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UPenn M&T Vs. Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley?

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Replies to: UPenn M&T Vs. Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley?

  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,563 Senior Member
    @mlunghi For undergrad Berkeley is not exactly equivalent to Harvard, Stanford and Penn.

    Stanford and Harvard have more lay prestige (meaning for the general population) than Penn, but Penn M&T specifically is just as prestigious in sophisticated business and tech circles and opens really amazing doors.

    I feel if you are interested in business and engineering/technology the choice is down to Penn M&T vs Stanford. You should choose between these two mainly based on fit. The pros for M&T are incredibly individualized attention and guidance while at Penn, both for academics and internships/jobs - There is an M&T office at Penn dedicated only to the M&T students with many counselors, administrators etc. Also the M&T alumni network is super close-knit and there are alumni events very often where you get to meet and network with M&T alumni. Because of the super strong ties of the M&T alumni network , its small size and how successful its grads are, it can be a huge asset in recruiting for top jobs etc. Also Pen has the strongest undergrad business program in the world.
    The pros for Stanford ae that it is overall more prestigious, recognizable name, has better location and is stronger in engineering than Penn.
  • mlunghimlunghi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    @Penn95 how is the campus at upenn compared to the others?
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,563 Senior Member
    edited April 22
    From a architecture standpoint, I think Stanford has the nicest campus. I think for the other three it comes down to personal preference as to which one is the prettiest.

    In terms of location and practicality I like the Penn campus best. The campus is in a big but not overwhelmingly huge city (like NYC for example). So you got all the offerings of a major city without feeling overwhelmed. Also it is not right smack in the city center but rather a few minutes on foot away from the city center. Also despite being close to the city center, Penn has a defined and separate campus, so there is a campus feel and community (we call it the Penn Bubble) so you get the best of both worlds.

    Harvard is also in a major city but it gets way too touristy for my taste.
  • mlunghimlunghi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    @Penn95 if you dont mind me asking, are you a student? I'd have lots to ask aahahah
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,563 Senior Member
    @mlunghi I am an alum. sure ask away.
  • mlunghimlunghi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    edited April 23
    @Penn95 is Upenn as well known as other Ivies? In terms of financial aid, how generous is it to international students?
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,563 Senior Member
    edited April 23
    @mlunghi Depends which other ivies you are comparing it to and also what your intended audience is (i.e. to whom it is well known). To top employers and top grad school programs around the world Penn is very well known and highly regarded. In fact Penn grads have the second highest salaries in the ivy league after Harvard and top employment outcomes, Penn is very heavily targeted by all the top firms, more so than some other ivies.

    Now when you are talking about lay recognition, prestige, it depends which ivy you are comparing Penn to. Harvard is obviously the most famous university in the world. Every random person on the street knows what Harvard is and will be impressed. Also Yale and Princeton have more name recognition than Penn by the average person on the street, but of course less than Harvard. But after HYP, Penn has just as good or better name recognition by the lay public as the rest of the ivies.
    Specifically the Penn M&T program is extremely prestigious in sophisticated business/tech circles and people routinely turn down even Harvard, Stanford and MIT to attend.

    Amongst the ivies, only HYP have need-blind financial aid for internationals because their endowments are much bigger than the rest of the ivies. All the other ivies are need-aware for international students. This means that applying for aid as an international will affect your chances of getting in since they have more limited funds for internationals. Still there are many top international students who get great financial aid awards from Penn and other non-HYP ivies.
  • mlunghimlunghi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    @Penn95 would you advise taking out a loan then, or applying for financial aid? I do not think i would need huge amounts of aid, but certainly some would be very helpful.
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,563 Senior Member
    @mlunghi So you mean not applying for financial aid at all at Penn? How much would you need in loans or aid?
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 1,397 Senior Member
    Berkeley is world ranked university. Great undergrad experience
  • mlunghimlunghi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    @Penn95 probably 40K in total for the 4 year degree, should I just take out a loan or is it worth applying for aid? I might even need less than that.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Super Moderator Posts: 23,923 Super Moderator
    "For undergrad Berkeley is not exactly equivalent to Harvard, Stanford and Penn."

    For undergrad, Cal is not exactly equivalent to Stanford and Harvard...but then again, neither is Penn. Of course, both Cal and Penn can match Harvard and Stanford in their respective ways. For example, Cal's undergraduate Chemistry, Computer Science, Humanities and Engineering programs match those at Harvard and Stanford. Penn's Wharton Schoo, as well as its dual degree programs (Huntsman and Jerome Fisher) are truly exceptional, and impossible to beat for students interested in Business. But to suggest that Cal is inferior is way off base. Cal and and Penn are peers, and both are truly exceptional universities in their own way. They are admittedly very different from each other, and have their own strengths and limitations, but in terms of overall quality, they are in the same peer group.

    mlunghi, you should be more specific. For example, in Silicon Valley, Cal and Stanford are extremely prestigious. On the East Coast, Harvard and Penn have the edge.

