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UNC Chapel Hill vs. Appalachian State University

LaLaInsanityLaLaInsanity Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited December 2013 in College Search & Selection

This is my first post on here, so bear with me. (: I have been accepted to six of my seven colleges and I have narrowed my choices down to Chapel Hill and ASU. I know several people think I'm completely insane for even having to make a choice between the two. Chapel Hill is probably the better school for academics overall. The name obviously carries notoriety. ASU is smaller and many outside of North Carolina may be unaware of its existence. Despite this, I find myself drawn to ASU over Chapel Hill.

I am interested in studying Environmental Science. I come from a private school in Charlotte, NC. My class only has 80 students in it. I'm towards the upper level of my class in terms of academics and participation in clubs and extracurriculars (Yearbook Editor, Stage Manager in Theater, NHS, Beta Club, French Club, Science Olympiad). I have received the Plemmons Leadership Scholarship for ASU (Though I did not get into the Honors College) and a small grant for Chapel Hill. The financial side of things is fairly even between both schools, and therefore not a deciding factor. I love mountains and the colder, rainy mountain weather. My parents both went to ASU, but are not pressuring me either way. I'm not incredible social and my two best friends from high school will be attending ASU next year. I would likely be rooming with one of them (We've thought through this very carefully). I will most likely be interested in attending graduate school after college.

Overall, I feel more comfortable going to ASU next year. The size and the environment all feel better at Appalachian State than Chapel Hill. However, Chapel Hill would most likely (I don't know this for sure) provide me with a better education and better career opportunities in the future. I could be happy at either school, but I feel sure I would be happier at ASU. I'm scared that I will feel guilty for not taking the opportunity to go to a school like Chapel Hill.

My question is whether I should choose a school because it is could get me a better job in the future or choose a school because I find it more fitting. Maybe I'm completely crazy for asking this, but I'm really struggling to make a decision. I take my academics very seriously and I want to make a decision that will suit me in both college and career endeavors.
Post edited by LaLaInsanity on

Replies to: UNC Chapel Hill vs. Appalachian State University

  • XtremePowerXtremePower Registered User Posts: 1,661 Senior Member
    I find myself drawn to ASU over Chapel Hill.

    If you are going by fit, I don't see the point of asking which is better. We can't tell which environment is better for you. Everyone here including you know that Chapel Hill is better academically. Its up to you to decide where you "fit".
  • LaLaInsanityLaLaInsanity Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks for your reply.

    My question is primarily whether I should choose a school that would probably get me a better job or should I choose a school I would enjoy more during my four years of college.

    I'm kind of stabbing in the dark here for advice from people who have struggled with making a final decision.
  • mamaduckmamaduck Registered User Posts: 672 Member
    I chose App (honors college) over UNC back in the dark ages. I do not regret it at all. I do regret staying at App for grad school, and not switching to UNC at that point. I loved App so much I never even considered applying elsewhere for grad school, which did hurt me later on in my career. I do not think I would have had trouble getting into very good grad schools - I just didn't want to. Many of my classmates did go on to other schools for graduate work.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,915 Senior Member
    You could think of it this way:
    if things aren't good for you
  • XtremePowerXtremePower Registered User Posts: 1,661 Senior Member
    whether I should choose a school that would probably get me a better job or should I choose a school I would enjoy more during my four years of college.

    How do you know that you won't enjoy UNC ? I am sure you will have a great time at any college. Yes, as above post mentioned, you should give Chapel Hill a try first. Almost everyone that's average can go to Appalachian State but at UNC, you really have to be in the top of your game to get in.
  • LaLaInsanityLaLaInsanity Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks everyone! These responses are really helping me think this through.

    UNC Asheville was on the radar for a while, but it definitely wasn't where I saw myself. Warren Wilson was a definite no. Size wasn't really a huge factor in my decisions.

    It's definitely true that I could start at UNC Chapel Hill and move to ASU if it wasn't a great fit. I'm sure I could be happy both places. I understand that Chapel Hill is a fantastic opportunity.

