Which one is better: an Undergrad Ivy League School or a Graduate Ivy League School?
As a student from a middle class family, I must worry about money for college and attempt to not get myself suffocated by loans. Therefore, I wanted to know if it is better to go to an expensive out-state college as an undergrad, or simply do a not so expensive college then pursuit a Master's Degree in an expensive school. #college #ivy-league
Hi Karina, let me share how things unfolded for me (hint: Stay Flexible!)
First, I was accepted to UCLA out of high school and planned to go there immediately. However, my parents pushed back and suggested that since there were three kids in our family, I should go to local community college for the first two years and save cost :-( I was really upset by this plan, but since they were providing the support for my room and board at school, I had to listen - so I ended up going to community college and having one of the best academic experiences of my school life (small classes, more personal attention and inter-student connection opportunities, an excellent calculus teacher who was so dedicated to our success that he followed our class for three semesters, and greatly reduced cost!) Then, I transferred to UCLA and finished upper division studies there - debt free. So you are correct in thinking to avoid loans or use them cautiously. They become a burden to pay off on many students for up to a decade or more after leaving school in some cases, right when you'll want that money for moving forward in life. Not to say all loans are bad, just approach them carefully and sort of as "the last resort". Finally, if you want the prestige of an ivy league school brand, you can get that during grad school as you suggest. But you may find that unless you're in academia, law, or politics it's not that big of a deal. What counts more is what you know and how well you apply it - it matters less where you learned it, if you learned it well!
It's encouraging to see that you care about attending a school with a strong program. I didn't attend an Ivy League school, so I can't answer your question from experience at those institutions, but I can say to not limit yourself to just Ivy League schools. You can earn a caliber degree at plenty of places other than just those few.
I'm a white, middle-class male from the South with two siblings. Apply to every scholarship available to you in high school and once you get to college. I attended a large public university, earned my degree from a recognized program, got involved on and off campus, worked multiple jobs that set me up for my career path and can say that I graduated debt free. It's not easy, but it's doable. Good luck!