    Also keep in mind that of those four universities, only Penn offers an Early Decision option. Harvard and Stanford have restrictive Early Action options and Cal does not have an Early Action/Early Decision plan.

    Cal does not offer FA to international students, but it does scholarships to a lucky few. Honestly, I would not focus too much on Cal if you need a generous FA package. Harvard, Penn and Stanford all offer FA to international students, but Penn and Stanford are not known to be that generous with international FA. Dartmouth, Harvard and MIT are three that re typically more generous with international FA.
  • mlunghimlunghi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    @Alexandre thank you very much for your reply! My main is to end up in technology startups, hence why I was looking at double degrees/majors in engineering and business. Harvard, Upenn, and Stanford would all allow me to do so. Do you think I should ED Upenn or wait for Harvard's EA? This is my current plan, haven't really looked at Darthmouth, how does it stack up against the rest?
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,563 Senior Member
    edited April 24
    @Alexandre I don't think that is quite true. As a undergraduate school Berkeley is not exactly a peer to the ivies, stanford,MIT. It has to do with being a state school, having much more limited resources per students, much bigger undergrad student body, oversubscribed classes etc. But as an overall research university, i.e. in terms of research output and most of its grad schools, Berkeley is truly top notch. I feel for Berkeley there is a discrepancy between its standing for undergrad vs for grad schools. For undergrad rather few people turn down the most of ivies, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, Duke etc for Berkeley.

    Dartmouth has stopped being need bind for international students because it could not afford it anymore. it is need aware as are Penn and Stanford.

    @mlunghi You should apply ED to your first choice. If you are happy committing to Penn and you won't regret it then sure go ahead, Penn favors its ED applicants quite a bit. But if you are going to regret not doing Harvard SCEA (there is no EA at Harvard), then you prob shouldn't ED at Penn.

    Regarding the financial aid, while 40k over the entire 4 years is not huge, it is also not negligible. This is something you need to think very well yourself and also discuss with your parents. Yes applying to Penn and Stanford for financial aid will slightly lower your chances of getting admitted but getting loans is also a big decision, even if they are not too big. Maybe since you need FA, Harvard SCEA would be the better option since Harvard is need blind for internationals.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Super Moderator Posts: 23,923 Super Moderator
    edited April 24
    "I don't think that is quite true. As a undergraduate school Berkeley is not exactly a peer to the ivies, stanford,MIT."

    You think wrong Penn95. You should stick to what you know and leave university evaluations to the experts. They overwhelmingly agree that Cal is very much on par with Penn. What you and I think is irrelevant. Collectively, they know infinitely more than we do. We are literally ignoramuses compared to them. If you think otherwise (that you are wiser and better informed than hundreds of university presidents, provosts and undergraduate deans combined), you have delusions of grandeur.

    "It has to do with being a state school, having much more limited resources per students, much bigger undergrad student body, oversubscribed classes etc."

    State universities are not all lacking in resources. Michigan and UVa are as wealthy as private elites on a per student basis and they never have oversubscribed classes. Cal may not be quite as wealthy, but it is not hurting. Most of the claims against it are blown out of proportion. And let us not forget that Cal has no medical complex draining its resources. If one were to go on this metric, schools like Notre Dame and Rice would be world beaters...certainly superior to Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Penn. But resources per student are not absolute. In fact, it is a well known fact in academic circles that the quality of an undergraduate institution cannot be captured, quantified or measured statistically. There are way too many variables, many of which are intangible, to assign a number to a university's overall excellence.

    "I feel for Berkeley there is a discrepancy between its standing for undergrad vs for grad schools."

    There is definitely a discrepancy. At the graduate level, Cal is #1 or #2. I never claimed it was as good at the undergraduate level. But you make it seem like it is not on par with Penn. That is not accurate, only your opinion.

    "For undergrad rather few people turn down the most of ivies, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, Duke etc for Berkeley."

    Sadly, you are referring to highly misguided kids and their easily manipulated parents. You are quite right, most high school children and their parents are blinded by rankings which care only about sales and nothing for presenting a product that is grounded in fair, accurate, consistent and relevant information. Those in the know would not hesitate to choose Cal over schools like Chicago, Duke and Penn...if it suits their personal preferences and academic interests of course. Admittedly, Cal is not for everyone. Indeed, most either love it or hate it (for the record, I was admitted into Cal, and disliked it when I visited it). But those who love it wouldn't have it any other way. Incidentally, when it comes to people interested in either initiating a startup or working for one, Cal is hard to match...let alone beat. But then again, so it Penn, and since Penn is more generous with FA than Cal, it obviously makes better sense for the OP to focus on Penn.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/schools-most-vc-backed-entrepreneurs-2016-9

    http://www.bestcolleges.com/features/top-colleges-for-startups/
    Post edited by Alexandre on
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