What happens after you get accepted into all 8 ivy league schools, only to realize the tuition is too high to attend? Well, if you’re Ronald Nelson you choose the school that offers you a free ride. For Nelson, that was the University of Alabama.

“It took a lot of soul searching for me to push that first “accept” button for Alabama,” Nelson told Business Insider.

Nelson had a GPA of 4.58, a 2260 out of 2400 on his SATS, a 34 out of 36 on his ACT, and 15 completed AP courses, and even with all of that, he didn’t receive merit-based scholarships from any Ivy League schools or the other prestigious universities.

Although he was offered some financial help, he said it would have only been manageable the first year.

From Business Insider:

“[The schools] told me that I would probably end up paying quite a bit more over the next three years,” he said.

Nelson and his family were faced with a choice — stretch their budget and potentially take on debt for a brand-name school, or save their money for a graduate degree down the line. His father, Ronald Sr., is an engineer who works as a manager at the Federal Aviation Administration and his mother, Sandra, works in management at FedEx headquarters.

“I think it would have been possible, given some sacrifice,” Ronald Sr. told Business Insider about sending his son to an Ivy League school.

“With people being in debt for years and years, it wasn’t a burden that Ronald wanted to take on and it wasn’t a burden that we wanted to deal with for a number of years after undergraduate,” Ronald Sr. said. “We can put that money away and spend it on his medical school, or any other graduate school.”

It looks as though University of Alabama will have an amazing student on their hands. Nelson plans on heading to medical school after he completes undergrad.

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