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Stanford vs UC Berkeley Regents

got2havKgot2havK Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
I am torn, although in the end, I may not have any choice. Maybe, some can share their rational, objective input here fr CC/Cal community. Please note that I am not comparing Stanford vs Cal per se, but Stanford vs Cal Regents.

I am lucky enough be accepted to Stanford and Cal with Regents Scholarship, both for BioEngineering. I am unsure yet whether I will go to graduate school or medical school in the future.

Stanford is my dream school, although I get to like Cal very much since acceptance and esp since the Regents decisions, while waiting for Stanford results.

I am from a middle class family with separated parents. The difference between Stanford and Cal for us is ~$30K. With Cal Regents, our family share would be down to our EFC of $6500 which were offered in loans. With Stanford, they double our EFC ($12500), plus student share (work) of $5K, plus non-custodial parent, also middle class, share of $19K, which I am very sure he cannot afford. Maybe, he can afford $5-6K at the very most. I dont understand how Stanford came up with those numbers.

Is it worth the difference, and being in debt, of +$120K over the next 4 years, just to choose Stanford over Cal Regents?

With Regents, I get priority registration, so graduating in 4 yrs would not be a problem. Also, there is also housing priority, so it's a non-issue too. The professor advisor & research opportunities for regents scholars are good advantages too.

Both areas, location and environment are fine with me. I am sure I will adapt well to either environment. I will be a good fit to either one. Stanford is 1-1.5 hrs farther fr home compared with Berkeley, but that is a not a big issue for me.

I realize Stanford is very selective (7% acceptance rate), but Cal Regents is very selective too (~ < 1/2% out of ~53K applicants).

I am really torn. I like both schools, maybe leaning towards Stanford more, since it is my dream univ since I was a child, that actually motivated me to work hard.

Thanks in advance for any input or advice. I posted this thread at Stanford forum too. Sorry for the long read...
Post edited by got2havK on
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Replies to: Stanford vs UC Berkeley Regents

  • rahujarahuja Registered User Posts: 364 Member
    im facing a very similar issue with Brown versus Cal Regents. When I look at the rising costs of Berkeley though, I feel that by the time we graduate we are going to be looking at costs that will be creeping increasingly closer to the cost of private schools. Also, these private schools are truly a unique educational experience, and I know a lot of adults who took loans to go to schools like that and say that it was totally worth it. Although there are a lot of benefits through Regents, its still Stanford. I'm leaning towards taking the loans and if you think Stanford is what you truly want, you should take the loans too. But definitely appeal the financial aid offer from Stanford.
  • whosthat1234whosthat1234 Registered User Posts: 554 Member
    Regents at Berkeley really doesn't mean that much and while it's impressive I don't think Cal students regard it as a big deal. With that said, $120k is A LOT of money and I doubt that employers or grad schools will really care if you got your BioE degree from Stanford or Cal since both schools have very good programs. In fact, I know someone who turned down MIT for Cal and graduated with a 3.99 GPA in BioE and is doing very well for himself now.

    So basically... In terms of Stanford vs. Cal, I think that students who can afford it should go to Stanford, but I don't think the additional prestige of going to Stanford is worth $100k+ if you don't have it.
  • crowslayer91crowslayer91 Registered User Posts: 1,160 Senior Member
    @rahuja, I'd go with Cal Regents over Brown tbh, quick decision. just my two cents
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,840 Senior Member
    Brown or Stanford may be better for pre-med or pre-law students due to greater grade inflation.

    But if the difference in net cost after non-loan financial aid is in the $100,000+ range, then, among all of these schools, the difference is unlikely to be worth that extra cost.
  • excelblueexcelblue Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    Yeah, Regents doesn't do very much; they have a few networking events, a little extra money (not much, though), and guaranteed dorm placement (that they don't use since most people move out after their first year anyways). For this year, there is also priority course registration, but it's all for the same courses as everyone else.

