Help me choose... NYU or Excelsior for a BA.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by skirtlet, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    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.
  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Is going to NYU SPS like going to NYU? I looked at an Ivy League school's SPS instructors, might have been Columbia, and they were different from the instructors who taught at the rest of the school.
  3. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    NYU's SPS is not as good as the main campus for sure.
    Personally, I decided to not get any degree from the 'School of Professional Studies', 'University College', etc
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I'm cheap, and I hate taking more classes than I have to. I would choose Excelsior, Thomas Edison State University, or Charter Oak State College, but that's based on my preference to not waste time and credits.
    LearningAddict likes this.
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I would do Excelsior and use the extra money and time to get a good masters degree. A BA in Leadership in my opinion is not worth the extra money and time, this is the type of subjects that do not require university education so the value is just a general degree in management that is what you get with Excelsior.
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Wait, seven compared with eighty? It would be batshit insane to choose NYU under those circumstances. Finish your BA at Excelsior, then do a Master's at a school that's inexpensive and well regarded, there are options and we can help you find them. Quicker and cheaper overall, and much better on your resume.
    newsongs, TTS, chrisjm18 and 5 others like this.
  8. This
  9. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    Go with the excelsior college degree and just move forward to another college to get a master's degree. Yes NYU is your dream but time is a big factor and who knows what can happen in three years? I would rather get a degree from excelsior and slowly work on a master's degree online from a more affordable college, there are many great colleges that can offer you what you are looking for. The ROI and time that will be spent pursuing an NYU degree will not be worth it.
  10. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    A few classes
    It's def not, but SPS beats Excelsior academically and by reputation. The amount it does is debatable. I do wonder if I would ever stand a chance at NYU Gallatin or a "proper" school or well-known program within a school instead.
  11. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    Dustin likes this.
  12. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    The time spent is a good point, and 3 years is a long time to commit to. I haven't looked into affordable but well-known online master's enough and need to.
  13. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    Time is a good consideration. I like taking classes, and would have continued at least 2 more years of certificate programs... so that's probably why 3 more years for a BA/BS doesn't seem too terrible to me.
  14. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    People do many crazy things for their dreams.

    But, yes, it's only 7 credits at Excelsior now because I've been doing a lot of classes this summer. The initial review at Excelsior would have meant attending through at least mid-to-late 2022. Now it's down to 7 credits after I transfer in all the Sophia work I've done. NYU had "hoped" to accept more credits when I had talked to my advisor a while back, but my advisor could only find about 40something that would count for my program there. It wasn't nearly as lopsided until now between the 2 schools before.

    I do need to explore some well-regarded online master's degrees and consider the cost of the time of school I've done enough certificate programs over the years that 3 more years for a BA/BS doesn't seem too terrible, but at some point, I do have to ask what so many credits will really get me. I really don't want to go to some random grad school I've never heard of that doesn't excite me, and there's not much chance of me ever getting into a top tier grad school. That's the main reason it's hard to turn down even NYU SPS since it's about as good as my education will ever realistically get. I suppose I might stand a chance of a decent PhD program one day if I do well in grad school, or at least boost my career with any BA/MA in general.
  15. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    That's true. The leadership major wouldn't do much itself, I'd just do it for the sake of any degree at that school since it's my personal dream school. I probably would get better value with a generic BA then specializing in grad school with a degree that's desired by employers later. The Excelsior degree I'd get would be a BA in Liberal Arts but it's cheap and quick.
  16. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Active Member

    When applying for a PhD they actually do not really care about your undergraduate degree it's more so your master's degree and your GPA combined with work experience. As long as the school is regionally accredited you will be fine, NYU SPS will not give you any special advantages and you mentioned your grades are low which is a downfall because you will have to send all transcripts. I would just get a bachelor's at excelsior save money and go to a decent graduate school. One example is Lamar or Fort Hayes State University which are good schools with a decent name that offer master's degrees at an affordable price. You can raise your GPA and go for a PhD at a good school.
  17. Vicki

    Vicki Member

    When I got my degree way back in the 90’s, it cost me about $20,000. I paid on those student loans until 2019. It was great to finally pay that off at age 45. It also made my credit score go up and freed up money every month. So there’s that to consider before taking on that kind of school debt.
    skirtlet likes this.
  18. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    This might sound crazy to a lot of people here, but I think you should go with NYU. It seems this is something that will haunt you if you don't pursue it. Life is short - you need to pursue your passions. Last thing you want is regret. I have to agree it is very possible this might be your best and last chance to attend NYU.

    This doesn't seem like an ROI issue for you. If ROI advice is what you're looking for, I totally agree with everyone here - from a utility standpoint, it makes no difference - go with Excelsior obviously if ROI is the issue. However, this is more than ROI for you. It's a burning passion (at least that's the way it sounds from your post). So when you spend your 18K, think of it more like an expensive treat for your hard work.

    Also, your case is absolutely not comparable to NYU students racking up 300K in loans and dying from debt. 18K is not cheap, but it is manageable and perhaps the 3 years you might actually enjoy (as you see going to NYU as a treat so it won't be an opportunity cost).

    18K is actually pretty cheap to fulfill a childhood dream. I cannot blame someone for getting a Porsche because it fulfills a childhood dream, even though the Honda can get you to the same place.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
    skirtlet likes this.
  19. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I get your point, but SPS is more like an Acura or a Lincoln.
    smartdegree likes this.
  20. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Another option based on my experience in Marketing - use Test and Learn to see what works. Basically enrol at NYU for a semester (3K?) then see if it really is your dream come true. If it isn't, you only lose 3K. And Excelsior will still be there for you with open arms in case it doesn't work out.

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