View Full Version : Academics just got real (for me).

October 24th, 2016, 05:54 PM
I started my junior year in high school back in August (for those not from the US, this is my 11th year of public school and I am 16 years old; I graduate and go to uni/college at the end of my senior year/12th year/12th grade).

Another thing that happened as the year has progressed is that I decided that I want to attend the University of Chicago, the third best university in the nation according to U.S. News. It's a private school and it's hella expensive. It'll cost about $280,000 over the course of four years if I go. Also, I'd like to go to law school afterwards which could cost another $200,000. Here's the deal financially:
-I've calculated that the University's grant program will pay for about $160,000-$180,000 (about $45,000 each year for 4 years).
-I've applied for various scholarships and have taken the PSAT. If I can become a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship, which is unlikely but still possible, then I will get $16,000 dollars from the University of Chicago and $2,500 from the National Merit Corporation. There is also a chance that I could get money from their sponsor companies. I'm applying for more scholarships as well via fastweb.com and will continue to do so through my senior year.
-A $40,000 contribution will be made from a source I will not mention due to personal reasons.
-I could get a job, but it would make AP classes difficult to keep up with. Also, minimum wage pay for a year or two wouldn't amount to much, about $16-20,000 at most if I worked overtime during the Summer. Also, my Summer would suck if I had to work. So, I would prefer to focus on academics.

I'll probably have to end up taking out some... *gulp* student loans. Save us Bernie Sanders.


But yeah everything is getting much more serious in my life right now and it's p scary.

October 24th, 2016, 07:32 PM
You could also take a gap year to work and/or apply for financial aid.

October 24th, 2016, 08:16 PM
You sound like a math major here, putting out all these numbers at me:D.

So If I have this right, it currently sounds like if everything goes well, you will have approximately 180,000 in grants, which leaves you with 100,000 just for the University of Chicago, plus 200,000 for law school.

To be honest, you probably most certainly need to take out student loans. Currently you barely have a quarter of your whole college tuition, and it seems very unlikely that you will make that difference is such a short amount of time, but here are some options:

A. More scholarships and grants: This is probably pretty obvious, but there are a lot of good scholarships out there, and every little bit counts. Check to see if your school or any local organizations does college scholarships, and work towards those.
Here is a link to a good website detailing the best sites for finding college scholarships. (http://www.clark.com/best-websites-resources-to-find-college) You said that you are using Fastweb already, so you may want to check these out.

B. Work Studies: If you are not aware of these, work studies are where you work part-time at the university you wish to go to. Most of these are handled through student aid, and if you qualify then you could possibly take off a good portion. My mom used this to pay for her college, she worked as worker in the kitchen, but there are a variety of jobs that you could potentially do that are specifically meant for students just like you.

C. Employer payoff: This is really dependent on what you plan to major in, but many employers do offer to pay for a significant portion of student debt after graduation. You here this often with public school teachers, with the government offering to pay off their student debts, but many private businesses do this as well. Of course, this will only benefit you if you actually take out a student loan, but I honestly think that you will have to do that.

D. Community College: I am actually doing this, and the way it works is for you to spend your first two years of secondary schooling at a community college, and then transfer as a junior into a 4 year college or university. UCHI may or may not allow that, but if they do, that could potentially save you tens of thousands. (I just did a quick check of their website, and while they have some strict guidelines, they do allow for credit transfer from 2-year colleges for most courses.) Just something to look into.

E. A different College?: Now, it seems your heart is pretty much set on UCHI, but if you are so worried about tuition and are against student loans then it might be a reasonable idea to ponder. University of Chicago might help you get a future job, but would it really be worth spending so much money that you don't have? I'm not trying to put you down, but just think about it.

Would you mind if I ask what major you intend to follow? I'm just curious, I've been doing a lot of this research for myself, so that's why I have so much right now.

October 24th, 2016, 08:46 PM
why would you ask Bernie to forgive the loan when you can ask Trump for a small loan of a million dollars

October 24th, 2016, 11:56 PM

Thanks for the response. I didn't think of the community college part.

I intend to pursue an English major before law school.




I will look into that, actually. I'm no type sure if scholarships will allow for a gap year and I'm unsure of other implications.

October 25th, 2016, 07:18 AM

I will look into that, actually. I'm no type sure if scholarships will allow for a gap year and I'm unsure of other implications.
I know lots of people who have done gap years and also have a scholarship. I don't think scholarships are time-exclusive, but that would be an important thing to look into. It might depend on the scholarship.

October 25th, 2016, 05:58 PM
Whilst I sympathies with that absolutely crazy amount of debt you're taking on,

Capto is majoring in history at the University of Chicago (or so I believe) so it might be a good idea to drop him a message if you're looking for specific help with admissions.

He's not on a huge amount anymore, but you might get lucky.

October 25th, 2016, 07:38 PM
junior year blows absolute assballs, definitely the roughest year for me in terms of courseload

fear not though, senior year is the easiest time of your life bar when you were a small child who had your parents change your poopy diapers for you

October 26th, 2016, 09:03 AM
blows absolute assballs

just wait until you get to college where this is a required prerequisite

Jason Mark
October 26th, 2016, 10:25 AM
Good for you, man! Fantastic!

October 26th, 2016, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the responses everyone.

As I am still a junior in High School, I've got a lot of time to decide which college I'd like to go to. I've seen advice online stating that it's best to go to a place at which you think you'll have fun while still getting a good education.

Also, being a lawyer is not my passion or anything. It's just something I could be good at and pays very well.

I found this school as an alternative to UChicago: Soka University of America (http://www.soka.edu).

It would be much easier to pay for. According to the net price calculator, I'd only have to cough up about 30,000 dollars. For reference, at UChicago I'd have to cough up about 50-80,000. The rest of the cost of attendance would be paid by grants and scholarships from the school. I'm also applying for other scholarships that can help pay.

I'm thinking of just going to explore my options. This school seems perfect for doing that because it is very liberal in its curriculum design. Also, the environment and ideals of the school are... well... ideal for me.

Problem is they only offer a generic "Liberal Arts" degree with only a concentration in a specific field. I'm not sure whether many graduate institutions such as law schools will accept that.

However, I could do international work helping out communities in need in South America and such. That seems like an interesting job, but I'm not sure whether it would pay well to be a philanthropist. I know it wouldn't pay as much as a lawyer, but I'd rather feel happier and like I'm doing more to help people directly.

I saw this school the other night and it just got me really excited. It seems almost perfect.