right arrow
Informational Message Stay on top of the information you need to navigate the admissions process amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We've got articles, videos and forum discussions that provide answers to all of your test prep, admissions and college search questions.   Visit our COVID-19 resource page.

Introducing Kai!
Your College Confidential guide bot.


Kai can provide tips and support as you research and apply to colleges, and explore majors and careers.





Chat with Kai
here, 24/7!


or Skip Forever

Finding the right college for your unique situation can be challenging. Hear from other students who shared their admissions story. Download our FREE Student Voices - vol. 1, Student Voices - vol. 2, Student Voices - vol. 3, and Student Voices - vol. 4 eBooks NOW!
In an exclusive AMA for College Confidential, Gaelle Pierre-Louis, a former college admissions officer, reveals surprising insights on the elite college application process. ASK HER ANYTHING!
PARENTS4PARENTS: With the deadlines for ED/EA coming up shortly, thumper1 and happymomof1 will be answering questions and sharing their tips on how to build your college list. ASK THEM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our October Checklist for HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.

Turn Down Full-Ride for Williams?

Neurotic2027Neurotic2027 50 replies18 threads Junior Member
edited September 15 in Williams College
Hi all,

I have been fortunate enough to have been offered admissions to exceptional schools, such as Williams. I am unsure of whether selecting Williams over a full-ride would be worth it. The full-ride school in question is a LAC ranked around #20. I do not want to state the name on this thread as I would be easily identifiable, but will PM it to anyone offering advice below.

Williams will cost roughly $15,000 per year for my family (before loans/work, etc). I think this is a fair price and affordable, but I'm not sure if turning down a full-ride is worth it. Additionally, I plan on going down the pre-med route, but majoring in History.

Thanks!
edited September 15
18 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Turn Down Full-Ride for Williams?

  • AboutTheSameAboutTheSame 3197 replies48 threads Senior Member
    If you want to go to med school, save the money. Williams has a great reputation, and I'm sure it's well deserved, but it's not worth $60K over [I'm guessing here] Harvey Mudd, Wesleyan, Bates, Colby, etc.
    · Reply · Share
  • SwimDad99SwimDad99 194 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I have a kid at Williams and would agree with AboutTheSame. There is not much difference among the top 25 LACs or so -- or at least not $60K in difference, especially if you're considering medical school. Save your money and take the full ride.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College 2262 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    Is the full-ride college a college that you would be happy to attend, with most aspects of what you would want in a college education?

    If there is a strong reason to the contrary- e.g., it is a woman’s college and you want co-ed, or it is a military institute and you don’t want to join the military- take it off the list and go to Williams.

    Otherwise, take a good look at it. Do not be hung up on ranking. The difference between 20 and 1 on the list is negligible. It’s not like the difference between 1 and 100, where there actually might substantial differences in resources and in student population. All the top LAC’s are excellent.

    If the “fit” is good at the full-ride, commit to it and don’t look back! If the fit is much better at Williams, and your parents say the finances are okay, then go there. If you are unsure which school is a better fit for you, revisit or ask specific questions for which the answers may help guide you to a decision.

    Good luck and congratulations!
    · Reply · Share
  • ivegraduatedmomivegraduatedmom 60 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Congratulations! Turning down a closely ranked full-ride is almost never worth it as long as there's "fit," especially if you plan to go to an expensive graduate school, like med, law or humanities, when every penny will count. As @TheGreyKing says, if the fit works, please, on all that is holy, take the full-ride. Avoid debt as much as possible. It's a burden for the rest of your life, and a hard lesson no one should learn if they don't have to. Wishing you the best life. Good luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • MisterMicawberMisterMicawber 32 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Have you shown your better offer to Williams' financial aid office? They don't "match," but there might be a ghost of a chance they improve their offer. Couldn't hurt if you're about to -- but don't want to -- go elsewhere.
    · Reply · Share
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43411 replies473 threads Senior Member
    I agree with the above. Send a screen capture to Williams and explain that you'd like to go, but there is such a huge discrepancy between a full ride and 15k that you and your parents are really hesitating, however if the financial gap weren't so big Williams would be your first choice.
    (Obviously ONLY if it is true and if you WOULD attend Williams over other choices).
    · Reply · Share
  • HPTD12HPTD12 113 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I also agree that going to Williams Financial Aid is worth another try. But be ready to commit to Williams if they indeed bring your obligation down - and have a number ready in your mind that would make the difference.

