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I Think I Post Too Many Comparison Threads...But I Really Need Help...

SoCal18SoCal18 1331 replies343 threads Senior Member
edited December 2007 in Parents Forum
Okay this may be a bit premature as I have not heard back from most of my schools, but I don't want to have to rush my final decision. I will have all of my admission decisions by April 1st, but there is no way I will be able to decide where I want to go in just a month. I have been accepted to my favorite school, Indiana University, but bc I'm OOS, I will most likely have a great deal of loans. So I want my final decision to be deciding if IU is worth it compared to my 2nd choice. I also love UMiami (My other #1 - it's tied with Indiana), but I don't plan on getting in, so I'm not going to consider it until I hear back from them in late January. So basically I'm trying to narrow down the similar schools on my list so when that last month comes, I can choose the best place for me. And Pepperdine, LMU, and UPortland are as similar as they come...so hear are my pros and cons of each of them. I know I will ultimately make the final decision, but hopefully you parents can push me in the right direction. So which school do you think is the best fit for me?

Pepperdine University: Admission Pending - Have Visited The Campus

Academics (Top 50 School, Strong Bus/Comm Programs, Great Advising, Study Abroad). Atmosphere (Strong Community Feel, Laid-Back And Friendly Vibe). Campus (Pristine Grounds And Facilities, Stunning Views, Amazing Dorms). Student Body (Very Friendly, Laid-Back, Spirited, Happy).

NEGATIVES (Dull Campus/Social Life, Too Secluded, Not Many Food Options)

Loyola Marymount University: Deferred To RD - Have Visited The Campus

Dining (Late-Night Options, Dorm Room Delivery, Jamba Juice). Location (Close Proximity To Hollywood, The Beach, And UCLA/USC). Majors (Business With An Emphasis In Entertainment & Sports Marketing). Social Life (LA Nightlife, Strong Greek Scene, Lax Alcohol Policies)

NEGATIVES (Campus Empties Out On Weekends, No Apparent School Pride)

University of Portland: Accepted - Have Not Visited The Campus

Athletics (Amazing D1 Soccer, Proximity To Oregon State Football, Strong Intramural Sports Scene). Cost (I Received A $40,000 Scholarship, Most Affordable Tuition, Lowest Cost-Of-Living). Experience (New City, New State, New Climate, New Experiences). Opportunity (Connections With Nike/Adidas, Less Career Competition-no competing with the likes of UCLA/USC, More Flexibility With My Aspirations).

NEGATIVES (I Prefer Pepperdine/LMU‘s Campus And Location, Only Applied Because Of The Free Application, And I Don‘t Know If I Could Get Excited About Attending UP...but who knows?)

Thank you very much.
edited December 2007
15 replies
Post edited by SoCal18 on
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Replies to: I Think I Post Too Many Comparison Threads...But I Really Need Help...

  • EMM1EMM1 2486 replies97 threads Senior Member
    Two observations about the University of Portland:

    1. I assume that the $40,000 scholarship is over four years. If it is per year (essentially going to school for free) you should grab it with both hands.

    2. If you think that you will not be competing with students from outside the Portland area for good jobs, you re sorely mistaken. Portland is widely viewed as a very desirable place to live, and regularly attracts interests from graduates of the most prestigious institutions in the country.
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  • cathymeecathymee 2350 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Nikes connection is with the business school at the University of Oregon (look it up).They fund a whole Institute there.
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  • oregonianmomoregonianmom 1886 replies97 threads Senior Member
    UP is a wonderful school, and Portland is a great place to live (we live here). Regarding proximity to OSU, be aware that getting to an Oregon State football game will take you about 2 hours. Maybe 1.5 if the traffic is really light, but that's rare anymore.

    You really should visit. That would help a lot!
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  • ChristcorpChristcorp - 1164 replies13 threads Senior Member
    SoCal18; there's not one person here who can give you an honest opinion on which school you should select and which one is better for you. Your pros/cons negative/positives mean absolutely nothing to anyone else. What you consider a negative could just as easily be a positive for someone else.

    Unless you think that your grades are such that it would be difficult for you to get into a college/university, then your choice of which school to choose is not that difficult.

    Most people sort of know which school they "REALLY" want before they even apply. Unfortunately, students/parents make 2 very bad choices when applying to schools. 1st; The DON'T apply to the school they "REALLY" want to attend because they think there's no way they can get in. Either academically or financially. (It's like not asking the prettiest girl at school to dance because she'll [probably] say no. She winds up not dancing because no one asks her). 2nd; They apply to schools that they normally would never had chosen to go to, but because it was a free application they went ahead and applied. (Big waste of time. Good for an ego boost, but that's about it. Many schools do this because of low enrollment. It's tuff on some kids because they actually want to go to some of these schools).

    My suggestion; which helped me, my kids, friends, high school class mates, etc... all get into the colleges they wanted.

    1. Apply to all of the schools that you really want to go to. Don't think about the logistics of price, grades, distance, etc.... If you've been researching schools that will help you with you degree and future, and know which ones you would drool over, then apply to them.

