College Prestige vs. College Affordability


Ms. O’Shaughnessy said she was trying to counsel a father in New Jersey who was on the verge of making a horrendous financial decision. His daughter had received a full scholarship to attend Rutgers University but her first choice was New York University, which, even with financial aid, would cost the family $32,000 a year. The father, an engineer who was also out of work, said he was going to send her to N.Y.U.

“I can’t even believe he’s considering it,” she said. “I was floored. It’s irrational.”

The Times debates: Choose the college with a more affordable sticker price, or pay top dollar for the one with a prestigious name? You know where I’d fall in this discussion—programs matter more than prestige, and I’d lean toward the one with the affordable sticker price (plus, if you really didn’t want to attend a college, you probably wouldn’t have applied to it in the first place). Also, I have an unemployed friend from Harvard you may be interested in talking to.

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74 Comments / Post A Comment

notpollyanna (#2,841)

Or the one that will be an actual challenge? Most schools wouldn’t have been a challenge and I went to college to learn things I couldn’t learn on my own, majoring in Humanities because math or science would be too easy. I went to a great books school (plug: shimer.edu). Not cheap, but totally worth it. This, however, does not appear to be how you are “supposed” to do college.

notpollyanna (#2,841)

@notpollyanna And no prestige because no one knows of it. Tiny. I graduated with 14 people.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@notpollyanna I am legitimately super curious how you decided a math degree would be too easy.

WhyHelloThere (#1,398)

@notpollyanna I work at a fairly non-selective, not-super-prestigious state school, and I truly believe that any student can be challenged here. They might have to seek out tough classes, but it can be done. If you’re willing to put in the effort, you can get as good an education here as anywhere. What you might not get, especially if you’re planning to move out of state, is prestige, name recognition, and the same kind of alumni network that you might find at a fancier school.

sea ermine (#122)

@aetataureate Maybe math is easy for her? I’ve definitely known a lot of people who had a really easy time with math and science but struggled in humanities classes, just like some people think Literature and History are easy and math is hard.

sea ermine (#122)

@aetataureate Also! I think Humanities is one of those things that gets it’s challenge from the environment you are in (ex. reading a book on your own vs. being in a seminar where teachers will push you to think and discuss and stretch your brain). While math is sort of a right or wrong answer field that would be easier to study on your own.

Lily Rowan (#70)

@seaermine Speaking only for myself, high school math in no way prepared me for college math. And I’m pretty sure there are no right or wrong answers in actual higher math.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@seaermine Based on your comment I’m guessing you didn’t study math in college? I don’t mean that to cause any offense. Characterizing higher math as “a right or wrong answer field” is not really accurate at all, which is part of why I’m so curious about the original commenter’s blanket statement.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@Lily Rowan Hahaha yes. What you said. All of it.

notpollyanna (#2,841)

@seaermine Yeah, I’m kind of a robot. Math is super easy for me and I have had an easy time teaching it to myself.

@WhyHelloThere Before I went to Shimer, I had been at three different schools. No challenge for me, even in upper level Humanities courses. I spent a lot of time wanting to stab myself in the eye since that is my impulse when I get frustrated with my fellow students’ slowness. I did challenge myself by making projects harder than they had to be (Photo project of open presentation? Bind it into a book! Sew it into a quilt! Essay on Shakespeare where an option is to write a travel pamphlet? Research the hell out of the authorship controversy!) School is generally easy for me.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@notpollyanna To be clear, you’ve had an easy time teaching yourself the college-level math covered by a math degree?

Lily Rowan (#70)

@aetataureate Yeah, I thought I was going to be a math major when I got to college, and changed my mind before the end of the first semester.

sea ermine (#122)

@aetataureate Oh I know it’s not actually a right or wrong answer thing, that was terrible wording on my part. A number of my friends majored in math or engineering in college and their reasons for why it was easy for them was that there was less flexibility in terms of where something would go (again, horrible wording, can you tell I was not an English major) than in say, a literature class where everything was very open ended. And I guessed that was maybe why notpollyanna found it easier for her.

Unlike them I was not a math major (obviously) but I preferred the math classes I took in college to the humanities classes for that very reason. For humanities classes I really found I needed a teacher to push the class to a more advanced level or else I wouldn’t get as much out of it as I would with a math class.

