I've been accepted into two schools, the only ones that are really options for me, and I have received a nasty surprise when scholarships came in. The first school, Arkansas State University, is closer and cheaper. However, as a result I doubt it's curriculum and the opportunities for undergraduate research and internships. I received ~$30,000 in institutional scholarships, and combining that with other ones I could possibly pay for that degree with no parental help. I really only applied as a last-resort backup. The other option was the University of Arkansas, and its physics program is likely the best in the state. I am pretty confident that whatever internships and undergraduate research I get there will net me a good graduate school. However the nasty surprise is that they are offering my a one time award of $1000 for my "academic excellence." This paired with its higher base cost makes me want to kill myself. My options are to go to a college for free which has the potential to do irreparable harm to my future career, or put myself into crippling debt. I won't even detail things like the fact that everyone who knows me was congratulating me on getting accepted into UofA and my grandmother got me their T-shirt for Christmas. Can't say I didn't foresee something like this happening. What I am asking: How bad is ASU as far as career opportunities? My major is physics, obviously. However with this recent development I might go for some kind of computer engineering/science just for job security. How bad is the debt I will put myself in if I go to UofA? Which would you chose?