My son is having a very hard time deciding even though these schools are very different from one another. The main issue is that he applied for computer science (accepted UCSC for CS and SCU) but has a strong interest in Biology and Ecology. He seems less certain now of major choice. He currently attends private school and would have an easier transition at a private college. A residential experience is essential and S prefers at least hybrid. We are a full pay family and he is likely to go to graduate school. Mom and dad are not in the tech industry. S has visited all of the schools and had a full tour at the private schools.
SCU pros - Outstanding CS internship opportunities, healthy rank for CS, BS degree CS, closer to home, small classes with professor access, high satisfaction rate with graduates from his high school, merit aid, outdoor club with trips to Northern California sites
SCU cons - hotter inland climate, very structured curriculum with limited room for bio and elective classes, required religious courses, potential for required language courses if switches to bio in A&S, last minute switch to full closure last year due to Covid, not requiring vaccine, suburban location with compact campus
Colgate pros - More flexibility and time to decide on major/minor, stronger than SCU for life sciences, handled Covid very well last year with in person classes, smallest class sizes and professor access, geographically diverse student body, beautiful campus, nicer dorms and food, more prestige, 4 seasons
Colgate cons - No weekend visits home, two flights plus a drive travel home, CS degree is a BA with light math required, limited/no outdoor activities during winter
Colgate “neutral” - unsure about Greek impact but may participate, S says neutral on weather though he has never lived in that climate, no statement yet on vaccination requirement, remote location (a negative except potentially helps with Covid bubble)
UCSC pros: Admitted into CS and life sciences not impacted that we know of, lots of flexibility for GE course choices, AP and CC credits count, in the cooler climate he wanted, loves the wooded campus, year round hiking, closest to home, will require vaccination, least expensive option even with housing cost, cool community
UCSC cons: No guaranteed housing (but freshman may get priority), larger classes and may be remote, poor communication on Covid plans, lower job placement for CS then peer institutions and less assistance with placement, potential difficulty getting classes needed and may take longer to graduate, no student hub on campus, only 1 year housing on campus, possible placement as a triple in a double room
This is an interesting final three. My S was very openminded and never had that feeling that any visited campuses was “the one”. It seems all about trade offs. He is waitlisted at 4 really great schools.
If anyone has input on the BA CS degree and job placement at Colgate in particular, I would very much like to hear that. Any input welcome. TY