    The above said, I am going disagree with the sentiment that there is little difference between #20 and #1. You have your whole life ahead of you and $60K isn't going to make a much of a difference one way or the other. Williams is a wonderful place, not just for academics and future grad school considerations, but for the friends you will have for a lifetime. Go where you want to go, but be prepared to work hard during summers to make some $$$ to make up some of the financial difference.

    And med school admissions is so competitive these days, attending a #1 vs. # 20 LAC may indeed make a difference in that process.

    I recall turning down a grad school scholarship for about the same amount per year as you mentioned and I decided to go to the more prestigious/expensive school, which paid off many times over.
    · Reply · Share
  • lostaccountlostaccount 5331 replies90 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2019
    Can't see how naming the school would out you. I'm sure there are tons of other students in a similar position. (and depending if it will be a hardship or not, I agree with HPTD12-as long as it does not put your family at great risk financially).
    edited April 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 12098 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2019
    Because OP is a history major planning on doing pre-med, Williams College is worth the extra $60,000 in my opinion since most "pre-meds" change direction after a year or two, and Williams College places well in a variety of industries / professions.
    edited April 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • milgymfammilgymfam 1652 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I couldn’t imagine paying close to $60,000 to go to a school so closely ranked to the one that gave you a full ride. Imo there isn’t much difference in quality at the top. Unless the full ride school doesn’t offer your major or has some unknown MAJOR drawback, or $15,000 a year is nothing to your family. If any of that is loans that I redouble my opinion.
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 12098 replies164 threads Senior Member
    @milgymfam : Agree that if any of the $60,000 needs to be borrowed, then the full ride is the better choice.

    However, since this is not a Hamilton College versus Williams College situation, I think that Williams College offers significantly better placement then does the full ride school if OP decides to forego medical school.

    If med school is a well thought out plan, then take the full ride because, other than at NYU, medical school is very expensive.
    · Reply · Share
  • milgymfammilgymfam 1652 replies28 threads Senior Member
    @Publisher, is an LAC ranked near 20 really going to have poor placements/outcomes? I guess I’d find that surprising.
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 12098 replies164 threads Senior Member
    Because OP has shared with me that pre-med is definitely her goal, it is better to take the full ride.

    @milgymfam : Depends upon the specific LAC & upon specific careers. Also, not so much that one has poor placement as it is that Williams College has outstanding placement.
    · Reply · Share
  • merc81merc81 12152 replies207 threads Senior Member
    Since your choice pertains to financial aspects, this Forbes article in which Williams appears might be worth a view before you make your decision:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nataliesportelli/2017/04/26/10-expensive-colleges-worth-every-penny-2017/
    · Reply · Share
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43411 replies473 threads Senior Member
    Williams has ideal return on investment for Humanities majors.
    · Reply · Share
  • MisterMicawberMisterMicawber 32 replies6 threads Junior Member
    The difference between Williams and the other school may vary to OP depending on how good the schools are for premed and History. Also, if OP is referring to US News rankings, other rankings may peg the other school very differently than US News.

    @lostaccount -- I feel OP is handling this the right way by not publicly posting the name of the other school while being willing to send the name privately. I understand his/her reticence, and though any risk may be negligible, why take it? OP, please PM me the name, if you would.
    · Reply · Share
  • TennisParentTennisParent 232 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Regarding the issue of Williams versus the other schools, another consideration is grad school and job prospects. If you look at the schools DE Shaw, Bain etc. for example recruit at for example, its the Ivies plus Williams and a select few. Same applies for top med, law and MBA schools, they have info sessions at the Ivies, top state schools plus Williams, Amherst but not the other LACs. Also, the point of going to a LAC is the interaction with amazing and talented people and Williams is able to pull in some pretty stellar people.
    · Reply · Share
  • TennisParentTennisParent 232 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Also, there is data on the average income of recent grads in the USNews information which may be a helpful reference in terms of comparing job prospects versus other schools.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity