#1 Edited by Gearhead (2251 posts) -

 Hey Guys
I'm a senior in highschool living in Connecticut. I will soon graduate, but the problem of a college has arisen. My major is journalism, and applied to three schools: Quinnipiac University, Northeastern and UConn. I got accepted to both Quinnipiac and Northeastern, but got wait listed from UConn. I loved both Quinnipiac and Northeastern and got scholarships for around fifteen thousand dollars from each. UConn was my primary school, the place that I hoped that I got into because it was affordable and a great school. My family just informed me that they cannot in good conscious let me got to either Quinnipiac or Northeastern as they are too expensive. I could rack up large amounts of loans exceeding well over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars--not including the ten years of interest that will accrue as I go through school and begin to pay them off--but my parents would have to cosign, which they have already said they won't. UConn's wait list is largely from a housing issue, and the possibility of me getting in from it is slim, at best. Instead they have offered to let me into one of their regional campuses, but I would have to commute and attend it for two years before I can go to the main campus. When I toured to regional campus I hated it and the idea of staying two more years at home scares me. I'm afraid I'm going to have no friends while I commute.
So, what should I do? Attending one of the other schools for a year and transferring out does not seem like an option, as I have no guarantee that I will get accepted, while racking up over forty thousand dollars of debt in a year alone. Also, if I do go to the regional campus, will I find friends? At the same time, how do I get an internship at a local newspaper or radio station on my own?

Thanks for help and sorry for the long windiness.

#2 Posted by teh_pwnzorer (1482 posts) -

When working on my undergrad degree, I commuted and hated it.  After the hour and a half commute, I felt like a zombie during lectures.  My grades improved when I moved closer to the university.    Also, university isn't about making friends.  It's about getting good grades and getting out ASAP.  YMMV.

#3 Edited by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

What town do you live in?


EDIT: No seriously, I live in Connecticut, and I went through this same thing just last year.
#4 Edited by strangone (179 posts) -

If your options are racking up an insane amount of debt, or suffering a bit for 4 semesters then transferring to the school you really want to attend, then going to the regional campus is a no-brainer. You'll graduate debt-free (or with less debt at least), and in the end your degree will still say UConn. Internships and such I wouldn't worry about since those are most likely to come after your 3rd year anyway.


So you have to commute, big deal. You can still make friends. Basically, don't be such a baby, be mildly inconvenienced for two years and it sounds like you'll be much better off.

Also taking on 150 grand in debt to major in a field whose future is in flux right now, in which you have no clue what your job prospects could be in 4 years, is insane.
#5 Edited by Everyones_A_Critic (6287 posts) -

It's funny how much your situation was like my own when it came time for me to pick a college. I don't know what "Regional Campus" refers to but I assume it's just a shitty version of the real campus. When I was going for student loans my parents couldn't cosign for a few reasons I won't reveal here. Anyway, I got into a really cheap state school, but unfortunately it seemed my performance in high school was below the standards of this illustrious institution so I was put into what they call "Transitions", or what I call "The fuck-up (You'll drop out) Program". Basically the program put me into classes that were picked by the administrators for the program. These classes counted towards my gen. ed requirements but I honestly could not give any less of a flying fuck about anything those professors were saying anyway, and the miserable commute (even though it's only like 20 minutes via subway) left me friendless and bitter. All the fuck-up's I was in class with were the last people I'd ever want to hang out with, and the only thing keeping me sane were the weekends my real friends would come home from real college.

People that say "Suck it up, commuting isn't that bad." are full of shit. Commuting does suck, especially when you have to keep your job and bust your ass on your off-days while your friends are all at real college getting really drunk and not having a care in the world. Honestly man, if I were you, I'd rack up all the debt and have a real college experience that you'll remember. Take it from someone whose been there, there is no lack of debt large enough to sacrifice some of the prime years of your youth for.

TL;DR: Commuting is a truly miserable existence and a decision that you will regret for the rest of your life.

