Mines gave her money but we will need to take out a loan. MS gave her enough to go to school and not need a loan. I know it seems like the obvious choice would be to go to the school without debt, but does where you go to college really make that much of a career difference? I didn’t go to college. I got my GED to help support my family by working so this is all very new to me.

For ME the curriculum is similar at ABET accredited schools. How much will you have to take out in loans for Mines?

Students can take out $27k in total over 4 undergrad years ($5.5k frosh year, then $6.5k/$7.5/$7.5). Loans beyond that will be on the parents.

IMO, if loans greater than the $27k would be necessary, Mississippi State is likely the better choice. Have you taken a look at job outcomes/starting salaries at both?

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79 from Mines/68 from MS. Not that much of a difference to justify getting a huge loan. Thank you for your help. I’m overwhelmed and want to give her the best advice.

Those are ME starting salaries from each? If so, I agree I lean to go loan free at Mississippi State…is that school appealing to your D? Are there other considerations and/or school options? And…yes, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all of this!

Following this thread b/c I am living this issue. S21 was accepted to college A his first choice with no aid. He was accepted to college B with a $60k scholarship over four years. Both schools had comparable “sticker” prices. My husband and I probably pay in full school B with no loans. I think college A is too rigorous for him - but it’s higher rated for comp sci than college B. So like you I wonder about the value of debt versus starting salary. I’m trying to “get him to yes” on college B but I want him to think it’s his decision. GOOD LUCK :slight_smile:

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Those were the average starting out salaries for Mines and MS. Yes, she likes MS. We were about to go before Covid and check things out. The other universities she has been accepted to are Auburn, Texas Tech, University of Auckland. She is waiting to hear back from Princeton.

Be sure to examine salary data closely. That $79K on the cover at Mines has a tiny footnote - “combined BS, MS, and PhD grads”.

Undergrad in MechE has a median of $68k - page 8 of the salary report.

I couldn’t find similar data from Mississippi State - their Career Office website’s “Annual Report” is a single PowerPoint slide.

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Median earnings of ME bachelor’s graduates who received federal financial aid were $63,463 at Colorado School of Mines, and $73,852 at Mississippi State University.

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thank you