Virginia Tech or George Mason?

Deposits are literally due in a week, and I still have no clue where I’m going to go. The two choices I have are VTech and GMU. I worked extremely hard in high school with a 3.9 gpa and multiple 5’s on AP exams to get into a good named school, and i did, VTech! The issue is, though, that my dad would be paying a lot of money for VTech- 22k per year. some loans would be put into my name, as well. Just as some background info, we live in a really expensive part of NOVA and my dad’s the only source of income for my 6 person family and he also takes care of my grandparents. And pays for my bro’s undergrad (he goes to GMU). So, my dad does have a lot of expenses. I really want to go to VTech cause as cocky as this sounds, I really do want all my hard work in high school to pay off (FYI i’d be majoring in marketing). Also, i haven’t visited the campus yet b/c i thought VTech wouldn’t be an option looking at the cost. I just hate how much money it is. With GMU, it would be 8k per year, so very inexpensive cause I wouldn’t be dorming. i could save all my money during undergrad for traveling and going abroad, and going to grad school (although, I’m not sure if I am going to grad school). Cost wise, GMU would be amazing. But the thing is, I worked my ass off in high school so a big part of me, inside, is saying that I would be settling with GMU. Also, it’s like a 20 min drive so i’d stay home. But i’m so independent! I want to be on my own and finally take charge of my own life. There’s so much out there in life that I want to experience. But…my mom’s sorta making me doubt myself in whether or not I can handle being on my own. Anyways, that’s my dilemma. Your inputs on where I should go? VTech of George Mason? Have only a few days to figure out :frowning:

I’d say George Mason. Both are really good schools, but if you can’t afford VTech than the 2.5x price difference won’t benefit you.

Could you live on campus at Gmu ? This way you’d still be independent but it might be cheaper than VT ?
Did you get into the honors college at GMU ?
What is your parents ’ budget ?
Are you willing to take on the federal loan, work over the summer, and have a 8-10h/week part time job during the year to decrease costs to your father and make it work at VTech?
Note that marketing is one of the lowest -paying business majors and you must get a statistics minor (oe date science) if you want a career in that field due to current evolutions.

Yes, what did / are your parents saying they will contribute a year? You are limited yourself with the amount of loans you can take out each year. What was your EFC and are you eligible for work study at Virginia Tech? You could consider community college initially to get some general requirements out of the way . Virginia Tech has articulation agreements with community colleges I believe. Sorry you are going through this. I know you are disappointed and hope you are able to figure out a way to make Virginia Tech work. If not, make the most out of your time at GMU. It’s a nice school.

Dorming at GMU is actually the same exact cost as VTech-it’s only an $84 difference :(. I’m more than willing to work. I’ve been looking at job’s the past month and I have applied for a few as well. But yeah, no matter which school I attend, I will be working part time.

Well, i’m eligible for a 5k loan, so there’s 17k left. My dad is willing to contribute what is necessary but because it is expensive, having 6-8k per year in my name seems reasonable. My EFC was 10k, and I wasn’t eligible for work study. However, I think we can apply for work-study programs once we accept our admissions offer. I also applied for a 5k scholarship a few months back but we don’t know the results till late May, which sucks cause that could make all the difference. And thanks, that does mean a lot! Looking at the math right now, however much I don’t want to accept it, it just seems like VT isn’t going to be a smart option money wise.

If I recall correctly ( one of my kids went to Virginia Tech), you only have to take the meal plan for one year. After that, your expenses should go down if you live off campus with other kids and don’t go overboard with food expenses. But, if your parents can’t help you with the initial tuition costs and dorm costs at Virginia Tech, that is of course a problem. Good luck.

Ask your dad: can he pay 15k/ year out of income and savings ?

You said your dad is “willing to contribute what is necessary.” But you need to know what that means.

Sorry, bad choice of wording. What I meant to say is that if I were to take 6-8k loans, the rest of the money he would take care of. But then again, the question, of whether or not that debt for VTech is worth it as compared to GMU where I wouldn’t acquire any debt and my parents would be able to cover my college tuition with ease, arises once again. As of now, I have no intention of going to grad school so my undergrad would be the only source of education I’d have listed when I apply for more serious jobs.

You should be able to take up to about 27,000 in loans yourself over the course of 4 years. If you wanted to go to Virginia Tech for engineering, computer science , business information technology, etc., it may be okay to take out some loans. If you are having to take out loans even by going to GMU, factor in the difference in loan amount between going to GMU and VT, as well as expected salary . Marketing is just not as likely to pay as much right out of school, compared to other majors that Virginia Tech is more well known for, like engineering . In general, the least amount of loans, the better. If you can avoid loans altogether, even better.

Okay, thank you for your advice. I really do appreciate all the help you’ve given me, heck it’s more than anyone in general really has given me! Hopefully whatever I end up choosing is for the best.

If your parents are willing to pay the GMU tuition and you would not have to take out loans (as you say in #9), maybe they will pay VT’s tuition, since it shouldn’t be a big difference (there are tuition supplements for engineering there but I don’t think there are for marketing but double check). If your EFC is only $10,000, that is well below the cost of either GMU or VT, instate. You might want to check with the financial aid office or any admissions rep at VT you have been dealing with to see if there is anything else that could help you make VT work. But run anything by your parents as they are the ones that will be helping to pay for school, transporting you to school, etc. and at the end of the day, it is their money. Blacksburg rent and food are definitely cheaper than northern Virginia rent and food! . All the best!

If you take out the $6000 loan each year and work part time during school and full time over the summer you should be able to earn $6000 per year which would leave $10000 to your parents which isn’t much more than GMU and you could pay them back over a number of years the difference. Like PP have said you can stop doing the dining plan after first year and save a lot of money plus moving off campus could save money too. I think going to school away from home is a big part of growing up and if you can make that happen plus at such a great school it would be worth the sacrifice of needing to work.

You can “only” take 5.5K in loans for freshman year. That’s it.
However, you CAN work part time till graduation and full time over the summer to make up the difference and pay for your first semester books, then work 8-10 hours/week first semester to pay for your personal needs and save for 2nd semester books.

Ask directly your parents how much they can pay out of pocket (income+savings), without any loans taken for you.

Did you apply for the Alumni Scholarship programs at VA Tech?

You won’t know the result until after May 1 but I’ve heard they are generous, though not guaranteed.

You won’t be eligible for work study but they seem to have plentiful campus jobs. There will be a list on Hokie Spa in July. Work Study pays minimum wage but my son has his eye on a campus job that pays $11 an hour. There are also multiple restaurants and businesses within walking distance to campus so you should be able to find a job.

My son got into both schools. Many of his friends are going to George Mason. I think he likes both schools equally. Tech gave him more money. We don’t live near either school so he has to dorm. We looked at apartment costs near both colleges and you can actually share an apartment in Blacksburg for $300-$400 a month. It’s much more expensive in NOVA. I think he would always have to live on campus. As far as doing away with the meal plan, will you really want to? Tech is #2 in the nation for college food.

from what i’ve gathered, its looks as if I should go with VTech?

No, nobody here can tell you that. It is for you and your parents to decide, based on finances and fit. It is a big decision. You definitely need to know whether you/ your parents have the money issue worked out to pay the bills that will be coming in from either school.