Vandy NM vs. UGA Honors vs. Alabama UF

<p>We would appreciate your thoughts on choosing among these options:</p>

<p>Vanderbilt with $20K NM (over 4 years)</p>

<p>UGA Honors with HOPE (in-state tuition) and $500 NM</p>

<p>U of Alabama Honors / University Fellows with scholarships covering tuition, room and board, study abroad, research, books and fees w $ leftover for grad school</p>

<p>Which would you consider more important: reputation for academic rigor or scholarships and opportunities to make an impact?</p>

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>I'm actually in almost the exact same situation but I just recently sent in my enrollment deposit to Vanderbilt.</p>

<p>My approach used a few different criteria:
1) Actual Academic Opportunities. These are all pretty similar. The Honors programs are great.
2) Prestige. The name of Vanderbilt beats out these other two. Nobody will argue with you on that, even with the Honors tags.
3) Social. It really depends on what your kid is trying to find. I went to a good Southern boarding school and have an equal amount of friends at all three schools. I'm going to join a fraternity, probably one with a lot of Southerners, so basically my experience socially will be relatively the same at all of them. The trump card for Vanderbilt is the student body. Honestly, I'm not really seeking out "diversity" in the politically correct version but rather a group of students from different geographic and ideological backrounds. UGA and 'Bama are blown out of the water here.</p>

<p>I'm going to be visiting Tuscaloosa and Athens as well as other SEC schools probably at least once a month. If your kid is similar to me then hopefully he or she will make the same choice or at least use my advice as help. If not or you want to ask some more questions send me a message.</p>

<p>Just my two cents:</p>

<p>Alabama> UGA>>>>>> Vanderbilt </p>

<p>Vanderbilt cost of attendance:</p>

<p>Estimated Cost of Attendance, 2008-09
Tuition $41,850
Books & Supplies $1,668
Housing $8,894
Meals $3,510
Personal / miscellaneous*<br>
$4,842
Transportation $1,704
Loan fees $602 </p>

<p>Total $63,070 !!!!!!! PER YEAR (and this is before the normal increases one will see over the course of 4 years)</p>

<p>At Alabama and UGA you will have the opportunity (and the funds to take part) in so many programs. U of A Honors and UGA Honors are prestigious honors programs and include many VERY qualified students. Your child will mingle with some of the brightest minds and professors at those schools. Having money left for grad school is huge today esp with the banks beginning to cut back on the opportunity for student loans. Congratulations on the scholarships and opportunities they present!</p>

<p>KandK: I usually don't like to correct people on CC (everybody has their opinion) but according the the acceptance package I have in front of me, your numbers are about $10,000 off.....Not sure where you are reading from:</p>

<p>Tuition: $36,100
ACt fee/rec fee: $905
Room and Board:$7828
Meals: $4200
Books and Supplies: "1,206</p>

<p>etc......Estimated Total: $52,928</p>

<p>It's still a ridiculous comparison, but wanted to make sure the facts were straight....I TOTALLY agree with your analysis......</p>

<p>Rodney,
I am glad your acceptance package numbers were less :) And don't worry about "correcting" me :) I should have cited where I found the information I shared. I went to the Vanderbilt website and did a search (from w/in that site for "Cost of Attendance 2008".. then copied and pasted....It looks like they added personal/misc. (almost 5K more) and a bit more for housing and books/supplies. What I don't understand is why the tuition listed on the website is 41K and your offer is 36K. It would seem that they wouldn't overestimate that figure for prospective students....Thanks for sharing what you know with the OP (and me) Either way it is a boatload of money....</p>

<p>My son had to make a similiar decision last year, ultimately deciding to go with academic rigor over University Fellows & he refused to fill out the scholarship application sent by Vandy. My son's choice has worked out extremely well for him. Tough choice as I am quite familiar with all three of your options. It would be helpful to know more about your son & his interests & goals before making any suggestions. My son never had a second thought about his choice, but he knew what he wanted. In your son's case, the generosity of Alabama may be too difficult to turn down especially since, with some summer study abroad or in Tuscaloosa, he can complete his undergraduate work in three years at no cost. If he has desires to attend law or medical school and qualifies for Vandy's guaranteed admittance programs, than that should be a substantial factor to consider when making a decision. The students are brilliant in all three options.</p>