#6 Posted by Getz (2989 posts) -
@teh_pwnzorer said:
" Also, university isn't about making friends.  It's about getting good grades and getting out ASAP.  YMMV. "
Don't listen to this guy. I say you go to the regional campus or a junior college for a year or two and then re-apply. If you keep your grades up then you can get in pretty much anywhere, and a junior college will be lighter on your wallet. As for friends, you'll make those anywhere. Just be as friendly as possible to everyone you meet, go to people's parties, and be loose. Try not to worry so much.
#7 Edited by melcene (3056 posts) -
@Gearhead   Internships will often be done through classes called... usually called Cooperative Learning Experience or Cooperative Work Experience or something along those lines..  But there are classes set up (that may be required for your degree) to get you credit for internships and sometimes they will also help find them.  But usually you have to do that on your own.  How you do it... My first suggestion would be check the websites of the local news papers and radio stations to see if they have any information on who to contact for internships or how to apply.  Other than that, trying to get into one once you've figured out who to talk to and stuff should be treated as seriously as applying for a job.
As for all the rest... I pulled most of my undergrad either commuting straight there after work then home, or taking online classes.  Can't really say I have friends to show for it.  Don't really care.  I do have to agree, I wasn't at school to make friends, I was there to get my piece of paper.  I don't regret not making lifelong BFFs.

Edit:  I also fully agree others about the community college option.
#8 Posted by choffy21 (1376 posts) -

Community college is a good option. I wish I could have done my prereqs at my local community college and saved thousands. That being said, ask UConn if switching your major would help you get in faster. Once they accept you, you can always switch back after your first year. Just sign up for the classes your normally would as if you were a journalist (except the specialty classes of course). That is what my friend did and it worked perfectly for him.

#9 Posted by CitizenKane (10502 posts) -

Just because you commute, doesn't mean you won't make friends.  Just get involved in on campus activities/clubs and you will easily make friends.

As far as internships go, you do those through your school and that is usually during the senior year.  They act as a class and provide the same credit hours towards your degree.  Again, don't start to worry about that until your 3rd year.

#10 Posted by Ubik (122 posts) -
@Getz said:
" @teh_pwnzorer said:
" Also, university isn't about making friends.  It's about getting good grades and getting out ASAP.  YMMV. "
Don't listen to this guy. I say you go to the regional campus or a junior college for a year or two and then re-apply. If you keep your grades up then you can get in pretty much anywhere, and a junior college will be lighter on your wallet. As for friends, you'll make those anywhere. Just be as friendly as possible to everyone you meet, go to people's parties, and be loose. Try not to worry so much. "
This is good advice, on both counts.

I was in an oddly similar situation to your own about 7 years ago when I was picking a college.  I went to MCC at night for a year (yup, I'm from CT, too) and then majored in Journalism at the University of Oregon (which is both a great school for Journalism and for out-of-state students, as about 40% of their student body comes from outside of OR).  I moved around quite a bit in the service before I went to college, but if your home state is driving you nuts, then a change of scenery might do you good.  Also, CT has one of the best community college systems in the country.  Don't bother paying 40 g's for b.s. undergrad classes when you could pay a fraction of that and transfer your credits.  Besides, you might end up changing your mind about Journalism.  Hell, I originally enrolled in the U. of Oregon as an Anthropology major (until I learned that Anth. majors have no sense of humor).  UConn is a good school, but it's not your only option.
#11 Posted by StealthRaptor (526 posts) -

Northeastern is on the E line and that's just gross.

#12 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

Everybody chill the fuck out. I got this one. UConn (his primary school) has satellite, commuter-only campuses that he's automatically guaranteed admission to (because he got waitlisted). Now, they only do 2 years of classes in most cases, but if he has a 3.0 by the end of his first year or like a 2.5 by the end of his second year he can transfer over to the main campus and live on-campus.


@Gearhead: State law also dictates that UConn is required to accept credits from basically all of the community colleges, so if you were to go to, say, Manchester Community College, you could take classes there for a while, and then transfer over to UConn, similar to what you'd do if you were to go to Hartford or Avery Point campus.

All you have to do is get good grades, which really isn't hard, and you'll be all set.
#13 Posted by nick_verissimo (1380 posts) -
@choffy21 said:
" Community college is a good option. I wish I could have done my prereqs at my local community college and saved thousands. That being said, ask UConn if switching your major would help you get in faster. Once they accept you, you can always switch back after your first year. Just sign up for the classes your normally would as if you were a journalist (except the specialty classes of course). That is what my friend did and it worked perfectly for him. "
This is probably the best advice for your situation.  One of the things that college will teach is that things will not go exactly the way that you planned and you'll have to roll with the punches.  Stay optimistic though; things always have a way of working themselves out if you truly want them to.
#14 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

go to middlesex community college. it's where i go :P i'm about to graduate there. i don't know what i'm going to do after. going to community college is cheaper and most of the credits transfer to university colleges in connecticut.

i made some friends from school. they even live my town so i drive them every once in a while. just to tell you, it seems like the older people at college seem more down to earth than younger people with their drama.

#15 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -
@Ubik: There are some schools in oregon and washington I looked at that guarantee admission as long as you have a 3.0. That blew my mind.

