Hi all, I'm new to the forums and am hoping for some advice. I'm glad to have found these forums, and am excited to comb through them and get to know people here. After getting my BFA in Photography (2007), I started a BS in Physics at a good college in Boston (a different institution than my BFA). I did not finish the BS, but did get excellent grades (GPA 3.73), and participated (for a year) in faculty research (materials science) which was published (my name is on the paper as a student author). I left after the spring 2009 semester. I left school to move to NYC to work in photography, which I currently do full-time at a 4 year art school. However, after lots of careful deliberation and a reassessment of my long term intellectual goals/work/life satisfaction, I have decided to return to school and finish my BS in order to go onto get my PhD, and build a life/career in physics. (My general area of interest is cosmology/astrophysics: origin/shape of the universe, black holes, dark matter, relativity, complex systems, and such). I am very excited about this. Here are my questions (with the one caveat that I have to remain in NYC to do this): I have looked into the available schools in NY, and narrowed it down to Columbia's General Studies (it's not continuing ed, it's just the college for adults (I am 31)...you take classes with all other Columbia undergrads and get a Columbia degree) and The City College of NY at CUNY. I plan to apply to both, and see what kind of aid I would be offered at both if I am accepted. I am not in a position to take out a large number of loans (especially for an undergraduate, second degree), and will need to work to support myself through school, at least for the first 2 years. Additionally, Columbia is currently my top choice for graduate school (still planning on staying in NYC or commuting to CT or NJ for graduate school), so I question whether or not it would be a good idea to attend an undergrad school knowing you want to also go to graduate school there. I read good things about City College, they seem to have a lot of research opportunities available, and they are, of course, very affordable. Plus I am thinking that so long as I work hard, distinguish myself, and participate in research it will not matter as much where I go to undergraduate, and Columbia is, well, quite expensive. Another option I am looking into is getting a job at either CUNY or Columbia, both of which offer tuition benefits for employees. My questions for anyone willing to offer opinions and advice: 1. Is it generally considered a bad idea to get your undergrad from the same place you strongly desire to attend graduate school? Or does this not make a difference? 2. Has anyone here attended City College, and can comment on their experience there with the Physics department/doing undergraduate research? 3. Does anyone else have any advice/recommendations/opinions on this topic? Thanks in advance for any help!