Emory vs Baylor Honors College for Pre-Med

Hi everyone! So decision day is in 3 days and I am down to my final two colleges: Emory and Baylor. I toured both of them this week thinking that it would make my decision easier; however, my visits have had the opposite effect, and I am now more torn than I was previously. There are pros and cons to each school and my parents have left me to make my decision completely on my own, so I was hoping to get some objective opinions and guidance on this forum. Here is my dilemma: Emory has been my dream school since my sophomore year, but it is more than I would like to pay for college and I would end up having to go into debt. I was accepted to the Oxford campus, where I would be learning among a much smaller group of peers, and would not be competing with upperclassmen for research and leadership opportunities, and while I love the idea of Oxford, I was not prepared for it to be as desolate as it was when I toured. There would be virtually nothing to do off campus because of how remote it is; however, I would be able to take a shuttle into Atlanta whenever I want. I absolutely loved the Atlanta campus, but would have to wait at the very least a year and a half to go there. Because Emory is a T-20 school, has such an extensive alumni network, and is well connected with hospitals and the CDC, I feel like it would prepare me well for medical school, but am concerned about the return on investment. At Baylor, I would be in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core as part of the Honors Program and would be able to graduate debt free. Through the Honors College I would have access to research and internship opportunities, but am not sure that it would be to the same caliber and rigor of Emory. The two schools have a completely different social climate, with Emory being more serious and Baylor being more laid back, and I am unsure as to whether being in a serious environment like the one at Emory would make me focus more on my studies or stress me out, or that conversely the relaxed environment at Baylor would provide a healthy balance between work and play or would just be a distraction. My biggest concern about Baylor is the religious aspect. I have been in Catholic school for 12 years and told myself that I did not want to take theology classes in college. I thought that it would be manageable if I took one of the required classes over the summer; however I found out that I would have to take additional theology classes as part of my honors program requirements, and that Christianity will be integrated into all of my classes. Any piece of advice will help!

“…and that Christianity will be integrated into all of my classes.” Seems to be your primary concern regarding Baylor University.

COA (incurring student loan debt) and location are your primary concerns about Emory.

My impression is that you did not get what you expected from either school.

The Oxford campus of Emory is a very different location & environment than Emory’s main campus in Atlanta / Decatur. Seems ridiculous to pay the same for either campus–assuming that that is the case.

If these are your only options, then Baylor University is the better choice. While Baylor’s Christian emphasis seems to be a surprise to you, it is a major component of the Baylor University experience.

Are you considering any other options ?

University of Rochester with a scholarship ?

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I was accepted into University of Rochester with a $10k merit scholarship, but even after merit aid it would be more expensive than Emory, so I am not really considering it at the moment. I would be able to come out of Emory with minimal debt because I have been working and saving throughout high school, and I like the idea of the Oxford campus in terms of its close-knitted environment and research and leadership opportunities, but it is in the middle of rural Georgia with not much to offer off campus which could either be good or bad. They have two completely different vibes and I could see myself at both schools it is just a matter of whether or not I go to my dream school and work my ass off to do well and compete with people who are undoubtedly smarter than I am or go to a place that isn’t as prestigious and have a good balance between work and play.