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rice trustee v duke v upenn viper HELP!

yaleivyleagueyaleivyleague 123 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
Hi guys, im trying to decide between these three schools and only have a few days left.
Rice is about 120k cheaper than duke/penn because i got the trustee scholarship. I didnt get aid from duke/penn.
I am planning on studying chemical engineering or maybe computer engineering. I will either go into consulting after graduation or to medical school, and I haven't decided on that yet.
Social enviornment is really important for me. I love Duke's social environment and the ra ra enthusiasm and i love basketball; however, Duke doesnt have a chem e major. I loved everything about Duke the most.
I liked Rice, but it seemed very quiet and less enthusiastic. However, the residential college system is highly regarded. 50% of Rice also comes from Texas, so it has less diversity which could be bad.
UPenn has the most prestige, which matters a lot if I went into consulting. I also got into penn viper, which is a dual degree program where I would get two degrees in science and engineering (chem e and chem) and there is three summers of paid guarenteed research. the program is not binding so I could drop out anytime if it becomes too difficult. less than 25 people get accepted to this program so it could help me stand out.
In terms of cost, Rice is obviously the cheapest by 120k. If i go to rice, my parents said they can pay for grad school. If i go to duke or penn then no. But if I go to UPenn, I could get a job at an elite consulting company like mckinsey easier and get a much higher starting salary. Upenn also has a lot of people to network with and the most billionaire alumni, which could help me the most in later life. upenn will provide me with better resources and connections than duke and rice, and the ivy league name may be important.

What should I do? Will I be missing out on diversity, the college experience, invaluable connections if I go to Rice over penn and duke? It would be helpful if a penn or duke alumni could tell me how the name and connections helped them in their career as opposed to rice.
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Replies to: rice trustee v duke v upenn viper HELP!

  • warblersrulewarblersrule 9963 replies170 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 10,133 Super Moderator
    edited April 27
    Will I be missing out on diversity, the college experience, invaluable connections if I go to Rice over penn and duke?
    Rice is a terrific school with a good quality of life. The sky's the limit if you do well there.

    I'll let someone else weigh in about Penn, but I think it's very hard to justify the additional expense for Duke, especially since it doesn't offer chemical engineering.

    A lot of my fellow Duke grads went into ibanking and consulting after graduation (a surprising number, actually, considering we graduated at the height of the recession). They made good money, but virtually all of them moved into other careers after about five years because they were so burned out.
    edited April 27
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 894 Member
    edited April 27
    I can’t decide for you but it should be between Penn and Rice. No one in their right mind should pay full price to Duke when they can attend a peer or arguably better school as half tuition merit scholar.

    Penn has a bigger well placed alumni base, prestige, rigor and Ivy tag so it’s absolutely worth a consideration even at full price. It is big, less undergrad focus and cold so not sure if best for undergrad at full cost but that’s your call to make or realistically for your parents as they’ll be the ones writing checks.
    edited April 27
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  • scubadivescubadive 1086 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    If you go the Consulting route sooner or later you will want a masters. And after your first job, its what you have done not necessarily the degree. Thats not to say certain programs prepare students better than others or feed to certain employers. But the reality is you will probably switch up majors/career along the way. If you asked my child if they ever thought what they are doing now was even a consideration, the response would be absolutely not. So if you love Duke and your parents can afford it and you are ok with paying for grad school provided you decide to go, pick Duke. If it will be a financial hardship or your family and you are dead set on grad school and want the debt free option go to Rice.
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  • yaleivyleagueyaleivyleague 123 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    @warblersrule could you expand on which careers your fellow duke grads went into after they bruned out of consulting? and why did they burn out or not like that career? thanks
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 1029 replies11 discussionsForum Champion Rice Posts: 1,040 Forum Champion
    Did you already rule out Vanderbilt? Vandy, being in the SEC might give you more of a rah rah experience closer to that at Duke than Rice would. Rice students do not attend the sporting events in large numbers. However, if you want to study engineering, Rice is a great place for that. You can change your major easily at Rice, and do not have to declare a major until the end of sophomore year. If you want to go into business/consulting, Penn is known for that, especially the Wharton school. If you want to go premed, all of the schools would be fine choices. If graduate school/med school is definitely in your future, it might be wise to go with the least expensive option and bank the savings for grad school.
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  • scubadivescubadive 1086 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    Duke sends many to banking or consulting. Banking/ investment banking/ hedge funds are not life long careers for many. Only so many people really make the big big bucks. Its long hours and a dog eat dog culture. Consulting is hard as you are on the road nonstop. People burn out and its hard on a family.
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  • StanfordGSB00StanfordGSB00 72 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    I would go to Penn. It has the most cross-industry prestige of the 3. Duke is very very close. It would be my 2nd choice. I think Penn and Duke also have very powerful networks (with the slight edge to Penn). Rice has more of a regional alumni base. Rice is an excellent school but its lacking in the name recognition / prestige area compared to Duke and Penn, especially on the coasts.

    For Penn, it is also easy to switch undergrad schools if you want to switch to CAS. For Wharton, you will need to maintain at least a 3.7 GPA in math and econ courses but it is do-able. I think in the long-term, Penn will give you the most flexibility and the best recruiting opportunities.
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  • yaleivyleagueyaleivyleague 123 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    Obviously this is a subjective question, but do you think the Penn name is worth 120k compared to Rice trustee? I am 90% going to grad school/med school, and if I go to Rice my parents can pay for grad/part of med school, whereas as if i go to penn then they can't so I would have to take out loans @StanfordGSB00
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  • scubadivescubadive 1086 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    Rice is an extremely reputable school that provides a great education. If this would shave off a 120k of potential crushing debt go to Rice as you will be grateful later. Top MBA programs are 120k and med school even more. If you believe you are more than 50% likely to go to grad school really consider the conservative approach. You can always go to penn for grad school.
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  • scubadivescubadive 1086 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    I want to add private loans are painful and worse than federal loans.
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  • SincererLoveSincererLove 725 replies21 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 746 Member
    I thought you are CV scholar at Vandy. Vandy would be $200k cheaper than Duke and UPenn, and students from Vandy go work at MBB.

    Best of luck deciding.
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  • ricegradricegrad 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    None of those schools are top programs in chemical engineering but Duke would be the worst of the lot as it has no program at all. Many chemical engineers go to work in the energy industry, and if you were to do the same then Rice would be a solid choice due to its location. Otherwise Penn is a higher-ranked school with greater prestige, especially in the northeast which seems important to you.

    Unfortunately no one can tell you whether you'll miss out on social life or college experiences going to one place or the other. That kind of thing is subjective though I know people from all three places who felt like that was a strong point. Just try to keep in mind that deciding among 3 top programs is a great problem to have!
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 894 Member
    edited April 28
    OP was admitted to Vanderbilt (free CV), GT (in state tuition), Cornell(full pay), Duke(full), U Penn(full) and Rice(1/2 tuition), he has great options.
    edited April 28
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