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Boston University or Bowdoin College?

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Replies to: Boston University or Bowdoin College?

  • insanedreamerinsanedreamer Registered User Posts: 1,527 Senior Member
    I wouldn't worry so much about the prestige factor as both are good universities. I think you should decide if the small LAC type undergrad experience (which is arguably superior, especially at top LACs) is worth the extra money to you over a more typical large university. If so, then go to Bowdoin. If you get a good CS job you'll be able to pay back your parents the difference later if you want. If that factor isn't so important to you, then go to BU and save the money.

    Have you tried asking Bowdoin for more money? If I were you I would write them and explain your situation and that you'd like to attend their college but BU is more affordable, and you're wondering if they could increase their financial aid? My D wrote the college she was accepted to (which had already given her a good amount of aid) asking for more and she got it. You never know.
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    If you are preppy, they are both preppy, but I would say Boston University is preppier!
  • JanwelJanwel Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Hmmm. It seems like BU, while offering you a full ride, is limiting your access to the courses you want to take by having you in General Studies and London for the first two years. Could you contact them and petition for a change to September admission and starting in Arts and Sciences?

    It seems like Bowdoin right now is offering you access to the courses you want to take, and that is important. no harm in asking for more aid either if you need it.

    Good luck.

  • exlibris97exlibris97 Registered User Posts: 654 Member
    edited April 10
    @CSandBiogirl Your observation that you will be much better off at BU says it all. Go to BU then. You want to avoid debt as much as possible. And BU is an excellent university. You will in no way be disadvantaged going there.

    I'd add that there is a disturbing tendency among some people, and especially HS students, to disregard finances. That is a foolish thing to do. Just talk to students whose families have gone in debt or who have racked up large student loans. Ask them how they feel AFTER graduating.
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    Have you chosen?
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    @HopefulHoya1103 No I have not chosen. I visited Bowdoin and the only thing that appealed to me was the academics. I did not like the small school population, the location and lack of any type of public transportation, the isolation, and the distance and cost it would take for me to go home. I do not want to make the wrong decision either, but I had a gut feeling that I would thrive academically there but would feel very isolated and unhappy there. I'm thinking long term. I would have to live there for four years.
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    On the other hand, BU's CGS program would be limiting to me in some academic aspects. The program is made for students that are undecided. I'm not undecided I just do not know which subject to Major and Minor in (Biology or Computer Science) but at BU they have access to graduate schools and with a minimu of a 3.5 GPA I could get my five year MA in CS if I decide to major in that. At this point I do not know what to do. I do know I'd be much happier at BU but academically Bowdoin is better for me. I'm visiting BU Tuesday to meet with an academic adviser about everything and go to admissions to BEG to be placed in CAS.
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    Both colleges are wonderful. Now, the most important aspect is where you would be happy at! If you're not happy, you won't do as well in academics! :)
  • chemusicchemusic Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    I think you could adapt to either program academically and both are good. You will definitely have smaller class sizes at Bowdoin. That may appeal to you and you will get to know your professors for sure. Also one is city and one is not - do you want to walk out your door every morning and see traffic or see nature? Do you want the noise of the city all the time? You mentioned remoteness but some weekend trips to Portland could be an option and are reasonable to do.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 8,778 Senior Member
    edited April 24
    1. Will the $3k/mo actually cover your living expenses in Boston with extra leftover? You say in Maine the $1300/mo will, but just?

    2. Can you graduate from BU in 4 years if you can't take any of the classes required for your major for the first 2? Can you take the required math, etc., just not the comp sci? Are you guaranteed into CompSci, not just the school of A&S, with a 2.0?
  • breatheinoutbreatheinout Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Which did you choose??
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    I hate to bother your again, but which did you choose? :D
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    edited May 9
    This was heartbreaking to read. She sounds like she's first gen and doing this all on her own. The part about the $40 round trip fare to Bowdoin being a hardship made me click off for awhile.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 20,713 Senior Member
    I find it incomprehensible that BU would not allow students in this program to take courses in their major for the first two years. What is the point of that? How is someone supposed to construct anything other than a strictly minimal major in only two years, given prereqs and scheduling realities?
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I committed to BU. After my visit to Bowdoin and speaking with financial aid they expected me to use all of my BAH to cover expenses (almost 20k) and work-study etc. Ultimately BU was a better option for me financially and a better fit socially and it is also closer to home (I won't have to worry about travel expenses). I believe I will be happy and thrive at BU. I spoke to an academic adviser a couple of weeks ago, and my situation is very unique, so much so that I will not be behind academically at all at CGS. Due to my AP course credits and community college course credits I acquired through (free) dual enrollment at my high school I will be approximately two semesters ahead of the CAS students in my class. I will also be able to take courses related to my major (CS) and Bio (possibly) at CAS during my time at CGS. The purpose of CGS is to complete all the general education courses concurrently with courses related to my major at my major(s) corresponding college, which in my case is CAS. She also said that a double major in CS and Bio would be possible academically for me if I desired. I will not have to take summer semesters, pile up on courses, or be behind at all academically. I also completely understand your concerns with CGS but after my visit I believe I will thrive academically at BU. After my undergrad at BU I will also be able to consider graduate school without any financial concern.
    I want to thank you all for your input, as a first gen student that has to be depend entirely on the GI Bill it has been a very difficult and long road during my college search to search for the right fit academically and also socially.
    I would also like to add that during the gap semester I am allowed to take courses externally that will count towards my major(s). Although my first year will not be a traditional one, I am very excited and happy with my choice.
    Regards,
    CS&BioGirl.
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