Of course, I had nowhere near a 3.0 in high school, and I finished really poorly, but for good students, that's crazy. The price wasn't ridiculous either, like $25,000 a year.
#16 Posted by TomA (2531 posts) -

One hundred anf fifty thousand????? Wow you Americans sure have it rough, that really sucks. You could always go to school in Canada. It's alot cheaper, and if you're going to live on campus anyway then why not. Come to UBC here in Vancouver we have a great Journalism program and an AMAZING location.

#17 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

I'm a senior as well. So you have three options:

- go to your top school but have to commute everyday, then after two years (or 1) transfer to the main campus.

- get in debt and go to a school that isn't your top choice, then have stress once you graduate as you try to repay those huge loans.

- go to a community college, take an introductory Spanish class, and hope it turns out like that one TV show on NBC.

Pretty clear what you should do, IMHO.

#18 Posted by Ubik (122 posts) -
@example1013: I didn't have anywhere near a 3.0 in high school, but I didn't have any trouble getting in once I had my A.S. degree.  The Pacific Northwest schools really are a great value, especially considering how high tuition is getting at UConn, even for in-state students.  


#19 Edited by Purple_Proletarius (170 posts) -

I too am a senior in CT, I applied to Quinnipiac, UConn, SUNY New Paltz, and American. I chose New Paltz for a number of reasons, namely it being much much cheaper and having an environment that I can get behind. I also want to be a writer (though I'm not naive enough to major in Journalism) so we share that in common.


Don't think about going to either school for a year, that's completely irrational. Perhaps you can apply for the spring semester to one of the Conn public schools (Central, Eastern), then transfer to UConn if you wish? Even commuting or attending a satellite campus for a bit wouldn't be terrible.

As for internships opportunities, I wouldn't worry about that. If you're forced to seek out your own, they're there for the strong-willed. Not much else others haven't covered.

Also UConn's admissions office is fucked up
#20 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -
@Ubik: Well no, I'm saying that, coming out of high school, the only requirement was a 3.0 and you were guaranteed admission. No SATs, no vetting process at all. Just apply and you were in.
#21 Edited by Nocall (353 posts) -

You'll find new friends in college, pretty much guaranteed. Everyone else has the same worries and you and, for the first couple weeks, everyone is super eager to meet new people and be friends.

It does decline after that, though, and pretty soon people go back to ignoring one another for the most part. But, for the first part, just make yourself available in high traffic areas and you'll do just fine.

#22 Posted by Purple_Proletarius (170 posts) -
@example1013: Out of curiosity what school are you attending?
#23 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -
@Purple_Proletarius: The U that's in the C.
#24 Posted by Purple_Proletarius (170 posts) -
@example1013: Word, wasn't sure if that's where you actually go. Are you happy with it?
#25 Posted by Super_Yosh_64 (126 posts) -

Commuting sucks so don't do that.  It takes away a good chunk of the college experience.  The college experience isn't all about classes and grades, it's also about the parties, the new friends, trying out different things, and much more.  Unfortunately, you don't seem to have many options available.  I would try to talk to you parents again about the loans if it does not work then you're basically stuck with going to a regional campus or community college.

#26 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -
@Purple_Proletarius: I'm not someone to talk to, since I'm not sure if I'll even be coming back next year. I might end up taking a year off.
#27 Posted by Nocall (353 posts) -
@Super_Yosh_64 said:
" Commuting sucks so don't do that.  It takes away a good chunk of the college experience.  The college experience isn't all about classes and grades, it's also about the parties, the new friends, trying out different things, and much more.  Unfortunately, you don't seem to have many options available.  I would try to talk to you parents again about the loans if it does not work then you're basically stuck with going to a regional campus or community college. "
Agreed. Too many times in college things happen "in a moment's notice" and if you're not there to immediately walk across campus to get to your friends place, you're gonna miss out on a lot of good times.
#28 Posted by Gooddoggy (409 posts) -

If you really want to go to UConn, it sounds like you should go with the commuter option and then transfer.  The "college experience" is not worth accruing a huge amount of debt at a school you don't really want to go to.

#29 Posted by salad10203 (654 posts) -

Well UCONN won the national championship, so obviously that is the best choice.

#30 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

I would help give you advice and all, but I'm suffering with my own college problems right now.


..... I just refused a university for another college. I really am dwelling on this as I want to finish my business degree in a atmosphere I desire. Hope that my decision is correct. It would mean less human association for me, which is what I want, but it may not be what I need if I attend the college instead of the university.....