Have you visited Wash U yet? Not that this is the best indicator, but the quality of the engineering buildings (the new ones and the old ones) impressed me immensely. They are probably one of the main aspects of the university that made me choose to apply ED. (applied planning on chemical engineering, but now thinking about biomedical)
@AsianGinger: your list of schools looks like my daughters!! We visited WashU last year and yes, it is a very impressive campus. Did you end up applying to the other schools as well? Is the campus feel of Penn completely different than the others?
I spent two weeks at Michigan last summer doing the Michigan Math and Science Scholars program. I LOVED the program, but I realized the the Michigan environment was too big for me to really do well there. In addition, I didn't like the fact that the engineering buildings are mostly on the North Campus. You had to take a bus to get there from my dorm, and I didn't like that it was so separate.
For Cornell, it was more about location. Ithaca is a great town, but I was looking for a bigger town or small city. Granted, St. Louis is in no way a "small" city, but when on campus I didn't feel like the city was daunting or too "busy." In addition, I am a Cornell legacy, and my mom (the alum) didn't want me applying to engineering there.
Penn was one of the tougher ones to weed out to get down to my #1 choice, but it really came down to location for me. I live 3 months out of the year in Michigan, though I'm from Connecticut, and I just really love the Midwestern atmosphere. Penn and Wash U were neck and neck for me academic program-wise, campus -wise, etc. but I knew that I wanted to be in the Midwest. Obviously, that is just my personal preference, and is probably not the same for most others, but Wash U just feels like a less cut-throat environment that is still challenging and presents great opportunities.
I ended up applying to Wash U, CWRU, Villanova, Chicago, Michigan, UVA, and Notre Dame, but I withdrew most of my applications.
(It was actually the toughest to turn down Notre Dame--my dad is an ND superfan and it would have been like family treason to have gone to Michigan :P )
WashU has a unique feel to it. It’s in the city but yet the enclosed campus and location felt somewhat surburban to us. Are there off campus areas the college kids like to frequent in addition to the Loop?
@AsianGinger: Did you consider Northwestern U or Princeton at any point? My d is interested in both of those. Their engineering facilities seemed on par with Wash U and she also enjoyed the local atmosphere just blocks from both of those campuses.
Regarding Michigan, she also did not favor the North campus location for their Engineering. Your comments about the college sports teams are funny. We try to give our kids the decision space but some of the bias is hard not to hide Plus, as parents, we too will get "peer pressure" or comments from our friends. It's nothing we can't handle- ha ha.
We will visit Cornell next month along with Tufts.
livn487 - In addition to the loop, I personally love a lot of the restaurants in the central west end (especially the dozens of italian restaurants in the hill). For a general reference frame, the CWE is the opposite side of forest park, near the med school.
Lots of students also go downtown quite often, but I'm too stuck-in-bubble for that (mainly because I don't think it's worth $$ to go to the bars down there when the loop is awesome).
I visited Princeton, but just had that feeling upon walking around campus that it wasn't the place for me--not sure how to explain it.
Northwestern was on my list of RD schools. This may sound like a stupid reason, but my best friend applied to Northwestern ED and, though I love her, I didn't want to go to school with a high school friend. I wanted to be forced to get out of my comfort zone. But as far as Northwestern's engineering program, I have nothing negative to say!
from perspective of parent of current female freshman BME major at WUSTL -
@MyChances1 @iozsan - Congrats on acceptance at Northwestern and Rice, as well as WUSTL. ALL of them have great BME programs, so you would be splitting hairs to compare them, or try to rank them. WUSTL is making a huge investment in Engin, and BME in particular; but then, that goes in cycles as well.
My suggestion is to look for other reasons to go to a particular school. Academic calendar (Northwestern is qtr, WUSTL semester; not necessarily better, just different), location, weather, $$, participation in sports, distance from family (not too close but not too far? - we live in Seattle area, so as a parent, I think Stl is too far). For my daughter, being able to participate in DIII sports was a crucial factor. Her team became automatic best buds, and a way to make the community smaller.
Good luck on your decision. Again, you should feel confident you will get a fabulous BME (or other major, if you decide to change) at any of the schools you mention.