I'm in kind of a dilemma and I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but...
Should I go for a full ride at UTD (the National merit scholarship here: Office of Undergraduate Education - The University of Texas at Dallas
) with a "$5000 stipend" equating to about 70K, or a sort-of full ride with less perks at Texas A&M (48K guaranteed plus up to 20K in additional scholarships I can apply for)?
I looked up the respective costs of each college and UTD ends up to be about 10k while A&M is about 8.3K. Which leaves me confused - what does the extra ~15K from the guaranteed money from A&M go towards? Do I only keep what I spend on academic things or do I get to keep the 15K to spend on whatever? Which brings me to the question, what does the 5K stipend mean from UTD? Are there any restrictions on that money?
I don't really have too strong preferences on the qualities of each college, except I think smaller class sizes = better and more professors teaching = better. A city with good nightlife is always a good thing too.