I apologize if none of what I’m saying makes sense, I’ve just spoken to a number of people who majored in math in college and found it to be more structured and more right or wrong answerish as compared to say, interpreting a painting in an art history class.

sea ermine (#122)

@notpollyanna I can understand why school would be easy for you with projects like that, I think a lot of people would be disappointed if they got to college and that was the level of work they had to do. But I don’t think there is a huge difference in the quality of academics between Rutgers and NYU, especially if she gets into the honors college at Rutgers and works with her advisors to get involved in special research projects, or is able to test out of some classes.

@seaermine Just to be ornery: there are many, many wrong ways to interpret a painting in an art history class! (I feel like I should insert some sort of emoticon here.) Anyway, see below, about me having taught art history to Rutgers undergrads. I was occasionally jealous of my colleagues in math and the hard sciences, as their students seemed to accept their lousy grades without complaining whereas intro humanities students seem to think that anything– no matter how uncritical, ungrounded, or crazy– should have earned them an A.

ThatJenn (#916)

@seaermine You’ve described very well why I changed my major from the social sciences to the physical sciences at the liberal arts school I attended. Interpreting texts made me feel consistently stupid, in part because I was much less well-read prior to college compared to my peers (I’d gone to a just-OK public school and devoted a whole lot of time to music and community service instead of reading). Chemistry was challenging, but it seemed much more straightforward to me, and there were specific skills that I could measure myself quantitatively getting better at over time. Of course, those quantitative measurements may not have been perfectly accurate, but it helped me to see what I was accomplishing, and that was important to me. In the humanities, regardless of grades or feedback, I could just never tell if I was any good.

maddog (#1,935)

@angry little raincloud Oh dear god, thank you. That was one of my biggest pet peeves also. “I tried! I wrote down words!” Well, yes, but a series of sentences does not a good essay make. A good argument about any work of art takes insight, planning, and crafting; it’s a kind of linguistic and theoretical architecture, really.

Morbo (#1,236)

@notpollyanna
Oh good lord, Shimer.
Glorified babysitting for rich people’s kids who don’t have to worry about finding their own way/careers.

sea ermine (#122)

@angry little raincloud That’s exactly what I meant! There are so many ways things could go (both right and wrong) in say, an art history class, that these people I mentioned found math and science easier because there were less options of possible answers.

Interestingly, a number of friends I’ve talked to who found math easy struggled in humanities classes (particularly things like literature or art) because of what you mention in your comment, and they preferred the structure (or appearance of structure) in math an science because they didn’t understand why their “uncritical, ungrounded, [and] crazy” ideas were wrong.

sea ermine (#122)

@ThatJenn I think that stereotypes about certain subjects help with this. Like, as you get into the higher levels of math shit starts to get weird but in college your first class is generally not higher than Calc 2 so students looking for structure or subjects that seems more black and white will probably be drawn to it. And by the time things get crazy you’ve already spent a lot of time studying it so the subject makes much more sense than something in the humanities that you aren’t familiar with.

@seaermine Exactly! I wish as a society we’d get away from the idea that math and science are inherently harder than the humanities. (There’s a gender thing there, as well, but that would totally sidetrack this discussion.) They’re very different ways of thinking and require very different skills, and some people are good at one, some at the other, and some truly annoying people are good at both (I’m looking at you, Eric Kandel, Mr Nobel Prize winner in medicine who wrote a very good book on art, too.)

aetataureate (#1,310)

@angry little raincloud That would require people on all sides to stop making judgmental asshole comments about everything all the time though, both of the “Ugh, that subject sucks, why would you take a class in it on purpose/What you study is completely useless/easy” type and the “I can’t write a sentence/calculate a tip but am totally proud of this glaring inadequacy” type.

aetataureate (#1,310)

Also, I think my comment sounds bitter, but it isn’t, I just literally don’t think people will ever be able to stop themselves from saying those things. Out of thoughtlessness but also out of self protection and anxiety (about not being good at math or humanities or whatever) and out of sheer tonedeafness (above about math degrees being too easy/slow kids?/etc.).

@aetataureate Finally, an easy problem to solve: Listen up, people! Stop being judgmental assholes. Thank you.
(If only.)

aetataureate (#1,310)

This seems especially crazy since Rutgers is a GREAT school, full stop, and at least tied with NYU in my mind as far as prestige. The massive premium for city-based schools is ridiculous.

vicky austin (#2,938)

@aetataureate This is what I came here to say. Rutgers is a great school with name-recognition and the whole package.

Markovaa (#1,509)

@aetataureate @vicky austin That is just what I was going to say! Rutgers is a GREAT state school with good networking connections in NYC and Philadelphia. If she was choosing between NYU and TCNJ, it would be a different story.

