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Pros and Cons of Public Flagship vs Private Colleges

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Replies to: Pros and Cons of Public Flagship vs Private Colleges

  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1300 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @moooop I understand your point but from my kid's LA HS about 60+ kids (400 graduating class) apply to Indiana University (Bloomington) and about 50+ to University of Michigan (about the same number of applicants as to to UofA and UC-Boulder) even though we have one of the "best" public university systems in the US. With UC flagships in the 13% acceptance rate, many are also applying to other colleges OOS and private as possible options.
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  • natty1988natty1988 626 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 5
    @socaldad2002 same at my school. We usually have several kids who apply and a few who attend Michigan every year. Same with Wisconsin, Indiana, Miami, Michigan State, etc. Over the years we've also sent kids to Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. And of course we have several kids who apply and attend Midwest privates. A guy in D's group of friends went to St. Olaf. The valedictorian in D's graduating class went to Northwestern. Two other girls in D's class went to U Chicago and Notre Dame. D's friend's older sister went to Kenyon. D's friend from Girl Scouts went to Loyola Chicago. A 2018 grad from our school went to Creighton. My co-worker's (who is the principal of the middle school at the school I work at) kid just finished up their first year at Miami University (OH) and loves it there. Another girl from our school who I got to know when she was in my advisory group went to University of Missouri. Lots of California kids go to the midwest! Also, our school sends always sends kids to Notre Dame, Chicago, Northwestern, Wash U in St. Louis...
    edited June 5
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77690 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    As I said somewhere up thread, it's not that people from CA don't want to send their kids to in-state publics. Most people I know would prefer it. But the publics are notoriously difficult to get into, especially the ones that have a residential college experience. If your student wants a popular major (like CS or engineering) then it's really difficult to find a place, even for a very high stats kid. The state has not expanded its university system quickly enough for the growth in population of college students.

    New campuses like UCM, CSUMB, etc. start at the bottom of the prestige and desirability ranking, so students want only UCB, UCLA, UCSD, UCSB, UCI, UCD, CPSLO (ignoring UCSC, UCR, UCM, and most CSUs) and then complain about being shut out. (Consider the analog of a NJ student who desires only the Ivy League and thinks that Rutgers is beneath him/her.)

    Of course, if the six most desired UC campuses and CPSLO were expanded in place, they would not be as selective -- and probably not as desired due to the tendency for people to equate exclusivity with desirability.

    There is also the phenomenon where exaggerated high school weighted GPAs may cause students to be overconfident and overreach when they see the lower UC weighted capped GPAs in admission to stats.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77690 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    moooop wrote:
    But when despondent people come on here & complain that UCLA is overcrowded, or that it will take 6 yrs to graduate from Berkeley, & they don't have the grades for Stanford or the spare half-million bucks to buy their way into in USC, some of us feel compelled to say, "Look, as disgusting as the idea apparently is to you, as repugnant as the notion must be, there ARE other options OUT HERE IN THE MIDDLE." Or "DOWN HERE IN THE BOTTOM-RIGHT CORNER."

    There are also plenty of in-state options that are not so hard to get into. E.g. UCR, UCM, CSUC, SFSU, CSULA, CSUCI, etc.. It is not necessarily about location; those complaining about not getting into UCB, UCLA, UCSD, UCSB, UCI, UCD, CPSLO are probably looking for prestige or exclusivity. If that were not the case, they would not be excluding UCSC, UCR, UCM, and other CSUs from their application lists.
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  • natty1988natty1988 626 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @ucbalumnus Well said!
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1300 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "...probably looking for prestige or exclusivity. If that were not the case, they would not be excluding UCSC, UCR, UCM, and other CSUs from their application lists."

    Not necessarily. There are other reasons CA students don't apply to some of these colleges: For example, Merced is in the middle of nowhere with a a crime rate 45% above the national average, has zero sports (other than club), no long-term track record of excellent academics; UC Riverside is located in well, Riverside, which is not a great area to go to college; has a commuter feel to it with many living off campus, and doesn't have the same quality of students compared to the other UC's you mentioned that are more popular.

    Again, nothing wrong with these institutions but there are factors other than reputation/prestige why students choose not to attend them.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77690 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    UC Riverside [...] doesn't have the same quality of students compared to the other UC's you mentioned that are more popular.

    However, a student who is similar in academic credentials to UCR students should expect that a college like UCR will admit him/her, but that a college that is more selective is less likely to admit him/her.

    Of course, the students who can only be satisfied with colleges that are reaches for students like them are the ones most likely to be disappointed in April.

    In any case, a student who turns his/her nose up on UCR or UCM because of "lower quality students" probably is going to turn his/her nose up on Alabama, Mississippi, etc. for the same reasons.
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  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 486 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @moooop I'm sorry you feel that midwestern colleges are ignored. In our school's graduating class this year, there are about as many kids going to midwest publics as all the UCs combined.

    Overall, though, it makes sense to me that a lot of CA kids choose Arizona, Oregon, and Washington bc those are our neighboring states. It's nice to be a car ride or short flight from home. After that, they tend to choose places they have been to before on vacation (the 8th grade trip to Washington DC or the family vacation to Colorado or NYC), places they have seen positively represented in the media (again, NYC area, the stereotypical New England town), places that have recently done well in college basketball (Gonzaga got a boost from this recently, I'm told--I don't follow bball), and places they have relatives or family friends. I think that's pretty common of all kids. I just don't see an anti-Midwest bias. If you're looking for geographic bias coming from CA students and their families, I would say the Southeast gets a far worse rap than the Midwest, particularly in the last couple of years.

