midlemom wrote:If he had gotten into Stanford, there would be no discussion.
midlemom, sure you know your / your family / your son's status on "What is optimal" than in the anonymous Internet forum.
Still let me present some pointers for you to think about. As mentioned by me earlier my son is a freshman, and hence these thinking was discussed in our family. Also discuss at work / other places with parents, who son / daughter is high school or went to college in the last few years.
1. Agree that to take the "Full Ride \ better financial aid" school path, when the student has the optimal plan in mind.
Student who do want to do medicine, clearly fall in this category. As I type I remember a few daughters went this route, including our daughter.
2. Agree not to spend on "full price, for some
out of state school", when the student did not even able to get to state flagship college / regional college. This is for reference, and do not apply to your son's case at all.
3. I know a family who send their son to MIT, and the student came out with a PhD, in less than 8 years or so. His mom used to say, that the son managed to lower the tuition better than the state flagship school, by becoming a teaching assistant
, etc. But the family is a family of intellectuals, so it was not a surprise for me. All in the family are in / were in McKinsey Consulting, Federal Research Institution, Senior leaders in technology, retail, and senior techie as a Quant. The MIT finally became the senior techie, the VP level, developing mathematical models for financial markets.
4. The same MIT mom above said. Berkley is for nerds"; So I made my mind that your son is a nerd, since he got admission in Berkley. Wait another 8+ years, you have "Mover / Shaker" in his field.
4. Know many that completed PhD at top universities, that they attended for B.S.
5. When you really think, you are less than a 1% parent, whose son / daughter got admission to U Penn / Berkley. This was awarded to you by your son. For sure, for normal familes, money cannot buy this admission ( Ignoring the larger philanthropic donor families , or so...)
6. From my perspective, one can become a leader from a researcher / scientist / technical / Professional.
The other way is not possible, you cannot make someone a scientist / technical later in age / career. Again let us leave the any outliers.
7. For my son, he started to say, "the course is easy, what should I do ?. Can I do double major"
You son after getting Berkley, if he goes to GA Tech, do not know, if he will enjoy. Nothing may be challenging for him.
The reason GA Tech gives a full ride, is they know, even if they give full ride, some will not join, they want that top 1% in their school and lead the baton, for their school.
8. Again on money, for a moment if you leave the money off the discussion, where you think you son will do better.
9. Again copying from here, "If you want your son to be a "Mover / Shaker" in his field, send him to the school that will challenge his intellectual capability" Never bring money into this equation. Allow him to go forward, he may find a way to fund his education or earn multiple times the tution.
10. If you want your son to be a mediocre, scientist, researcher, engineer, professional, then send him to the most economical school.
Again, you have a different / difficult problem to solve. You have a mover / shaker son, so what is your action now ?