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USC full merit scholarship vs. UChicago

student1248student1248 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited April 2015 in University of Chicago
I'm sure multiple students are in similar situations, and I was hoping for some differing perspectives. I am currently looking at offers from multiple schools, and the ones that I am most seriously considering are USC, UChicago, and UC Berkeley. USC is offering me full merit scholarship, while Chicago is only offering $5,000 a year (Chicago says that one year will cost me approximately $70,000). I am a California resident, so Berkeley will also be much cheaper than paying for any private school. I keep on changing my mind about which offer to accept. On the one hand, I am being offered a free education, but I don't know if I should give up the opportunity to receive the kind of education UChicago has to offer. I am thinking of possibly going into medicine, but I love all subjects too much to rule anything out.
I think my main question is this: in the long run, is UChicago worth the $280,000 (I will most likely have to take out loans of at least $60,000)? And if its not, is paying roughly $100,000 (which my family can afford) to go to Berkeley a smarter decision over going to USC for free?
Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Replies to: USC full merit scholarship vs. UChicago

  • coachraycoachray Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    To me, this is a no-brainer. I don't mean to be insulting when I say that, but you have three great schools from which to choose. I would go USC.
  • kaarboerkaarboer Registered User Posts: 315 Member
    edited April 2015
    USC, I think. It's top 30 (insofar as rankings matter) and FREE. Save any money for grad school (esp. if you're pre-med/pre-law).

    And while Chicago might (unlikely, but possible) be worth $50k more than USC, Berkeley isn't worth that comparatively (for undergraduates, I might give USC the edge all things considered).
  • mumz14mumz14 Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Go to USC for free undergrad and save your family money so they may help pay for medical school. Congrats on such great offers.
  • kaukaunakaukauna Registered User Posts: 1,127 Senior Member
    If you really want UChicago then make one more run at the FA office and if they don't significantly up the grants (ie enough to wipe out the debt) then go with USC or possibly Berkeley if it's one of their Nationally ranked programs. Best of luck to you. You've got 3 great options.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    is UChicago worth the $280,000 (I will most likely have to take out loans of at least $60,000)? And if its not, is paying roughly $100,000 (which my family can afford) to go to Berkeley a smarter decision over going to USC for free?

    If you are struggling for a nano-decond over the decision of paying 280k + taking 60k debt + freezing your butt off to go where "joy goes to die", over USC for free or Berkeley for cheap, then I'm surprised these schools thought u were smart enough to admit.
  • kaarboerkaarboer Registered User Posts: 315 Member

    Sorry, have to get a little OT here...

    'where "joy goes to die"'

    First, it's "fun", second, that hasn't been true for years.

    And that's a really mean comment. People value certain things differently; it doesn't mean that they aren't smart.

    Doesn't change my previous recommendation. USC is certainly a better value than Berkeley and most likely a better value than Chicago. Since you're likely going to go to grad school, save your money for then.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    People value certain things differently

    The OP isn't rich, and would need to borrow $60k. Therefore, OP is being OT ridiculous to "value" Chicago $280k more, when OP simply doesn't have the money.

    OP's situation is essentially: should I take the free Mercedes sports car or buy & borrow for a Lambourghini?
  • seal16seal16 Registered User Posts: 942 Member
    I would not think twice: USC is a great school and free is even better. Plus California weather vs Chicago weather is an easy decision.
  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 1,915 Senior Member
    Oh, if only all choices in life were this easy. USC.
  • FStratfordFStratford Registered User Posts: 411 Member
    Free is free. USC.

    And heres more free advice :-)

    But wait, are there terms to the scholarship that are impossible for you to meet? Not saying this is true with USC, but beware of scholarship offers that are sweet but are really only 1 semester or 1 year offers. A term like - perhaps maintaining a 4.0 at a school that forces a downward grading curve, for example, is impossible to meet. An athletic scholarship that requires you to stay on the team is "impossible" for an average athlete in a sports powerhouse like USC.

    Don't just look at the $ and assume they are 100% committed. Weight them by probability
  • SidkaneSidkane Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    edited April 2015
    I agree with the recommendations above to choose USC for free. Obviously makes sense financially, but I would go beyond that. USC is serious about improving and are going after top students like you in the same way they recruit athletes. Special programs, housing and advising to help support your success.

    I also think it depends on your personality. Certain types of kids love Chicago, but it is not for everyone. I know several different types of kids who go to USC and they all seem to love it. Certainly, the weather will be better.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,627 Senior Member
    My son was a trustee scholar at USC. He now is in his fourth year of a PhD program at CalTech.
    he was also accepted at Chicago , and more "prestigious"colleges but since grad school was definitely going to be his future,he decided to go to USC and took full advantage of all the opportunities that come with
    being a trustee scholar . You should do the same.
    It really is a "nobrainer " - no UG college education is worth $100,000 (or even more) than the great pre -med education you can get at USC .
  • seekzipseekzip Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Tough call, Chicago is out of picture no matter what your reasoning is. Between USC and Berkeley, for medicine major, USC and money wins, for other majors like business, engineering, science etc.,
    some people may choose Berkeley.
  • puzzled123puzzled123 Registered User Posts: 566 Member
    edited April 2015
    Don't you have to pay room and board with the USC "full ride"? If so, I would take Cal if your goal is to go into Med. Also negotiate with the FA office at UChicago- I found them to be pretty generous.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,627 Senior Member
    Chicago does not "negotiate" merit or FA awards, especially for students who win merit scholarships from non peer U's .
    Heck, they did not budge from DS's 0 $ FA even when shown far better FA offers from Brown and Dartmouth.
    And Room and Board at USC will be less than $20,000/ year, especially when students move off campus for their JR, SR year and live with friends in one of the hundreds of appts or big houses north of campus.
    USC is the no-brainer here. Having the words "Trustee Scholar" at the top of your CV will open doors to you after graduation.
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