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UC Berkeley vs Emory(Oxford) vs UCLA vs University of Florida(Honors college)

IndianSupermanIndianSuperman Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
Hello everyone I am a high school senior from Florida who was accepted to all the universities stated above. I plan to study economics and cognitive science. I am trying to decide which University to attend. I originally wanted to go to a small school because I didn't want to be another student lost in the crowd with lecture hall classes. But most of the universities I have been admitted into are extremely large publics. I was wondering if that feeling is apparent at the UCs and if the UC schools are worth the oos cost. Also can Emory and Florida be compared to the UCs in terms of quality of education and respect? Thanks.

Replies to: UC Berkeley vs Emory(Oxford) vs UCLA vs University of Florida(Honors college)

  • IndianSupermanIndianSuperman Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,328 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    Emory is very good (top-25...) and Florida is good and improving. Berkeley and UCLA are two of the top state schools.

    I think your decision should come down to the following, among any other things you find important:

    Fit
    - Small(ish) private school (Emory) vs. three big state schools.
    - Atlanta vs. LA vs. Bay Area vs. Gainesville -- in terms of culture, entertainment, weather, etc.
    - Try to find out how hard it is to get into the majors you are considering, at each of the schools. I'm guessing it's easier at UF and Emory than at the UCs, but I may be wrong or partly wrong.
    - Sports scene -- three big rah-rah sports schools vs. Emory, which is D3 and lacks varsity football. (if you want to see cfb in Atlanta, there's GA Tech...)
    - Most of your classes will be smaller at Oxford your first two years than they will be at the three state schools. Emory might hold that advantage once you get into your major -- check average class sizes.
    - Cost -- can you afford all of them without taking on (much) debt? If you are considering grad school, you'll especially want to limit your debt.
    - Dorms and food -- you have to eat and sleep there for most of four years. See if you can visit and test things out. You might be able to plan one trip to UF and Emory and make a trip out to CA and hit both LA and Berkeley.
  • IndianSupermanIndianSuperman Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    Is Berkeley undergrad significantly better than my other options?
  • mommyrocksmommyrocks Registered User Posts: 1,218 Senior Member
    Berkeley is considered the number 1 public university in the USA. It is the most prestigious university on your list. However, you need to be able to afford where you are attending. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to UF-Honors if that is your most affordable option. Florida is very highly regarded, and especially known and well-connected in the Southeast with tons of alumni. Do you enjoy living in Florida? Do you think you will want to make your career there after college? Then definitely go to UF! You'll be able to bond with alumni in the state and hang out your UF flag for the rest of your life.

    It is interesting to me though that you chose to apply to two places in California. Were you hoping to move far away from home and experience life on the west coast? Is that a goal of yours, to move there for work if not for college? Moving across the country is easiest while you are in college. However, if the finances would be a total stretch or near impossible, then you have to accept realities and got with what is affordable.

    Emory-Oxford is the only outlier here, and the only one that would allow you to start off with the small setting. It is very expensive though, and if you are going to pay tons of money for a university, it seems that going with a more prestigious Berkeley or UCLA would be better than Emory. But if you love Atlanta and want to wind up there, then it is worth considering going to Emory. There are tons of Emory grads in Atlanta in hiring positions, and that could get your foot in the door when you graduate and are looking for a job.

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,620 Super Moderator
    edited April 2017
    Is money going to be a factor?
    I see that you are a Florida resident. Are your parents willing to pay 200K for you to attend Berkeley (as you will not be eligible for any financial aid other than loans)?
  • IndianSupermanIndianSuperman Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    How strong is Berkeley for Econ/ Cog Sci?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,728 Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    UCB does offer the option of taking intermediate economics courses with a more mathematical treatment (using multivariable calculus) than the other schools. However, you do need a 3.0 GPA in the prerequisites to declare the economics major.

    Of course, paying attention to the price differences between the schools, consider your own economic choices.

    If you want to go on to PhD study in economics, you will want to take additional advanced math, such as proof-based linear algebra, real analysis, and calculus-based probability theory, regardless of what school you attend.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,912 Forum Champion
    You've been asked a few times about affordability of the UCs.

    What are your parents saying about pay all OOS costs for a UC....about $60k per year.
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