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DEARSUGAR Needs Your Help: Public or Private When Money Is Tight?

DEARSUGAR and Concerned Cum Laude need your help. Finances are tight, but will loans be a small price to pay for the future you've always dreamed of?

Dear Sugar
I am going to college in the fall and I am having trouble deciding if I should go to public or private school. My mom said that I could go anywhere that I got in. I would really want a college private school experience, but my mom is a single mother and I know that she'd just have to take out loans to send me.

Should I go to private school and get out of my hometown, meet different types of people and enrich my life? ... or should I go to State and stay at home even though I don't really want a continuation of high school in college? Concerned Cum Lauder

Join The Conversation
ishtar ishtar 10 years
You could take the loans out yourself, then you would bear the financial burden. That might make you less stressed about what this would mean for your mother. Most people are in debt out of school anyway.
Megan37 Megan37 10 years
I am a 4th year college student at a large university and I love everything about it. But I have lots of friends who attend small private colleges and they also would not change a thing. It really depends on which suits you. Not to sound like a guidance counselor, but there really is a "right" college for everyone. Both types have their pros and cons. Since you expressed interest for private schools, one benefit of attending a small private school is that there are often more scholarship opportunities than at public universities. So depending on what you qualify and apply for you may find that both come out somewhat equally priced. Also every college student finishes with loans to pay off and the difference between the two may just be a drop in the bucket. Good luck making your decision.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Well as a Mom I know your mom wants you to go where you want to go. But also as a mom I know she is really hoping ur gonna help her out on this budget thing. Have you thought of handling it yourself? Getting student loans in your name and getting pell grants? Since she is a single mother and its your parents income that qualifies you in the begining check that out it will even give you just a tad of spending money to help out ur cost of living expenses. I know I did clases myself for a bit online, I got full pell and student loans and every 3 months I got a check for books and cost of living. =] helps alot.
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
I think a lot of what you major in can determine where you should go. If you are going to enter your career (and it may depend on the career) right after undergrad, the prestige of the school is more important. It carries more weight on the resume. However, if you plan to go to graduate school, I would think more about investing money into that endeavor. When you apply for work after completing this schooling, employers are typically most concerned with where you got that degree. They will look at where you went to undergrad, but they wont care all that much. For example, if you enter into journalism right after undergrad, you might want to hail from NYU instead of Bodunk University. But if you are going to go and get a PhD in Bio or something, its better to go public and bust out with private for your graduate schooling. This is all not just my opinion, but feedback Ive received when I was wading through the college selection process. Also, just because a school is private doesnt mean its better. There are many state schools that are applauded on their academic excellence and high levels of scholastic performance. I hope this makes it easier!
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
maybe do 2 years at the local college and then transfer to the 4 year for your last 2 years. helps the gpa and keeps you from going crazy during the first year of college.
rocketgirl rocketgirl 10 years
Could you go to state and not live at home? That would give you a going-away-to-college feel without busting your mom's budget. I go to a state school (out of state for me, but still a state school) and I love it. A_M is right; it may feel like an extension of high school your freshman year, you just have to make of college what you want. Best wishes finding out where you want to go!
JessNess JessNess 10 years
Im in my second year of college right now at a public university. I also know people at private universities. Its not the campus that dictates an extension of high school...its the people you surround your self with. College is all about what you make of it. Instead of worrying about whether college will be high school all over again you should focus on what school you can afford and which school will give you the best education for what ever major you have decided. Good luck choosing!!!
azucar_maddy azucar_maddy 10 years
I've experienced a very small private college, a mid-sized publiv university, and a small campus for a very large public university. I've met lots of great people in each setting, but my favorite has actually been the small campus for the huge public university. I couldn't ask for more, for me. Concerned Cum Lauder, Consider that any college may at times feel like an extension of 'high school,' especially during your freshman year, but it's up to you to make the experience what you really want. You will have a mix of people ranging from foreign students, very wealthy students, adult students, and the students that are more like you. my small private school experience was in Manhattan, and believe it or not, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would have. Please think about what you are really after before making your final decision. Also, think long and hard about the amount of money that you (and your mother) will owe. Weigh everything and make your best decision, and don't base it on what everyone else is doing at your high school. Good luck.. and remember if you end up hating your school, you can transfer. Most people do!
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