Quote from Fire_Kame
Again you really need an advocate to sit down and be frank with you about these things; do you need to go to MIT, or can you go to a state college and receive the same ends? Will you be able to pay your loans off in a timely manner? What are the best loans available to you? What grants and scholarships are available? Should you get a technical degree, a certification, and associates, or a bachelor's degree? Should you enlist or should you wait until after you get a degree and try to become an officer? get a degree and What are your life goals? Career goals? Social goals? There are cases in all ends of this, there is no one right or wrong answer for this. All these things matter.
MIT's financial aid package is calclated by an equation:
Student Expense Budget - EFC = Self-Help + MIT Scholarship.
For 2012, the SEB would is $57 010, my EFC would be $1900, and self-help is $6000.
This means I would be given 49 110 in an MIT scholarship. The EFC is earned through summer work (apparently), and the self-help is earned through work during school or loans/scholarships/grants.
Since I qualify for the full amount of the Pell Grant, that's $5500 deducted straight out of my $6000 self-help, leaving $2400 remaining for me to cover. This could easily be covered with a stafford loan or otherwise. If I were to attend four years ($1900 × 4 + $1500) then I would be paying $9100 in EFC total + $2000 for the left over self-help, yielding a total attendance cost of $11 100.
Going to MIT would be cheaper for me than any other university without the aid of a large scholarship, since they would paying my full tuition and then some.
As for a degree from MIT? It's not that big of a deal, takes smarts and drive to get into the program (I guess if you're low income like me), but beyond the hype it's just slightly harder coursework. The "real world" doesn't see it that way though, and the average entry salary for someone with a degree from MIT is 60k a year. So there's a definite benefit to going.
In addition, they do produce a lot of high quality research and have great opportunities there.
Alright, I fail to see the problem here. I might have missed something. I thought we were discussing how inaccessible education was, but you have made it very clear that it is incredibly accessible (although you don't get "and then some" on your grants/scholarships) in this post.
Perhaps the MIT thing helps at the beginning of the road, but college degrees are worthless after about ten years or so, especially if you haven't been in the field. So you could get a fancy degree from MIT, and it might carry you along a little further than most, but if you want to leave your first job or get promoted I can guarantee they'll want further education or else you'll hit a roadblock. Your first job is far from your last.