Parent Guilt- State School or Private?

<p>As the financial awards and final admission decisions come in I find myself relieved but somewhat filled with guilt. My daughter is a good student but not IVY level as some of the students on this forum. She got into some good schools. We live in NY and applied basically in the Northeast. She was admitted into one of the more selective state colleges. I was very proud. This state college would cost me about 13,000 per year. Most of the privates ranged from the 20,000's to 40,000's. I am a single mom. In no way could I afford a college in the 30's or 40's but I could possibly take a loan for a college close to the 20's range. I have 2 kids in college next year. Its going to be super hard. Her brother is a junior at a private college.So its just ONE year. He was very lucky to get a get financial award but still with 2 tuition's it will be tough.
One of the privates came in very close to a SUNY tuition cost so its still on the table but it was a safety for her. There are two other's in the 20's I would consider if I had to.
So the question is do I stay in my comfortable range or over extend myself due to guilt? I know the answer. But does anyone else feel the same?
I know she is aware of the finances involved in this decision..and she is more than willing to stay in my financial safety range. She asks for nothing. I think it makes me feel worse.Soon we will visit the strong state college she was admitted to and I hope she falls in love with it. Ill know more next week. Boy this parent stuff is hard! Please share if you are going through a similar situation.</p>

<li><p>This private vs. public distinction seems to be common in the Northeast, but it is not a smart way to approach this decision. The individual schools matter; the fact that they are private or public does not. Are you comfortable naming the schools? We can give better advice based on that information.</p></li>
<li><p>You are already doing a lot for your daughter by paying for any kind of college education. I don’t think you should feel guilty at all. Make sure you understand the consequences of any kind of debt.</p></li>

<p>I’m I student and I feel guilt. My tution will probably be mid 20s next year. I feel like I should have made it easier on my family and applied to cheaper schools. I probably could have gotten a pretty good deal on some local schools, only a few grand a year. Money is hard to deal with, especially with something as important, emotional, and expensive as college.</p>

<p>Don’t feel bad. I feel pleased that we raised a wise young man. Here are the choices my son had…</p>

<p>Tulane $38,000
U MN $25,000
Arizona State U $24,000
Montana State U $21,000
Iowa State $12,500 (in state)</p>

<p>He ended up choosing Iowa State and it may have been his firt choice anyway. We felt that Tulane clearly was not worth the money and not really affordable for us anyway without taking onsome debt. The others were within our budget. He chose Iowa State and the savings will be used to fund a semester abroad, summer abroad experiences such as an archaeological dig in Greece, etc. Also, all of us will be loan free!!!</p>

<p>Son is very excited for Iowa State. We went into the process thinking that we would look at privates but the finances just were not working. Son was ok with that and he moved on.</p>

<p>@rubbish thats very sweet that you even think about your parents and the expense they are taking on. I have seen many students who dont think about it. My daughter is the same.
@noimagination The state school is Geneseo. We are still waiting on Binghamton’s decision. They are the 2 state possibilities but she was admitted to Geneseo.
Privates would be Siena coming in at a reasonable price and I would even consider Providence.We are waiting on Fordham’s financial award as well. Alot of her friends are going to the “privates” so I guess I just feel bad. Silly I know.</p>

<p>As someone who has sent my kids to privates from pre-K to whenever, I don’t think private schools are always better than public. What to focus on is quality of education, not just private vs public. Quality of education often comes with funding. When a private school is too small and the endowment is small, it maybe better to go to a larger research public U because of course offering and available resource. SUNY is a very good/affordable option, probably better than some small privates.</p>

<p>You are not alone. I definitely have the parental guilt.</p>

<p>Why did I permit him to apply to schools that were a financial reach?
Could I have made better choices in order to have college savings?</p>

<p>The thing is, we can look at another family’s situation and be able to make the decision without a second thought. As soon as we add our emotions (after years of watching our kids work hard), it becomes all muddled. We want to play Santa and deliver the most desired gift of the year. But, parenting is more than a 1 day job. Part of my job is to be sure my kids have a great education and part is to try to pave an easier life. Debt for either my kids or for myself, will not make an easier life for any of us.</p>

<p>Just hope she finds positive things on the visit. No college will be utopia. Set a realistic list of what a fit will be. Then pick the best from the SUNY or the lower price private.</p>

<p>All I keep telling myself is that we crafted a great list for applications. We must remember, in September, these schools were the top schools in the country for our kids or else they would have never applied in the first place.</p>

<p>@Longhaul very well said. Thanks. Like I said I even know the answers. Its just the guilt Im having a hard time with. My D doesnt even know my feeling at the moment. I want her to walk into that state school next week and let nothing effect what she feels. If she needs to visit a private or 2 in my range we will. I think we are all so tired at this point. Good Luck to you!</p>

<p>Is graduate school in the picture? If it is, then it should be a simple decision.</p>

