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MSU vs Umich?

priyarazpriyaraz Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
I’ve been accepted to MSU honors Lyman Briggs. There was a program at MSU that I was hoping to get into, but it didn’t pan out :(

Anyways, now I’m stuck between the two. I made a list to compare:

Accepts more AP credits- graduate earlier
Cheaper (scholarship $)
Close to home
Easier- less competitive
Familiar (I already dual-enroll here)
Priority enrollment due to honors college

More prestige
Better academic environment

Obviously, MSU has more good things for me personally than Umich. However, everyone I talk to thinks umich is the far superior choice. Do you guys have anything to add to my list for me to consider? My main problem with umich is that I’m worried that it’ll be too competitive, and I’ll fall below average (my worst nightmare). I’d almost prefer to be in a less competitive environment rather than challenge myself.
Btw- I’m going into medicine

Replies to: MSU vs Umich?

  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Registered User Posts: 10,368 Senior Member
    I disagree with the above statement.
  • airway1airway1 Registered User Posts: 362 Member
    I have been told by MSU parents who’s kids picked MSU over Umich that their kids stated that Umich was too competitive and students were stressed out.

    Education I would think is the same as they have to follow the accreditation agency.. both are heavy on research.. both invest heavily on new buildings for research (MSU expanding business school, that 750 million lab (not sure what’s it for lol) and the new Stem Engineering building..

    At the end it’s your pick.. you could also head to one for undergrad and the other for grad (question is how will it be for you at football games)

    By the way my kid is at MSU and he seems to be enjoying it
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,168 Senior Member
    @rjkofnovi Didn’t you or don’t you attend U Mich?

    If so it’s helpful to disclose on a post such as your last. Your comments are obviously still valid. But context helps.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    Lyman Briggs Honors would provide a lot of great opportunities. If you had also been admitted to LSA Honors at UMIch, then it would be more of an apples-to-apples comparison; but without that in the mix at UMich, I think It's fair to give the residential college + honors opportunity at MSU a lot of weight, both in terms of the social experience and also the academic and research opportunities. (And priority registration is a really huge perk too, often underappreciated by students who haven't experienced the course selection process yet!) Having lots of AP credit, even if you don't choose to graduate early, will give you flexibility to explore, add a major/minor, study abroad, or whatever you want to do. And I'm sure you won't lack for as much challenge as you choose to take on.

    Of course, it depends on your specific interests and how they align with the programs at each school; but if MSU feels right to you, I don't think you need to feel that you *should* go to UMich just because it's UMich. For premed, go where you feel confident that you can nail down a high GPA in your premed coursework, make time for the necessary volunteer hours, etc., and also have a fulfilling undergrad experience. Both great choices - you can't really go wrong either way, so follow your gut. (And if affording med school is going to be a stretch, certainly consider saving all the money you can on undergrad as well.)
  • priyarazpriyaraz Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    Thanks for the input so far. I'm going to visit UM this Friday to see how the fit is. Of course, I already know and love MSU because of dual-enrolling, so I have to try to be unbiased at UM.
    I did the math- at MSU I would bring in 58 credits. At UM I'd bring in 41. That's about a semester extra, so it's not a huge deal, but I know I'd be annoyed taking more classes than I have to and even repeating course material at UM.
    I was heavily leaning towards MSU yesterday, but reading and hearing about Michigan's ranking has me reconsidering. It may seem silly, but I don't want people to assume that I went to MSU because I wasn't good enough to get into UMich. Despite the perks of going to MSU, do you guys think it's worth going to UM and surrounding myself with really smart people?

    I might be too comfortable at MSU. But I also might struggle at UM.
  • HapworthHapworth Registered User Posts: 440 Member
    OP, there are plenty of smart people at MSU. MSU is a Big Ten school. Why are we talking about it as if it's the University of North by Northwest by South by Southwest Michigan Online University?

    I'll repeat: I don't see much difference, educationally, between one public flagship and another, but only you, OP, will know if perceived prestige is that important.
  • yikesyikesyikesyikesyikesyikes Forum Champion U. Michigan Posts: 1,846 Forum Champion
    edited March 14

    Classifying MSU and Michigan as academic peers at the undergraduate level is almost objectively false:

    Freshman Profile MSU 2018-2019:

    SAT Reading (25%-75%): 560-650
    SAT Math (25%-75%): 550-660
    ACT Composite (25%-75%): 23-29

    Freshman Profile UMich 2018-2019

    SAT Reading (25%-75%): 660-730
    SAT Math (25%-75%): 670-780
    ACT Composite (25%-75%): 30-34

    MSU's TOP 25% of incoming students are at the same level or below Michigan's BOTTOM 25% of incoming students. Test scores are not the end-all be-all, but they are the best available predictors of student quality with large sample sizes.

    OP is interested in medicine, so either choice can be strategic. Michigan WILL be more competitive and academically stressful (weed-out classes at almost any flagship are either based on a curve or designed to result in consistent grade distributions, and at Michigan you will be competing against objectively superior students).

    If OP is 100% set on becoming a physician, I might actually lean MSU (but I am not the best with pre-med advice). Remember, however, that the OP may decide or be forced into not becoming a physician. Let's be honest, that is what will most likely happen to the OP based on simple statistics. If that is the case, a Michigan degree will, for the most part, open more doors for you than a MSU degree, ceteris paribus.

