I was surprised on Ivy Day to learn that I have been admitted to Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Princeton. Of these, I have eliminated only Dartmouth as an option. Other than that, I am mostly clueless. I have visited Brown, Columbia, and Princeton. I am partial to Brown and Columbia because they I've always preferred the vibe and resources of city schools. I don't think there's anything hypocritical about being interested in both open and core curriculum schools--if I go to Brown, I'll create my own sort of "core," as I believe in the importance of reading and studying the classics in ALL areas (literature, philosophy, science, etc.). At the same time, I appreciate the flexibility of the Brown curriculum, and the pass/fail option, as I'll taking more advanced classes outside of my major won't threaten my GPA. I understand that the "prestige" rankings go: Princeton > Columbia > Brown, from highest to lowest. Each school interests me, but something clicks with me at Columbia and Brown. Naturally, everyone in my family and community is pushing me towards Princeton for its brand and stellar reputation. Princeton's campus is very nice, and I've heard good things from former students.I intend to major in English and attend graduate school (law or business) post-grad. In a rankings list I stumbled upon, the English dept. at Brown ranked higher than that of Princeton and Columbia. Any thoughts? Is the difference in reputation (in the eyes of grad schools and employers) really that significant between Princeton and Brown? How about the difference in English dept. at Brown and Columbia? Thanks.
On a last note, my feelings towards Brown are largely influenced by a friend of mine who is a freshman at Brown, and who has, to say the least, fallen head-over-heels in love with Brown. (Note: I understand that what's right for him might not be right for me. But the open curriculum and "happiest students in the country" thing sound like a good deal.)