<p>Money that you don’t spend now that you have is money that your kids won’t have to send you for your retirement. Loans are landing a lot of students, parents and even grandparents in hot water. Be careful with those things.</p>

<p>BTW, coworker had the same decision to make - SUNY vs more expensive schools. His son chose the SUNY and is having a fantastic freshman year. Dad will fund graduate school if desired.</p>

<p>@BCEagle91 well my son is thinking of going on to a Physical Therapy program or med school. My daughter will get her masters. So yeah that says it all. God I hope she likes this state school. Ive been there and like it. Shes pretty excited about it. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed.</p>

<p>Please be careful – if the cost of private school for your daughter is based on having two kids in college this year, you can plan on it getting a LOT more expensive when your older child is out of college.</p>

<p>Well my financial circumstance was weird this year. I had an inflated EFC due to a capital gain. Was a one time gain. Will be better next year so that will help a ton.</p>

<p>Geneseo is an excellent school, truly on an academic level with the private schools you mention. The student body is very talented, including many of NY’s top students. The same could be said of Binghamton - though I personally like Geneseo more for the smaller school vibe. As long as Geneseo offers the program she wants to pursue, I don’t see how she can go wrong there.</p>

<p>I’ll be surprised if your d isn’t accepted at Binghamton, which will give her two affordable, strong choices. Don’t beat yourself up when she is in such an enviable position and will be able to get a great education without putting you in debt, or assuming great debt herself. Well done to both of you!</p>

<p>Geneseo is really the great school in your state. There aren’t a tremendous number of great public Universities out east, imho, not in the same way we have them in other places in the country, but Geneseo is really one of them.</p>

<p>I would choose Geneseo over any of the privates you mentioned, personally. It’s a unique public education opportunity at a very affordable rate. I wouldn’t blink an eye over sending her there, personally. I hope she sees how lucky she is to have such a small LAC as an affordable public. </p>

<p>Good luck to you.</p>

<p>GCMom: Take a long, hard look at BCEagle’s post No. 9. Think of the “opportunity cost” of choosing a more expensive undergraduate route. There are many very high quality public schools. Take a moment to think of what your DD might do with the money saved by selecting SUNY Geneseo or Binghampton. Too much debt could delay owning a home, getting a car or even starting a family. Also, think about the major she wants, not all private’s have departments that are superior. Best of luck.</p>

<p>You’re going to feel guilt no matter what. I think it may be the nature of the parent beast. I felt my oldest d made a good, affordable choice, for the major she had in mind. Like Haystack’s s, she came in enough under budget for us to fund a particular big ticket item. Then, she switched majors, and now I think, "Gee, I should’ve broadened that college search a little more . . . " But I am happy that, also like haystack, none of us will have any loans when she’s done.</p>

<p>Don’t beat yourself up. Private means nothing. Out of your area, I’m guessing most people have never heard of the privates (personally, I’ve never heard of Siena). Don’t put yourself too close to the edge to fund something that, in the end, probably won’t matter.</p>

<p>Physical therapy requires the equivalent of a doctorate. Your kiddo has a LOT of school ahead if him. </p>

<p>You mention that a lot of her friends are going to private universities. To be honest, that is irrelevant in YOUR decision making. Concentrate on your student and don’t use what others are doing to make YOUR decisions.</p>

<p>It sounds like her public choice is a good one.</p>

<p>Geneseo is a great school, it’s the only SUNY we really considered. I agree with others that the distinction of public and private is minor. The real questions are what can you afford, what offers the right majors and what feels good to the student (atmosphere, location etc.)</p>

<p>I think the main disadvantage of state schools is that most of them are populated by mostly in state students so you are less likely to get out of your comfort zone in terms of diversity, different attitudes etc. But it’s a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. [</a> - SUNY Fast Facts 2011](<a href=“]”></p>

<p>Right now her friends are saying that they are going to attend A, B, and C. When their families have crunched their own numbers those same kids may well end up at D, E, and F instead. By the end of the first semester, a whole bunch of them are going to be back home commuting to the CC, CUNY, or SUNY that is closest and cheapest.</p>

<p>We looked at good privates for our kid, but went with the good cheap home-state U. Kid loves it. Even the breadwinner’s layoff this year and subsequent family retrenchment won’t keep her from graduating on time. Cheap is working well for us.</p>

<p>OP is fortunate that her daughter has Genesco as an affordable “public LAC-caliber” option. Here in our Midwest state, there’s the state mega-large flagship UIUC, which would cost around $30,000 to $35,000 depending on housing choice costs and has very competitive admission, or otherwise clearly 3rd-tier (and also large) state land-grant university colleges. Little chance for upper-middle-class families getting aid at our state schools. When comparing private LACs’ merit aid, private LACs often become cheaper option.</p>

<p>From what’s published about Genesco, sounds like it’s an excellent choice.</p>