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Typical Dilemma

  1. Mar 19, 2006 #1
    I want to study physics. I just found out yesterday that I've been accepted to MIT. I'm a bit short on cash because my parents have set in stone the amount they will contribrute. I figure if I whine enough I can scrape up the $22,000 - $25,000 I need in loans. However, loans are certainly not appealing to me.

    My other option is the Honors Tutorial Program at Ohio University (Athens). This is completely free and seems to be the practical course to take, as I can attend a fancy pants school when I'm looking to get an advanced degree. However, I'm not entirely convinced.

    What do you think, would an MIT education really be worth $25,000 in loans over Ohio University? Thanks for the responses in advance.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2006 #2
    This is for undergraduate right? Then I would consider taking Ohio university than MIT.

    I believe this because most rankings are done by research quality than undergraduate studies. Talking of which, undergraduates would be more busy studying for their exams than contemplating whatever research is going on atm in that the relative university!

    But this is so if we are talking about undergraduates.
  4. Mar 19, 2006 #3
    I believe Bladibla is mistaken. Research aside, MIT's undergrad physics program differs signficiantly from most other schools. In keeping with its intended audience, the pace of everything is really accelerated - they assume you can learn fast and keep up with things. Look at some of their course syllabi at http://web.mit.edu/physics/subjects - their 2nd-years must do things that even 4th-years don't usually see at other places (like my school). This of course comes with an especially rigorous (painful) workload; again you can verify this at their syllabi.

    Note that I have not studied there myself - this is merely second-hand infromation from a few grad students who currently go there and TA.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  5. Mar 19, 2006 #4
    If you go there and don't like it/cant afford it, you can always transfer to Ohio state. But man, what did you do to get in there? Good job!
  6. Mar 19, 2006 #5
    Fair enough. However, I don't think that is enough of an 'advantage' to be worth costing an extra arm and a leg in cash. (Note that if you were with money, I would with all intent advise the OP to go to MIT)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  7. Mar 19, 2006 #6
    I think it would probably be worth picking MIT, if only because the general caliber of students there is certain to higher overall, and that contributes greatly to your academic experience. You may be able to find a community of bright, committed students at any school, but you have far better chances of that MIT.

    Disclaimer: I know nothing about Ohio University, so my assumption is that it is the class of middle to high end state universities.
  8. Mar 19, 2006 #7
    Thanks to everyone for the timely responses. I really appreciate it.

    Cyrusabdollahi, I am entirely convinced that my admission was due to a slight updraft from an open window that happened to move my application from the "rejected" to the "accepted" pile. Nuff said.

  9. Mar 19, 2006 #8
    Did you have some sort of special research that you did?
  10. Mar 20, 2006 #9
    I would also definitely choose MIT. It does cost much, but it's investment in education, so in my opinion, should be made.
  11. Mar 20, 2006 #10
    Cyrusabdollahi, my senior project was on Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, which I attempted to teach to my teachers and classmates.

    But I think it was really the result of a lot of little things. My standardized tests scores were about average for MIT (though my SAT II's were pretty risky by my estimate). My Education Counsellor attended one of my high school plays to watch me act and spent about 10 hours getting to know me. My essay was kind of gimmicky, and had snippets of syntax that read like something Oscar Wilde might write. I didn't have any big awards.

    I'm not extraordinary in any way; it was just a bunch of little things together.

  12. Mar 20, 2006 #11
    Good job on getting in.

    Personally, I would prefer to go to MIT and get out of it with a lot of debt. I can't think of a good reason right now though, other than the ones already mentioned. Have you looked at every possible financial aid opportunity available?
  13. Mar 20, 2006 #12
    I believe I have looked at my options. My EFC is $30,000. There are four kids in all to put through college, so my parents are contributing $10,000 each year. I was informed that they will under no circumstances co-sign any loans, so paying for MIT seems technically impossible.

    I suppose I could fill out a crap load of scholarships but because I won't receive award letters for those until after the deadline for enrollment, it would be a big risk to take, especially since I will not have the option of taking out massive loans. You can be sure that if I had the ability to get loans, I would definitely be attending MIT.

    It's my own fault really for not planning ahead well enough. I can always go for free to graduate school there. Thanks to everyone for the help. I think I've made up my mind.

  14. Mar 20, 2006 #13
    So Ohio is it? Or MIT?
  15. Mar 20, 2006 #14
    Your parents do realize that MIT will presumably change the compensation later when they have more kids in college?

    I would also highly recommend calling the MIT financial aid office and discuss your options before you give up. They want you to come and will do everything they can to help you out.
  16. Mar 20, 2006 #15
    I'll probably be attending Ohio. But I'll be sure to give MIT a ring-a-ling before I throw in the towel.

  17. Mar 21, 2006 #16
    $25,000 in loans isn't that much. It may seem like alot now, but I had almost $30,000 and I'll have it paid off by the time I'm 30 without really trying and without having a salary bigger than 35k per year. With your undergrad from MIT I'd assume you'd be able to make more than I do, and if you really wanted to you could pay off that kind of debt relatively quickly. Especially with Federal loans that defer the interest while you're in school. You don't need your parents to co-sign on those and with 3 siblings you should be able to get some pretty good federal assistance, especially once they start enrolling in college.
  18. Mar 21, 2006 #17

    Look through all of these loans... If you *must* have someone co-sign your loans, can't you find someone else than your parents?

    I don't think that every loan requires a co-signer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  19. Mar 22, 2006 #18

  20. Mar 22, 2006 #19
    Even if you can't get any financial aid for your first year, you can reapply for your remaining years.
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