Boston U vs. U Pitt

<p>they rank no. 56 in US News Week's Best National Colleges list. However, I was wondering which one was better for:
1) financial aid package - a.k.a. is it worth spending money?
2) neuroscience major (both seem impressive).
3) urban life - I like metropolitan areas, high skylines, and a NYC vibe with lots of people. Which one is better?
4) In terms of education - prestige, recognition, academics, etc.</p>

<p>I would love to get a input from anyone with wisdom in this topic.</p>

<p>I don't know much about the schools (Except that BU has a great comm program) but in terms of urban life, Boston is one of the best, if not the best, college cities in the country. I've been to Pittsburgh. Meh.</p>

<p>I went to Pitt for a short stint (one semester) and grew up in the Boston area.</p>

<p>1) Well, BU gives students a good FA package - some kids I know pay almost nothing. Pitt is a public school so you're already starting out 20,000 lower. I'd say, from a very subjective view, BU is not worth 50,000+ dollars. </p>

<li><p>Both schools have really good neuroscience programs. Obviously, the internet only gives graduate school rankings, in which Pitt is higher ranked than BU.</p></li>
<li><p>For city life, you can't really beat Boston. Pittsburgh is more of a suburban-urban area. There's lots to do, but well, like I said, you can't really beat Boston.</p></li>
<li><p>If you go to BU, no matter what world rankings say, people will compare you to students at Northeastern the most. And, on US News, Northeastern is ranked 80th. Schools like Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Brandeis, BC, and Wellesley (Not to mention a lot of other top ranked schools) are always going to be looked at more favorably. It's just the way it is. People can argue, but growing up, BU was always looked at as the ghetto for students who couldn't get into the better schools. </p></li>

<p>If you go to Pitt, people will always talk about how smart you are. The only school that is "ranking-wise" better than Pitt is Carnegie Mellon.</p>

4. If you go to BU, no matter what world rankings say, people will compare you to students at Northeastern the most. And, on US News, Northeastern is ranked 80th.


<p>"People" where? In Boston itself, or elsewhere? Because I've gotta tell you, Northeastern is pretty unknown outside Boston, so no one outside Boston is going to be making such comparisons.</p>

<p>"Put down the cigarette, and drop out of BU." Modern Lovers' "Modern World." A classic. </p>

<p>YouTube</a> - modern world (demo version)</p>

<p>So..Boston's reputation is rather tainted. And Pittsburgh is underestimated.
Is that a good generalization?
And if I do go to Pittsburgh, I guess I won't be missing much at BU. I know that Pittsburgh has a better Neuroscience department, hands down. Right now, what's keeping me back is my stubborn need for a urban feel.
What do you guys think?</p>

<p>Pitt may be underestimated on CC, but it is well respected among those who will matter for your career. Pitt is a very good choice, and a bargain to boot. On the merits, I'd say it is the better choice here, given your interests and parameters. And the city of Pittsburgh has more going for it than is generally acknowledged.</p>




Depends on the OP's financial situation. From a full-pay perspective, it is cheaper than BU.</p>

Tuition ($23,042) + Fees ($810) + Room ($4800) + Board ($4400)
Total: $33,052</p>

<p>Boston U
Tuition ($39,314) + Fees ($550) + Room/Board ($12,260)
Total: $52,124</p>

<p>Of course, Iowa (the OP's state flagship) has a better neuroscience program than BU and Pitt and is much cheaper than either with a COA of only $15,748. </p>

<p>From the perspective of someone needing financial aid, the picture may change. The average FA grant at Boston U is $22,942, which knocks it down to $29,200 -- cheaper than Pitt at full price.</p>

<p>Pitt is a public university, and getting OOS aid at publics is notoriously tricky. In some cases (e.g. the UCs), it is virtually impossible. If someone is unable to secure financial aid at Pitt, BU could well be the safer financial choice.</p>

<p>"If someone is unable to secure financial aid at Pitt, BU could well be the safer financial choice."</p>

<p>Warblersrule, you make a valid point which I had not considered. If financial considerations are roughly equivalent, though, my strong vote would go to Pitt. Frankly, I think BU is somewhat overrated due to its location and being private, just as Pitt is underappreciated/underrated due to its location and being public.</p>

<p>(1) Financial Aid. I don't know if you qualify but Pitt is very generous with merit aid. Full tuition grants/ full rides are offered to top OOS students. Pitt has a relatively large endowment for a public university (thanks to Carnegies, Mellons, Heinz's etc.). BU has a relatively low endowment as compared to its peer schools and a frequent complaint is that it is (by necessity) run like a business (though its customer service has been improving).</p>

<p>(2) Neuroscience. Pitt's medical campus (med school and hospitals including highly regarded UPMC) are located on the main campus. There are many research opportunities for undergraduates. BU's medical campus is in a different location making for less interaction with the undergraduate school.</p>

<p>(3) Urban Life. Boston trumps Pittsburgh as a world class city but Pittsburgh isn't too shabby (and may be more comfortable for someone coming from the midwest). (NY trumps Boston by the way.) Pittsburgh's skyline is one of the most impressive in the US by the way. </p>

<p>The Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh are right off of Pitt's campus. Schenley Park (one of the largest urban parks in the US) abuts campus. PittArts offers discounted theatre tickets to Pitt students. Pitt also has top 10-15 teams in football and basketball if sports interests you. </p>

<p>(4) Reputation. Both are good schools. Visit both if you can. BU does have a little bit of an inferiority complex compared to Harvard, MIT, Tufts and even BC (not to Northeastern though). Even though Carnegie Mellon is next door, Pitt does not play second fiddle to CMU in Pittsburgh.</p>

