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AB Duke vs. Harvard

tinam233tinam233 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
edited April 2012 in College Search & Selection
I have to make the most important decision of my life thus far in a few days, and I want to make sure all my bases are covered so I can decide and never look back.

My options: Duke University, with the AB Duke Scholarship, or Harvard.

Pros/cons of both? Disregard money for tuition, but consider the money that I'd receive for research as an AB Duke. For those of you who don't know, the AB Duke is a scholarship given to about 15 students each year at Duke and includes full tuition, funding and grants for research, one or two semesters of Study Abroad, and a six-week summer experience at Oxford the summer after my freshman year.

Some things to consider:
1. I haven't decided on a major yet, but I'm interested in medicine, especially with a global health/humanitarian angle.
2. I'm from Charleston, SC. Harvard would be an entirely new region of the country for me, which could either not matter or be a good thing, depending on how you look at it. I'm already at home at Duke. My sister graduated from there a few years ago, and I'm been on campus during the summers and such. I know people there, and I know the campus. Again, it could be something that either works for or against Duke.
3. This isn't a significant factor, but I need to at least acknowledge it -- name/prestige. Yes, Harvard is certainly more prestigious than Duke, but would the benefits of being an AB Duke outweigh the benefits of being a normal, undistinguished undergraduate at Harvard? Keep in mind that I'd be looking to attend medical school, potentially.

Any advice would greatly be appreciated! Thanks!

P.S. I've posted this in other sections too, so I can hopefully get as much advice as possible. Hope that's okay.
Post edited by tinam233 on

Replies to: AB Duke vs. Harvard

  • ckmets13ckmets13 Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    i think Duke is a no brainer in this situation
  • swish14swish14 Registered User Posts: 1,325 Senior Member
    Sports- Duke
    weather- Duke
    City- Harvard
    Sister Duke Alum- Harvard
    parties- Duke
    campus- Duke
    prestige- who cares/you wont a week after you get on campus.

    Good luck with your decision.
  • The Brown BomberThe Brown Bomber Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    Id say Duke is a no brainer

    but you can never go wrong with harvard
  • TheOC89TheOC89 Registered User Posts: 276 Junior Member
    I'd personally pick Harvard.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,333 Senior Member
    You really should not ignore the $200k cost savings unless you are related to Bill Gates. Think about what you (or your parents) could do with $200k four years hence -- pay for four years at Harvard/Hopkins med? You will be treated royally in Durham courtesy of the honor award and given first dibs on nearly everything they offer, whereas at H you'll be just one more high achieving student.

    This really is a no-brainer - Duke.
  • kryptonsa36kryptonsa36 Registered User Posts: 1,735 Senior Member
    Do you really think there is that big a discrepancy between Harvard and Duke academics that you would not immediately snap at the opportunity for full-ride to the latter? Unless there is some factor to Duke that would make you despise enrolling there entirely, my opinion is that AB Duke would be the obvious (and financially intelligent, especially) choice.

    I would choose Duke over all schools of HYPSM fame if awarded that kind of monetary package, tinam233. Congrats!
  • biztogobiztogo Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    I bet AB Duke Scholars have brighter future than average Harvard graduate. Not even mention the money factor.
  • herbrokemomherbrokemom Registered User Posts: 182 Junior Member
    Can't even imagine a reason to turn down that opportunity at Duke. Go to Harvard for med school if you must.
  • irishforeveririshforever Registered User Posts: 817 Member
    Duke in a heartbeat--think of all the opportunities you have as an AB Duke Scholar!!
  • brassmonkeybrassmonkey Registered User Posts: 1,491 Senior Member
    Angiere has offered you probably one of the most sought after admission outcomes in the country, it'd be foolish to turn that down.
  • arvandmarvandm Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    The obvious choice here is Michigan.
  • Lakshya MLakshya M Registered User Posts: 1,597 Senior Member

    Seriously though, I'd pick Duke. The difference in prestige is not that much. And like others said, you probably be better off at Duke. Looking forward to meeting you there.

    Oh and yeah, congratulations! :D
  • SexyLikeAScorpioSexyLikeAScorpio Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    Choose Duke, seriously. The fin-aid you are getting from them is astounding!! Duke is up there with Harvard, so DON"T feel shortchanged!
  • tinam233tinam233 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Thanks to everyone who replied.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the opportunities I'd have post-graduation, coming from either school? In this case, I guess it's a battle of the AB Duke name against the Harvard diploma.
  • Luxar3000Luxar3000 Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    AB Duke: Opportunities to go virtually anywhere you want, provided you take advantage of the opportunities the school offers you.

    Harvard: Opportunities to go virtually anywhere you want, provided you take advantage of the opportunities the school offers you.
This discussion has been closed.