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USC vs. UNC

2manychoices2manychoices Posts: 11Registered User New Member
USC vs. UNC

My son is deciding between USC (CAS) and UNC-CH (OOS) Ironically, these were both safeties for him; he was waitlisted elsewhere (fingers crossed for UVA). IR major, not planning on grad school (would he have to?). Wants to work in foreign affairs probably for the US gov., perhaps with one of the 3 letter orgs. eg CIA, etc. He wants to work on east coast (DC) one day, but not imperative.

USC:

Pros:

T.O. honors program
smaller classes (with TO, even the core or GE classes would be small)
Presidential Scholarship (½ tuition).
advising
weather
alumni network
impeccable facilities
prefers big city to small college town
USC encourages double majors and major minors across their entire system ie bus/eng/CAS schools
easy to change majors and/or change schools if interests change

Cons:

distance: (we live on the east coast), cost of travel and difficulty networking/interviewing for east coast jobs
housing: not guaranteed beyond sophomore year, one can find housing but $$$
can't really take advantage of LA w/o a car which he won't have



UNC:

Pros:

great academic reputation
proximity to home and region of desired future employment
inexpensive off campus housing
can have a car as upperclassman
great college town

Cons:

not in honors program (but can apply in Jan.)
no money coming (we do not qualify for any financial aide)
larger classes
more T/A's
fewer offerings/choices
much more difficult to get in to certain classes (UNC actually warns you of this when planning your schedule)
very worried over budget crisis at the UNC system, 15+% cuts from state revenue coming, how will the UNC system absorb this? No one knows, but larger classes, fewer offerings, more TA's, more than 8 semesters to graduate (UNC actually warns you of this when planning your schedule), large hikes in OOS tuition, these are all very real possibilities


Visited both. Liked both. Students seem very happy at both. Similar student body size and academics, S got a little better vibe at USC, (liked the physical campus slightly more, and the laid back attitude of the students) and likes the honors option. Costs are a neutral for us. $ out of pocket about the same after all things such as travel, LA housing, merit aide etc. factored in.

The big issue comes down to UNC's budget crisis and what that will mean for academics, vs. USC's distance to home and desired future employment on the east coast.

Thoughts?
Post edited by 2manychoices on
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Replies to: USC vs. UNC

  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Posts: 8,223Registered User Senior Member
    the CIA recruits at USC
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-southern-california/1134504-trojan-network-intelligence-agencies.html

    I've seen the CIA at recruitment fairs. Also this article might be of interest: Usc Cia - USC marketing class helps CIA recruitment - Los Angeles Times

    Quote:

    "All we hear today is about the bad economy and how this is basically the worst time to graduate. But the CIA is very interested in hiring graduating seniors and is targeting USC students," said Allison Kosty, a political science major who is in a class of USC students working on the CIA campaign. "So that's a huge bonus for us."

    I've interviewed with the CIA at the career fair. They do definitely want bright USC students, but be aware that the hiring process is long because of the security clearance that you need to get.
  • rodneyrodney Posts: 9,406Registered User Senior Member
    curious how UNC-OOS was a "safety for him" when they only take 18% of their freshman class OOS........

    if the kid has the attitude of the parent, I think USC would be a better fit; don't think he would fit at UNC
  • 2manychoices2manychoices Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    Thank you for the link. Yes, my son told me that they pointed that out at the Explore USC day on campus a few weeks ago. However, the CIA recruits at many institutions, ie I don't know if USC is "targeted" or just one of many that they visit, and just what exactly that recruiting would mean, over say applying to the CIA from UNC-CH. Also, we recognize that ideas change during college, and he may change his mind about the CIA (eg if the salary is too low to live on as I've heard is often the case), so would appreciate input on the availability of other opportunities on the east coast as a graduate of USC vs. UNC-CH.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Posts: 8,223Registered User Senior Member
    Is the cost the of USC the same for you as UNC? or is it less because of the scholarship?
    If is is less consider getting him a cheap car. And my son has had a room near the campus for 2 years at $700/ month. I don't know how that compares to areas around UNC.
    The budget crisis is a real issue. Who knows how much the tuition at UNC may climb over the next 4 years? The "fees"[ read tuition] at the UC campuses have almost doubled over the past 4 years. Going to a private with a huge endowment, generous FA program, and a continuing commitment to make college affordable is a big advantage over any public U in a state with serious financial concerns.
  • 2manychoices2manychoices Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    Sorry, really shouldn't have called it a safety. Didn't realize the acceptance rate was that low for OOS, but by the objective criteria it seemed to him and his counselor that it was at least a "target" school. ie ivy level grades/scores.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Posts: 8,223Registered User Senior Member
    "so would appreciate input on the availability of other opportunities on the east coast as a graduate of USC vs. UNC-CH.
    Well my sons good friend and USC 2010 graduate is now working at Lockeed[?] or some aerospace company on the East coast. Had to go through the whole security clearance routine.
  • 2manychoices2manychoices Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    Yes, cost is roughly the same. At first glance it would appear that USC would be less expensive. The tuition surely is after the scholarship, but the added costs of sirfare and the high housing costs as an upperclassman, pretty much make it a wash.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Posts: 8,223Registered User Senior Member
    I dont' think you have to worry about whether or not government organizations recruit in Calif. It IS the state with the largest population.
  • josebiwasabijosebiwasabi Posts: 572Registered User Member
    cost of housing as an upperclassman is not that bad. many you can find apartments from $500-800 per month. i even had some friends paying in the 400s when they had a roommate.

