Does Ithaca have a good reputation?

I’m trying to make a decision about where to transfer, I was accepted a few places and have narrowed it down between Ithaca College (TV-Radio major) and SUNY New Paltz (Digital Media Production major).

I’ve visited NP before and liked the campus, got decent vibes, was kind of assuming I would end up there but was pretty surprised when I got into Ithaca and they offered me a fairly large renewable merit scholarship. (IC is significantly more expensive than NP but this bridges the gap a bit, especially considering NP did not offer me any financial aid). I never got the opportunity to visit Ithaca due to COVID.

Considering all factors, I was leaning towards IC because I figured they are well known for communications, and I would probably learn more about my field, be more likely to get internships, and end up with a job when I graduate. Most of the schools I applied to are public/state schools so it stands out among my options as, I don’t really know how to phrase this but it seems a higher caliber than the other schools I was accepted to and I thought it was possible that a degree from Ithaca would look more impressive to prospective employers in my field (TV/mass media) and grant me opportunities in the long run.

However I’ve since learned that IC has a fairly high acceptance rate and is known for being kind of a party school. I am already kind of nervous because it is so far away from me and I never visited campus. I’m finding it really hard to judge whether it will ultimately be worth the price tag & distance, or if I should just stick closer to home. Don’t get me wrong, I was attracted to more than just the reputation, but I came here to ask if it has really made a difference for people and should I consider it when making my decision. Will a degree from Ithaca really be “worth” more than one from a SUNY school?

“Worth” is hard to gauge without seeing the numbers involved … would you mind posting the numbers?

Other than that, New Paltz is a great school in many ways and one of my favorites. Ithaca is a school that touts its reputation, and I’ve heard reports that students find it fun, but I haven’t seen evidence of it being any better for careers in the real world, so from my POV what you are then purchasing is a feeling that you might have better job prospects from Ithaca against a feeling that you might not at New Paltz. Feelings are fine, people make decisions based on feelings all the time, but it’s impossible to weigh the strength of them without seeing the numbers. Getting evidence about job prospects would be ideal, however.

What’s important to consider also is the DEBT involved in this economic climate. It’s impossible to know any way, and more so with what’s happening currently, if you’ll get a job in media or radio–they may not exist when you graduate regardless of the school. That leads me to point you toward the cheapest school, whichever that one is.

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I’m with @Dustyfeathers: you want as little debt as possible for your sector in general and the current economic climate in particular.

I have learned to like Ithaca- like you, what I knew when I was coming through wasn’t particularly impressive. Whether it’s changed, or I am just slightly better informed (or some combination of both), the Ithaca students I know (mostly in the music dept) are pretty serious about their studies. Not to say they don’t have fun! Just that they are there for more than a party school

The thing that will really matter is your hustle: internship opportunities at both places will take work for you to find, apply for, not hear back from, get rejected from and try again. Ithaca might open some more doors for you- a better contact here, a more invested prof there- but you have to make it work.

As Dustyfeathers suggested, look for info from both places about student outcomes- they have that it! where do most grads go? where do the stars go?

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