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University Choices

Skipper18542Skipper18542 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
Hello Everyone,

I am here to come to you all with a large question. So I am stuck between a couple of colleges which I find incredibly and have researched very profoundly but it is always great to get some first have knowledge from other real people rather than their website and official stats.

My question pertains to four colleges. Northwestern, UMichigan, UVirginia, and Chapel Hill.

Here are my stats. I am a transfer student from California so I will include my college and high school GPA.

College GPA: 3.85/4.00
High School GPA: 3.6/4.00 (4.14 weighed)
SAT Score: 1350/1600

I will be studying political science. However, while it would be great to hear about each of their programs, I know that they are all excellent. I came here to get a better sense of these schools.

Michigan, Virginia, and Chapel Hill have about the same acceptance rate for transfers (mid to high 30s) while Northwestern is around 15%. However, Northwestern is right next to chicago which is a major city with good political ties. Meanwhile, the other three, while not in the middle of nowhere, are hard to compare to a Chicago especially with Detroit and Richmond being the competition, which, while I have heard they are nice cities, it is definitely harder to stack up to a city like a Chicago.

What I want is a bit of knowledge about the vibe of each place and possible opportunities. I am applying to plenty of UCs and with my school’s TAG program I can get guaranteed acceptance to UCSB which is an amazing school, but with my GPA, not as sought after major (political sciences) and a high acceptance rate for transfers in california to UCSD, I have a 50-60% shot at getting accepted. Hence I am comparing these four schools to UCSB and UCSD in my mind as those are the ones I am most likely to get into and therefore the ones most worth my time. I was wondering if any of you had a rebuttal to that or something that might expand my mind on this issue. I plan on selecting 2 of these 4 to apply anyways and would love to hear advice.

Thank you so much

Replies to: University Choices

  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,581 Senior Member
    Have you run the online net price calculators for the schools that interest you?
    Out of state public schools, or Northwestern, may have much higher net prices than UCSB/UCSD.

    If cost isn't an issue, then there is no clear, obvious winner among your four.
    I'd probably lean toward Michigan for the quality of the political science department and of the college town. Or Northwestern, if you think your internship opportunities are better there*. But they're all good. Apply to all four and see what shakes out with admission and aid decisions.

    * If the Chicago area appeals to you, then you might also want to check out the University of Chicago and research/internship opportunities at NORC.
  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 Registered User Posts: 1,197 Senior Member
    I can help with UNC! It's part of a metro area of about 2 million people (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) It's got more of an overall suburban / spread out feel rather than a big city feel. Kinda like SoCal that way (though not nearly as big, of course.)

    There tends to be more going 'back and forth' between Chapel Hill and Durham than to Raleigh. But honestly, I think students mainly stay in Chapel Hill which is very much a classic college town with a cute main drag (Franklin St.) on the edge of campus that melds into more funky, quirky Carrboro which has a great farmer's market. Franklin St. has lots of restaurants, coffee shops, music venues, bars. Pretty much what you'd expect.

    UNC and Duke have dedicated small buses that run between the campuses so allow students to take cross enroll (not sure all the policies around that.) Eventually there will be light rail between Chapel and Durham but not for a number of years yet. It's about a 20 minute drive to Durham from CH.

    UNC campus is pretty compact for the number of students and gorgeous. (Oldest public university in the country with first buildings from the 1700s!)

    Poli Sci is vey strong at UNC.

    As you can tell -- I'm a big fan!

    Good luck!!
  • Kadel1023Kadel1023 Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    I can't comment on the transfer process, but based on your high school resume it will be extremely tough.

    I am applying as a freshman to NU, Michigan, and UVA. All three will be a reach for you. Maybe 3.85 in college will help. Either way, good luck to you.

    I was extremely impressed with Evanston and Michigan, Charlottsville not so much, but still on my radar.
  • gandalf78gandalf78 Registered User Posts: 1,876 Senior Member
    I think that you really need to visit the campuses, if you haven't already, and if you can before you make your decision. Lots of variables to consider.

    Michigan and UNC-CH feel similar, to me -- major research universities that started off in small towns which have grown up around them, and which are 30-60 minutes away from larger urban areas -- Detroit and Raleigh/Durham, respectively. Charlottesville is a lovely place, and probably could fall into the same category as Michigan and UNC, with Richmond about an hour or so drive (if I recall) from UVA.

    I've never been to Northwestern, so I have no opinion to offer there.
  • Skipper18542Skipper18542 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    @AlmostThere2018 Thank you very much. I have researched Chapel Hill more thoroughly and the ability to take classes at Duke I think certainly is a big plus that I would not have in Virginia. I like the fact that Chapel Hill is "big yet small" in the sense that there are many people in the surrounding area like SoCal yet there really aren't in the sense that it is spread out. I like that flexibility. UVA seems kind off of to the side and all. Chapel Hill seems like the one I would apply to between those two. Now I just have to figure out between Michigan and Northwestern. Thank you so much!
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