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Help me Pleasseee!!!! Emory vs Pitzer college!!!!!!!!!

scrambledeggscrambledegg Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Hi, I am an international transfer and just got admitted by Emory and Pitzer. I am considering Econ major. So here comes the problem
Emory does not have such a strong program in Econ; as far as I know, most students majoring in Economics did not have a positive attitude towards it. The b-school, good and prestigious, yet I also find it extremely hard to get a job after graduation, with only the level of undergraduate experience and the background of international students.( the visa problem). So if I go to Emory, the choices would be left with going to graduate school.
Pitzer, small size liberal arts college. Its econ is also small and not strong. But Pitzer shares the resources with colleges as Pomona, CMC etc. Students can go to take classes there. But the concern would be the drug culture. Also, I think the students at Pitzer do not really care about academics.

Correct me if I am wrong. Would be very much appreciative if there are suggestions.

Replies to: Help me Pleasseee!!!! Emory vs Pitzer college!!!!!!!!!

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    Emory is a national university. It's a great school. I would choose Emory over Pitzer. Drug culture has nothing to do with it. Plenty of drugs at Emory too.
  • scrambledeggscrambledegg Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Just for the name?
  • keesh17keesh17 Registered User Posts: 435 Member
    Emory has smarter kids. It's better/more fun to be surrounded and inspired by smarter kids whether that is in classes or when doing drugs.

    See the SAT stats:
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,293 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    @Keesh17: That argument concerns me. For example, what if a person was choosing between Emory, Rice and Vanderbilt, fit Emory better, but then someone comes on and says Vanderbilt and Rice have smarter kids? Even if it does, the caliber of the institutions are about the same and the student bodies make the same types of accomplishments (in fact, sometimes Emory outperforms when you look at things like Fulbrights and stuff like that). Be more concerned with what students are doing at each institution. Go look at their news reels and determine if one student body is doing something more than the other (like maybe you like entrepreneurship and that is something blowing up at Emory, so this wouldn't be a bad place to go). Hell, what if someone said go to Vanderbilt or Washington University instead of Duke or Penn (I could name a dozen institutions that currently of higher caliber than the former two, though I would say Washington University is perhaps the higher of the two, not caring about name recognition) because Vanderbilt and Duke have higher SAT scores?

    I guess the question is: What threshold do we set for saying the following:
    "You can no longer use incoming classes to distinguish between the caliber of these schools"
    Vanderbilt and Notre Dame have SAT's about the same amount higher than Emory as Emory has on Pitzer. What range do you go and say, "it's not as relevant"? I would argue once the average or median is 1350 or higher, but many would beg to differ and still claim that a student body of 1375 is completely inferior to the one with 1450 (it's so stupid it hurts. You're talking about a multiple choice test...which I hope top 20s or schools with those sorts of student bodies don't overuse. In addition, we know that schools like Chicago have undergraduate academics far more rigorous than other institutions with similar stats. Let's not get into caliber of doctoral programs. SAT scores are very misleading and make us ignore the actual academic differences between schools which should matter in my opinion. To say otherwise is just saying: "We're not here to be challenged, we're hoping to screw around and become motivated by our smart peers so that we can do awesome things outside of the classroom". It's almost a dichotomy of sorts ).Making the SAT argument gets pretty dicey. You would have to, for example, claim that UCLA is completely inferior to all top 20 privates (or even USC) because its 25% is in the 1100s. We know for a fact that this isn't the case.
  • keesh17keesh17 Registered User Posts: 435 Member
    bernie12 You are right of course. Given that my oldest graduated from USC I would support the notion that UCLA is inferior to USC - but here I go being facetious. Since my youngest attends Yale, I do see that the student experience at USC and Yale is very, very different. What makes the difference? Probably the extreme concentration of super high achieving kids vs. a broader spectrum.

    Given the OP's dilemma I still think that my suggested strategy may not be entirely foolproof but it might hold some water if one has to pick an objective measure to help choose.
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,293 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    Yes, but by that logic, again, Vanderbilt and Washington University should be equivalent to Yale, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Columbia, and Chicago. They aren't. I am just worried about what we are defining as high achieving here. The SAT scores don't mean but so much. Take a look at this: http://www.emory.edu/EMORY_MAGAZINE/issues/2012/spring/features/solazyme.html

    This makes me proud of Emory (along with the more recent: girl who invented the differently packaged box, and one of the co-founders of fiscal note, and CMF founders), but also makes me wonder if we had bigger thinkers back in the day when the SAT scores were actually lower (by a bit probably) and the quality and rigor of courses offered was higher (I'm sure Emory was pre-professional back then, but it certainly seems as if it was more hardcore back then. You don't hear of a genetics project lab course and all of the amazing honors courses are gone. Interestingly enough, students don't dare demand these courses. Obviously something has changed all the while we started looking better on paper. I don't think Emory is the only one...). Also, I have kind of been finding that beyond a certain threshold, the quality of the student body has hardly no bearing on the level of rigor or the sort of academic culture at an institution. It appears that even as student body quality increases, the administration, faculty, and even students have to drive forward additional changes to make the academic caliber increase (as the very top schools do). I feel Emory is at least trying to do this. Some schools seem to mainly be resting on their "hotness" or popularity with no change in sight at the academic level. At least Emory recognizes that it can do better by its students and should do better if it wants to get back in the competition of attracting "better" students (not in the SAT sense, but in the big thinker, go getter sense). The entrepreneur movement is finally getting us somewhere it seems. However, it would be interesting to see if we can get our sciences back to the level that inspired 1 of those 2 guys described in the article. Currently we aren't there anymore. We've more or less settled for a bit less on the idea that our current crowd doesn't demand that level of science education or inspiration.

