Okay, so I don’t know what to do. I want to go down the “pre-med” track in college, and I have always thought that I would go to a big, showy, pricey university with lots of bells and whistles. I was always content with the amount of college debt I would have after school as long as I got to say that I went to that school (the school I’m shooting for is the University of North Carolina.) However, in reading one of your recent blog posts, I got to wondering and doubting myself. My mom wants me to go to an in-state school (University of Iowa) to get a cheap undergrad degree, and then save the big schools for grad school time. I really want to know if settling for a cheaper undergrad college will jeopardize my chances of getting into a really good grad school. Please help! -Sara
As they say, Sara, “Mother knows best.”
Going to a “cheaper” undergrad school will not hurt your chances of getting into a good grad school. That is, of course, if you do really well at that school. And the same would be said if you went to the more expensive “dream school.”
I won’t say that no grad school cares where you got your undergrad from – some more prestigious schools might turn their nose up at a degree from Intercontinental University of The Americas In America. But we’re talking about the University of Iowa here, a well-respected, Big 10 university that, like UNC, is in the top 100 colleges & universities according to US News & World Report. If you do well there, I doubt anyone will scoff at where your degree came from.
Also, you say you are content with the amount of debt you will have after college, but trust me – no one is ever content with the amount of student loan debt they have. From the looks of it, you’ll be saving about $22,000 per year by staying in state and going to the University of Iowa. That’s nearly ninety thousand dollars over four years.
Listen to your mother, Sara.