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Is it a good idea to go to a private college even if I don't have enough money to pay it? Should I go to a state university or city college?

I applied to several colleges and I haven't decided yet where to go. The thing is I don't have enough money and I didn't received enough money from scholarships.

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Kelly’s Answer

If it is about the money then go to a more affordable school. Unless you are going for Ivy league such as Yale or Princeton, etc. then a degree is a degree from my perspective. It is a lot about the experiences you gain and learn from that help to shape and mold you in the field you desire to be in.
Thank you comment icon Thank u for your advice. It is true, a degree is a degree and I can get it in any college. Maryuri
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TRAVIS’s Answer

Sign up for student aid. It wont always be in the form of a scholarship or loans. See what it takes to qualify for student worker aid and also for Pell Grants. Private colleges are usually expensive.
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Cameron’s Answer

First, congratulations on being accepted to college! Deciding where to go to school is a really difficult decision, especially considering the large financial burden of many colleges. Instead of asking whether you should go to a private versus public school, I would ask yourself a few things to try to weight the benefits between the two options, like:

What excites you about the different colleges on your list?
Which college may enable you to better reach your career goals?
Do both options have programs and classes you are interested in?
Are you able to take out student loans? If so, what would the impact be on you post-college?
Are you eligible for other scholarships outside of the ones through the school?
What extracurriculars are you interested in and which colleges can support that?
What type of learning environment do you enjoy (eg. class size)?
How important to you is location of these colleges?
What do you think you might major in and what is the pay like for that career? Will you be able to pay off loans quickly?

It is important to weight these different factors while deciding which college to go to, instead of trying to decide in a vacuum only looking at the money. These other things might change how you might prioritize saving money versus taking out loans.
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Megan’s Answer

First, congrats on your acceptances! To answer your question: no, the school size does not matter. What matters is that you do well and get a degree. Some employers like big name schools, but often it is just that you graduated and have a degree.
College is extremely expensive, and I understand about limited funds. Have you looked up scholarships and grants? Look into every available option because often there are some "hidden gems" that you didn't even know existed. Speak with your guidance counselor too. They are an excellent resource. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank u Megan! I applied to scholarships and grants, but I haven't received anything yet which means I wasn't selected to receive them. I have talked to my counselor and she gave me some advices too. Maryuri
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TRAVIS’s Answer

I would look at taking the CLEP test for any subjects you are gifted at so you can avoid the expense and time needed to attend a college course for those subjects. You usually only need to score 50% on those tests to get college credit.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Maryuri
Thank you comment icon Just to confirm, are you suggesting that the student take the CLEP test in order to avoid taking general education classes in college, which will lead to less time in school/less to pay for? Gurpreet Lally, Admin
Thank you comment icon Yes. That is correct TRAVIS UPCHURCH
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Fernando’s Answer

I'd say first look at the quality of what's on offer. There's more to a college's quality than just the curriculums it offers. There's student aid, campus life, internships and job opportunities, both during your time studying and post graduate. If you feel that what's on offer isn't worth it then there's no issue in not going. Do not put yourself in debt all for the sake of pursuing the admittedly romanticized prestige that private colleges have garnered. College isn't just about becoming well educated about the career field you're passionate about. It's about long term planning and that shouldn't come at the cost of indebting yourself, especially in these uncertain times.

Research what's on offer and take some time to reflect. Don't let anyone pressure you into making a quick decision and don't feel like choosing state or city college is inherently inferior. It's your future, make the decision you feel comfortable with.
Thank you comment icon You're totally right, private colleges aren't always a good option. Thank you for sharing, I'll take your advice. Maryuri
Thank you comment icon Me acabo de dar cuenta que la location dice Puerto Rico, es un bello pais. Maryuri
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david’s Answer

Hi, Maryuri,
The desire to attend a well-known private college is high, but I encourage you to, instead, focus on the degree itself. State and city colleges are widely respected by employers, and you avoid the angst of serious debt. Further, the money saved may open future windows after you get your degree, such as paying for an advanced degree. All the best to you.
Thank you comment icon Thank u so much David! I'm thinking about not attending a private school, the debt isn't worth it. Maryuri
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Judy’s Answer

Trade and Tech colleges can get you prepared to go major colleges. You can apply for grants and student loans with the college admission team. You could work part-time or full-time if you have the availability. Online courses can be a lot cheaper than on-site.
Thank you comment icon I already applied to scholarships, but I haven't received anything yet. I've also considered working and study at the same time. Maryuri
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Daniel’s Answer

Great Question Maryuri!

I would seriously consider going to a community college. Not only does this save you money but gives you more time to think about where you want to end up. Also, basics are basics and it does not make sense to pay for those type of classes at a university. My first year and a half I took basics at a community college and lived at home to save up money.

Also, many states have rules set in place that allow classes from one college to be transferred to another college as long as you stay in state. For example, Texas allowed all my community college classes to be transferred to my university as long as I stayed in state. The beauty about this is its really not up to a college/university it depends on the state education laws. I would encourage you to check your state laws to see if this would be an option for you.

I know its hard not to but do your best not to get stressed out by this decision. Each day is a gift and its not worth wasting time on undue stress/worry.

All the best to you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Maryuri
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Jeff’s Answer

One consideration is that you don't want to have a large amount of debt after graduating. There are several outstanding state colleges and universities. Perhaps look at the return on your investment: how much will it cost for college (include tuition, housing and expenses) and what is the average salary for graduates from that college? Definitely check for and apply for scholarships; these can reduce the cost of either private or public schools. Another approach would be to attend a state school for your first two years to complete your general courses and then transfer to a different school once you begin your specialization. This could help reduce some of the cost.

Answer supplied from HPE volunteer team
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Chirayu’s Answer

It's important to consider your financial situation carefully before deciding on a college. Private colleges can be more expensive than state universities or city colleges, and if you don't have enough money to pay for it, you may end up with a significant amount of debt. If you don't have enough money to pay for a private college, it may be a good idea to consider a state university or city college instead. These institutions can often offer a quality education at a lower cost. However, if you feel strongly about attending a particular private college and believe it will provide you with the best education and opportunities for your future, you may want to explore options for financial aid, such as loans, grants, or scholarships. It's important to research all of your options and carefully consider the long-term financial impact of your decision. Ultimately, the decision about where to attend college is a personal one that should take into account your academic goals, financial situation, and personal preferences. Consider speaking with a financial aid counselor or college admissions counselor to help you weigh your options and make an informed decision.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your perspective. Maryuri
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