Yes, she did. Although limited by circumstance, she decides to go to college. Some could say she made this decision on a whim, whereas others may say the entire story was about her dilemma and therefore carefully thought out. Royal made her feel safe and protected, but it is possible that what she wanted was something she could not acquire by staying at home--freedom, and adventure. Women in the era the story is set in had a chance to go to college very infrequently, and Mattie's aunt calls her selfish for wanting the money to attend college. When she is granted a scholarship and has money from working at the Glenmore, it no longer becomes a question of relying on others, but bettering life for herself.