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Cornell or Michigan

PBatemannPBatemann Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hi guys. I've been accepted to Michigan LSA (still to hear back about the Honors Program) and to Cornell's CALS. I got into Michigan EA and kinda had my mind set on attending there seeing as the ivy applications were a crap shoot. But now that I've been accepted to Cornell and I'm to visit both schools in the next few weeks, I'd really love some outside opinions and experiences on the two universities. I can easily see myself getting into the large state school vibe of Michigan with the social scene, sports, and of course the facilities and top academics, but I can't help but feel like I shouldn't turn my head from the "ivy prestige" that Cornell has to offer, even if it's in a more rural area with a much smaller undergrad student body size. My dad keeps telling me to think about the job prospects I get from the school I attend, but would the large alumni network at Michigan cancel out the Ivy brand name for recruiting? I know after I visit both that I'll be able to tell which one I enjoyed being at more, but I'm hoping you guys can fill me in on things that I'd miss in a one day visit of each school. Also, I applied for biological sciences to both schools but I've been having second thoughts on my major and want the ability to change it when I get to university. So I'm wondering how restricted I'll be at CALS seeing as I would need an internal transfer to get into Arts and Sciences at Cornell, whereas there are way more majors on offer in the LSA School at Michigan. I'm from NY so Cornell is in-state, but my financial aid comes out to roughly the same for both schools (and I guess this is another complication if I want to transfer out of CALS at Cornell). Any suggestions at all? Anything would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

Replies to: Cornell or Michigan

  • Sbp325Sbp325 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I would go to michigan. You will most likely enjoy your college experience more but you will also be happier as I've heard so many stories about Cornell and students being unhappy there (it has the highest college suicide rate btw). It's just undergrad, so your connections are not as important as grad school, and you can still get into any grad school you want from both schools (I'm assuming you want to go to med school because you applied as a bio major)
  • quadacesquadaces Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    @Sbp325 Cornell does not have the highest suicide rate. MIT and Harvard had higher rates based on the last report, and most schools don't report their data, so I don't think its fair to scare people away from Cornell based on false info.
  • Ranza123Ranza123 Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    Don't listen to post #1 because 1.) Cornell doesn't have the highest suicide rate; that's a myth that gets perpetuated on this site constantly by people like the above poster and 2.) there are happy and unhappy students at every university so a small anecdotal sample size really does you no good.

    Both schools are amazing, so I really think there is no bad choice. I think the alumni network will be large at both and you'll get a great academic experience at both. What major are you thinking of if not bio? If you think there's a strong possibility you would want to transfer to a different school within Cornell, I think that's something to really take into consideration. Like you said, transferring to Arts & Sciences may affect how much you pay each year (it shouldn't affect the actual aid you get, but it'll affect the starting price of tuition). Transferring to another in-state tuition school like Human Ecology or ILR wouldn't affect the price, so if the major you're thinking of is in one of those colleges, that's something else to consider.

    Aside from that, I've never been to Michigan (although I really want to visit), but my guess is both will have very different feels. You might visit and realize you much prefer one over the other, which would make the decision easy. But if not, I think the ability to change majors may end up being a driving factor.
  • trackmbe3trackmbe3 Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    edited April 11
    @PBatemann You don’t say how much the cost is a concern. If it is, then the edge goes to the land grant part of Cornell, CAL, unless you switch to Arts and Sciences, in which case the cost for Cornell would be greater. If cost is manageable and not a big difference between the schools I’d go with Michigan. But you definitely should visit because both schools have a different vibe and one may feel right while the other not. In that case your decision will be easier to make. I am a Michigan alum and very familiar with the school having also recently visited with my kids. IMO Michigan is the best school for the full college experience of great academics and rah rah spirit and Division 1 sports (nothing quite like cheering with over 100,000 fans on Fall Saturday’s) and fun college town. And a great Greek fraternity and sorority system. Michigan students and alumni are sort of like a cult—and I mean that in a positive way—as bonding/camaraderie takes place from the participation in Greek life, tremendous school spirit, and attendance at the spectator sports. And Michigan has a strong alumni network as a result. Another advantage is that, if you are pre-med, Michigan has a large medical center and hospital on campus whereas Cornell does not. (It’s in New York City). Also Michigan integrates with Ann Arbor and is a much more fun place than the College town part of Cornell. Michigan rates highly across the board in all departments and has an endowment larger than Cornell. It truly is the Harvard of the West! Or as the shirts say “Harvard—the Michigan of the East!”
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,543 Senior Member
    @trackmbe3: OP wrote that COA is about the same for both schools. Also, wouldn't Michigan be the Harvard of the Midwest ?

    @PBateman: Michigan is the better choice for you because it is easier to switch majors & you wrote that you were unsure about your intended course of study.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,290 Senior Member
    I actually think there are a lot of similarities between the two. Your visits should tell you a lot.
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