@Franny @aetataureate @ vicky austin
I did a PhD at Rutgers, and by default, also taught undergrads there.

I agree: it is absolutely possible to get a very good education there. There would be a bigger difference if she was deciding between Rutgers and a small liberal arts college (let’s say Oberlin for the hell of it. Or Amherst), where it would require her putting in more work to get into the honors college, make contact with professors, etc., in order to get the same kind of experience at Rutgers as at a SLAC. Large research universities versus a small liberal arts college are two very different college experiences, by design. But between a large research university, that happens to be the public flagship, and a large research university, that happens to be private,* there isn’t as much as a difference as an undergrad.

* That is, for ones that don’t have a “residential college” type of environment built in. The undergrad experience at Harvard or Princeton is different, because they replicate the small college experience in many ways. Rutgers doesn’t, but neither does NYU.

theguvnah (#2,351)

@aetataureate Really? TCNJ is a better school than Rutgers.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@theguvnah “This third school is better” doesn’t actually cross out “These two schools are roughly equivalent”

Crabtree (#774)

This is why I now completely understand my parents’ shift from we will pay for your university, to you will pay for at least half each year just before I started applying. At the time I was angry because by the time it came to decide between schools I realized that I honestly couldn’t afford the fancy (for Canada) university for more than first year and that going somewhere with a scholarship would be much better. It forced me to really look at finances before I went. I know this might not help in the states as much because loans are almost always required and loans are harder to think about. Loans are going to be dealt with by future you, and obviously future you is rich because how could you not be?

amglory89 (#3,588)

@Crabtree Canada has fancy universities? This is news to me. From what I know, tuition is pretty much even across most universities (except Quebec, where I’m from, so I might have a skewed perception).

@Crabtree In retrosepct as an old person, I think it’s better to get a kid to have some skin in the game with regard to paying for school. I went back to design school at 35 (paid in cash), and I squeezed every last drop out of the experience because it was my money I was spending. Some of the young kids I was going to school with just didn’t really understand their school was costing real money and flaked out a lot. I felt so bad for their parents when thinking about what they were paying, and even worse for the kids with student loans.

EM (#1,012)

@amglory89 I think it depends if it’s in province or out of province (especially if McGill is the fancy school in question and you are an out of province student). And it’s a difference of a few thousand dollars a year on average, not like tens of thousands, but if you also had to move away from home or live in a major city that was expensive (Vancouver, Toronto) I can see that adding up.

Crabtree (#774)

@Crabtree It was a choice between McGill and Carleton (where I ended up). Carleton offered me a lot of money but at the time it did still have a bit of a last-chance U reputation. McGill is expensive if you are out of province and it doesn’t really offer money to undergrads. As well, although Montreal is cheap, rent and food cost a lot of money and it can be hard to get part-time work in Montreal if you don’t have perfect French. When I looked at it as a high school student I suddenly realised what things cost and that I was going to run through everything I had saved in one year and I didn’t know if I would be able to make any money. There were quite a few other reasons why I made my decision, and I don’t regret it. My undergrad experience at Carleton was amazing.

EM (#1,012)

@Crabtree Also going to Carleton = being a two-hour bus ride from all the wonderful bagels/sexy French people of Montreal

amglory89 (#3,588)

@Crabtree This makes sense to me. I had to choose between in province McGill and out of province uOttawa and I chose uOttawa (because of a job opportunity at the House of Commons). So I actually gave up the prestige and paid more… but it worked out.

I am actually doing my Masters in the fall at Carleton :)

maebyfunke (#292)

This is very similar to what happened to me, down to the same schools. NYU was my dream school but Rutgers was just more practical. No scholarship (or not much anyway), but my parents basically said we have x to put toward school and the rest will be yours to pay off. I went to Rutgers, and still have loans but not even close to what I’ve had if I’d gone to NYU. Now it seems like a no brainer but at the time that was a harrrrd decision to make.

Megano! (#124)

Never have I been more glad to live in a country where all university tuition is about the same, and stays well below 5 digits a year.

But seriously guys, prestige is absolute bullshit.

Cup of T (#2,533)

@Megano! Seconded. Although I live in America now (and may have to continue living here) and I can definitely imagine giving my (future, hypothetical) children a gentle nudge (read: do it or the debt will crush you) to go to university in Canada.