    This is all quite daunting. I never thought the decision process would be harder than the entire application process, but here I am.
  • kalimerakalimera Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    go to chapel hill!
  • slipper1234slipper1234 Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    Its pretty hard to not enjoy Chapel-Hill. Its such a wonderful school and it has a better reputation that at some point will help you (most likely). I believe that its the right choice and you will actually love it.
  • wbwawbwa Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    Let me argue that you need a reason to turn down UNC CH. And when you talk about deciding factors like "size" (UNC 18K undergrads, App St 15K undergrads ???), and being "not incredibly social," and "two best friends from high school will be attending ASU next year. I would likely be rooming with one of them" I worry that this decision is more about fear and looking for excuses to pursue the safe choice.

    Have to agree with Slipper here. CH is hard not to love and if you were to go there, you would probably soon be bleeding Sky Blue and questioning having considered going anywhere else. As for your particular area of study, Environmental Science is the ultimate integrated major. The basic science and social science applications will simply be much stronger at CH (possible exception to geology, not my field).

    Chapel Hill is a small town. The school is 80% in state, in your home state I might add. You're 18. This is the time to take some risk, pursue something new. And while this may be a bit out your comfort zone, this is no quantum leap. Again, be careful to question your motives and be honest with yourself.
  • MarsianMarsian Registered User Posts: 939 Member
    You have a difficult decision, and you seem to be going about it in just the right way. I would echo warbler's post. The only thing I would add is that both universities are ones that most students fall in love with once they are there (if they haven't already). Wherever you go, try not to look back and think "what if?" I don't think you can make a bad decision.
  • informativeinformative Registered User Posts: 1,900 Senior Member
    UNC is a MUCH better school, but I agree it comes down to where you feel the most comfortable. Just hope that you won't regret not getting that UNC degree in fifteen years.
  • LaLaInsanityLaLaInsanity Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    My friends going to ASU is not impacting my decision in any way. I simply thought I would provide some background. Also, by "size" I meant the campus at ASU really feels smaller to me, even though it barely is. I have been thinking about this decision in-depth for several months now. I fully understand how fantastic UNC is academically, but I honestly believe I could excel at ASU as well. The Plemmons Scholarship opens up a lot of leadership opportunities for me at App. The option to transfer is always there and I will probably go to graduate school in the future. That being said, reputation is important and UNC definitely does have the better reputation for employers.

    I really appreciate all of these replies. Reading through these and getting my thoughts out really helps me think through this decision. I'm still deciding between the two.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,871 Senior Member
    My friends going to ASU is not impacting my decision in any way.
    I think you should step back and make sure this is really true. I think ASU looks like the "safe" choice for you, and that may not be the best thing for your personal growth. On average, the students at UNC will be signficantly more accomplished and academically prepared than those at ASU, and I think this has a significant impact on the learning environment. There's nothing wrong with ASU, but as others have suggested, you need a really good reason to choose it over UNC, and liking the mountains isn't enough, in my opinion.
  • MarsianMarsian Registered User Posts: 939 Member
    Even if her friends are affecting her decision, I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing. Most of the students I know go to colleges where they already know other students from high school or church, and most branch out nicely, make plenty of new friends, and graduate as happy, well-adjusted adults. Some people thrive on moving forward in leaps and bounds. Others do better with a series of smaller steps. Leaving Charlotte to go 2-3 hours away from home may be a big enough step for her.

    This isn't an opinion on which one she should choose. I just hope that, whichever way she goes, she can embrace her decision and not look back.
  • LaLaInsanityLaLaInsanity Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks, Marsian, for understanding where I'm coming from. Thank you to everyone else for responding.

    I found out today the friend that I was thinking about rooming with is actually rooming with someone else (side effects of my late decision). This took away an interesting aspect of my decision (one that many of you seem to believe is the major influence on my decision). I will be searching for a new roommate either way now. I still find myself wanting to go to App. I talked to my high school counselor this morning (we have a fantastic one at my school who has been behind me for the entire process) and after a long chat filled with me laying out my reasoning, even she agreed that ASU would be a good choice for me. The more I think about this, the more it feels right to go to App. I have a hard time ignoring that gut feeling. That being said, I continue to mull it over.
This discussion has been closed.