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Notre Dame (Mendoza) vs. Vanderbilt (College of Arts and Sciences) vs. UT Austin (McCombs BHP)

Mjp621Mjp621 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I am currently deciding between the University of Notre Dame (Mendoza School of Business), Vanderbilt (College of Arts and Sciences), and UT Austin (McCombs BHP). I am likely going to major in Finance, which I am aware Vanderbilt does not offer as an undergraduate major. However, I have always loved and excelled at Biology, which I would also like to major in.

Money is not an issue. My dad has saved a good amount of money for college since his parents didn't want him to go to college, so it has been his dream to send his kids to a top undergraduate school. However, I do have a full ride to UT Austin.

All three offer competitive academics, but it's the communities that set them apart. Some people think Notre Dame isn't as fun as other schools due to strict rules, but I have also heard that they do not affect the social scene very much. Greek life seems to dominate Vanderbilt, where 43% of undergraduates participate in Greek life, and as someone who is ambivalent on joining a frat, I am worried how that affects social life at Vandy. As a sports fan, I like that Vanderbilt is a part of the SEC conference, but it seems like student attendance at games is low. And UT Austin is one of the biggest schools in the nation, but I have heard that the groups and organizations students participate in makes the university seem smaller. I am also worried that Austin, as fun as it is, distracts students from University events and weakens overall school spirit.

One other factor is that I am biased towards Notre Dame: my family is Catholic, I have been watching Notre Dame football since I was little, my sister goes there, etc. If any of y'all could give a third person perspective or any advise on all of this, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Replies to: Notre Dame (Mendoza) vs. Vanderbilt (College of Arts and Sciences) vs. UT Austin (McCombs BHP)

  • Mjp621Mjp621 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,803 Senior Member
    You say money is not an issue, but you do mention it.
    What are the net prices? If it's a full ride at Texas vs. full sticker elsewhere, and you like all of them, then it's hard to justify paying that much more for ND or Vanderbilt unless your family is quite wealthy (especially since Vanderbilt doesn't even have the program you really want and business schools at the other 2 are both highly regarded.)

  • luloobeeluloobee Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Notre Dame : )

    Since your sister is there you probably have some idea of the strong sense of camaraderie and spirit. The dorms act as fraternities/sororities--without the drama of pledging-- sporting events are well attended, and not just football. Your point about Austin being distracting is valid. Notre Dame students socially focus on their community because there isn't a city to pull people away. Good luck with your thoughts and choices!
  • WildestDreamWildestDream Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    edited April 1
    I would take the full ride at UT-Austin and run. McCombs is arguably the best business program out of the three, and especially if you want to be in Texas long term a UT business degree will go a long way.
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 4,311 Senior Member
    edited April 1
    Editing, meant to say "this" about lulobee's post. I am biased toward ND because I have a D sophomore there. She absolutely loves it. You probably know that Mendoza is highly ranked. Not sure that McCombs is the best program of the three - my D is a humanities kid so I just don't honestly know. A big draw for her was the lack of Greek life. I have to say that UT Austin is a great option - such a cool city - and it would be tough to turn down a full ride at such a great school.
  • WildestDreamWildestDream Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    edited April 1
    ^ According to U.S. News, UT-Austin has the #6 best business program the nation. Going back to OP's post, tell your dad UT is a "top undergraduate school"
  • JpgranierJpgranier Registered User Posts: 1,212 Senior Member
    Just to clarify, I don't think the OP said he got a full ride to UT Austin.

    UT BHP is very well respected. I recommend it.
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 4,311 Senior Member
    OP said this: "However, I do have a full ride to UT Austin"
  • JpgranierJpgranier Registered User Posts: 1,212 Senior Member
    Ooops, I scanned the text and didn't see it.

    I think a full ride to UT would be really tough to pass up.
  • rosa0463rosa0463 Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Here's what I think. Vanderbilt (I was just there and witness an epic disaster of a student panel) is not for a business major IMHO. It's for a kid who either has a full ride or a lot of money and no interest in getting a job out of college. UT Austin is amazing and it's free. My son had a choice between Vandy and notre dame business pre approved and he is going to notre dame no Brainer. However I agree that for undergrad a full ride is amazing.... so I would give two ideas 1) go to notre dame or 2) talk to your dad and tell him that you'd like to cut a deal with him(you're a budding business guy) . You get half of what he is saving per year by going to UT austin. Not sure how much that is but if it's 25k per year at the end of the four years you have 100k. Buy yourself a house or invest it or use it for grad school. I think that's what I would do. If he says no to that then go to Notre Dame! It's got the number one network in the world and you will always get a job!!!!!!
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,536 Senior Member
    I'd take out Vandy as it doesn't seem to be a great fit. IMO it comes down to ND v UT full ride. ND sounds like a great fit and it is nice that your sister is there -- so it boils down to what your parents can afford and if you choose UT could you (or would you want to) use the savings from undergrad for grad school etc.

  • 11bawb11bawb Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Sorry, strongly disagree with happy1. It does not boil down to what your parents can afford. Even if they "have saved a good amount of money for college" the money we're talking about is substantial and the day may very well come when they, or you, regret a decision to part with tens of thousands of dollars for what will probably be - at most - a marginally different overall experiences at these three schools. All would likely prove a wonderful four years. UT is a superb business school that will offer similar or superior career opportunities to ND or Vandy. Take the free ride and spend four years taking pride in likely the most "adult" impactful decision you've made in your young life.
  • Faline2Faline2 Registered User Posts: 4,171 Senior Member
    Go to UT Austin full ride. Get a job for a couple of years and then go to a top flight MBA program which can be costly. that is my advice! (our Duke grad son did his MBA at night...the hard slow way...and that is partly due to the $ we spent at Duke where he was not a recipient of any aid or merit $.) He loved Duke. Loved it. and he has a good job out of Duke. But full-time costly MBA programs also serve as valuable job placement boosters. And he was tapped out and didn't want to lose the job he had already. keep that in mind if your family is not loaded with money to pay your way twice. Vandy and Duke parent opinion. play your long game.
  • Domer97Domer97 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    While I think picking a school for a particular program is important to the selection process, it cannot be the end all-be all. What if you decide after taking finance courses, you hate it? You decide to change majors? Well, then the criteria you used to select your school is now moot. I say pick a school because it's academic reputation is outstanding, but more importantly, it feels like home. I live in Texas, and I know several people who went to UT. I can say very few finished in four years. Also, living in Texas, there are so many UT grads. Why not be something different that stands out? I love ND, the best four years of my life. I have a great job, make a good living, but most importantly, have great friends and relationships with people from ND all over the country. I have friends that I can call in every major city in the US and meet for dinner, drinks and talk about old times. However, this is my experience. Everyone is different. A full ride is difficult to turn down, but if money is not an issue, then I think it is a matter of where do you want to live and the environment/climate of the students...Good luck.
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