I really can't decide what to do here. The logical me says Excelsior, but the dreamer me says NYU. I've wanted to go to NYU for 15 years and never applied until this year. I didn't get into a 'good' NYU program, just NYU SPS, as I wanted an online program. Still, NYU has had my heart for many, many years as a dream school. But, Excelsior I could finish with 7 credits now after I take a few more Sophia classes. NYU I would need 80 more credits, since they didn't accept many transfer credits. I have a little over 200 college credits to my name, mostly in useless subjects/electives. I have $0 in student loan debt thankfully (lots of former employer tuition benefits, AP classes, community colleges, working through earlier college experiences to pay for it, etc.). I have a handful of academic certificates from APUS. I've got 2.5 years, almost 3 years, more of Pell Grants I could get. I have no degrees to my name, yet, but am getting the Pierpont BOG AAS degree this year without taking any further classes. Should I spend a good 3 years to get an NYU BA in Leadership or do 7 more credits at Excelsior to get a BA in Liberal Arts this year? NYU gave me good scholarships, so after those and Pell, NYU will cost me about $6000 per year. My net cost of NYU would be about $18,000 over the 3 years of school. Excelsior would be about $4000, but Pell would cover the tuition portion (not sure about the enrollment fee yet). Am I crazy for still wanting to do NYU (my personal dream school) when I could get a quicker, cheaper degree? I couldn't do NYU for grad school, as they're crazy expensive for grad school with only $5K grad school scholarships a year. I live across the country from NYU, so I couldn't realistically attend NYU in-person to try to get academic department scholarships. I could take out the $20K a year in federal loans for grad school at NYU online, but would still have to come up with $8K a year for grad school (after loans). I'm not sure that NYU SPS grad school online would even admit me or if declining their NYU SPS undergrad offer might impact grad school in a year or so. I have to enroll at NYU this fall semester as an undergrad if I want to keep my offer of admission valid. If I enroll at another school this fall, but not NYU, NYU SPS would retract my offer. I don't want to regret either going to, or not going to, NYU... but I can't bring myself to just turn down NYU and go with the quickest and cheapest. I work in marketing now and eventually would like to be an online professor at a school like APUS. A degree right now isn't something that would make much difference in my career right now I don't think. It's also extremely unlikely that I would get into, and be able to swing, a top tier or academically competitive grad school. It's even unlikely that I could get into NYU's "normal" grad programs that are the competitive ones. Schools like SPS or continuing ed programs with easier standards are really my only real options. My options anywhere are open enrollment grad schools or those for adults returning to school with easy admissions. My undergrad grades were low. I can't private pay any graduate school right now, unless it's in the cheap $6K/year or so bracket, so there aren't many grad schools I'd be excited about and able to attend next spring. It makes sense to get a BA at Excelsior and move on with my life, but I just can't seem to talk myself into turning down my personal dream school. I haven't had much to look forward to in my academic or career life in so, so many years that NYU gave me some hope (even though it was just SPS with easier admissions). I could use some advice. Does a school really matter? Would you spend longer on a degree for a school that you really loved? I would appreciate advice.