EM (#1,012)

@Megano! SRSLY. Although Macleans does try and convince you of RANKINGS every year.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@Megano! I admire Canadian higher ed as much as the next egalitarian-minded human, but “prestige is absolute bullshit” is a bizarre, inaccurate claim on a lot of levels.

theotherginger (#1,304)

@aetataureate yeah. Many Canadian programs are similar for undergrad (especially non-professional arts or science, not professional engineering, law, education. I think health professions are different and also I know nothing about them) and the differences are not as marked as in the US. but beyond the first degree? then yes.

megsy (#1,565)

@theotherginger big differences in school reputation even at an undergrad level. Look at arts at Queens versus somewhere like Nippissing. Or undergrad engineering at Waterloo. Or undergrad business where Ivey undergrads get jobs some lesser MBAs wouldn’t even qualify for. Prestige is alive and well at Canadian universities and those who disagree are naive.

maddog (#1,935)

@megsy Perhaps in a few particular industries, but in general? For undergraduate degrees? I don’t know how important “prestige” actually is, in terms of increased ability to access employment, or increased estimation of the graduate. I mean, the only people I have ever known who are incredibly impressed with an undergrad who went to Queens or U of T are … current or former Queens or U of T students. No one else, in my experience at least, has cared. I’m not saying that is necessarily true of the wider world, as I only have experience in a few job markets (arts, healthcare, administration, marketing), but I would argue that, in general, the prestige of your undergraduate degree isn’t that important. It may exist – institutions may be able to cultivate and perpetuate an aura of prestige – but it doesn’t really matter.

Megano! (#124)

@maddog I was talking about prestige in the States. There are lots of studies about how State schools often offer a better education than some overpriced big-name school. I wasn’t saying that prestige doesn’t exist at Canadian schools (although it’s more program-based than “oh this school has so much history therefore it is automatically better”), BUT it also doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars more to go to a “prestigious” school than it does to go to one that’s not.

Dinosaur_Senior (#1,526)

I can’t believe that guy’s daughter is willing to let her family go into debt when she can go for free.

Jobeans (#227)

@Dinosaur_Senior Most people going into college don’t understand the full extend of those financial consequences. If the PARENT isn’t even capable of making the financially responsible decision, how can you expect their child to?

sea ermine (#122)

Don’t most schools have an honors college? If she is concerned about not being sufficiently challenged at Rutgers there should be an honors college, and she should be able to work with her advisors to get her into more advanced classes, special programs, research opportunities. And she is close enough to NYC that she can take the train in for internships.

Also, isn’t Rutgers supposed to be a pretty good school? I chose to only apply to mediocre schools, thinking it would be a good way to get a bigger scholarship, instead of the fancy liberal arts schools and public ivys that my teachers were pushing me towards. And while the school I went to wasn’t that great it all worked out and my loans are pretty low (although looking back I would have been able to get more aid from a private school with a big endowment). The decision should be even easier for her, since Rutgers is actually a good school and NYU is known for it’s shitty financial aid.

cryptolect (#1,135)

@seaermine Yup, Rutgers has an honors program. A good friend of mine went there and is now quite successful, at least by my standards (making good money *and* helping people).

theotherginger (#1,304)

@cryptolect yeah – Rutgers is definitely a public research university – so like earlier commenters – would be different from a SLAC. but it will not harm her. and I have heard many not that awesome things about the undergrad experience at NYU. also if she hates it she might be able to transfer (or might not).

sea ermine (#122)

@theotherginger I agree. I would understand if the choice was between Rutgers and a super tiny super nurturing school, but, between Rutgers and NYU there shouldn’t be much of a difference in academics.

meetapossum (#315)

@seaermine This reminds me of a friend of a friend who was from Virginia. We were driving back from picking apples, and she just would not. stop. talking. One of her topics was how “lucky” she was because she got into NYU and didn’t have to go to “shitty” state school, like UVA or William and Mary, like her friends back home. ??????

olivia (#1,618)

@meetapossum She sounds like a delight! I’m from VA and before I moved I knew next to nothing about out of state schools because VA has SO MANY GOOD CHOICES that it made no sense to look outside of VA. I only know 1 person who went to an out of state school, and that’s just because it was her mother’s alma mater.

sea ermine (#122)

@meetapossum What??? UVA and William and Mary are amazing schools. I really wished that I had qualified for in state tuition (I didn’t get it for any state, including the one I was a resident of) because going to an in state school, even one not as good as good as UVA and William and Mary (both of which are pretty spectacular compared to most schools, public or private) would have been a much better deal for me academically and financially.

