You’re accepted, but your parents weren’t able to save enough money to cover all of it.
You’d be stuck still having to cover $20,000 though other means, most likely a mix of financial aid and student loans.
The average cost of college tuition, room, and board for the 2017–18 academic year is between $20,770 (4-year, public, in-state) and $46,950 (4-year, private), according to College Board.
How many college students or recent high school graduates do you know that can afford between $80,000 and $188,000 for four years of college?
The private college costs more than double what the public university does.
Now imagine that your parents did their best over the years to sock away money over the years for your education, and they were able to save enough to cover four years at a public university.
If the public university offers the courses you want to take and fits into your plan, then great: You can graduate from college debt-free!
But what if it has always been your dream to go to Yale, or some other private school.
I would definitely say that something that allows you to follow the American Dream and earn a quality education can’t be bad.
Look at the chart above, and notice the huge difference in price between a public 4-year college and a private 4-year college.