    Disclaimer: Loyal Wolverine
  • yikesyikesyikesyikesyikesyikes Forum Champion U. Michigan Posts: 1,846 Forum Champion
    edited March 14
    *Correction - I meant to say MSU's 75 %ile ~= Michigan's 25%-ile - long day.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,612 Senior Member
    Is the cost significantly different?

    Regarding pre-med, have you been earning A grades in your college (dual enrollment) courses so far? All college courses and their grades count for pre-med GPA.
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 2,823 Senior Member
    For premed, go where you feel confident that you can nail down a high GPA in your premed coursework

    Achieving a GPA of 3.7+ in premed or other STEM fields will be difficult at UMich. Competition is fierce and there’s some level of grade deflation. Retaking of some HS STEM classes may be prescribed by your advisor. The classes aren’t the same and the next class in sequence may build on a topic in the prior UMich class, which you may or may not have had in the “equivalent” HS class.

    Disclaimer: Parent of UMich freshman STEM student.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    However... median stats for MSU Honors College are virtually identical to overall median stats for UMichigan. Plus there are benefits associated with both Honors and Lyman Briggs, that would not be part of the experience of a non-honors student at UMich. So one could argue that MSU would be a best-of-both-worlds option, offering the opportunity to be challenged as part of a high-achieving cohort, but not necessarily be up against *only* that cohort in premed "weeder" classes.

    Obviously UMich is a great school and I could present valid arguments for that option. I just don't think comparing university-wide stats gives the whole picture when OP has both Honors and Residential College opportunities on the table at MSU. If OP were saying, "I love UMich and feel I belong there!" then great! But I hear the opposite, and I don't think it's valid to reinforce fears that going to MSU means compromising on quality, based mainly on stats. Stat-wise, MSU Honors is comparable to UMich non-honors. And beyond that, having a more intimate cohort and community to make a big school smaller has significant potential value at any large school. True, the UMich name has some gravitas (though MSU has a very good reputation too); but if med school or other grad program is on the table, undergrad "pretigiosity" won't matter much in the long run; what the individual is able to accomplish in the environment they choose is far more important. So, choose the environment where you feel best positioned to succeed - not to the extreme of being an under-challenged statistical outlier, but in the sense of being able to feel comfortable and confident taking an ambitious approach to the college experience.
  • priyarazpriyaraz Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    My ACT is 33, so it definitely falls into UM’s category. That’s something that’s been on my mind, that maybe I want to surround myself with people who have similar test scores like me. However, as @aquapt mentioned, the honors college at MSU would definitely have higher stats than the whole university. Some of those people are insanely smart, and I speak from experience.
    @ucbalumnus @sushiritto
    Classes at MSU are okay. Out of the 7 classes I have taken/ am taking, two were 3.5. This semester is going well, so I predict that I will 4.0 the rest of them. Keep in mind that 5 of the 7 classes are honors. I was adjusting to the dual enrollment experience at first and learning the ways of a college class, so I think that in the future I would probably maintain a pretty high gpa with a couple 3.5’s scattered in.

    Between the credits I bring into MSU, the scholarship they gave me and housing fees at UM, it’s $20000 for MSU and ~$70000 for UM (that’s the total for undergrad).
    $50k difference- that’s basically a year of med school.
    Plus, at MSU I’d graduate in 2 years. UM- 2.5 years.

    I do think where I go to med school would be more significant than where I got my undergrad. But wouldn’t it look better on med school applications to be from UMich than MSU?
    I guess that’s the real question.
  • airway1airway1 Registered User Posts: 362 Member
    edited March 15
    I think your answering your question then doubting it lol.. everything is telling you MSU but peer pressure (maybe) is pushing you to Umich..

    MSU 50k savings.. 2 years and done.. honor college.. and your comfortable to their study structure.. (I’m still as a parent getting used to their GPA system)
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    I would, however, be wary of the "two years and done" assumption. Med schools do not favor younger-than-normal applicants, and rushing through won't give you time to build a strong resume in terms of research, shadowing, etc. Again, as you compare schools, I would encourage you to weigh "apples to apples" by mapping out your best-case four year plan between HS graduation and med school. Perhaps that plan will include graduate work. (BS/MS, BA/MPH, whatever best suits your goals). Maybe a double-major would broaden your background and future options. Perhaps you'll include study abroad (UMich has stellar opportunities in this regard; I'm sure MSU has many options as well but I'm not as familiar with the range of opportunities relative to what you could access through UMich. Worth looking into if this is of interest.) Maybe you'll get deeply involved in research and spend a postgrad year working in a lab. (Great research going on at both schools; Honors students have an edge in terms of getting desirable research positions early in their undergrad careers.) I'm not saying you *can't* graduate early. But it's hard to cut the undergrad experience in half and not miss out on something important - it takes time to network and deepen your involvement in things.

    I think that overall you're making a very well-considered comparison, but nailing down total cost and comparing those numbers based on two different timelines... I would at least take the time to re-work that analysis, presuming equal timelines for both schools and deciding how you could best re-invest the time that MSU would free up for you by reducing the time spent on lower-division classes. Because I think that framework is closer to reality than the "two years and done" scenario.
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