I did end up paying less than in state tuition at the school I ended up attending, but it wasn’t that great of a school and if I had had the option to go to somewhere like UVA or William and Mary I would absolutely have taken it.

@seaermine Are you me? I also lived in Virgina, also couldn’t get in-state tuition in any state (for the first 2 of my 4 undergrad years). I actually went to William and Mary, though (represent!), and am working on paying off my loans now.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@seaermine Reading about Rutgers online taught me that it and William & Mary are the only U.S. universities to go from private to public! That’s a cool thing.

ThatJenn (#916)

@seaermine I don’t defend this because I don’t defend any of the choices I made when I was 18, but my reason for not enrolling in University of Maryland’s “gemstone” honors program (about 60 people per year, highest honors program, would have actually been free for me on a scholarship) was that… I already knew probably most of the 60 smartest students in my state/grade, and I really didn’t want to go to college with all the same people who had been in all my high school programs. For instance, at least 10 of the people in the class the year I went to college would have been people from my county with whom I took math classes, and I went to summer camp with a lot more, and knew more from math team, etc. I know that’s really silly, but it took me from a free ride at UMD to a 1/3 covered private education on the other side of the country.

I feel delightfully blessed/lucky that I was able to go to the private school, without loans due to scholarships and an inheritance and generous parents and working while in school, and also very happy that I don’t plan to have kids because I cannot imagine letting my kid turn down the scholarship that I did. My mother has said it was hard, but that she wanted to honor her promise that she’d figure out a way to send me anywhere I wanted for my first year of college, with the rest contingent on grades. (She made the promise when I appeared to be checking out of school at the beginning of high school.)

meetapossum (#315)

@seaermine I know! I told her, “Um…those are both really good schools.” In fact, William & Mary was my first choice (I got waitlisted, damn you in-state kids!).

Like, good for you, I guess, you can tell people you lived in New York for college? I mean, I grew up in NJ but ended up going to a private college in Pennsylvania, but I wanted to go to a small school. But I don’t act like I’m better than any of my friends who stayed in NJ and went to Rutgers or TCNJ or Montclair. (In fact, occasionally I’m jealous because they don’t have a stupid amount of loans to pay off.)

sea ermine (#122)

@ThatJenn That makes sense. I think a big thing in this case is that the girls father lost his job. It would probably better to go and do the honors program at Rutgers at first, and then after a year see what is happening with her parents jobs/salaries and maybe transfer somewhere else.

sea ermine (#122)

@Wait, I had something for this Ha, maybe? I eventually found out that I could get in state tuition in VA after my first year of college so I did apply to the one school that had my major (VCU) but their aid for non in state people is horrendous, like 3k in loans and nothing else so it made more sense to me to go out of state for a big scholarship than to hope I could get lower tuition after a year. Looking back though, I really wish I thought to just go to community college in NOVA and live at home for two years, and then transfer once I qualified for in state tuition. Oh well!

ThatJenn (#916)

@seaermine Yes, agreed. I don’t think I ever could have made the decision I made if I knew it would seriously hurt my parents financially. I had their assurances that it wouldn’t (real or not – though they seem to be fine and didn’t have to take out loans to send me, and both moved into nicer homes the year after I graduated so I assume they weren’t seriously hurting to make it happen), but if one of them were laid off or otherwise in bad financial shape I’d like to think I would’ve at least tried out the public school. Instead, I was so privileged as to have the option to be thoughtless, however I may feel about that now (conflicted, even though they’re not worse for the wear).

OllyOlly (#669)

@ThatJenn I ALSO grew up in MD and was on math team. This is really exciting to me, MATH TEAM. I didn’t even apply to UMD becuase it just seemed like more high school to me. If I could go back in time I would apply there though, I think the potential scholarship would have been worth it and it was such a big school I feel like I could have found a community there that wasn’t my high school peers.

This, 100%. Prestige schools for undergrad are just not a good value – I went to the affordable state school with a 20:1 student to faculty ratio, then went to the prestige school for my masters, which I didn’t even apply for until I could pay with cash (8 years out of undergrad). The only exceptions I can think of is if you want to go straight to Med or law school, or wanted to work at some high-powered brokerage on Wall St., you might have a better chance with a Harvard degree.

