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Decision: Ohio State vs University of Alabama

d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
I was accepted by both schools into my major of mechanical engineering, both have accepted me into their honors programs, and I have received my merit scholarship information from both. At UA, I got the Presidential, full tuition scholarship (plus a small engineering scholarship). At OSU, I received the National Buckeye out of state scholarship + Maximus. I live in Illinois, so both are out of state, but UA would cost me around $11k per year and OSU would be like $22k per year.
My stats (for reference):
34 ACT
4.58 GPA
Mostly AP/honors
My school doesn't class rank, but the OSU regional recruiter said she thought I'm probably top 1%.

Academics: Now, OSU's engineering program is ranked like 27, but UA is like 105. That is a big difference, but I realize rankings aren't everything, and UA was one of the first five colleges to offer engineering, so they have a pretty solid program. I just don't know if OSU's more prestigious program is worth the extra money. The hard part is, I know for a fact that I'm the type of student who will do whatever I need to do to be successful no matter where I go,

Opportunities: OSU has more of the clubs/extracurriculars that I'm looking for and it has a bigger alumni network. I'm in the honors program at both. I'm waiting to hear back from the Eminence Fellows program at OSU which is unbeatable. Meanwhile, I was rejected from University Fellows at Bama, but I am a finalist for Computer Based Honors Program. To me, CBHP would be awesome if I went to Bama, but it's not a deciding factor.

Location: OSU is an urban campus, which I prefer, and I like Columbus and all the internship opportunities and benefits that come with it. It's also a 6 hour drive, whereas UA is a 12 hour drive. I do like the warm Alabama, but it's definitely a college-town.

Ambiance/vibes: I feel my personality and studious-emphasis fits in much better at OSU. I'm don't drink and I'm not a huge partner, so I don't plan on joining a frat, but Bama is so Greek-heavy that I feel like I'd be an outlier. Also, not saying that the students at Bama aren't smart, but it's just much easier to get in with lower stats, and I feel like being surrounded by others more similar to me is a big benefit of OSU, especially on my social life.

I'm still waiting to hear back on the super competitive full tuition and full ride scholarships I applied for at OSU, but if I got either of those, I'm definitely going to be a Buckeye. But, I can't rely on those whatsoever, so I'm just trying to decide if I should suck it up and save some money by going to Bama (and graduate WITHOUT DEBT--I know, unheard of!) or if it's worth it to cough up the cash for the better academic and social opportunities at OSU.

Any and all input is appreciated, because there may be something I haven't considered. I know it's my decision, but it's really tough (even though I'm leaning towards OSU) and I like hearing others' opinions. Thanks!

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Replies to: Decision: Ohio State vs University of Alabama

  • d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Oh! I forgot to mention that Bama's priority housing deadline is Feb 1, but I cant submit a housing depost without enrolling... OSU doesnt have a priority deadline, but they do it in the order enrollment and housing deposits were received. Thus, idk if I should submit my deposits to Bama. And, since both require enrollment before housing, I cant submit both
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  • eopjd9898eopjd9898 19 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21 New Member
    edited January 2017
    Based on everything you've mentioned, I think Ohio State is the way to go for you. Although it may be more expensive, the experience and overall academic prestige will be worth it in the long run, not to mention the fact that OSU is located in a big city, Columbus, which is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and GREAT for job/internship opportunities. Go Bucks!
    edited January 2017
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  • d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Thanks for sharing your opinion! Now I'd be interested to hear from a Bama parent or someone with a UA favorable opinion. Always gotta consider both sides!

    Keep opinions coming please :)
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  • LBad96LBad96 3442 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,499 Senior Member
    All things equal, including Honors College at both, Ohio State would be a better choice by quite a bit.
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  • d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Thanks for your opinion! @LBad96 @eopjd9898
    Waiting for a big Bama supporter/parent to argue the other way haha ( @mom2collegekids ?)
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  • merethingmerething 160 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    It'd probably depend on how much debt you'd be going into in order to attend OSU. There's only a certain amount you can borrow each year without your parents cosigning the loan.
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  • d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    edited January 2017
    @merething Ill pm you
    edited January 2017
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  • AlbionGirlAlbionGirl 807 replies92 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 899 Member
    LBad96 is consistently negative about Bama for reasons that escape me since he has never been there. It is not hard at all to find friends who aren't in a fraternity, and you won't have trouble finding academically able people to hang out with. More than 40% of the incoming class last year had an ACT score of 30 or higher. UA engineering is accredited just like the program at OSU.
    I understand the appeal of having a university in a larger town with the internship possibilities being closer by, but only you know if it is worth the extra money.
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  • d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    @AlbionGirl respect. Thanks!
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  • d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Thanks @Wien2NC ! Good luck with your decision
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  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek 4463 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,518 Senior Member
    @d012939 I have a son who is a chemE who graduated from a small public university (ranked regionally, not nationally) as well as a son who is in CBH and majoring in physics and math. Here is my perspective fwiw.

    My chemE ds co-oped alongside students from NCSU, GT, and VA Tech. At graduation he had multiple job offers from different regions of the country. He chose to work for a top global chemical company. He works alongside grads form the engineering powerhouses (UM, UT, UF, GT, etc). His career has not been determined by his school name. New hires all start at the same level and pay and promotions are based on job performance, not school name.

    My ds at Bama is a top student. He graduated from high school having completed 5 of his in-major physics core classes as well diffEQ, linear alg, and multivariable cal. He would in no way suggest that Bama is "beneath him." He loves it there. CBH has been awesome and he has been participating in research since his freshman yr. Last yr he applied to 6 extremely competitive summer REUs for the summer between soph and jr yr. He was accepted by 3. (In case you aren't familiar with REUs, that is a great outcome.) At his REU, other students were from MIT, ND, UPenn, Rice, Case, etc. Obviously, his being from Bama did not keep him from being accepted. ;)

    Anyway, we are a family whose kids are strong students but attendance is based on finances. They attend and run with every opportunity they are offered. Our current high school sr has been invited to some pretty amazing interview opportunities. She is every bit as advanced as her brother and yet the schools are all pretty on par with Bama in rank. Zero qualms. She'll be every bit as successful as her siblings bc it college outcomes have a lot to do with what the student does while they are there. Be a student who matters,

    If you go to CBH weekend, look for the tall physics geek....he'll tell you just how awesome Bama is, not bc he has to but bc he absolutely has experienced it.
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  • d012939d012939 73 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    @Mom2aphysicsgeek Thanks for your thorough response! Now we have a real discussion on our hands! haha. I am attending the CBHP interview weekend, and I will definitely look for your son to speak with him
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  • LBad96LBad96 3442 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,499 Senior Member
    @AlbionGirl lol. I'm stating facts. Don't know why people always feel compelled to call me out when I haven't even said anything negative about Bama at all *rolls eyes*
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  • soyunchicosoyunchico 498 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 525 Member
    I've told you my opinion, but i think you'll find your niche at either. P.S. Go Bucks!
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