<p>Vanderbilt</a> University office of Financial Aid: Costs</p>

<p>According to this Vanderbilt site, $52,300 is the rate for tuition, fees, freshman room and board; it includes 2K in living expenses. What it does not include is a special "freshman fee" (something to do with the Commons I think), or fees specific to engineering students--including the cost of a laptop if the student does not have one that meets specs.</p>

<p>The meal plan will probably be less for students after freshman year. If you do not have "approved" health insurance, there is an additional fee for that.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that personal expenses, cost of books, travel costs, etc. need to be included in other schools' totals, also.</p>

<p>I'm not denying it is expensive, but I think the 63K number above is not correct.</p>

<p>Edit: I admit I am a little bummed about the activity and rec fee. I need to remind my kid to get over to the rec center more and get his money's worth.</p>

<p>This kind of thing bugs me, so I went back and re-checked the site that I used this am (that was my first mistake- I hadn't had that second cup of coffee :) </p>

<p>For some reason, even though I typed in "cost of attendance 2008" ....The cost of attendance page that came up turns out to be for LAW STUDENTS not incoming freshman. I am so sorry I didn't read it more thoroughly! (thanks again Rodney and midmo for helping with the clarification) </p>

<p>I wish I could edit/take out that part of the post now so it is not confusing to anyone. Can the moderators do that? </p>

<p>Again, good luck Marley's Mom in what your family has to decide.</p>

<p>Here is my take.</p>

<p>If money is no object, take your pick. Students who attend any of these schools will have plenty of opportunities if they apply themselves and do well. </p>

<p>If money is a material consideration, ask yourself what is it that Vanderbilt can provide that is worth more $160,000 more than the education to be had at Alabama or Georgia. I do not believe that the prestige factor is worth more than $160,000, plus interest on whatever portion you might have to borrow. Personally, I can’t think of anything else it can provide that is worth that kind of money. Obviously, some have a different opinion.</p>

<p>Ok, dudes...
DON'T reject Vanderbilt or other "pricey" schools because of the at-a-glance price tags. EVER. I understand that not everyone gets the same amount of financial aid, scholarships, etc., but here are my stats:</p>

<p>For my freshman year at Vanderbilt, I have to pay...drumroll please...</p>

<p>$6,912!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>

<p>Because of a financial aid package that nearly covers my tuition, a college-sponsored National Merit Scholarship, the College of Arts and Sciences merit supplement, and the Curb Scholarship, as well as the North San Antonio Hills Lions Club scholarship.</p>

<p>Please do not murder me for my vehemence. Vanderbilt was not my dream school by any means, and I may still transfer out. I'm just saying, the price tag is not set in stone. :)</p>

<p>Jewel - The original poster's kid is about to start his or her junior year at whatever university s/he chose.</p>

<p>Was your child awarded the Academic Elite scholarship at Bama?</p>

<p>If so, go there - absolutely. What a deal!</p>

<p>Jewel....I'm pretty certain that Marley has rec'd his FA package from Vandy by now, so the mom is dealing with real numbers - with a price tag that is set.</p>

<p>Actually, Kandi's tuition & COA for Vandy for the next school year are quite close.</p>

<p>For last year 2009-10, the tuition alone was $38952, so for this next school year, it probably is around $41k with a COA of about $58k (plus TRAVEL!!). Plus there are some other minor costs - like a $600 freshman fee.</p>

<p>Financial</a> Aid Requirements | Student Loan Scholarship Application | Office of Undergraduate Admissions</p>

<p>If money is not a problem (you can afford it or you got a nice financial aid/scholarship package), go to Vanderbilt.</p>

<p>If it is, go to Alabama.</p>