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Is it really worth it??

lalooojilaloooji Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
Let me start with saying that I have not received any letter, nothing. So, based on the posts I read here, it means I have not been accepted, not invited for Trustee /presidents/deans scholarship. I am a NMSF so I assume if I do get Accepted eventually, I will be eligible for President scholarship if I go on to become NMF. I will never get any need based aid. And my stats are 2280/34/3.97/4.57, ~750 in SAT IIs, enough EC and so on.. And I am from SCAL. And at this time, I am not worried much about whether I will get anything tomorrow.

Coming to the title of this topic, unless someone gets 42K scholarship, how can one ever justify education at USC where tuition is more than Ivy's? With Pres scholarship, it comes to 21K still which is about double of UCs.(for CA residents) I find a lot of folks with great scores feeling thrilled with admission to USC because they got 21K - but you still have to pay 21K!! Many of you folks have the same chances of getting/not into UCLA or UCSD or UCB. (personally though I know it is tough for me to get into UCLA, UCB etc. Very hard, I know) Even for those who worry about ranking of colleges, UCLA and UCB are above USC. May be UCSD too, I dont know.

So, what am I missing here? Is USC really a 42K tuition school?

I am not really trying to say anything bad about the school, I designated USC as my choice in NMSF. But there is no way I can go there without that 42K scholarship and with no more hopes of that, I guess I wont go there at all. I cant spend 150K for an undergrad degree...
Post edited by laloooji on

Replies to: Is it really worth it??

  • ngongsngongs Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    My advise.. don't go there, since in your opinion, it's not worth the money, etc... Go to the school that you're happy with
  • racedadracedad Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    As an SC alumn living in SoCal, I feel it's worth the extra $150K...I'm guessing many SC alumn in the business world would tell you the same.
  • lalooojilaloooji Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    ngongs: Looks like I hit raw nerve there. :-( Sorry, nothing personal..

    I am yet to go to college, so I just have a list of colleges and USC is one college in my list. I would be perfectly OK and happy going to UCI or UCSD. But I would be as unwilling to go to Harvard and Yale paying 55K - for undergrad. Even if I get it as much as I would love to go there.

    racedad: The thought of coming out of college with 100K+ in loans with a degree (in Engineering) is a little scary. (other option is to make my parents that much poorer)
  • MindySueMindySue Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    My oldest son goes to a private university (46000/yr.). We are elementary school teachers..no match! We saved but still...we budgeted $25000 a year, that's it. He had to turn down his first choice ($50,000+/yr , they gave us $8000/yr only) So, since my youngest REALLY wants to go to USC and has a 50/50 chance (no big scholarship there), if it doesn't meet our price point, he doesn't go. My oldest son ended up very happy with his second choice and they have been more than generous with financial aid (Cal Lutheran!).
  • MindySueMindySue Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    Are the alum form USC really that helpful?
  • racedadracedad Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    laloooji, I'm not very familiar with the Engineering world, and I hear what you are saying about loans...but it was worth it for me! I would have the same concerns as a young student, and it’s a lot of money. But looking back, I wouldn’t hesitate.

    mindysue, it's more of who your life long friends will be. Maybe where they meet their future spouse (i did). A way of thinking… so many intangibles. It will open doors, but it’s up to the student to walk through them and perform.
  • lalooojilaloooji Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    racedad: Engineering is not bad, my brother started with 75K with Chem Engg degree (really really had to work hard to finish in 4 years but went off to to Masters). But that was from Cal Poly - so if a degree from USC pays 10K more to start with (doubt is but still) and it would still take 10 years to pay back that extra.

    In my case, as my some other posts show, I was trying for BS/MD. Now, I am trying to come to terms with rejection from a lot of BS/MD programs and decided to go the undergrad route. So it is a big decision making process.

    And may be title of this discussion sounds a little harsh - it should probably read "Why is tuition in USC so high" and I am sure there are some threads with that subject....
  • racedadracedad Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    I hear what you are saying laloooji, and I will leave you with some thoughts to ponder...you may not make the extra 10K because you went ot USC. It may not take 10 years to pay off your loan. Engineering might be your "job", but it may not be what makes you most of your money in the future. ;)
  • madbeanmadbean Registered User Posts: 3,219 Senior Member
    lalooji, if you go to a UC, who will pay? For instance, UCLA lists the total cost of attendance for undergrad: $31,544. And with the $21,000 Presidential scholarship at USC, your cost of attendance is very close to that same amount. Getting the half-tuition scholarship puts USC's cost on par with the top UCs.

