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Penn State vs. Lehigh vs. Villanova

blueindianblueindian Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited April 2013 in College Search & Selection
Hey guys, I need help deciding between the three colleges. I got into all three for mechanical engineering and each have their own pros and cons.

Penn State: I want to go there because I feel like I will be comfortable there. It feels like its a relaxed atmosphere and theres a lot of school pride (WE ARE). Also, a lot of my close friends are going there. With the largest alumni network in the country, I feel like I wont have a problem getting a job. Penn State is ranked the highest in engineering between the three. But the scandal may affect the university in a negative way in the future and also that fact that its a public school makes me think that I might not have too many opportunities. Penn State will cost around 20,000 per year.

Lehigh: This is where I want to go to pursue my dreams (Imagineer at Disney) because many of their students work and intern at disney. Also the campus is absolutely gorgeous. There is a sense of prestige in the name Lehigh apparently which would be a benefit. Their alumni network isnt nearly as big as Penn State's but they are extremely powerful and influential. But they refuse to hand out any financial aid information until mid to late April which is ridiculous and that makes me mad and not want to go there. The kids there are apparently all rich white kids who just want to party all day. So diversity is a negative.

Villanova: This school will the cheapest of the three, unless Lehigh gives me basically full tuition. Villanova will only cost 9,000 per year. Villanova's kids are similar to Lehigh (rich white kids, Vanillanova) which is also a negative. Their engineering program doesnt really have big research opportunities because they are only a regional school. Villanova is in Philly which could a plus because of its connections but I hate Philly and cities in general. I'm Presbyterian so Villanova's Catholic influence in not a plus or a minus.

Thanks ahead to anyone who helps me and answers my question.
Post edited by blueindian on

Replies to: Penn State vs. Lehigh vs. Villanova

  • blueindianblueindian Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I forget to say that art or studio art will be a major factor in the three colleges. I want to major/minor in it.
  • krcheti451krcheti451 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    The scandal wont be a big deal in the future, especially to alumni, Personally, I would go to Penn State because it offers the best value by far, and I am assuming it has a fun, diverse campus. I am currently deciding between Wake forest and UGA for pre-law. So sort of a similar situation. I would love to go to Wake but the cost is 45k a year vs UGA's 6k. I am sure Lehigh is a great school that has a wonderful college experience to offer, but you need to consider whether or not the extra cost is worthit, especially when Penn State has a good engineering program.
  • XtremePowerXtremePower Registered User Posts: 1,661 Senior Member
    " The kids there are apparently all rich white kids who just want to party all day."

    No, there will be plenty of people that are there to study.

    All of them are white dominated so non of them are diverse. Villanova is only 9k ? That's an awesome deal. Between Villanova and Lehigh, Villanova wins because it very cheap. Choose Penn State if you want a big university, Villanova if you want small college experience. Education quality should be same at both.
  • blueindianblueindian Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    @XtremePower If you say that the education quality will be the same at both Penn State and Villanova, would the extra 11k justify going to Penn State?
  • FlyMeToTheMoonFlyMeToTheMoon Registered User Posts: 2,570 Senior Member
    Penn State is by far the best choice for you. Even you have listed more pros for Penn State than your other two choices. But the most important factor is that you feel comfortable there.
  • Etuck24Etuck24 Registered User Posts: 1,386 Senior Member
    If you can afford Penn State, do it. I am a big proponent of the happier you are at a school the better you'll do. If you feel at home at PSU, thats going to be the best fit. The only people who view PSU negatively educationally are idiots on ESPN message boards who aren't the ones that do the hiring.

    Although, If you are really into diversity like it seems so based on your Lehigh bit, Penn State isn't necessarily the UN. Its prominent white kids, not all, theres folks from all around the globe there, but there's also a lot of rich white party kids there too.
  • GMAndrewsGMAndrews Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I'm just finishing up my first year at PSU and I'm hoping to transfer to Lehigh for next semester so perhaps I can be of some help.

    You are right that Penn State is a big school. It is HUGE - there are 43,000 students at University Park alone, and you definitely notice. So if you're looking for a big school with lots of spirit, look no further. While it's easy to feel a little lost, having 43,000 students means that sooner or later you're bound to find people with whom you have lots in common, and probably even a group or club that shares whatever interests you have, no matter how unusual (there are something like 900 clubs/organizations on campus). With regards to the scandal/spirit thing, it hasn't affected anything here except the number of people wearing shirts with rude comments about the NCAA.

    Academically, Penn State does have a great reputation as an engineering school, which is part of the reason I came here, but thus far I haven't been impressed. The professors are all quite good, but I've been pretty dissatisfied with the way a lot of the engineering classes are structured. They seem to do their grading based on what they want the average to be - in Dynamics (standard ME class), you can pass the tests as long as you write down the problem-solving steps they advocate and maybe a few equations - even if you don't do anything else. But I digress. I suppose my biggest complaint about the engineering department here is that it doesn't feel (to me at least) like it lives up to its reputation - the classes are too easy and very few of the students seem to be that interested or engaged.

    In terms of "rich white kids" and partying - as someone said above, all three schools will inundate you with both. There are lots of international students here, which is very cool, but it's still predominantly white. And there is a LOT of partying which, if you're anything like me, is pretty annoying. A lot of students come in as engineers and end up having to switch majors as their grades drop.

    Anyway, I've rambled long enough. PSU is a good school if you're looking for somewhere with a solid reputation and lots of spirit, but it hasn't really been the place for me. I'm hoping to find myself at Lehigh come the autumn because as you say, it's a beautiful campus, and one that's smaller and still highly regarded. I'm not particularly worried about the rankings - at the end of the day it's just a number and they don't calculate those in a way that indicates what your particular experience will be (having said that, Lehigh is ranked very highly for its value...).

    I don't know anything about Villanova really, but between Lehigh and PSU I would (and hopefully will) choose the former. Hope that helps! :)
  • blueindianblueindian Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    @GMAndrews Thanks for your in-depth reply. Ill consider everything you said and hopefully youll end at Lehigh!
  • Applelover23Applelover23 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Penn State is the worst school of the three. Lehigh has the best academics, but the people there tend to be rich and there is nothing to do except party. Villanova is a regional school, but has great school spirit (better than Penn State) and has great volunteering opportunities, and you have access to Philadelphia.
This discussion has been closed.