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!