Duke vs UNC

<p>I've gotten into both Duke University and the Honors Program at UNC-Chapel Hill (with a small scholarship) and the decision is killing me. I think one of the big stumbling blocks for me is everything I've heard about how unhappy kids are at Duke and how much more fun Carolina is. Asking for your thoughts, thanks.</p>

<p>Duke. Period. End of story.</p>

<p>It might sound shallow, but a 13ish slot differential between the two school's rankings means a lot.</p>

<p>In terms of academics, UNC is nowhere near Duke. The only time when the two schools are comparable is in their basketball programs.</p>

<p>Ok, Duke is better, but does it just blow UNC out of the water completely? From what I've heard, UNC is an excellent university in its own right.</p>

<p>Absolutely; UNC is one of the best public schools in the country. That, in its own right, is a status that makes attendance heavily coveted. </p>

<p>However, we are talking about Duke here, a university that consistently ranks with the upper Ivies and the best learning institutions in the world.</p>

Ok, Duke is better, but does it just blow UNC out of the water completely? From what I've heard, UNC is an excellent university in its own right.


<p>Absolutely. But Duke students are not miserable by any means--in fact, they're known for being "work hard, play hard." </p>

<p>I assume, however, that you're OOS since you don't have a good grasp of the prestige of the two universities. With OOS costs at Chapel Hill, I'd pick Duke. In-state cost would be a different cup of tea.</p>

<p>Alright, I get that Duke is better, but is it that outrageously better (i.e. Harvard to UT Austin) like some people here make it sound?</p>

<p>Truthfully, both schools are Tier 1 schools, members of the higher echelons of established learning. Within these tiers of excellence, however, exists a disparity between the Harvard and Cornell, MIT and Georgetown, etc. Its hard to be "outrageously better" than one of the better schools in America, but there is a difference between Duke and UNC. Since you aren't applying to a program that one school is (disproportionately to its rank) known (or unknown) for, Duke should be your unanimous first choice.</p>

<p>Unless there are other, mitigating factors, such as in-state aid for UNC or something along those lines.</p>

<p>If you're having those kinds of feelings toward the school, then it's likely not a good fit for you. Ultimately, both are great schools and though Duke is probably considered by most to be better, you will get a great education at both. At this point, you need to choose based on fit. Don't let us here on CC convince you to go to Duke just because of the name and whatnot. If you feel like UNC is a better fit, go there!</p>

<p>There's a huge difference between Harvard and Cornell now? Wow, this just blew my mind.</p>

<p>UNC. Most definitely. You'd probably be happier at Chapel Hill. It's way better.</p>

<p>I'm a Duke basketball team hater, but in your position (and if you're OOS), go to Duke. Seriously. I'm looking at Duke very seriously, and at UNC almost as an afterthought in the college admissions process. UNC is a great public school, but you'd be surprised by people's experiences there. Duke is "work hard, play hard," and the academics are Top 15 in the country, especially depending on certain departments. Duke is better for math/science, while UNC is better when it comes to humanities, I believe. What do you want to study? Best of luck :)</p>

<p>This is really helpful, and I'm grateful. I'm not OOS--I live in NC. And I get the prestige bit. My mom's job gets me a break on tuition, so the cost difference is not as huge as it might be. Do people feel isolated at Duke? Is there a good sense of community?</p>

<p>OP, kids at Duke are not unhappy. Rather, I'd argue that we are one of the happiest student bodies (without much proof, heh, but just from conversations with friends and the vibe in campus).</p>

<p>Here's some info about life at Duke socially:</p>

The social scene at Duke can be described in four words: diverse, balanced, eclectic, and most importantly, INCLUSIVE. </p>

<p>1) Diverse, eclectic</p>

<p>While the Greek system is existent, it is by no means dominating or self-segregating. Statistically speaking, only about 23% of students are associated with a Greek organization, so it is available to those who wish to participate. But while I am not Greek, I have friends who are both Greek and non-Greek, so by making one decision, you're not excluding yourself from a huge chunk of friends/the social life here. The other thing girls in particular love about Greek life here is that sororities here do not haze (and for guys its just drinking..). Pretty much every other school's sororities hazel at Duke, they give each other chocolates, gifts, etc. Haha as you can tell, it's a pretty loving environment.</p>

<p>If you don't want to be always stuck in Greek life, there is always something else going on. There are parties EVERYWHERE, there are free movies in the movie theater on campus, shopping trips, hanging out in Durham, eating in Durham (Durham has an incredible restaurant scene), performances at Duke and in Durham (the Duke student body is particularly dance and singing crazed. There's always some group performing...), attending lectures/speakers, going to basketball games (or any athetlic event), or just chilling with your friends. There's also three to four clubs within walking distance of campus that everyone likes to go to and have a great time dancing/hanging out. Very few of Duke's peer schools have these unique outlets..</p>

<p>There's obviously a lot more, but I just wanted to give the picture that Duke's social scene is definitely not dominated by Greek organizations and is in fact, very diverse. Frat/sorority parties, though, are very, very fun.</p>

<p>2) Balanced</p>

<p>A lot of schools say that they have a "work hard, play hard" environment. But to be honest, I don't think that the phrase gives Duke's unique environment justice. What elite school other than Duke can boast incredible academics alongside a basketball team that is going to the Final Four (a team that is coached by a gold medal winning USA basketball???)? Yeah, none. Duke has an incredible sense of balance - everyone's really happy to be here, and you can get that feeling while on campus.</p>

<p>3) Inclusive</p>

<p>This is honestly something I love the most about Duke. Duke is a much more inclusive environment than many universities. For example, I hated how parties and socials at other schools are closed. You can only get it in you know people or if you are a hot girl or if you are a guy who brings tons of girls. At Duke, no one really gives a crap. You can go pretty much wherever you want with whomever you want.. you can build your network in whichever way you desire. This is actually something unique about Duke though, and I love it. There is an incredible sense of community on campus, and everyone's pretty willing to meet others and build a stronger Duke relationship.</p>

<p>Also, since there are no houses, this really aids in integrating everyone together.. brothers live together within areas of the quads, but as I said earlier, sororities don't have housing. This makes the Greek system pretty chill relative to other universities. Tons of girls I know here always comment about how they would have never joined a sorority at another school, but since Duke's sorority life is so low-key and welcoming, they didn't feel pressured and chose to do it to meet other girls.


<p>Come to Duke :)</p>

<p>Where can I buy a bag of popcorn?</p>

<p>"However, we are talking about Duke here, a university that consistently ranks with the upper Ivies and the best learning institutions in the world."</p>

<p>Duke compares well to all of the Ivies who aren't HYP. It's PA scores at USNWR are no better than a school like Michigan.</p>

<p>I am usually long winded...

<p>UNC, most definitely. Happier students, better sports, prettier campus, better location, better social scene, hotter girls. Duke may be ranked higher, but UNC blows Duke out of the water as far as the overall college experience is concerned. There is a reason why Franklin Street bars are constantly filled with Dukies...</p>

<p>I'm one of the few UNC students who actually likes Duke. I just think UNC is much more fun and offers a better overall undergraduate experience.</p>

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

<p>(Full disclosure: I go to UNC)</p>

Your criteria is 'hotter girls'? Seriously? That just blew your entire argument.</p>

Your criteria is 'hotter girls'? Seriously? That just blew your entire argument.


<p>Are you arguing that hot girls aren't important? How very sexist of you. Hot girls have feelings just like other girls. </p>

<p>Seriously, though, Duke has some hot girls, but UNC has loads and loads of hot girls (probably because it is a lot bigger). Combine that with a 60/40 girl/guy ratio, and you have a recipe for success.</p>