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Your Two Cents: Was Cost a Factor in Choosing Your College?

Those of you who attended public colleges only slightly outnumber those who spent their collegiate years at private schools. It's no secret that a private school experience generally comes with a heftier tuition, and according to a new study by Sallie Mae, 40 percent of families with college-bound kids don't let cost limit their school search. Was it a factor in choosing your school?


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melizzle melizzle 8 years
Yup. It came down to which school gave me the best aid/scholarship package. And it ended up being an overpriced private university.
Sumhope Sumhope 8 years
absolutely! I knew i would stay in the state to avoid paying outrageous state fees and as appealing as some private schools were it wouldn't be prudent to be so in debt. I ended up choosing a university close to where i work which worked out because I was able to keep my wonderful job!
reactionary reactionary 8 years
my parents encouraged me to apply to a whole range of schools - my dream school being the 50,000 a year college. which i got into. unfortunately, although fortuantely in the end i suppose, my parents forced me to go to the state university by saying that it was the only one they'd pay for because it was the cheapest, and they then informed me that i'd be paying for it.
kathili kathili 8 years
I was lucky too in that my family believes that education is a great investment and so willingly paid for mine. Plus, we didn't qualify for financial aid anyway.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Yes, it was a factor. My family has a good amount of money and we are probably between middle and upper middle class, but my dad didn't realize how much college costs until it was time for me to apply to college. Frankly, he didn't save enough money (at least not for room & board, the cost of tuition wasn't really the problem) and I definitely did not want to be take out any student loans, because I would never pay it off. My dad offered to pay for me to go to Europe last summer(with some kids from my high school) if I would live at home and go to college at the university 10-15 minutes away from our house, which he would also pay tuition for. Needless to say, I accepted it and I definitely don't regret it. I had reservations about leaving my family anyway and I help out my dad a lot by taking care of my younger sisters (my mom passed away seven years ago and he hasn't remarried). I also get to have my own room and I don't have to worry about paying for food or other expenses.
Deidre Deidre 8 years
I am so very lucky that my parents did everything possible to pay for my education. They each had to work their way through school, so they've always said they wanted their kids to be able to graduate with a clean financial slate. Of course, my dad was pretty thrilled when I went with an in-state public school, and he didn't have to fork over the bigger bucks for some of the other schools I was considering!
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Hoaxerz, that was the same with me. I was too naive and hell-bent on going to the school with the prestige and good reputation. My student loans are a sickening reality now. I sure wish that I'd had a grasp on reality back then!
hmcmcd hmcmcd 8 years
Well, cost was a factor, I only applied at 4 schools. All 4 offered me academic scholarships but only 2 offered to pay the full tuition. Of the two one was a public University an hour from my mom's house and the other was a small private liberal arts college 10 states away. I chose the public university for several reasons and cost was certainly one them.
mlen mlen 8 years
i was lucky enough to have parents who would pay for wherever i wanted to go. i ended up at a school that didn't break the bank tho, just cause i liked it- my bro wasn't so kind to them lol
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
It was a huge factor for me because I'm paying for college on my own. I do get some fafsa money, but that only covers so much. So, for my AA I'm just going to the community college.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
cost wasn't really included in my search it was more to the point that if i got into a private school that cost too much - i would figure out a way to make it work . i think that some people ARE limited by the cost of tuition and room and board, and that really makes me upset cause there is so much potential out there for some kids and to know that you have to limit where you go - it's not always fair. the frustrating thing though is when people who are undeserving get the aid so they can go where they want - they don't study - they don't take advantage of school in the right way and as a result - it's a complete miss with it all.
roseate roseate 8 years
No, cost was not a factor for me. My parents told me that they didn't want me to be limited by cost and that they'd figure out how to pay for whatever school I went to. I'm currently at a $50,000/year school, and I love it, but I really have no way of knowing whether I'd be just as happy at a less expensive school. I have a friend at my school who pays less to go here than she would've at her home state school, UW-Madison. Scholarships and grants can make private colleges affordable.
absolutromantic absolutromantic 8 years
I don't understand those who only apply to state schools... yes, there can be differentials between state and private tuition, but generally the private schools offer HUGE scholarships so the out-of-pocket cost ends up being equivalent. When I applied (2003), I found that the state schools were only maybe $1,000 cheaper per year or so once you took the scholarships into account.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
No. I was one of the few whose parents offered to pay for wherever I wanted to go. But it helped that I received a merit scholarship for half the tuition.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 8 years
my parents planned for private, but by the time acceptance letters came out i'd changed my mind about what i wanted & went public. as much as people complain about fee hikes, the uc system continues to be an incredible value.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
I chose the university that gave me the best scholarship. But that wasn't the only consideration. I liked the programs it has (work/study for the fields I wanted to study), and its location (far enough away from home that I had to move out, heehee). I also liked that it's not as monolithic as the other schools on my list - it's all cozy and small and overrun with woodland creatures... I have to say, at that age, I was not wise about cost. My parents were going to pay for everything. (As it ended up, they helped but I started being able to pay my own way thanks to that work/study program. This was before the tuition skyrocketed - I graduated the exact same year that happened. Whew! Just in the nick of time.) Now I'm glad that all those other qualities drew me to the less-costly school, because the more expensive ones would not have been worth it for me.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 8 years
sort of . . . I had scholarships to in-state schools but got into a really good out of state school that had an amazing program in what I was studying. I figured out that I would be able to go there if I graduated a year early, so I made that decision, turned down my scholarships and finished my degree in 5 semesters. It was still expensive as all hell and I had no social life, but it was within my budget and I got to go to the school I wanted :) It worked out, I've actually had hiring managers say that having that college on my resume got me the interview. On the other hand it depends on what you're studying - I'm not planning on going to grad school. My sister, for example, has a free ride to a state school, and is working hard to save up to go to law school at an ivy.
heineken67 heineken67 8 years
Absolutely, it was! I turned down an ivy because the aid wasn't good enough.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
no. my parents told me that they would pay for wherever i was accepted. turned out not to be the case, but that's another story. my girls know that the UC system is their college education, anything else is too expenive for us.
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 8 years
I was debating between a really good state school and MIT. I ended up at MIT, and am happy I went there...but for a while I was thinking the state school would be the better choice because of the cost. But sometimes it's worth it to spend more on school...then again, it isn't always the best idea...
stefsprl stefsprl 8 years
I chose my college over others because of the cost. My sister is at an expensive private university right now, and after hearing her money woes I'm happy with my choice.
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
i only applied to three schools, all for the same program, and 2 were private... but i ended up going to the one that gave me the biggest scholarship. altho even with that it was the most expensive lol
vunder vunder 8 years
Yes. I applied to 4 major public universities, in various states (not in my own). This was when you could still manage to get in-state tuition after a year. I had other friends who found that going to a private school was less expensive than a public school when aid and grants were factored in. We were in the middle - no need-based aid, enough money to pay for a public school without loans, but private would have been a burden.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
I actually went to a Jr. College first because of cost and then transferred to a state school as a junior. It was still pretty costly in my opinion.
SoCalSugar SoCalSugar 8 years
Definitely! I stayed in-state to save money. I had a good offer from a private university but the financial aid wasn't enough and the public university was well-respected so I chose saving cash over a school with slightly more prestige.
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