Undecided on a College...Any Help?

Hi everyone, I am from South Jersey and indecisive on where I want to spend my next four years. With scholarships, Saint Joseph’s University and LaSalle University are my two cheapest options, but my heart keeps pulling me to Clemson, Penn State (main campus), or the University of Tennessee. My intended major is either business analytics or supply chain, which each school has a good program in either. In the future, I want to escape the northeast and move to the south, which is Clemson is my top choice. I enjoy a larger school because of the sports, school spirit, and more ways to become involved. Any suggestions to make this decision a little bit easier? Thank you.

Lol I’m from Tennessee and trying to escape to the northeast.
How important is financial aid to you and your family? I’m wondering if you applied to any in state large public universities, such as Rutgers because that would be significantly cheaper than Penn state, for example which otherwise is fairly similar

Haha. Wherever you are in the northeast is beautiful. We have amazing cities and scenery. Things will be more expensive than in Tennesse, but it’s all relative. I did apply to Rutgers and was deferred to a regular decision. I still love Penn State but have realized that the tuition and size may be too much. That is why I am considering other schools that offer a similar experience.

What’s your parents’ budget?

Can you calculate
(Tuition, fees, room, board) - (grants, scholarships) =
For each university and list it on your thread?

Did you get into the honors college or a special program at any of them?

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My parent’s budget is fairly generous, but will not cover all my expenses if I attended Clemson or Penn State as I would have to cover at least 10k a year. My larger schools I would be paying full price unless I receive outside scholarships. Whereas Saint Joes and LaSalle would be about 30k a year.
I did not apply to any honors colleges because I am a business major, but I do have the opportunity to be on LaSalle’s as there is no application.

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Totally get that. If your family’s finances allow you to attend one of the bigger southern schools I would absolutely recommend doing that! Another thing you could do if you aren’t already is join the accepted students facebook groups and watch youtube videos made by students who currently attend these colleges to see what some of the people you might go to school with are like. I didn’t apply to UTK but lots people from my school go there and I know many of them absolutely love it :grin: Best of luck continuing your search!!

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It’s really too bad you didn’t apply to the Honors Colleges (better dorms, smaller classes, more opportunities) which really make a difference at large schools.
St Joe’s is solid and it’s well-respected in Philly, especially among the business community.
For us to evaluate ROI (return on investment) we need to know how much PSU, Clemson, and UTK would cost, using the formula above. Otherwise it’s just useless vague impressions.

I did not apply to honors college as well due to an increase in tuition by a couple thousand. Per year St Joe would be 38k, LaSalle 26k, PSU 50k and Clemson 57k(fasfa has not returned yet) given no price increase. I know I would love a larger school, but I am trying to decide wether it is worth going 50-60k in student loan debt.

You cannot get 50-60k in loans.
Freshmen are limited to 5.5k, and the total is 27k for 4 years (31k with interests) which is what a college graduate can reasonably pay back over 10 years.
Anything above that would be taken by your parents on your behalf and if after a year (or 2) they could not renew the loan, you would have to drop out and you’d be stuck with the debt without a degree.
If you want a larger school, you can still apply to UNM, they have the Amigo scholarship which may make it competitive with St Joe’s. Same thing with UMaine.
Did you apply anywhere instate? That may make a larger school affordable.
Otherwise you have two good choices, St Joe’s and LaSalle, and I’d go with St Joe’s for business.


Did you get any merit from Tennessee? They are fairly generous with out of state applicants at certain stat levels and have a good supply chain major. You can also apply for additional competitive scholarships.

Honors programs are not created equal at all schools, so I don’t think it’s a big deal if you didn’t apply honors. Some will allow you to apply to honors after you are a student there - if you feel compelled.

Thank you for the useful information. I will agree that limiting student loans is a must and priority of mine. I applied to Rutgers but my application was deferred to regular decision.

I did not receive any merit from UTK, unfortunately. UTK was the only school I submitted my SAT score to as well which is competitive with many of their applicants. I am looking to apply for scholarships there as I know they have a great business school. Thank you for the useful information!

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The application usually comes with a merit scholarship so I’m guessing UTK is out of the running, too.

You still have time to send an app to 1-2 from Rowan, NJIT, Ramapo, Drew. March 1 deadline.

More March 1 deadlines if you want a larger school than st Joe’s:

You can still apply to Temple (large school, automatic consideration for Honors - excellent program, topnotch business school) I’d strongly consider applying if I were you and would look at comparing costs with st Joe’s once the acceptance packet arrives (I think you’d be admitted).

SUNY Albany is Div1, large, in a city (extended deadline has been pushed to Feb 22 then ‘final’ March 1.)

SUNY Cortland has lots of athletes&athletic competitions, it’s medium-sized

UNM (Southwestern culture&weather, excellent merit scholarships)

UMaine (state flagship, competitive tuition)

Christopher Newport (medium sized university, Southern)

Florida State (very large, big football, Southern, March 1 deadline)

I would go with good but less cost. I don’t know about St. Joe’s, but it sounds like it would be a good fit based on what other posters have said. Ask your parents if you can “bank” the difference between their ideal spend and St. Joe’s and use it for summer internship expenses, study abroad, etc. When both your and your parents’ budgets are stretched, then you might miss out on some of the “not-included-with-tuition” experiences. There is a certain freedom it gives you.

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Your desire is to be in the south. All of these schools have a regional placement aspect to them. You will be more likely to network for southern job prospects when the students, professors, career placement, and employers are in your region and geared towards your region. By osmosis you’ll acclimatize to that region. Just the way it is.

Sure, you can get a job in say, Charleston, from St. Joe’s or Penn State, but it will be a layup if you graduate from say, Clemson.

Consider leaning towards the southern universities.

I too was accepted to Penn State and my Dad told me under no uncertain terms that I would indeed attend Penn State on in-state tuition, full stop. I desired to live in the south, and thought going to college in the south would give me an advantage, but had to play my hand to perfection, so that it would be my Dad’s idea. Long story short, I headed south and am so happy I did.