No, not all UCs are the same. Cal and UCLA carry more name recognition and weight and the others trail with San Diego probably coming up strong in #3.
I personally believe college especially undergrad should be experienced fully, so that means dorm living for maybe one or two years and then once friendships are formed perhaps off campus living in a house would be the plan. Come on, that is how one gets “practice” in the real world without actually being in the real world. I can not tell you how much I cherish my years at UCLA. UCLA accepted me for me and so I give back every year. You are dealing with some of the best of the best on many levels, and not necessarily just in the classroom. For example, I played inter-mural basketball when I was there. Well, some of those players probably could have played on some smaller college varsity team. Let’s not even talk about the pretty girls and yes boys. UCLA has probably some of the best looking students around. My buddy’s daughter who is a freshman at UCLA right now, is doing well in school despite having mentioned to her Dad recently that, omg, there are too many cute boys there. Dad is concerned…
I don’t know if i would be ok with TV-show financial advices Not familiar with the ones you mentioned, but basically here is something a friend did: He took as much loan as possible (Balance transfer loans mostly) during 2010-ish (50K) and made it 200K. The way i saw things was “i am a student, icannot afford to be in debt”. Bad idea.
For UC’s, Berkeley, UCLA and UCSD are Tier 1. Maybe Irvine, Davis and Santa Babara are Tier 2?
I believe SoFi looks at what major and what school a student goes to before setting the interests rate. A kid studying CS at Stanford has very low default risk and SoFi gives them a break. English majors at a state U though is another question. So I think some student loan may be significantly cheaper than 7%.
If you have stocks, maybe move everything to an Interactive Brokers margin account and take out loans at 2% interests. Much cheaper than 7%.
I agree - dorm living is an absolute must if you can possibly do it.
College is the great equalizer. Lots of smart kids have weird or bad high school experiences. Living away from home in a dorm is where a lot of “catch up” of social skills happens. For others who are already social going in, it’s still a great great thing. The connections, experiences, fun of living in a dorm are just unparalleled. Plus people skills and connections matter SO much for a long term career.
The second job I got out of college was in a field that was tough to break into. There was a girl in my dorm- who I wasn’t even that close to - who vouched for me at the company she worked at and really streamlined my process to get in.
I would suggest for @Terri that if your kid is smart enough to go to MIT (that’s super smart!) but you can’t afford it, perhaps try for scholarships or for smaller private schools? My friend got offered a full ride at Rice (including a stipend!) and he had zero financial need - he was just an amazing Harvard-level student and they wanted to boost their student body. I bet there are some other small private schools out there that can offer something similar and have deep pockets, that are still relatively strong academically though not MIT level.
It depends on the college. At MIT or Stanford dorm life is that. At UCB, it’s hard to get into the dorms and I’d bet a lot of people live off campus first year. You don’t want to be off-campus if it’s a dorm school, but I really doubt that UCB is. When I was taking classes at our local university, I only met one person who lived in the dorms. Everyone else lived near campus and had roommates.
I’ve definitely thought of that as well, but is a second-tier private better than Berkeley for CS? Would you say “yes” because of the networking aspect?
Also, from a networking aspect, because we’re already networked with a bunch of MIT alums (and he comes to parties and talks with them) plus contacts with people my husband has worked with, getting his foot in the door should be pretty easy. In the long run, yes, he should make his own contacts, but to start out shouldn’t be hard.