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GWU vs UCSB

krissssjjjjjkrissssjjjjj Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Hello, I just got accepted to 7 other colleges and I have narrowed it down to GWU and UCSB. I never was expecting to get accepted to these two and am not sure what to do. I am a bio major and I hope to pursue pre-med in college. These colleges are vastly different in the things they will offer me. GWU is a smaller campus, liberal arts, a lot more opportunities for internships, class sizes are smaller so that you can engage with your professor, etc... However, the price tag is 60k for me. On the other hand, UCSB is ranked higher in biology and universities on USNews. It is near a beach, so I am assuming and through research has fewer opportunities, class sizes are bigger, and the total cost is ~35k. Everyone tells me to go for the less expensive route, but my big issue is that I want my bio/pre-med foundation to be strong so I can get into medical school. What GWU has is what UCSB doesn't have. I am very conflicted and I need an unbiased perspective on this as decision day is coming up. Please help.

Replies to: GWU vs UCSB

  • krissssjjjjjkrissssjjjjj Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I have also visited both campuses. I really liked both so that doesn't help at all.
  • albertsaxalbertsax Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    Both will prepare you for medical school admissions, assuming you put in the work. Most students that go in pre-med end up dropping it though, so it needs to be a school that you would like regardless. Can you afford both options? Can you afford med school if you pick the more expensive option? What loans would you be taking on?
  • liveyourlife26liveyourlife26 Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
    I agree with the user above. Both really will prepare you for medical school admissions, so I think you should be fine either way. I think GW and DC will allow you to have more access to internships and research opportunities, but UCSB is overall ranked better and cheaper. If cost is not an incredible barrier to you, I would maybe suggest reaching out to each school's biology department and see if they could connect you with a pre-med senior to ask them about their perspectives.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,693 Senior Member
    are you from a wealthy family? In other words, can your parents easily afford the $60k without dipping into/stretching retirement funds? (I assume that they offered you a $15k scholarship?)

    If not, save the money.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,728 Senior Member
    $100k savings over four years of undergraduate could be usefully applied to medical school so that you may be able to finish medical school with "only" $260k in debt instead of $360k in debt.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 10,377 Senior Member
    edited April 18
    my big issue is that I want my bio/pre-med foundation to be strong so I can get into medical school.
    Any college in the country can teach you the dozen or so lower-division math & science classes required to apply to med school.

    What is going to make the difference down the road is how much work you put in to do well in school, whether you get to know some profs for strong recs, whether you take part in health-related volunteering to get exposure to medicine.

    I assume you have already started volunteering in a medical setting and from this you were able to decide you want to spend a career in medicine and that being a doctor was the best future path for you instead of one of the other careers in the medical field.
  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Registered User Posts: 1,532 Senior Member
    edited April 18
    What may get you into med school is a competitive app in all respects (eg GPAs, MCAT, ECs, LoRs, secondary essays, PS), and then if offered, doing well on interviews. Understanding that all US med schools are good schools, applying broadly and not to just “top” med schools would also be an important consideration. Both these schools will offer you the resources and opportunities to become a successful premed student. Whether you do so will be much more related to your efforts, not the school attended. As med school is very expensive and typically paid for by loans, save your money for med school.

  • coolguy40coolguy40 Registered User Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    If that's the "per year" cost for those schools, then, unless you have wealthy parents, both schools would be terrible options. Since you're talking about cost, I'm assuming that you're going to be paying for most of this. Assuming you could get the financing to pay for either of these schools, you would graduate with well over $100k in loans. No bachelors degree is worth that much.

    The vast majority of bright high school graduates, who want to be doctors, don't go to medical school. You don't want that debt albatross around your neck if you decide you have a passion for something else.

    If you decide that you do want medical school, it's very expensive. You need to keep the undergraduate debt to a minimum. You're not going to see a doctor's salary for many years after you get your medical degree.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,693 Senior Member
    If that's the "per year" cost for those schools, then, unless you have wealthy parents, both schools would be terrible options.

    $36k per year is the instate COA for a UC living in dorms, absent financial aid. It may be 'terrible' but it is market price. Sure, OP can attend a Cal State or juco much cheaper, but not recommended if one desires prof/grad school.



  • pondDJpondDJ Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I know nothing about UC but my mom went to GW and I just asked her what she thought. GW is not a great science school for an undergraduate. Its ideal for political science and politics or history. If you are interested in policy, it might be a good match for you as well.
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