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Deciding between opportunity and prestige for UG

TootinAndPootinTootinAndPootin Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
So I have just about no time left to send in my deposit. Over the past month I've narrowed my choices down to two: Macalester and Middlebury.
  • Middlebury is ranked far higher, with better facilities and IMHO experience, but at the same time it's location doesn't lend itself to ample opportunities for premed majors. During school, the only med related ECs I could have are volunteering at the local hospital, EMT, and research. Otherwise I will need outside opportunities during the summer
  • Macalester is nestled between the twin cities with Mayo nearby, supplying ample opportunity to do anything I can think of. It provides me with far more community to service as well. But at the same time, the in house facilities appear not as good. ~ the same med school acceptance rate as Middlebury,
Reading i_wanna_be_Brown's sticky and elsewhere on the forum, prestige does not matter as much (though it still does), but what I do there does matter. So what would be the best thing to do in my situation?
I would find myself to be slightly happier at Midd in all other respects though (opportunity + prestige aside).

Thank you!!!

xpost /Middlebury/

Replies to: Deciding between opportunity and prestige for UG

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,663 Senior Member
    Re: Macalester -- Rochester, MN (Mayo) is a good 1.5 hours away from Mac and will require a car to get there. (No public transit available between the 2 cities.) I wouldn't count on doing any research or other volunteering there.

    D2 had a close friend graduate from Mac. The friend feels she got a great education there and say Mac has a wonderful sense of community. She also said it gets really, really cold in Minneapolis in the winter. Including the wind chill, -50 degree isn't uncommon.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    Flip the coin, if nothing else. Nobody can tell how you feel and if the difference in this feelings will actually result in difference in your acceptances to Med. Schools later. We do not know your criteria list either. Do not assume that the criteria is the same for all pre-meds. It is very different. For my D. the top criteria has always been location and even now as she is getting ready to apply to residencies, it is still her criteria #1. Does not look like it is your #1. For UG, one of the top on her list was pretty campus. I am bringing my D's example to show you that you are asking people here who had comletely different goals and views for their UG education.
    Any place will have ample of opportunities. Will they be open for you personally? It depends on many factors.
    " the only med related ECs I could have are volunteering at the local hospital, EMT, and research" - we do not know what other ECs you are looking for.
    And in regard to weather. We do not know where you live. For some a bit more snow, a bit colder temperature is OK, for others just thinking about driving in a snow or wearing a winter hat might be simply shocking. This is not in theory, it is based on having experiences with CA kids attending in OH. However, again, it may not be a huge factor for you.
    Everything is very personal. The best is to forget about Med. School when choosing UG and trust yourself much more than listenning to others. It is 4 years of your life, arguably the most important 4 years, respect this fact the most.
  • perseverenceperseverence Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    "I would find myself to be slightly happier at Midd..." It seems your heart knows where you want to go. No reasoning will make you happier if you choose the other school. One tactic (that I learned from CC): flip a coin (or imagine flipping a coin) and observe your reaction. Like let's say, the result of the coin flip is that you should go to Macalester. What's your reaction? Happy? Disappointed? This may help you decide. Good luck!
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,429 Senior Member
    If the price is the same, Midd. What is the net price of each before loan?
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    You really truly do not want to take ANY loan before Medical School.
  • baktraxbaktrax Registered User Posts: 2,563 Senior Member
    During school, the only med related ECs I could have are volunteering at the local hospital, EMT, and research.

    That's pretty much what you want to be doing for med school. What other opportunities are you looking for? If you're just looking for community service, there is ALWAYS good that you can do in any community. You don't need to be anywhere special to do that.

    Unless cost is a huge factor, then I would say Middlebury given those options. It sounds like you will have good opportunities there, and you prefer it.
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