My transfer plans last year fell through (because all the family members who told me to "just take out loans" for the tuition suddenly decided that borrowing money was a "huge mistake" when I needed a cosigner...
) so now I have two financially feasible options for schools that I would consider:
A) Huge state university that's a 'good school' and well respected in the state, not too prestigious but has a huge alumni network. I'd be paying instate tuition so I would be able to live on my own in a condo, apartment, or something. I have one really good friend that goes there and several people I was friendly with in high school, and my aunt and cousins (who I'm close with) live in the area. It's in a small town, but a college town and people who live there tell me there's stuff to do. I would have to wait till next fall to start, which means 6 more months here.
B) Private liberal arts school, great school and locally prestigious, though small (which I prefer), in Birmingham. I took classes there one summer and loved it. It's in a decent sized city, close to downtown with plenty of stuff to do. They have a 4-1-4 academic calendar, which means there's a January term where you do an interesting class or project locally or you travel abroad as part of some program (which to me sounds more attractive than standard semester-long study abroad things where you just take classes). To afford it I'd have to get a scholarship and live with my grandmother or dad, and it would still cost a lot. I don't have any friends at the school, just friendly acquaintances from high school, but my best friend (the "would be my boyfriend if we didn't live 3000 miles apart but now we're just really good friends" guy) and a few other friends go to a college just a few minutes from it so I'd still have people to hang out with from the start. My hesitation is that I don't know that I want to move back in with family, since I like living on my own. I love staying with my grandmother but that would still stop me from being able to do things like stay out all night with everyone else. I'd be able to start there in the spring (feburary I believe, since they're on a 4-1-4 calendar) which would be really nice, I'd essentially just not come back to CA after christmas break.
Which would you choose? I keep going back and forth. A is Auburn University and B is Birmingham Southern College if anyone is familiar with them. I'll have to decide in the next month or so probably and I'm not sure which I prefer -- I keep leaning towards one for a few weeks, then feeling drawn to the other. If everything was equal I'd probably choose the second but I'm not sure if I like the costing a lot more money (even though, honestly, it wouldn't be my money) thing or the having to move in with family. They're both academically respected enough that if I graduated with good grades and a decent resume from either of them I'd be able to do what I wanted, basically.