    of course, these housing options aren't very luxurious (there are a lot of upscale housing options as well), but hey, you're a college student.
  • 2manychoices2manychoices Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    That is true. I guess we were concerned with the preceived difficulty of interviewing/locating jobs in DC while 3000 miles to the west. He sure does like the school. Is your son's housing within walking distance to the school? That is "safe' walking distance? $700/mo. is much better than we had found, but then again, we looked at housing that was only a few blocks away from the campus because he won't have car. What we found would have cost him $1600 (shared) to $3200/mo. single occupancy, and that would be with a 12 month lease a opposed to a "school year" or semester lease.
  • 2manychoices2manychoices Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    Okay. Seems housing is less expensive than I thought. I guess you have to live there for a bit in order to figure it all out. Without a car however, the options for housing are slimmer.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Posts: 8,223Registered User Senior Member
    "Is your son's housing within walking distance to the school ?
    That is "safe' walking distance?"
    Yup, but he bikes as do most kids who live off campus[ unless they take the USC shuttle]

    "$700/mo. is much better than we had found, but then again, we looked at housing that was only a few blocks away from the campus because he won't have car.
    Without a car however, the options for housing are slimmer. "
    NO, they really arent, not near campus.

    There are many, many older charming, victorian era houses as well as dozens of appts just north of campus[ excluding the frats north west of campus] that are filled with USC students. All are on the USC shuttle route. Son never even considered getting an appt just for himself or to share with only 1 other student. Too expensive and he wanted to live with a larger group of friends. And he has had a car all 4 years.


    take a look at these recent housing postings
    http://sait.usc.edu/ois/housing/off-campus-housing/postings.aspx

    the following,from the above link, is typical of private housing options available very close to USC

    PRIVATE BEDROOM WITH PRIVATE BATH $750
    Address:

    2750 Raymond Ave
    Google Maps
    Availability:

    Now
    Rent:

    $750.00 per month
    Features:

    PRIVATE BEDROOM WITH PRIVATE BATH $750
    USC Group Housing in large Victorian home near Campus
    available in our three story, 10 bedroom, 5 bathroom, Victorian home near USC campus. Includes Wireless Internet Cable TV, new washer, new dryer, new dish washer, parking.
    Full kitchen privileges in the large kitchen with two refrigerators and cooking amenities.
    Free Parking in back of house included.

    Rent $750 plus utilities.
    USC students, young professionals. A dynamic make-up of people in the house!
    A peaceful and enjoyable place to live.
    Rooms are furnished or unfurnished, according to tenant's desires.
    Lease either month to month or annual
  • placido240placido240 Posts: 636- Member
    I would do USC. If he is not in Honors at Carolina, he gets no special treatment (difficult to get courses he wants). He is in T.O. at USC, which is a huge gold star. I know Tustee Scholars (full tuition) at USC who did not get into T.O. I think USC alumni network would be better, as Carolina is 82% Carolina and would logically seem to be less spead out nationwide than USC's, which is well ove r50% out of state. USC 25 years ago was a "top 50" university; now it is "top 25". Within a generation I see it surpassing such schools as Vanderbilt, Berkeley and nuding up behind Duke. The money and the willpower is there.
  • 2manychoices2manychoices Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    Thank you for the housing link. Many of those are summer sublets, but some are for the academic year. And yes, they appear to be cheaper than I expected. Still about 2 1/2 x the cost of a place in NC, but definitely less than what we thought.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Posts: 8,223Registered User Senior Member
    glad to help....
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