College choice: UC vs. CSU
Did you go to college far away or closer to home? Are your teenagers already in college or will be going to college in the next few years? Please share what would you choose in this situation.
My daughter is 15. She is the only child and we are very close. Her grades are good but not stellar (GPA 3.6). She will be 17 when she graduates high school. She has a few health issues plus ADD, anxiety and depression that made last year in school very difficult which affected her grades. Had higher grades before.
There is a midrange state University 25 minutes from home. It has a major of her choice. She can live at home and drive to the campus or live freshman year in the dorms to get college experience and the rest of years at home. It still will be less expensive then any other school.
Common sense says to me that it is the way to go and there are benefits of going there including:
1)living nearby so I can help easier if she needs help (given her health and emotional issues it is my main concern now),
2)saving a lot of money and graduating without loans. Her future job of choice is not one of the high paying jobs but she really wants to do it. We do not qualify for financial aid.
4)at that local school it is easier to get classes needed (less impacted), easy to change majors if she decides to and it is less competitive and less stressful environment
4)she can visit often her dog and me which will make us much happier :)
However downsides are:
1)since the school is smaller and less well known there will be less opportunities for internships and the name of the school is important for getting a good job after. She wants to get to the best school possible to have a better chance for future job prospects. Her grades would allow her to get into a better schools but they all are farther away.
2)kids become more mature and learn more lifeskills if they are away from home and this is what most of her classmates going to do-go away for college. Would she be in a huge disadvantage if she stays locally for undergrad and may be go away to a bigger school for Grad school? She told me yesterday that wants to experience other places. How important is to get this experience at 17 vs 23 to be successful as a young adult in the US?
Plus, I am a single mom, so my own desire to be close to her, and my mentality of being raised in the country where children stay at hometown if they can, also contributes but I do not want to be selfish and want to choose what would truly be the best for her.
Would you encourage your child to go to a good local less expensive school that we have enough savings to pay for fully or to take loans and go away to a better known bigger much more expensive school?
We are deciding between California State University vs UC (except UC Berkeley, UCLA or UCSD- scores are unfortunately not at the range for those). What would you do?
Moderator Note: See also past advice "Which college?" https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/advice/which-college