<p>"Of course, Iowa (the OP's state flagship) has a better neuroscience program than BU and Pitt "
As someone who has been in the Neuroscience field for 15 years, Iowa does not have better overall neuroscience reputation on any level than Pitt. </p>

<p>"Pitt is a public university, and getting OOS aid at publics is notoriously tricky"
That's not really true in this situation. Pitt is not fully public, but is "state-related" mostly meaning that in-state tuition is subsidized and that is about it. It is not tricky to get aid, especially non-need based aid, which about 30% of students get and isn't typically impacted by applicant residency. Actually, it probably helps being OOS because of the school's desire to recruit geographic diversity. What may hurt over the next two years is that due to the market crash last year endowment disbursements at Pitt are being reduced so that will have an unknown impact. Really, the only way to know for sure would be to apply to both Pitt and BU and see the packages that each offer.</p>

<p>I must say this thread turned out informative. Thanks! I'll apply to both. :)</p>

<p>Pitt vs Boston University comes up quite a bit. They are both tied for 56th in US News undergraduate national university rankings. In order to help better compare the schools, I have added about all of the overall university rankings I could find followed by some other statistics. In any case, I am of the belief is that one should never rely on one opinion anyway, which is all US News rankings are. </p>

<p>Domestic Rankings:</p>

<p>Center for Measuring University Performance Top</a> American Research Universities (2009)
Pitt: 25
BU: 49</p>

<p>Forbes Americas's</a> Best Colleges (2009)
Pitt: 285
BU: 342</p>

<p>H.J. Newton Top</a> 60 National Research Council Number of Rated Program (1995)
Pitt: 14
BU: 38</p>

<p>H.J. Newton Top</a> 60 National Research Council Average of all 41 scores (1995)
Pitt: 29
BU: 53</p>

<p>Princeton Review Academic/Admission</a> Rating (2009)
BU: 84/96
Pitt: 80/92</p>

<p>US News: National</a> Universities (2009)
BU: 56
Pitt: 56</p>

<p>US News: Best</a> Colleges High School Council Rankings (2008)
BU: 34
Pitt: 73</p>

<p>US News: Best</a> Value National University (2009)
Pitt: 39
BU: n/r</p>

<p>Washington Monthly National</a> Universities Ranking (2009)
Pitt: 43
BU: 100</p>


<p>World/International Rakings:</p>

<p>RatER Global</a> University Ranking (2009)
Pitt: 42
BU: 66</p>

<p>SCImago INstitutions Rankings World</a> Report (2009)
Pitt: 37
BU: 105</p>

<p>Shanghai Jiao Tong University Academic</a> Ranking of World Universities (2009)
Pitt: 50
BU: 74</p>

<p>Times Higher Education-QS/US News World</a> University Rankings (2009)
BU: 54
Pitt: 114</p>

<p>Webometrics Ranking</a> Web of World Universities (2010)
Pitt: 39
BU: 80</p>

<p>Wuhan Research Center for Chinese Science Evaluation World</a> Rankings (2007)
Pitt: 29
BU: 52</p>


<p>Statistics (from common data sets and CMUP report)</p>

<p>Size (undergrad/graduate) (2009)
BU 18,283/13,677
Pitt 17,427/10,135</p>

<p>Endowment (2008)
Pitt: $2,333,379,602
BU: $1,144,996,000</p>

<p>Admissions (2009-10)
Applicants accepted
BU: 58.5%
Pitt: 58.5%</p>

<p>SAT combined Math & Reading, middle 50%
BU: 1170-1350
Pitt: 1160-1360</p>

<p>Top 10% of high school class
BU: 51%
Pitt: 49%</p>

<p>Average GPA:
Pitt 3.87
BU: 3.49</p>

National Merit & Achievement Scholars (2008-09)
BU: 32 total, 22 BU-sponsored
Pitt: 28 total, 3 Pitt-sponsored</p>

<p>National Academy Members (2008)
Pitt: 25
BU: 17</p>

<p>Major Faculty Awards (2008)
Pitt: 28
BU: 10</p>

<p>Research (2007)
Total Research Expenditures
Pitt: $558,566,000
BU: $249,279,000</p>

<p>Total Federal Research Expenditures (2007)
Pitt: $441,357,000
BU: $232,115,000</p>

<p>In addition to undergrad metrics, some of the rankings below do incorporate graduate and research strength. Such rankings speak to the overall reputation and funding of the universities and their constitutive departments as a whole, and can and do reflect on undergraduate programs for which many undergrad rankings simply do not exist. It really isn't any less reasoned than the US News decisions for incorporating any of their metrics, and in the end, each ranking methodology represents an alternative opinion on the subject. In any case, research rankings are becoming more relevant with the increasing importance of undergraduate research (and in this specific case, neuroscience is a field where that is extremely poignant).</p>

<p>WOW. wgmcp101, you're statistics are great. I see, that for virtually each ranking, Pitt ranks higher. Plus I checked out Pittsburgh, looks good.
I have my decision.</p>

<p>And if you have great grades and scores, Pitt's merit scholarships are really nice.</p>

<p>wgmcp is the wizard.</p>

<p>I wondered, and I may stray here a bit, but how does UC San Deigo terms of neuroscience,strictly?</p>

<p>BTW, does U Pitt have early decision? And while we are on that topic, I have my grade/score posted on another thread, wondered if I can get into u Pitt?</p>

<p>Rollin', rollin', rollin' admissions. The earlier the better.</p>

<p>Your grades look good for Pitt. If your math/cr scores are 1450 or above, you might get some $$$.</p>

<p>What, exactly are rolling admissions? I am unclear on the details.</p>

<p>It means that there's no set application deadline. They make their decision when they get your application, rather than wait for the whole applicant pool. They stop accepting when their class is full. The sooner you apply, the sooner you get your decision, and its easier when you apply sooner</p>