    If your parents are unwilling to pay for any costs of college, I can understand why you would question going into large debt. I agree with that prudent decision. Some students attend community college for 2 years to save costs and then transfer. But if your parents are willing to pay for a UC education, I'm not sure what you are asking here?

    Rankings are not as important as fit, IMO, but just to correct one of your points, Cal ranks 21, USC ranks 23, and UCLA ranks 25--not much distinction when colleges are so closely ranked.

    You are right that private universities have a much higher tuition than publics, for the most part. Many NMFs and other top students find USC's merit awards one of the best ways to reduce that cost by over $84K while still attending a top private university where graduation in 4 years is easily accomplished, and saving the cost of a potential fifth year as is feared is happening at the UCs more and more. But even still, for excellent students who do not qualify for financial aid and whose parents can't or won't pay full price, it's almost impossible without the student incurring large debt.
  • SaitsuzenSaitsuzen Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    I would like to back up madbean's point about the price of attending USC with a half-tuition scholarship compared to the price of attending a UC. I am a NMF with a half-tuition scholarship at USC. My total expenses are probably just about $3k to $5k higher than they would be if I had chosen to attend a UC. So the cost really is on par. And the UC system might increase its fees soon and thus the gap in expenses could decrease.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,700 Senior Member
    The other thing is that majors at USC are NOT impacted, so most students CAN change majors if they decide to. My D went from undecided to Cinema. For Cinema, USC is a great school & environment. S graduated in engineering & for him, it was MUCH cheaper as a NMF than it would have been for him to be an OOS at a UC. He also was able to graduate in 4 years (could have even done it in 3.5 if he pushed himself). Both of my kids have enjoyed their experiences and time at USC. Don't really know why it's as expensive as it is & wish it were less expensive, but so far, have no regrets.

    Both my kids have not had trouble getting the courses they wanted/needed and graduating when they planned. Have relatives & others who have had trouble getting courses they needed at UCs and CSUs, which have prolonged their time in their Us & added to the cost & delayed their graduation.
  • RenomammaRenomamma Registered User Posts: 842 Member
    As a few have stated above, factor in an extra year of tuition for UCs. UCLA told us flat out that you can't expect to get the classes you want, especially during your first few years, so it is likely to take at least 5 years to graduate.USC told us they try to ensure graduation in 4 years, even with double majors.
  • maddenmdmaddenmd Registered User Posts: 389 Member
    OP: I'm not sure what your situation is, but you didn't mention need based financial aid in your calculations. Many students qualify for some aid, even if not the full amount. If you do, then the cost to you is reduced further. I personally feel that cost is a VERY important factor to consider. If you come out of college with high debt and spend the next 10 years or more paying that back, it really impacts your lifestyle. On the other hand, I also feel fit is very important. That's why each student/family must weigh those factors. My older son declined a high value scholarship from one school to go to another where the fit was much better. And he and we are very happy. My younger son has a very specialized major (film production) which is driving his choices. If your major can be accomplished at another school for much lower cost, that might be your best option. But be sure to compare the WHOLE package of aid (merit, need based, outside scholarships) as well as "fit" in making your decision.
  • lalooojilaloooji Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    It is nice hear all these opinions. Will help in decision making provided I do get accepted.

    UC lists tuition at 11800 or so compared to USC at 42000. So, I feel I made a valid comparison.
    Yes, it is true that getting the courses (and finishing in 4 years) is very challenging in UC/Cal State based on what I saw with my brother. But whether one finishes in 4 years or not will eventually be upon him/her.
    And in Undergrad Engineering, not sure fit is a big thing. Some of you can enlighten me on this. It is true for Masters as my brother tells me - it depends on what research is going on where
    My parents in a high income bracket (no way to ever get any need based), the question is not whether they will pay, it is whether they should if I go to a college with a high tuition
  • tsdadtsdad Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member
    My son was accepted to UNC (wife and I are alums of the graduate school) and UVA (in-state) and we had the pre-paid tuition plan. Had he not been accepted to the film school, I'm not sure he would have gone to USC. While I like the school, we could have saved $50,000 to $100,000.
This discussion has been closed.