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Choosing a college is so hard...

toolegittoquittoolegittoquit Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
I feel so conflicted. I know I won't have to make a decision until April, but I already feel so much anxiety about where I'm actually going to college next year.

School #1:
For the longest time, I've always known the school I'd end up going to. It's not extremely hard to get into it (about 50% accepted) but it's still in the top 100 schools. My mom went there. Both of my siblings attend there right now. I would love to join them next year and that has always been the plan. I'm guaranteed full tuition, but probably not room and board. I know it would be a good experience for me and I'd be surrounded by people very similar to me. The only thing is that it's a very big school and I'd be attending lectures for at least freshman/sophomore year with 200 other students. Depending on my major, the junior/senior classes will be a bit smaller.

School #2:
However, I just did an all-day college tour/preview for a university that I was never planning to actually attend. I am guaranteed a full-ride (that includes tuition, room, board, meal plan, student activity card) and it is in the top 50 schools in the nation. It has so many amazing opportunities (some similar and some different to the other university). I loved the vibe of the campus and I even got to sit in on a class. The school guarantees that only the real professor teaches the class (never the TA) and the class I attended honestly felt just like my AP/IB classes at school. I liked the familiarity of it all. For core classes, there is only about 20 people per class. For major specific courses, there is about 10. Also, I want to go to medical school and they have lots of undergrad research opportunities. Plus, due to small class sizes, you can really form a bond with your professors and have access to more resources and get great letters of recommendation. Graduates from this university have an 80-90% acceptance rate to medical school.

Back to School #1:
Research opportunities, study abroads, internships, etc. are also very available at the other school. You just have to fight a little more for those positions and they aren't as emphasized. The school is 3x as big as the other one, so research/volunteer/internship positions are very competitive. But, they have a great career center who are willing to help if you ask for it. Also, they have a 75% acceptance rate to medical school...which is still really good, but a little bit lower than the other school. And they have a specific study abroad program that I've been excited to go on.

I really want to be with my siblings, but I also want to make the best decision for me... I don't want to regret my choice after a semester.

Advice on what I should do? Or how I should go about choosing? Thanks!

Replies to: Choosing a college is so hard...

  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,295 Senior Member
    If you are guaranteed a free ride at a higher ranked college with smaller classes and better placement, and you visitied it and you loved it, then the correct answer seems pretty obvious to me. Your siblings will still love you, you will see them on breaks, and you will see a lot of them for the rest of your life.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,601 Forum Champion
    edited September 2016
    <<<
    am guaranteed a full-ride (that includes tuition, room, board, meal plan, student activity card) and it is in the top 50 schools in the nation. It
    >>>

    ?
    What "top 50 school" has a guaranteed full ride???




    >>>
    I need a 35-36 for a certain merit scholarship at one of my top choice schools.

    But, here's the breakdown of my ACT scores:
    June: 32 (E:31 M: 32 R: 33 S: 33)
    September: ...32 (E: 35 M: 33 R: 31 S: 28)

    My superscore is a 34, but that doesn't mean much to the colleges I'm applying to, unfortunately.
    <<<
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,601 Forum Champion
    edited September 2016
    <<<<
    Graduates from this university have an 80-90% acceptance rate to medical school.
    <<<


    The school is NOT saying that 80-90% of its graduates get accepted to med school. It might be saying that after their WEEDING and advising, that 80-90% of their med school applicants get into med school. But, that really doesn't tell you anything about YOUR chances as a premed at this school.


    School #1. <<< Also, they have a 75% acceptance rate to medical school...which is still really good, but a little bit lower than the other school. >>>

    Again, none of this has anything to do with you. This does NOT mean that at school #1 you only have a 75% chance but at School #2 you have a 80-90% chance of getting into med school.

    NONE of those stats tell YOU anything about YOU or your chances.
  • toolegittoquittoolegittoquit Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    @mom2collegekids I don't actually need a 35-36 anymore. I discovered new information about that. But I am going to retake because I'm already signed up.

    They aren't giving me a full ride based on academics or athletics. But I will have everything covered. Based on what the admission officers told me today, I qualify for a merit scholarship ($20-26k/year) and an additional $35k/year just because my dad is a professor there. It was just easier to group these two together under the term "full ride."

    All those stats for medical school admissions were trying to prove is that those students were well-prepared and were given and had the initiative to take the proper opportunities to get into medical school. I was not trying to imply that my own chances were that high :)
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,601 Forum Champion
    <<<
    All those stats for medical school admissions were trying to prove is that those students were well-prepared and were given and had the initiative to take the proper opportunities to get into medical school.
    >>>


    That still doesn't mean that that school A's students have a worse chance than school B's students.

    Undergrad's don't "prepare" students for the MCAT or for med school.
  • SOSConcernSOSConcern Registered User Posts: 3,778 Senior Member
    So OP, is the school #1 or #2?

    Are you excited about it?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,601 Forum Champion
    edited September 2016
    It appears that BYU is her safety (school that mom and siblings go/went to)

    And Pepperdine is the school her dad works for and where she'd get the combo of aid.

    I'd be really surprised if Pepperdine has that high of a med school acceptance simply because it's in Calif and probably many of its students are instate....even tho it's private


    BYU does NOT have a high acceptance rate to med schools.

    >>>
    In 2010, there were 367 students at BYU who applied to medical school. Out of those 367, 108 applied to both M.D. and D.O. schools, 216 to only M.D. schools and 43 to D.O. schools.

    The highest acceptance rate belonged to those who applied to both M.D. and D.O. schools at 70 percent.

    The overall acceptance rate was 60 percent.
    <<<

    And, I would bet that their MD acceptance rate is about 50%.


    Let me see if I can find out what Pepperdine's true acceptance rate is.

    Edit...

    >>>For the past several years, the usual percent of accepted applicants is between 60% to 70%. We have about 20 to 30 Pepperdine students that apply to medical school each year.
    >>>

    Pepperdine's acceptance rate to med schools is 60-70%. THEY have a SMALL number of students even applying! Only 20-30 students applying!

  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,372 Forum Champion
    If you prefer school 2 for its academic and research opportunities and you are guaranteed a full ride then it seems like a great match, especially with grad school in your plans. No need to follow your mom and siblings.

    I would be very careful about the med school acceptance rate. A number of colleges only support the applications of a select number of students who they feel have an excellent chance for med school acceptance. You need to find out if the denominator of that 90% acceptance rate is the number of students the school supports for the med school application process rather than the number of students interested in applying to med school.
  • toolegittoquittoolegittoquit Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    @mom2collegekids
    It says 70-90% on this link for Pepperdine and my tour guide said 85%.

    http://seaver.pepperdine.edu/naturalscience/student-opportunities/students/

    And I'm not super concerned about the medical school admission rate for my university. It was just another interesting point. As a small liberal arts school I would expect the number of applicants to be around 20-30.

    But I didn't want this post to be about numbers. I just want my future university to feel right for me.
  • toolegittoquittoolegittoquit Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    @happy1 Excellent point about the denominator. I don't really care too much about the number though. (I regret bringing it up now.) I'm really more focused on the experience and overall opportunity I will get in college.

    I don't know yet which I prefer academically, socially, and research wise. that's why I'm so confused! I can't figure out what I want. I like different things about both.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,372 Forum Champion
    You have plenty of time to figure it out.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,601 Forum Champion
    Which Univ do you like better? It really doesn't matter - education wise - just pick the one you like best.
This discussion has been closed.