Advice please?

<p>Hi! First I would like to say that this site has been incredibly helpful throughout the admissions process. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. </p>

<p>Now, I would like to ask for advice about my own college decision. I have been accepted to several great schools, but I have cut that down to either Rice University or MIT. I know that both schools are wonderful and have their merits, but when I visited, I felt that I would fit in a lot better at MIT. I liked the atmosphere and the people better (no offense to anyone at Rice; they were very nice too). </p>

<p>However, Rice has given me considerable merit aid that would make Rice about a third the cost of MIT. The scholarships are constant in value regardless of tuition inflation and one of them is only for the first two years. I have talked with my parents about this, and they feel that they could afford the cost of MIT without loans, but it would still be a financial burden for the family. If money were not an issue, I would definitely choose MIT, but now things are more complicated. </p>

<p>What would you advise me to do? Thanks again for reading this thread.</p>



<p>If your family can afford it without borrowing, and they are willing to pay, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to go to your first choice school. Everyone should be so lucky! Go to MIT and thank your parents by working hard and having a wonderful experience.</p>

<p>I have personal stakes in both schools: my husband got his BS and MSEE degrees from Rice, and my son has been accepted for MIT'09. You will have to do your own determination of the level of family financial burden that is acceptable, but I wanted to post to tell you that my husband got an outstanding education at Rice and has had a fantastic career (including further graduate education and international recognition in his field). He does not for a moment regret that choice for himself. (And I think my son's choice of MIT is the right one for him.)</p>

<p>Are the programs you're interested in similar at the two schools? I see that you live in MA now: is it important to you to stay in your home area or do you want to live in another part of the country for the next four years? Evaluate what factors lead you to feel you fit in better at MIT. 1/3 the cost is a significant difference: think about these questions and others, and you may have your answer. (Also, see the ideas in the thread "A way to decide" ( <a href=""&gt;;/a> ): they might be helpful. We found it useful, after doing the comparison tables suggested in that thread, to have the student go to sleep imagining they'd accepted School A, then wake up and note how they feel, then tell themselves, "Oh sorry, you can't go there, you have to go to School B," and note how they feel then. This kind of approach, along with the factual table thing, seemed to be helpful.)</p>

<p>As you note, they're both great schools and you'll get a fine education either way. I wish you great luck with your choice, and great joy in your matriculation! :)</p>

<p>Another point is Mini's - what could you and your family do with the extra money? It is not so much that Rice is vastly inferior to MIT, your educational experience may not be inferior at all, but if some of that money can be used to enhance your education - study abroad or a sojourn at MIT or Livermore - whatever vs "living on beans" at MIT.</p>

<p>Is MIT $85000. better than Rice? (I'm guesstimating that amount of money - but you could probably figure it out) If it's just a small amount of preference for MIT, I would go to Rice. (I'm biased. My daughter is at Rice and just loves it!) The fact is, you won't really know what it is like to go to the school until you have been there for a while. If you have good aid at Rice, why not attend Rice and transfer if you are unhappy?</p>

If you have good aid at Rice, why not attend Rice and transfer if you are unhappy?

As long as the thought isn't to transfer to MIT, that would be a fine option! (MIT has accepted fewer than <em>10</em> transfer students a year for the last few years. It is beyond extremely difficult to be admitted as a transfer.)</p>

<p>I think it just depends on what you are looking for. The two schools are obviously both good, but they are different. Is doing research a major priority for you? As a fellow century scholar, I can tell you that the program is really great. So that would point to Rice. On the other hand, is being close to home a priority? That would point to MIT. Rice has some interesting things to offer beyond the scholarships that MIT will not give you, just as MIT has things that Rice doesn't. Look at the differences carefully, and that may help you.</p>

<p>What do you want to study?</p>

<p>Thanks for all the helpful opinions. I think the issues of fit I had with Rice had more to do with the social scene. Maybe I was just placed on an unfortunate floor for Owl Weekend, but the students honestly admitted that if I didn't drink or dance, there wouldn't be much to do on the weekends. Everyone seemed to have a story about a random drunken stranger wandering into their room and throwing up. While I realize that I will run into that problem at many many colleges, it appeared more avoidable at MIT. I am also very drawn to the idea that MIT is known for teaching its students how to think and solve problems creatively. There just seemed more energy and enthusiasm on MIT's campus. I feel like I have moderately strong (oh man my statistics class has me quite trained) feelings of preference for MIT, but I know that I can get a great education from Rice too. I have also thought about the point that mootmom raised, that it would be much easier to transfer from MIT to Rice than Rice to MIT should I be unhappy. As for location, my mom certainly would like me to stay closer to home, and I would also be closer to my friends who are all attending college in the northeast, but I don't object to Texas. I just wish that I weren't so indecisive. Thanks again for all your comments.</p>

<p>Edit: I think I am interested in Chemistry or Biochemistry or maybe Chemical Engineering. I really just know that I want to do science. Research is important to me, and the Century Scholar program is definitely a big plus for Rice, but MIT also has the UROP program. Similarly, the opportunities with biotech companies in Cambridge would parallel the opportunities in the Texas Medical Center. Haha, I'm so confused.</p>

it would be much easier to transfer from MIT to Rice than Rice to MIT should I be unhappy

Possibly so, but the merit aid Rice is now offering you would not likely still be available as a transfer, which negates one of the positives of Rice in your initial post.</p>

<p>(Also remember that CPW does not represent "normal MIT", or so I'm told. :) )
but I don't object to Texas.

Hmm, that doesn't sound like someone talking themselves into considering Rice. Sounds to me as if you've made your decision.</p>

<p>Go to MIT--but be prepared to do what it takes to pay for it. Yourself.</p>

<p>Including taking a year off to save, trying for RA spots etc.</p>

<p>It can be done. You aren't going to fit at Rice.</p>

<p>Well, if you don't think that you would fit in at Rice and will be unhappy, you certainly shouldn't come. That said, I do not drink or dance and I have found lots of cool people to hang out with and fun things to do. Every college is what you make of it. No stranger has ever wandered into my room and thrown up...if you lock your door this can't really happen. Plus, Rice is a small school, so there aren't generally too many strangers wandering around in your dorm.</p>

<p>I just heard that Rice and NASA are starting an 11 million dollar reasearch and development project - not jus the med center which is one of the best in the world, but NASA, too...hmm maybe there's more there than you thought.</p>