    So, other than the financial thing, it really is Stanford vs Cal, not Stanford vs Cal Regents.
  • got2havKgot2havK Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    ^^ excelblue. Regents DOES do a lot for financial aid recipient people like me. The scholarship gives the difference between the cost of attendance and EFC. ($2500 honorary if you do NOT need the financial aid). Our EFC is $6500, so that would be the ONLY amount we will have to pay for the entire year at Cal. And that $6500 is offered in loans.
  • eminemgotrobbedeminemgotrobbed Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    i dont usually give good advice, but when i do, its not bs

    honestly, i've been to stanford, the cultures at both schools are REALLY different (i'm not saying one is better). THAT should be your biggest deciding factor, seeing the quality of education is THE SAME (esp engineering).

    make sure you know what you're getting into. when you say you'll be fine, yeah, you'll be aite either way but its a big part of life esp if your gonna live there for 4 years. here's what its like here:

    pros:
    -game days, whole frat row comes alive, errbody in blue and gold
    -large student body->wide selection of classes; some faves i've taken an acting class, game theory, ROTC airforce history, self-taught programming and more, all for credit
    -college town, ethnic food, come check out college ave and university ave
    -clark kerr, pretty much stanford lol live there freshman year
    -random classes in the gym, kickboxing, yoga, hip-hop (again, due to a large student body)

    cons:
    -intro classes big, mostly lecture style (a con for most except for me. i like to learn on my own and not being babied)
    -hella asians, but they like to cluster together so its easy to avoid if you want, ie i was one of 3 asians on my floor at ckc
    -overall less intelligent undergrad student body
    -less selective-> instill smaller boner than when you tell someone you go to stanford
  • excelblueexcelblue Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    got2havK wrote:
    ^^ excelblue. Regents DOES do a lot for financial aid recipient people like me. The scholarship gives the difference between the cost of attendance and EFC. ($2500 honorary if you do NOT need the financial aid). Our EFC is $6500, so that would be the ONLY amount we will have to pay for the entire year at Cal. And that $6500 is offered in loans.

    The issue here is that even if you aren't regents, you still get the same amount of financial aid, except in comes from different sources. Unless your EFC is above 24000, Regents basically does nothing to change your financial situation compared to those without Regents.
  • got2havKgot2havK Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    ^excelblue. my last reply on this issue. totally not true. without regents, more loans over $5500 (parents plus loans) and work study. with regents, no more loans over $5500 and no work study. i was able to compare it with ucla offer wherein i was not selected as regents. huge difference. huge.

    i dont know where you get the facts while i have the FA award letters fr ucb & ucla.

    http://students.berkeley.edu/finaid/undergraduates/RCfaq.htm

    http://www.fao.ucla.edu/uclascholarships/regents.html
  • got2havKgot2havK Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    ^^^ whosthat1234 & eminemgotrobbed ~ thanks so much for your valuable insights...
  • gobears10gobears10 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    I would go to Stanford. You would get a good job upon graduation, and you could pay off your loans.
  • got2havKgot2havK Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    ^thanks gobears10. many people are advising us of the same thing. ah, lots of thinking to do...
  • HandlebarsHandlebars Registered User Posts: 380 Member
    The issue here is that even if you aren't regents, you still get the same amount of financial aid, except in comes from different sources. Unless your EFC is above 24000, Regents basically does nothing to change your financial situation compared to those without Regents.

    got2havk is right. Schools are a lot more generous in terms of financial aid to their regent scholars. They give you way more money directly and far less in loans. I had a similar experience except reversed.

    I got regents at UCLA but not at Berkeley, my UCLA offer was much much more generous, 8k more in scholarship money whereas Berkeley just gave me a bunch of loans (most of which were not subsidized)

    Still chose to come to Berkeley though...
  • bsdbsd Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    Not sure how Stanford is getting those numbers if your parent really can't pay. A year costs $51k ($39k tuition + $12k living) and it looks like you're having to pay $36k. Odd because last year:
    Under an enhanced financial aid program Stanford established in 2008, parents making less than $60,000 a year are not expected to pay tuition or contribute to the costs of room and board and other expenses. Families making less than $100,000 a year do not pay tuition.
    Stanford maintains aid, raises undergraduate tuition 3.5%

    From what I understand the $5k from work is expected regardless but that doesn't explain the other $31k. So either your family is making enough money to send you to Stanford (any signs of spending more than needed? entertainment, purchases, services?) or someone miscalculated something.
  • got2havKgot2havK Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    trying to bump this again, to see if others have some more opinion on this...

    decisions in 3 weeks. i really like stanford more, but i like cal too. im not sure if going to stanford is worth $146K in debt (or $120K difference fr Cal Regents) in 4 yrs. i might be totally financially debt-exhausted even before grad/med school.
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