    I don't know, I just try to look beyond the superficial. What Yale has is real and goes far beyond incoming SAT's and GPA's. Like HPSMetc, they can easily attract winners of international competitions and olympiads for a reason (many schools outside of this range with similar scoring student bodies can barely get their hands on these types of students. They can get the ones that score similarly on the SAT/ACT and maybe have other great EC's, but just not at that level and not as focused). It isn't just because they are HPSMetc and are full of awesome students, it's because they have the academic rigor and caliber to further develop and mentor already amazing students (seriously, the most serious top schools offer courses for first years and entry level students in a discipline that rival or are significantly higher than graduate division at other top schools. The fact that they offer such options to freshman shows just how serious they are about testing and developing high talent levels). Many of the top 20 schools don't have that downpacked all of the way yet. As I always say, many of us seem to have been getting away with harboring talent, but not necessarily going out of the way to develop it, so I am just very cynical when it comes to stuff like this (these sorts of comparisons). Like for example, I know for a fact that places like Berkeley and UCLA are raising the bar higher given the student bodies they have than some top 20 privates are for student bodies that are actually better than the ones at UCLA and Berkeley. You should not only be surrounded by amazing peers doing amazing things, but you should leave the place better than you were before, and I don't just mean in terms of post-grad. offers and how easy those come. You should have much more talent (or it should have been refined).
  • keesh17keesh17 Registered User Posts: 435 Member
    bernie12, All very true, I appreciate your thoughtful reflection. I would say two things. Being around outstanding people and in college that means your fellow students, is probably the single most important thing. Everything else adjusts to that; the caliber of teaching the range and depth of extracurriculars, seminars, invited guest speakers, etc. Secondly the intangibles you speak of aren't measurable nor are they ranked per school on the interwebs in a convenient way. I'm just using the SAT, imperfect as it is, to differentiate. After all, SAT and school "rank" (whatever that means) do correlate in a coarse way.
  • AsleepAtTheWheelAsleepAtTheWheel Registered User Posts: 1,276 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    At Pitzer the only political debates are between the socialists and the communists. Hope that helps.
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,293 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    Those things are kind of measureable. Academic rigor or engagement can at least begin to be measured as how much time do students spend on coursework. They (Businessweek I think) do this when ranking undergraduate business programs. There are also academic engagement surveys as well. These can gauge academic rigor and "intellectual engagement", with the latter often being measured by things like how many seminars or speaking events students attend, and how many books they read for kicks in spare time. Major ranking agencies just seem to care less about this type of stuff and in my opinion it makes a difference. It is very possible (especially with my generation) for students to be amazing test takers and hoop jumpers but to lack the level of engagement expected when one attends selective schools (and sometimes such engagement, as shown in that article, could lead to inspiration of a big idea. I know last time this was discussed at Emory (like 2007ish in the Academic Exchange), Emory was actually performing well (as in better than many) vs. peers in such surveys. It may still be the case, but I am unsure. I am willing to bet this though, some places haven't changed position regardless of scores going up because again, campus culture has not changed with the scores. If that doesn't change, going .from a 1375 to a 1475 average will not make a huge difference. Perhaps if the school remains the same, the GPA's will increase and that's all. Excellence beyond numbers (beyond graduating GPA's, prof. school placement rates ) has to be promoted I suppose.

    I think it's the reason Emory has themed freshman (and some upperclassmen dorms) dorms (and places like Yale have a very effective residential system that contributes to what I'll call the "intellectual extra curricular" scene there. The places aren't just there to make students feel comfortable. They have a seemingly clear agenda). You want to capitalize on the talent of the individuals and direct their efforts to engaging in certain issues of the day like the sustainability dorm, arts and innovation, and the new social entrepreneurship are the best I think. They can do a lot on their own, but elements that run the university have to actively encourage them or create resources to facilitate the creation and implementation of ideas. And again, great classroom experiences can indeed be inspiring (especially when smart folks are involved!). The ORDER class I always recommend is a good example. Publications and initiatives are sometimes generated by freshmen taking that course, so really good schools are very good at creating classrooms that function as a catalyst for EC endeavors. EC's and academics aren't necessarily separate spheres at such places (I feel that places with more rigorous and inspiring classroom settings end up actually having more interesting EC scenes and innovation. In honesty, even at top schools academics can turn into a sideshow, albeit a more rigorous than normal one). Anyway, my who take-home message is to just be careful when considering selective schools. Ensure that the school is actively putting the brilliance of the students to use. I think Emory does okay here (better than some), and could get better (as the QEP and academic and reslife engagement folks are trying to). If I were the OP, I would come to Emory and maybe double major (in fact I would recommend doing the Quantitative Social Science track with Econ. as the substantive area) and try to get involved with the many things going on with the start-up scene at Emory. In such a case, the quality of the econ. program wouldn't matter as much because they'll A) take advantage of the campus culture to propel them and B) pursue excellent coursework in other departments.
This discussion has been closed.