I am trying to decide between the Banneker Key Scholarship, plus the MD Distinguished Scholarship, or UVa or Dartmouth. At Dartmouth (still on wait list, but talking to coach about getting admission slot as a full recruited athlete), I would be paying $52, 000 a year. UVa is $46,000 a year. My family does not qualify for any financial aid but we still can't afford to pay full price without taking out student loans. Is that much student debt worth the education and experience at either of those schools?
Dartmouth is my dream school and I grew up on UVa's campus (uncle is a prof there). I love Dartmouth and UVa both for different reasons, but is their price worth it? I know they are both excellent in academics and especially the field I want to study. I would like to major in international relations and minor in Italian, if that helps. Maryland also has an Individual Studies program that I could take advantage of to study abroad in a lot of places. It also has many internship opportunities, and I know it has a good reputation.
Is Maryland's education and experience a good deal? I am unsure if I would be a good fit for the school, because it is very large. I don't want the mistake of going somewhere where I could be unhappy. Could current Banneker-Key students tell me what their experiences have been? Are there many opportunities for Banneker-Key scholars?
I really appreciate everyone's help! I would love any input people have.