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Brandeis, Wake Forest or Wisconsin?

leksasleksas Posts: 83Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2010 in College Search & Selection
Is Brandeis worth the debt?
Is Wake Forest worth the debt?
Is it ridiculous to choose UW madison over Brandeis and Wake Forest or can those three compare?
Before considering anything else, I don't have a lot of money.
Post edited by leksas on
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Replies to: Brandeis, Wake Forest or Wisconsin?

  • gadadgadad Posts: 7,752Registered User Senior Member
    Those three compare just fine. There's no reason to take on a lot of debt. Average state U vs. B/WF is reasonable if the financial difference is substantial. And UW is no average state U.
  • leksasleksas Posts: 83Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks gadad, That's what I wanted to hear! :)
  • gadadgadad Posts: 7,752Registered User Senior Member
    FWIW, I'm a Wake Forest alumnus too!
  • B77B77 Posts: 319Registered User Member
    If money is the controlling factor, then you have no choice. However, there really is no comparison between U Wisconsin and Brandeis--I'm not familar with Wake Forest. To paraphrase another post about Michigan versus Brandeis, Wisconsin is a very, large state school. Your classes your first few years will be very large, and you will have TAs in many of your introductory classes.

    At Brandeis, you will have dramatically smaller class sizes and classes taught by professors, not TAs. Brandeis has all of the elements of a small liberal arts college, but set in a research environment. Undergarduate teaching is the main focus of the faculty, not research.In contrast, if your main interest is big-time athletics and partying, then you should consider Wisconsin. But if your focus is academics, class size, quality of teaching, then Brandeis is your clear choice, again, assuming you can afford it.
  • leksasleksas Posts: 83Registered User Junior Member
    I am not into partying or sports at all...Actually Brandeis sounds more like a perfect fit for me and I also like its location but the different in the cost is almost 20000..
    My parents said I have a choice but then I know our entire family would be on a debt and I just don't know if Brandeis is worth it...
  • StoogeStooge Posts: 450Registered User Member
    If u want a smaller school w weaker faculty go to Brandeis. Don't pay attm to stereotypescabout sports and partying - UW has a dynamic student body with incredibly diverse interests. If u want a small college atmosphere at uw, live in one of the residential colleges your freshman year and complete the integrated liberal studies program. You'll find faculty and grad students who are teaching focused and that must universities would love to have.
  • StoogeStooge Posts: 450Registered User Member
    Sorry re typos-iPhone typing!
  • leksasleksas Posts: 83Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks Stooge but What do you mean by weaker faculty?
  • StoogeStooge Posts: 450Registered User Member
    I guess, I'm saying the two U's are not peers. One has a faculty that attracts more research $ than any other in the US, but Johns Hopkins and is internationally known for creating knowledge from stem cells to the newest biography of Woodrow Wilson.

    But, what's important is what works for you. I'm just trying to say, that with some effort one can find those more intimate educational experiences at a large U and take advantage of amazing resources that aren't necessarily available elsewhere. I'm sure you'll get more intimate attention at a school like Brandeis off the bat, but don't fret if you end up at UW.


    You can noodle these for info if you like:

    Chadbourne Residential College - Responsible, Invested Citizens

    Integrated Liberal Studies - University of Wisconsin Madison

    Oh, and if being in a Jewish community is important to you the new Hillel building in Madison is supposed to be great. There are about 5k Jewish students on campus.
  • StoogeStooge Posts: 450Registered User Member
  • barronsbarrons Posts: 23,735Registered User Senior Member
    If you get into Honors at UW you can miss most of the larger lecture classes. Same if you have APs. Many advanced classes are smaller. What major??
  • B77B77 Posts: 319Registered User Member
    Again, if you choose UW, choose it for what it is, not what it is not. It is a state school with 40,000 students--about 30,000 undergraduates alone. Brandeis has 5000 students--only 3000 of which are undergraduates. Brandeis is ranked in the top tiers of undergrad education surveys because it combines the small LAC environment with outsized resources, including access to a world-class resarch faculty--Pulitzer Prize winners, National Academy members, McArthur "Genius Award" winners etc. Some have joint appointments at Brandeis and MIT or Brandeis and Harvard.

    It is the nurturing quality of the Brandeis faculty and their mentoring that attracted and benefitted Rod MacKinnon, an undergraduate and a classmate of mine at Brandeis in the late 70's. He returned after medical school to pursue post-doc studies there. In 2003 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Clearly, a nurturing, undergraduate-oriented atmosphere can may make the difference in a student's future.

    On a related note, Edward Witten, the Fields Medal winning Physicist (sometimes called "Einstein's successor") was an undergrad at Brandeis as well (a History major I believe) and went on to take his graduate training in physics at Princeton. Perhaps another example of how a small, nuturing undergraduate program can lead to great success .

    If you haven't seen it, you should watch the interview on the Brandeis website with Greg Petsko, Professor of Biochem, who left MIT to come to Brandeis. He discusses his reasons as to why he found Brandeis to be, in his words, "a better place" to teach and for his students to learn. Here's a link to the "video tour" page which you may need to paste into your browser: Tour. Then, you may need to click through to the 'Meet Brandeisians" faculty interviews to find Petsko.
  • WiscoKidWiscoKid Posts: 422Registered User Member
    barrons--would you mind expanding on the advantages of the honors program and how it works? I have looked it up online, but from what I gather the main advantages are that you get first choice in classes and you get to do undergraduate research
  • barronsbarrons Posts: 23,735Registered User Senior Member
    For many of the typical "big lecture" classes (Econ, Psych, Sociology) there is also an honors section only open to honors students. It will be much smaller (under 50 vs 200-400) and more rapid paced in what it covers. You are invited to apply now if your stats were high or you can just apply on your own. It's on-line.

    Also UW faculty have a strong tradition of teaching undergrads. More so than many peers.

    In Psychology for example they list three honors only classes and there is an honors section of intro to psych.

    280 Honors Course-Psychometric Methods.
    4 cr (S-I). P: 201 or 202 & honor stdt or cons inst.

    281 Honors Course-Introduction to Psychology.
    4 cr (S-E). P: Open to Fr.

    285 Honors Course-Experimental Psychology.
    5 cr (B-I). P: Psych 201 or 202 or 281 & 210 in honors psych, or cons inst.
  • episcopalepiscopal Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    B77, Wisky has 18 affiliated Nobels. Brandeis has the 2 you listed. Pick your battles man, pick your battles...

    IMO, HYPSM are the only schools worth turning down Wisky for, assuming you're in state.
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