Leaving the Ivy (3)

Leaving the Ivy: Fiscal Cost

So, my Ivy didn’t offer any kind of merit scholarship.  Mostly because everyone going there was already awesome in some field and I’m guessing it would have been near impossible to decide who merited what.  I mean we’d all graduated close to the top of our respective high schools, some of us had been ivy-league bred through private boarding schools while others were from public schools, but everyone I met there had some kind of passion.  They may not have had any idea what they were going to major in or what they were going to do afterwards, but they knew what they loved–whether it be horses or medicine or writing.  What I’m trying to see here is that everyone I met there was amazing, in their own way.  Like, genius amazing.  As in, ‘I interned for Anderson Cooper’, or ‘I won a national science fair competition at the age of 12’, or ‘I began this grass-roots campaign at my hometown and I ended up being interviewed on Oprah’…needless to say, it often made me wonder what the heck I’d been doing with my life up until that point.

And this was always my reaction when I met one of them.

But the point of me saying all that is that there weren’t any merit scholarships offered by my old uni.  There were just need-based scholarships.  And…I didn’t qualify for those need-based scholarships.  Let’s just say my Dad makes enough.

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All right, not THAT much, although there were definitely some students at my university that I suspected their parents just had beds made out of money in a money-castle.  Actually, there was this girl from the U.K. whose Dad’s family owned a castle somewhere in Britain, that they rented out.  But anyway,

So there I was.  At a university where it cost about 23,000 for tuition (per term), housing was between 7,000-9,000.  Meal plans were between 900-2,200.   So it’s safe to say that for about a year, it cost around 50,000-60,000.  That’s one year.  One. Year.  So if I were to get my undergraduate degree there, which would have taken 4 years, that would have been a cost of $200,000.


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Keep in mind, all I want to do with my life is write.  So I would have been getting a creative writing or English major.  But since most writers don’t make any kind of decent amount of money while they’re still alive, I’ve settled for teaching.  And the average salary of an English teacher abroad (because there’s no way I’m going to be a teacher if I’m not exploring the world at the same time) is between $897 and $1,839 a month.  Which means, even if I got the $1,839/month  position I’d only earn, per year $22,068.

Since my parents do earn well and we got federal loans, the loans under my name were $6,000 a year.  I am already $12,000 in debt .  Which is a little over half my yearly salary teaching English in South Korea (that’s where the highest salary is according to eHow).  So,

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I moved to a state uni.  Where it’s ridiculously cheaper than Ivy, and I still feel like I’m getting a good education.  It’s a small liberal arts school, but I know it’s a good education because my sister went here and afterwards she went to one of the top 10 medical schools in the nation.  To be honest, education is just a vehicle.  Sure, some places have the nice name brand that might give you a leg-up when you’re looking for jobs later on but if the field you’re going into is a passion, something you’ve always wanted to do and want to do forever, then you’ll find a way to be a Master in that field with or without the name brand behind you.

So, there are my thoughts on that.  Enjoy your weekend and I’ll see you guys around.