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Boston University or Bowdoin College?

CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
Hey everyone,
PLEASE HELP?
I decided to start this discussion because I would like to hear your opinions of both Boston University and Bowdoin College. I got accepted to both as a senior in high school. I'm a female and want to major in Computer Science and minor in Biology. I was wondering if you guys knew which school had a better undergraduate Computer Science and Science department overall? Through Bowdoin College I got accepted regular decision and got a substantial amount of aid, but BU is giving me almost a full ride.

For BU I got into the CGS Boston January London Program
which means I do not get to attend the school until the second semester in January. I will be taking courses through the College of General Studies until my Junior year where I will have a guaranteed entrance to the College of Arts and Sciences if I have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. My major concern is that for the first two years I'm only allowed to take ELECTIVES related to my major (Computer Science) and during my first gap semester I can take all college courses except ones related to my major. I will also spend six weeks in London studying through CGS.

PLEASE HELP I don't know what to do and which school would be a better fit for my major.
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Replies to: Boston University or Bowdoin College?

  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    First, do you need all of the scholarship money, or would you be fine with the smaller one?
    Second, Bowdoin and Boston University are both wonderful colleges. If possible, I would visit them to find out their culture. I would choose whichever one resonated with me the most because they are both good schools.
    Third, are you fine with the CGS program?
    (If you can't visit, read the reviews on Unigo.)
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    I don't know why that was starred. I was meaning Unigo.
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    Since it won't show:
    U
    N
    I
    G
    O
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Thanks I've looked there. I just haven't found much about the Computer Science departments. What'r your opinion on CGS?
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Preferably all of the scholarship money. BU is also closer to home.
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    I think it is cool. You have guaranteed admission for the College of Arts and Sciences. You also get to go to London, which you might not like, but I would. Only taking electives for two years might not be wonderful, but if you love computer science, you should be fine! Do you know anyone going to either? Maybe you could check out their Facebook pages and make friends going to those schools? Or, you could ask alumni from the schools about their experience!
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Yes. I'm leaning towards BU at the moment. I almost have a full ride as well. After two years I do have the guaranteed admission though. Even if I had gotten into CAS directly they would have made me take genereal education courses as well. Thanks for the help @HopefulHoya1103 I will definitely tell you what my decision is. I visit both schools this month.
  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 1,576 Senior Member
    Boston AND London? What an adventure. Follow the money. You can always take a nice long vacation in Maine with the $ ty out save.
  • xxxacxxxxxxacxxx Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I don't normally post on these, but I must offer a dissenting view. While BU is a great school, with some fantastic alums, Bowdoin is one of the top schools in America. If you look through US News & World Report's rankings (other rankings show similar results), you'll see that Bowdoin is ranked as the 6th best college in America, while BU is the #39 University. This is no knock against BU (again, it is great), but having Bowdoin on your resume will mean more in your future (especially in the New England area). I know that money may seem important now, but choosing a top-tier school is an investment in your future, and will pay dividends that far outweigh the difference in tuition.
  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom Registered User Posts: 1,241 Senior Member
    edited April 4
    Well, it'd be good to know how big the difference is. Bowdoin is considered the more prestigious of the two and has a stellar exploratory LAC experience BU will not provide you to the same extent. It may be worth paying 10K more than BU, but maybe not 40K or more. Could you clarify how big the cost difference will be over four years? Will you need to take out loans?
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    @nostalgicwisdom The difference is 16k for Bowdoin, and BU is practically free. Because my father is a military veteran I'm able to use his 9/11 GI Bill which covers a huge amount and they pay me a housing allowance of 3,000 a month because of the location (Boston). With the GI Bill and the BU Scholarship (which is assured all four years) I will practically be attending for *free
    * I say free because I'll have pocket change from the housing allowance to pay the difference and have enough to pocket /save up for grad school

    Whereas with Bowdoin with the GI Bill I have to pay 16K a year. The housing allowance in Maine is only 1300 a month. It covers the majority of the difference, but at the end won't have any money left over for me to save up. Ultimately my goal is grad school, unless I'm continuously working I won't have any money saved up once I'm out of Bowdoin.

    Trust me, it's not that we're extremely poor, but the only reason I'm even able to consider college is because of the GI Bill. The location of BU is also more convenient, closer to home. At BU I'll be able to visit home more frequently. With traveling expenses to leave Bowdoin, a round-trip home will cost me about 40 dollars each time.
  • CSandBiogirlCSandBiogirl Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    edited April 4
    @xxxacxxx That's why I'm still very unsure. Bowdoin is a great school, but at BU I'll be in a much better financial position. Thank you for your input.
  • douggy91douggy91 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    Bowdoin has a phenomenal CS department. A lot of people underestimate it because it is a smaller LAC and people associate CS with bigger schools, but the founder of Netflix went to Bowdoin and he has done a lot of work/donations to make them a top CS school. Tons of kids go from there to Silicon Valley
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 7,308 Senior Member
    edited April 4
    Bowdoin's computer science offerings can be compared to that of other schools through this CC resource:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/math-computer-science-majors/1814245-computer-science-at-some-smaller-schools-including-liberal-arts-colleges-p2.html

    I'd recommend you review this alongside Bowdoin's course catalog since the analysis may not fully reflect Bowdoin's current CS offerings.
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