    2. Don't apply to schools that you don't have any real desire to attend. Even though they offer a "Free" application and waiver the app fees, doesn't mean you have to apply. Remember, for them, it's a business; for you it's your future. Free app or not; if you normally wouldn't have applied there, then don't apply there. You don't really want that school, so why may it a part of your selection headache. Of course, if your grades are such that you aren't sure if you can get into college, then it doesn't hurt. At least you'll know if you have an option.

    3. When you finally get your acceptances, list them in order of how much you really like them. Which one will best get you to your goal. If your goal is the name recognition of the school for when you apply for a job, then that is one thing to consider. The goal might be the "Social" experience of going off to college. The goal might be the school's ability to offer internship positions with companies, studying abroad, or a host of other things.

    4. Once you have them in order of your most favorite, then decide which one you can afford. There's 3 parts to what you can afford. What you and/or your family can pay. What scholarships, grants, merits, other aid, you can get. And what you are willing to borrow and willing to have to pay back, to go to the particular school. You may find that school "A" is your #1 choice, but when all is said and done you will have to borrow $60-$80,000 over the next 4-5 years to go there. On the other hand, your #2 choice might not require any loans or a much lower amount. You have to determine how important it is to you to have such a debt for you or your parents once you graduate.

    With the exception of some technical careers, pre-med, certain junior entry job positions, etc.... which college/university you go to is not that important. It is more important that you go to a school that you like, are comfortable with, and doesn't put you into financial debt for the next 10 years after you graduate. Some people will tell you that the name of the school is extremely important. Except for certain reasons I mentioned earlier; such as a research position where an MIT/caltech/etc... graducation means something; or a position with a certain financial/business firm where a harvard type degree means something, it isn't important. Especially if you are eventually going to go to graduate school, then most times the school you went to for undergraduate isn't that important.

    So, you need to decide which schools will help you get to where you want to be. Professionally, financially, socially, college experience, debt, etc... Then you choose which one you like. Don't mention to others the pros and cons. That doesn't mean anything to them. Or should I say; it doesn't mean THE SAME THING to them as it does you. The only questions you should ask others about a particular school, are particular questions such as cost of living, certain teaching practices, certain social opportunities, etc... Trying to get others to compare 2 or more schools is totally useless. There is absolutely no way for anyone to tell you which school is best for you. Only you know that. For some students; including the 4.0gpa, valedictorian, student will 3 full ride offers to colleges, etc... sometimes the "State-U" is the best choice. For those who haven't even thought about college until now, State-U or community college might be best for them because of their lack of ability to plan ahead and organize their thought. I.e. If a person hasn't applied to their dream schools by now, then maybe they were meant to be looking at State-U.

    Anyway, good luck with your endeavor. Forget what others say you should do. Choose what you think is right for you and what you can afford. Happy New Year.
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  • drizzitdrizzit 716 replies90 threads Member
    SoCal you have been all over the map with college choices. I remember Washington State, Miami, was it Indiana or Illinois? As my grandad used to say it is just time to do something or get off the pot.

    Only you know what is best for you. Listening to other perspectives for help is fine and a good idea but only to a certain point. Nobody here really knows all the details of your personal life to make this decision or even offer great advice. In the end, college choice is a very personal decision.
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  • SoCal18SoCal18 1331 replies343 threads Senior Member
    I know my original post was kind of long, but if you are going to post something, I encourage you to actually read the whole thing.

    I specifically mentioned I have found and I have applied to my dream schools (UMiami and Indiana). And I never once asked where should I go...I said that I need help narrowing down some very similar schools and I would appreciate your opinions. I also stated I know I make the final decision, but I would like a push in the right direction.

    Maybe I wasn't clear enough, but I just want to hear what you think about Pepperdine, LMU, and Portland. After visiting Pepperdine and LMU, I liked Pepperdine the best. But when I think where should I go, I feel LMU is a better fit for me. And then I look at UPortland and see my scholarship and a whole different experience...and I just don't know how to narrow these three schools down bc they are so similar.

    Maybe I should quit posting these on the Parent's Forum, but you guys are the only ones that seem to know about these schools. The majority on CC only considers the top schools in the country.

    And I just wanted to make sure that we only focus on these three schools. I can narrow down my other schools once I decide which of these schools is my best fit.

    Thank you.
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  • thumper1thumper1 78012 replies3498 threads Senior Member
    Pepperdine and LMU are very different from the other schools on your list. Both have religious affiliations...the others don't. Pepperdine is an excellent school with a very strong Christian presence. I've never been to LMU but I think it's Catholic. In both cases, you will find theology requirements that do not exist at the other schools on your list.

    If it were me, I'd wait until I have the acceptances in hand to try to sort this out. You may or may not get accepted at these schools. There is no sense, for example, deciding that Pepperdine trumps LMU only to find out later that you didn't get accepted.
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  • SoCal18SoCal18 1331 replies343 threads Senior Member
    thumper1...thanks for the help.

