So You’re Faced With Having to “Settle” in Your College Decision…
College is expensive, plain and simple. Unfortunately tuition is on the rise and there’s really no way of getting around these facts. Sure, there are plenty of ways to bring down the price of school through things like scholarships and grants, but regardless of how much financial aid you will be receiving, the price of a school is still going to pay a role in your decision. Many students face the hardship of, what they consider, “settling” for cheaper schools, and this can seem frustrating, but here are some things to consider that could make this decision easier.
One major factor when making your decision is whether or not you’re planning on attending graduate school. Many people will “settle” on a cheaper school for undergrad if they’re planning on attending graduate school, planning on putting the money that they will be saving towards graduate school. As I mentioned before, undergrad tuition is on the rise and grad school tuition is just as much. Even though it may seem daunting now or you may be unsure about whether grad school is in your future, the possible cost that you will also have to pay should be kept in mind and play a role in making your decision between a cheaper or more expensive school.
Some colleges or universities will even offer more money in the forms or scholarships to the students that they realize are “settling” in their college choice, just to entice them to come to said school even more. These scholarships are also a great way to save money in the overall education process. Keep your eyes out from word from different colleges and universities about such scholarship offers or opportunities.
Another thing that people worry about when feeling as though they have to “settle” is the fact that the program they are interested in is not offered at the cheaper university. The fact is, the majority of programs are offered at most schools, and if your area of interest isn’t offered as a major, there are probably options to minor, get a concentration, or just take classes in that specific area. If your area of interest isn’t offered at all within this cheaper school, look into seeing whether or not you would be able to independently study or do undergraduate research of some kind in your field. Contact the department that is most like your area of interest and ask them if they have any faculty focusing or researching what you’re interested in. if there are, then great. Get their contact in for and be sure to get in touch with them once you get to school. If there isn’t anything going on in your area, ask them what options they have for you. Chances are you could study this area yourself, a professor might be interested as well and start studying that, or you could work with another university and participate in some sort of joint study. Basically, there are tons of options for you to study what you want in college – you just have to take the initiative and get in contact with people to find out more.
When it comes down to it, you will find yourself at a college or university that you enjoy living and studying at. Just because it seems like you are “settling” for your college choice doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy life and your college experience. You will find an academic program that either was your first choice or one that you can tailor to meet your interests and needs. You also will be making a financially responsible decision if you are planning to attend graduate school, saving money in your first four years for later in your education. Again, you can end up being happy wherever, at the most expensive school in the country or the cheapest school in your state, all that matters in what you put in and get out of your undergraduate opportunity. Remember that no college is perfect, not the most prestigious, expensive college in the United States and not your local community college either.