Penelope Pine (#2,808)

A few things:
1. NYU is only prestigious to out of town yokels.
2. Making connections is a skill that must be learned. If you go into college without it, a strong alumni network won’t help.
3. Rutgers is pretty legit.
4. Less challenging classes = time to explore your interests, do internships and get entrepreneurial

Beezus (#1,007)

I went to CSU Sacramento, which was so INSANELY cheap at the time – this was about 10 years ago, but when I was a student, I paid about $1500 per semester. $1500! My parents paid — in full, no loans — the first three years but slowly transitioned the responsibility over to me, and I paid the last year easily out of money saved from summer jobs.

I went to high school in Sacramento, and there going to Sacramento State was what almost everyone did — it was inexpensive, close by and it’s a good, practical school. (By “practical,” I mean that it gave me some direct training that led immediately to a good job. Same deal for all of my friends. (This was, however, in 2007, before the economy really went to hell.))

But after graduation I moved out of the area, and spent the next 5 and half years embarrassed of Sac State – someone would ask me where I went to school, and I’d just mumble the name, make a self-deprecating joke and change the subject quickly. I wished for years that I’d gone to an “important” school. I still do sometimes. But it’s funny that this was posted today, because it’s really only been in the last few weeks that I’ve decided to be proud of my decision to go there. I NEVER needed to take out a loan and neither did my parents, and it led me to great internships and the job I still have now, which I got directly out of college.

So, um, go Hornets, is I guess how I will end this accidentally very long comment.

@Beezus Wooo! I went to CSU Chico, your CSU neighbor. I wasn’t usually too embarrassed of my school until I mentioned it at corporate happy hour and invariably some drunk at the back of the bar would yell, “WOOOOO! CHICO!”. But I paid $1000 a semester for an excellent educational experience so I’m OK with that.

kstohl (#3,094)

@KathleenD@twitter I went to SF State and I think it cost $900/semester (15 years ago…). It has a really good audio program and I have no student loan debt because my parents were generous and I was realistic about where I wanted to go to school/study.

wallrock (#1,003)

My college decision came down to Northwestern and Wisconsin. My parents offered to pay for the first two semesters at either school but in-state tuition at UW was so much less than NU. I really loved Northwestern during my campus visits and I almost convinced myself the prestige was worth it. In the end I choose UW and between my savings and EE bonds from my grandfather I graduated debt free. However when I tell the story I always say my decision was made because I just don’t like the color purple.

pocket-witch (#1,576)

I had a pretty similar choice to make for college – the big public university in my state or a private research university (WashU). But it actually wasn’t a choice at all, because my state university gave me an almost full ride (still have to pay fees) and WashU is like $56k a year. My state university is WORTH IT. I’m able to work and do research (which is paid, because it’s a huge school that has grants for everything), and my classes are still challenging. Public universities are awesome.

lizard (#2,615)

lol just came here to say i was going to rutgers and my boyfriend was at NYU. he applied to get into rutgers to be closer and they rejected him.

ceereelyo (#3,552)

I just wanted to sow more RU love…Rutgers is a great school and just as prestigious as NYU; it’s a frikkin public IVY! The residential experience is there too if you want it – I actually went to an out of state school for my Freshman year because I was one of those NJ kids who wanted to get out of the state, but ended up HATING my school (loving my adopted city though – Providence) and with tail tucked between my legs, I applied to transfer to Rutgers.
It was a rough transition and I commuted for my first two years, but ended up living off campus for the next two years and I don’t regret my decision one bit. I had no debt at all from going to Rutgers, since my parents paid my tuition and I saved on being a commuter, BUT I had a stupid ass loan for that one year of out of state school, which I just paid off so there’s that.
Everyone I know (including me!) who graduated RU have good to amazing jobs and it is so diverse and yes, it’s getting a lot more expensive to go there, but definitely nowhere near the price of going to NYU. Also, is she not considering the massive amounts of money she will be spending outside tuition living in the city? Save the money and move to the city after school!

PS I love Rutgers so much I’m getting married in Kirkpatrick Chapel and having my reception at the Heldrich so New Brunswick love all around.

@fo (#839)

“a [] public IVY”

30 ‘public ivies’ makes the list lose its meaning as “IVY!!!!”. Even if you mush the 6 UC campuses into 1 (kinda fair), it’s still 25 (in 22 states)–almost half of the flagship state schools (plus Miami, W&M and MSU). It’s simple as saying “the better half of the flagship state schools are really great schools”–which is unassailably true.

Girl is *still* being a moron. Future bridezilla, fo’ sho’.

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