    I want to wait until I have the acceptances because I could easily get rejected from both of them. But I'm worried since they won't come until late March, I won't be able to decide between them and my other schools if I were to get accepted at all of them. I just want to make the right decision, so I feel putting in some extra time and research will be completely beneficial.

    And I prefer the environments at Miami, Indiana, Florida State, and SDSU....but I have taken tours of Pepperdine and LMU and I really liked them, so I applied even though they didn't fit my typical huge, party, sports type schools.

    Thanks again.
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  • ChristcorpChristcorp - 1164 replies13 threads Senior Member
    SoCal; As I mentioned in my post, cost is very important. If money isn't an issue; state that. If it is an issue, then a whole new set of questions need to be asked. Such as; what can you afford? If money is an issue, and the question still stands, then you need to decide what scholarships, grants, aid, etc... you can get. For instance; some schools because of their desire for diversity, offer some really cool scholarships for out of state residents. My son has been offered a couple of Full Ride; including dorms and food, to some pretty good schools because they don't get many applicants from certain states. What are some of your financial options with the schools you mentioned?

    Now, if money is not an issue, and you are looking for a straight up answer in comparing your listed schools, then it's totally subjective. But, I will put my vote in for Pepperdine. I have friends who went to the malibu campus for school and loved it. Then again, Loyola Marymount is also a beautiful school. You say you like Florida, but you seem to be from California. As such, going to USC, UCLA/Berkley/etc... would also be great and a whole lot let money for a resident.

    I think that your only way to narrow down the list is to first get accepted to all of them. If we assume that you WILL be accepted to all of them, then decide what you can afford. (I still think money may probably be part of the equation). If it isn't, then go to the one that has the best department in what you want to major. If they are all equal, and money isn't an issue or you don't mind loans, then go with what you think you will like.
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  • SoCal18SoCal18 1331 replies343 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for the help Christcorp.

    Money will be an issue, but Pepperdine, LMU, and Miami seem to offer pretty good financial aid. However, I won't find out the actual cost until April.

    And my college list is final. I applied to UMiami, Florida State, Pepperdine, LMU, UPortland, San Diego State, and Indiana University...so I'm not looking to consider anymore schools.

    Also, I want to compare schools before I know the actual cost because I don't want finances to completely alter my decision as I'm fine with taking out loans.

    But anyways, I looked at the career services of these schools and Pepperdine and LMU seem to be really great in helping its students find internships/careers.
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  • mathmommathmom 33089 replies160 threads Senior Member
    Some people find it helpful to make a spreadsheet and rate everything they care about in a school. It might include - party reputation, beach, urban vs. rural or suburban, reptutation of particular departments, overall rank etc. Get it all on paper. It might become clearer to you that even though you liked a school on a visit it really isn't offering the things your favorite schools offer. Only you can decide what's most important to you. For me both undergrad and grad the most important thing after overall academics was an urban location. For my son the only thing he cared about at all was the computer science department. It may actually be easier to decide in April when you are under the gun.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27892 replies196 threads Senior Member

    Pepperdine does not meet 100% of need, so the finaid package may not be to your liking.
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  • oregonianmomoregonianmom 1886 replies97 threads Senior Member
    As I mentioned before, you really should visit University of Portland. You may love it and find that the nice scholarship they gave you is enough to push you in that direction. Or you may find you don't care for it, in which case you can cross it off your list. Any chance of visiting soon?

    I like mathmom's idea - the spreadsheet is what we did, too.
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  • SoCal18SoCal18 1331 replies343 threads Senior Member
    ^^ On April 5th, they are having an overnight visit for accepted students...so if I'm still considering the school when that date rolls around then I will go visit it.
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  • historymomhistorymom 3302 replies165 threads Senior Member
    SoCal I just want to echo oregonianmom. Visit UP. Short of that, ask yourself...are you a southern California kind of guy ie. Do you identify strongly w/ your roots there and would you feel uncomfortable in a more "granola" type of atmosphere.

    UP has its share of beautiful people but my suspiscion is that you will find there more of the atmosphere you'd see at a Nor-Cal U. Fewer people aren in to trends, or being beautiful everyday for class (guys and girls). You are more likely to see sweats, pjs and jeans that aren't 7 or Lucky on the girls at UP. The guys don't use as many styling products at UP and the surfer you find at the So Cal schools gives way to the rock climber at UP. I am painting this with a very broad brush, but I am trying to give you an idea of the things that may be more related to what fits for you.

    The qualitly of the education is pretty comparable though USNWR ranks UP higher if that matters to you.

    Pepperdine and LMU are really not that similar to UP. LMU and UP share their Catholic origin but they attract a very different student body. I am sure that students at all three campuses are friendly and helpful. I am sure you will find helpful advisors, wonderful professors and super fun ways to spend your time at any of the three but if the only way you can make this choice is to visit, you really should go to one of UP's admitted students events.
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