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ASU Barrett vs U of A Honors College

sozz323sozz323 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
My daughter is accepted at both ASU Barretts/U of A Honors with full-tuition scholarship (yay)

She has her heart set on attending an out-of-state private college, but we won't hear from any of them until April 1. I'm expecting she will not get into any of those (unfortunately she set her sights a bit too high), so she'll have to decide between the two state honors colleges. My inclination is toward Barrett's but she really doesn't want to stay local.

Is there that big of a difference between U of A Honors and Barrett's? Anyone have any insight?

Thanks in advance!

Replies to: ASU Barrett vs U of A Honors College

  • geezbruhgeezbruh Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Congratulations on your daughter's acceptance into both Barrett and U of A Honors. I would say Barrett is the better of the two. I hear more about Barrett than U of A Honors, and if I were in her position I'd choose ASU for sure. Perhaps she should investigate both a bit more to reach a decision she is happy with.
  • sozz323sozz323 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    The difficult part is researching beyond the 'marketing' fluff and getting into the real substantive differences between the two. We're originally from the Midwest and have never heard of Barrett's before we moved to Az. I appreciate your taking the time to reply.
  • sozz323sozz323 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful answer. I truly appreciate the time you took to respond.
    Much of what you wrote resonates with where I am right now on this topic. I had read some of the references you included and investigated the new ones you provided.

    I have come full circle in this application season - I should caveat my remarks by saying I am a Duke alumnus who went to medical school (ironic that your example seemed to know me) - and while I fantasized about my daughter attending Duke, I didn't realistically believe it would happen. And it won't. So while I have personal first-hand experience with the value of an elite private college education (albeit long ago and at a much lower price tag), I am determined to stay open-minded about viable alternatives.

    Your insights have solidified where I have landed - the opportunity to attend a public Honors college and graduate with no debt has more value than basking in the glow of an elite college acceptance.

    Again - I appreciate your time.
  • BorgityBorgBorgityBorg Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    My general sense is that Barrett has attracted more of the state's top students than UA's Honors College. For example, my sense is ASU (and presumably Barrett as part of that) has attracted more Flinn Scholars than UA or NAU. (Here's a 2015 ASU press release saying that 15 of the 21 that year went to ASU: https://asunow.asu.edu/content/majority-states-brightest-flinn-scholars-choose-asu).

    Some of that advantage (both Flinn and more broadly) is probably due to the fact that ASU jumped into the Honors College arms race -- its own dorm, etc. -- before UA did, some of that advantage is probably due simply to proximity -- Phoenix is just bigger than Tucson. Those two things in and of themselves, of course, don't matter much to your daughter's decision, just potentially explaining why ASU has a higher visibility.

    EngPII gives a nice response on the relative merits of each program.

    We know a lot of folks who have gone to Barrett (and to UA) and haven't heard bad things about them at all. ASU (and Barrett) will be our D19's safety, and we'd be fine with her going there if that's where the decisions end up.
  • sozz323sozz323 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Thank you for this information - it is VERY helpful.
  • usma87usma87 Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    I am biased - son in Barrett. The Honors college is also one of the few to require a thesis with defense as part of the graduation requirement. When my son started 4 years ago, only ASU and Princeton had this requirement. I really like the dedicated dorms. ASU is a large school, but Barrett gives you the feel of being in a smaller school. Barrett recently expanded to over 7,000 students.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,543 Senior Member
    I haven't read the whole thread, but my impression is that the Univ. of Arizona Honors Program is not structured well.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 3,590 Senior Member
    I don't feel like anyone's directly compared the two approaches yet.

    Barrett is a core curriculum honors program -- everyone takes the Human Event course sequence.
    U of A is more of a choose your own adventure -- you pick the honors courses and other opportunities you want.

    Barrett is its own self-contained sub-campus while U of A honors is in one academic/advising building plus two dorms. However, they may be breaking ground on their own honors complex this year.

    DD visited both, but in the end applied only to U of A. It's a little stronger in her major areas of interest.
  • Parentof2014gradParentof2014grad Registered User Posts: 781 Member
    We live in Arizona and my two older kids were each admitted to both Barrett and UA honors college. We visited both, twice. Both kids ultimately chose smaller out of state, non-elite privates. We know lots of kids at both Barrett and UA. We know at least one student who was admitted to Barrett but not the honors college at UA, which makes me wonder if UA is maybe more selective. It’s certainly a smaller honors college in terms of numbers of students.

    At UA we felt like the main benefits were early registration, extra support, and honors housing. Barrett is a more strongly defined program. On both visits we made, we came away very impressed with UA as a whole, and the various departments we visited, and maybe a bit less so with ASU as a whole. One of our Barrett visits just happened to be led by the dean, the other more recent one was led by an admissions person.

    Barrett really does have good dining. At UA it’s best to register for housing early as it fills up, Both schools have reasonable honors housing, although located to one corner of campus. Could be a long walk to classes. My older D is a senior this year. Her friends who went to Barrett seemed to have good experiences and the ones I am more aware of are graduating a semester early and heading to grad school. One I recall at UA was not in the honors college as far as I know but is also headed to grad school.
    I’d say both are good choices, depending on what particular things matter most to your D
  • sozz323sozz323 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Thanks to everyone who has weighed in on this thread!

    As an update, D was accepted ED II (last minute change from EA to increase her chances) at Tulane which was one of her top choices.

    It's really tough to walk away from the merit packages from the in-state schools, but her one consistent desire was to go to a smaller school out of state.

    I was leaning toward Barrett's if none of the out-of-state schools came through after the advice/info from this thread and my own independent research.
This discussion has been closed.