Does where you go to college really matter? Is money an actual valid reason for giving up your top choice school?
I have the chance to go to a decent school with a good program for free plus room and board grants, and they are also guaranteeing me a spot in their graduate school. However, I feel that the school is not for me. I feel uncomfortable and claustrophobic there, and I don't feel any connection to the school or as if I belong. My other option is to go to my top choice school. I am absolutely in love with the place, their program, everything. It feels like home. However, I am not guaranteed a spot in their highly competitive grad school, and I would have to pay out of state tuition. #college #college-admissions #college-bound #college-selection #college-recruiting
1. If you can't cash flow your college expense, do I want to start my life in debt?
2. Does the college that is offering the scholarship accredited, the program accredited? If not, I don't recommend attending that school).
3. Does the college that is offering the scholarship have an undergraduate program that will allow me to explore the field and will it prepare me for graduate studies (there are advantages for graduate studies at a different institution)?
4. What are the feeder schools for the institution you'd like to attend for graduate studies?
When you enter your graduate program, it is almost certain that your career path will be fine tuned if it doesn't change completely. Where you go to undergraduate studies is rarely that important. If the free school can provide you with a solid education that gives you opportunities to explore your interests, I recommend taking this opportunity.
Ultimately, it's YOUR drive, YOUR passion and what YOU do (projects, etc.) that will get you into a graduate program of your choice, not your undergraduate program. Sometimes, being a big fish in a small pond has it's benefits. Talk to the chairs and faculty of the program you are interested in at the institutions you are considering. Interview them. Will they be a good mentor to you? Having an excellent mentor who takes time for you and your professional growth should not be me undervalued. It's really one of the most important factors that will shape your career path the most.
For the second part of the question, money does play a role in college choosing. But as I stated in the first part, maybe you give up your first choice of college due to money issue, you could still seize your chance in any cases.