    If the midwestern flagships were really hurting for students, it wouldn't be all that hard for them to start marketing to CA students. But they don't seem that interested, either. We get a LOT of college mailers, and apart from University of Iowa, I can't recall a single flyer from a public college in the midwest.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1514 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you are looking for geographic bias coming from CA students and their families, I think that a lot of CA kids choosing "Arizona, Oregon, and Washington" (to which I'd add Colorado as another popular OOS western state) shows more of a bias against Utah than anywhere else (given how close it is and that it offers similar academics and PAC-12 football at a much lower price than Arizona, Oregon and Colorado). That's similar to the "far worse rap" cited for the Southeast, namely that many California liberals tend to be vocal in their distaste for politically conservative states...
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  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 486 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 5
    You are so right, @Twoin18, as we have discussed before. I think Univ. of Utah is one of those hidden gems that is about to get a lot more popular. But the dry campus thing is a turnoff for a lot of kids, I am guessing.
    edited June 5
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1514 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @ccprofandmomof2 I don't understand why anyone would assume that it is a dry campus in anything other than theory and I don't think that's affected the choice of school for anyone we know. In practice the only people who appear to be impacted are the parents when they are served Icee's at fundraisers instead of alcohol, which (at least for some) may not be as effective in loosening up the checkbook for donations. In reality, it's that liberals have a problem with the conservative reputation of Utah (and/or the supposed dominance of the LDS church).

    But I agree things are going to change - they are now planning a big expansion, increasing OOS from 30% to 40% and the overall size from 30K to 40K students, so that's a near doubling of the OOS student population.
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  • RiversiderRiversider 783 replies89 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 6
    SMU’s acceptance rate is 50%. In a country where top schools accept less than 10%, SMU is not nearly as selective and academic strength of average student is significantly lower than top schools.
    edited June 6
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  • natty1988natty1988 626 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 6
    @ccprofandmomof2 very true! I have never seen any anti-midwest bias at all at my school. Most kids choose to stay in California or go to nearby states due to convenience.

    And you're right there is some exaggeration and broad brushing here....not all Californians are alike.

    Also, we didn't get any brochures from Midwest public U's at all, from what I can remember. Just from schools like Northwestern, Wash U in St. Louis, and University of Chicago, none of which my kids applied to. They could start doing a lot more marketing!
    edited June 6
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  • liska21liska21 647 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    In my kids Seattle private HS there seems to be a bias against Univ of Utah (a nearby state that many visit for skiing and outdoor activities). Publics in the SE and NE are also avoided. Here are the big publics and #s for the last 5 years

    WA (in state 33) UW 21, Western WA 5, WA State 4, UW Bothell 3
    Oregon U (9) Oregon 6, Oregon State 1, S OR Univ 2
    Colorado (6) U Colorado 6
    California (10) UC Berk 3, Cal Poly 3, UCLA 1, UCSC 1, UCSD 1, UCSB 1
    Arizona (4) U AZ 2, AZ State 2
    Montana (3) Montana State 2, U MT 1
    Texas (2) UT Austin 2
    Midwest (6) U Michigan 3, U Wisc 1, OH State 1, Indiana Univ 1
    Southeast (3) UVA 2, GATech 1

    That's it for OOS publics. Note this is ca 25%? of the graduates. Most go to a private college.

    Univ of Utah is conspicuously missing. Interestingly the only publics that are WUE schools on this list are S OR, AZ State, MT State and U of MT. So most are going to OOS publics where they pay OOS rates.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77690 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    liska21 wrote:
    Interestingly the only publics that are WUE schools on this list are S OR, AZ State, MT State and U of MT. So most are going to OOS publics where they pay OOS rates.

    Arizona State only has WUE for some programs -- mainly the satellite campus ones that are mainly attended by nontraditional students, rather than ones on the main Tempe campus that most students out of high school attend.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2039 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 6
    In reality, it's that liberals have a problem with the conservative reputation of Utah (and/or the supposed dominance of the LDS church).

    A recent article put U Utah's LDS population at 36% (current faith, not childhood faith-of which 54% of students grew up in the LDS church). The next highest represented organized religion is Catholicism, at 5.5%. Based on these number, the LDS religion seems dominant at U Utah. http://dailyutahchronicle.com/2019/05/10/religion-on-campus-more-diverse-than-rest-of-state-with-proportion-of-latter-day-saints-over-15-lower/

    Regarding the dry campus, of course drinking still happens. The fact is that alcohol use is less tolerated at U Utah, there is no amnesty program (which puts students at risk), and the penalties for drinking on campus more severe than at peer schools. I do believe that many teens hear the words 'dry campus' and that school is immediately taken off the list, which is understandable.
    edited June 6
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  • natty1988natty1988 626 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 6
    Our Southern California school has sent a few kids, who come LDS families, to BYU over the years. We have had a girl go to University of Utah, she was recruited for their gymnastics team. Other then that we haven't sent any kids to Utah.

    I don't know why people avoid OOS publics so much....yet we do send a lot of kids to U of Colorado-Boulder, Michigan, University of Virginia, William and Mary, University of Washington, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, University of Texas-Austin...
    edited June 6
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