4 answers

Is it better to go into debt to go to an Ivy League or go to a UC and have a comparatively smaller debt level?

Asked Providence, Rhode Island

Hi! My name is Anina and I'm a high school senior interning at CareerVillage. I'm facing this decision currently for Brown University vs. UCSD for Computational Biology. Most of my family and friends want me to go to Brown, but my best friend pointed out that tuition for four years at UCSD is equivalent to one year at Brown. Currently, based on students and alumni I've met at both schools, I'm looking towards Brown. Thoughts on the drawbacks and benefits, and which decision I should lean towards? #college #computer-science #finance #money #personal-finance #ucsd #brown-university

4 answers

Christopher ’s Answer

Updated Santa Cruz, California

It all depends on your goals after college and what you want to do, where you want to live, etc. However, with that said, having an Ivy League name on your resume stays with you the rest of your life. As much as people do no want to admit it, these types of schools give alum a leg up for a long time. People trust the brand. You definitely need to factor in the amount of debt you will take on and how much the industry you enter when you graduate pays. If you think you will be burdened under student debt for the rest of your life and will never be able to pay that off, go to the cheaper school. But all else equal, I would definitely lean to Brown because of the future opportunities it will open.

Yilun’s Answer

Updated Oakland, California

I don't think the debt load is a factor, assuming you qualify for a financial assistance package from Brown. My guess is that your maximum undergraduate debt would be around $20K, which is manageable. I'd recommend calling the Office of Financial Aid if you're still concerned about affording college. I can't speak for UCSD but as a Brown alum, the major benefit is an open curriculum that allows you to explore and create your own path. I think the main drawback is students are responsible for their own development and careers, especially if you don't stick to a structured program (e.g. medicine, engineering). Personally, I found my major at the end of my sophomore year only after taking my second economics course (math econ).

R. Scott’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

I would go to Brown or an Ivy league school if you can afford it. The network is priceless and education next to none. And, what a legacy for you and your family. Having said that, it depends on your goals and if that is important to you, versus going to a state school, or close to home, etc.

Scott’s Answer

Updated Chicago, Illinois

Great question. I would say rather than focus on the debt load look at the career you want to pursue and determine if you can reach your goals and objectives through the choices of schools you have.

For example, Brown is amazing but if you want marine biology, UCSD may be a better choice for your specific career path. At the end of the day, your focus in school and what you put into it will determine what you get out of it.