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UCB vs University of Rochester vs Barnard

melbellswellmelbellswell Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
Hi:) So right now these are my top choices. I'm planning of majoring in some form of biology, though I'd prefer to specialize in molecular b, cellular b, or biochem if possible. I'll do a pros con list...thanks for any help/advice

-warm weather, closer to home, in state tuition (still waiting to see if given any money)
-great molecular/cellular biology program
-cool city, great reputation
-HUGE school, less access to professors
-apparently super competitive in the biology department because premeds (I'm not necessarily premed myself, so does this matter?)
-impersonal professors/faculty unless I'm fighting hard for attention
-grade deflation

University of Rochester
-amazing research being done, lots of opportunities for involvement
-smaller classes, but big enough campus to allow diversity
-beautiful grounds, quirky town
-top-notch science departments (well funded, small research school)
-access to a nursing school, large focus on music, open curriculum
-independent, non-mainstream environment:)))
-yellow jackets=mascot=terrifying
-far from home
*maybe not as well known generally, but I imagine most schools recognize UR's value

-affiliated with Columbia so that I take classes there and get a degree=basically ivy league status
-small, liberal arts environment with research university resources
-located in NYC=great for internships, college experience, culture
-respected science department with access to other majors as well
-GREAT financial aid (about 41 k in grant, another 8k in work study/loans)
-women's college
-women's college-->strange environment for me, not sure if empowering or isolating (probably empowering)
-tension between Barnard and Columbia students (myth???)
-cold, big city, expensive should financial aid not continue
-not sure science department is as strong as my other choices

I also got accepted to Case Western Reserve University, Wesleyan University, and UC Davis...I'm not really considering them (even with about 40k in aid at both private places) because of location, students profiles, and other non vital issues...should I be?

ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED. I'm the type of person who would prefer a smaller college with great academics...I care less about prestige, but a lot about quality. I definitely want grad school, law, or med, but I'm not sure yet. I love people and intellectualism, and I think crazy competition would really bum me out. Nevertheless, I'm also from Southern California and have very little experience with the cold...UCB is my only real West coast options

*Waitlisted at Rice and Vanderbilt...should I accept a place at either???

SORRY THIS IS SO LONG....more beneficial for myself than anything else really to write all this out

Replies to: UCB vs University of Rochester vs Barnard

  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    Why should financial aid not continue at Barnard? This is key to keeping it on your list. I think Wes is a very attractive school. Quality of life and intellectualism. Davis is a perfectly viable west coast option as well, I don't understand why you think not? Think about waitlist later. That's an afterthought as you won't likely get off one.
  • melbellswellmelbellswell Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Thank you for the response BrownParent! The financial aid at Barnard might not continue because they told me that it was based upon the fact that I have two older brothers in college. Should it reduce significantly when they graduate, I don't know if my family could afford a 40 or 60 k hit, meaning I would have to consider debt or transferring. As for Wes, it's beautiful, I've just heard a lot about it being big on weed and partying (while remaining wonderfully intellectual), so it just doesn't really fit my personality. It is a great school however and I feel blessed by the opportunity. As for Davis...it's a cow town that I hate, and UCB has more to offer if I'm going to go the public school route. It was my safety school, so I've never been to enthusiastic about it, even though it's an amazing place to attend. Again, mostly just student body size and location for that one.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,452 Senior Member
    For all schools, try the net price calculator with the future year scenarios for one graduating, then both graduating, to get estimates of what it will look like in those events. Discuss the results with your parents.
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