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USF, Eckerd, or FIT

Alex23Alex23 Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
edited February 2013 in Florida Colleges
My DD is waiting on her reply from UF, but judging from friends who've applied, it seems like she has at best a 50/50 shot. Her dream major is agriscience, which only UF and Florida Southern have in Florida (and she is not really interested in Florida Southern), but if she doesn't get in, she will choose between the three colleges above, with a major in environmental science or biotechnology. She's been accepted to UCF but thinks it's too huge. She's been offered scholarships at the two private schools, with the bigger one coming from FIT. She has ADD, so I think the smaller environment at FIT or Eckerd would be good but, otoh, it seems like a lot of people haven't even HEARD of those schools. I want her to have a good experience, but I don't want her to graduate with no job prospects because the school doesn't have a good reputation. I know that she will probably eventually go to graduate school, but I don't want her to be in a situation where she absolutely has to go to get a job.

What do people think about these schools? Are the private schools worth the money? Do their graduates get jobs? Do their students graduate in something like 4-6 years? Is USF really huge and overwhelming? Any thoughts appreciated.
Post edited by Alex23 on

Replies to: USF, Eckerd, or FIT

  • SweetheartCrocSweetheartCroc Registered User Posts: 586 Member
    Look at the student-to-faculty ratios for these schools. Some smaller schools have a surprisingly high ratio of students to faculty. Some larger schools have a better ratio than you might expect.
  • Alex23Alex23 Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    No, it's about what I expected. USF has a 27:1 faculty to student ratio, which is less than UCF's 32:1 ratio but more than UF's 21:1 ratio. She'd go to UF if she got in; I'm just not sure that would happen. Eckerd has a 13:1 ratio and FIT has a strikingly small 9:1 ratio. I went to UM, which has an 11:1 ratio (and I suspect it was similar when I attended in the Dark Ages), which was, in retrospect, very nice. I remember sitting in very empty little classrooms, chatting with teachers, and having only a very few classes, unimportant things like required Western Civilization, that were in auditoriums. So yeah, FIT and Eckerd are more what I'd hope for. But, like I said, I wonder on the reputation front. UM, obviously, has it all, but it is $40K a year and extremely unlikely to give her a scholarship as it has become very, very competitive in recent years, if she even got in (which she only would due to being a legacy).
  • Alex23Alex23 Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Anyone else have any thoughts?
  • mmmgirlmmmgirl Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    How are the finances? You don't have to give specifics, but is there a significant gap in affordability? Would she have to take out a lot of loans?
  • Airborne101stAirborne101st Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Hi Alex23. I would go with UF for agriscience. UF is a big school and have a lot of research opportunities not to mention a career center that can help undergraduates with future job placements. Then again, have you visited UF for a school tour? I would e-mail the department of your major and ask them on the qualities, research, perks, etc. Good luck. UF will electronically tell prospective students whether they got into the school this Friday @6PM on the admission status page.
  • Alex23Alex23 Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Yeah, if she gets into UF, she will go. But considering we know people with perfect grades and SATs who didn't get in, that is a longshot. That's why she's considering other options.

    As far as money, FIT and Eckerd cost about the same. She got a bigger scholarship from FIT, but with the scholarship, plus Bright Futures, FRAG, and her Florida prepaid, either school would be doable, and we might see if we can get more $$ out of Eckerd based upon the larger scholarship to FIT. USF would obviously be cheaper, but if she would do better at the smaller school, and if that school is okay, it would be worth the money. I'm more concerned with the quality of the education.
  • mmmgirlmmmgirl Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    If you know she'd be better at a school with small classes, she might as well eliminate USF as it doesn't seem like they'd offer her anything she couldn't get at one of the other schools. But it might be worth it to visit again and sit in on a few classes, to see if they're that bad. I'm taking a "big lecture course" at FAU right now, but half the people don't show up and of the ones that do, only 10 or so really engage. If you speak loudly and ignore the other 50 bodies in the room, it's like being in a small class. I've taken very small honors DE classes at community college that didn't have the level of discussion and professor attention this class does.

    OTOH, you need to take much more initiative to get that much out of a lecture class, because it's very easy to not show up, or to just sit there and not say anything, and no one will really care. So for quiet types, a school with a lot of small classes might be better.

    I think in-state, people will have heard of FIT and Eckerd. Out-of-state, they will be less well known, but so will USF, so that won't offer much benefit.

    So basically my point is, see if big classes are really that bad, and if they are, just eliminate USF.
  • ECmotherx2ECmotherx2 Registered User Posts: 1,732 Senior Member
    Are you able to attend the accepted student days at Eckerd? It offers a wonderful experience for your student and you to see the campus, meet with current students, professors, other parents and other departments including admissions, career resources financial aid, housing, Dean of students, and international education. You will get to meet other students who have been accepted and also learn about the clubs and activities offered. Eckerd is listed as one of the top 10 environmental studies schools by Fiske's guides, it is one of 270 colleges and universities that were awarded a Phi Beta Kappa honor society chapter, it has the largest number of Hollings Scholars in the country and the mentor program has become a model for other colleges. It is a hidden gem. Best of luck in your decision!
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