Georgetown SFS, U/Chicago or Northwestern???

<p>I know this is a nice problem to have and that all 3 are good schools, but does anyone have an opinion about which is better? S originally wanted to study int'l relations, so Georgetown was a natural, but has now changed his mind and wants to go to med school. Apparently he can meet the premed requirements in SFS (thru a science & technology major), but would go a more conventional route at Chicago or Northwestern, majoring in chemistry. U/C is the highest ranked school and was his favorite until we had to deal with their financial aid office. Originally they turned us down for aid, and only gave him some after we appealled it. Georgetown was the most generous (w/ aid Georgetown is about $5,000 less than Chicago and about $1,000-2,000 less than Northwestern). I am concerned that we will have similar problems with financial aid at Chicago in future years, which would leave us in a real bind. (We'll have 2 in college at the same time for the next 2 years.) Also worried about safety at U/C (a grad student was shot & killed this winter going to his apt). S is very intellectual, but I am concerned about how intense I keep hearing things are at U/C. Any thoughts?</p>

<p>Georgetown sounds good, who knows, he may switch back to foreign relations.</p>

<p>The aid award is likely to be the same all four years, right guys?</p>

<p>The grad student was not killed on campus, he lived off campus to the south--still tragic. Very unusual.</p>

<p>What does he like about each one?</p>

<p>I don't know if the aid awards will stay the same. All I know is that you have to reapply each year. Does that mean we're likely to get the same or similar answers, assuming the circumstances stay the same? Anybody know? </p>

<p>S likes the intellectual atmosphere at U/C and would love to take some economics classes there, although I don't know how realistic that is for a chemistry major.</p>

<p>He likes Georgetown being in DC and hopes he'll be able to get an internship there. Also, he can study foreign languages without worrying about trying to double major in 2 separate colleges. (In some schools the sciences were in a different school than foreign languages and you couldn't double major in 2 colleges.)</p>

<p>He could participate in forensics at Northwestern, something he did and loved in high school. I think Northwestern is the only one of these 3 schools that has a forensics team.</p>

<p>I'm not sure what you mean by "forensics." Unless it's fallen apart during the last year, Georgetown has a policy debate team. It debates in CEDA (Cross-Examination Debate Association). It used to be incredibly competitive to get a spot on it though--I don't know if it still is. It's easy enough to contact the team and ask. UChicago has a parliamentary debate team, which competes in APDA (American Parliamentary Debate Association.) I'm fairly certain it also has mock trial and model UN.</p>

<p>My understanding--which may be out of date; I'm way past this stage--is that Georgetown is pretty weak in science.</p>

<p>I'm at the University of Chicago. You don't need to worry about safety. The man being killed early this year was an extraordinarily rare event, and the shooters were not from the area. They were arrested a few days later. There is a huge private police force (2nd largest private force in the world, the 1st are the Swiss Guards at the Vatican) as well as Chicago City police on campus. There are shuttles running all around Hyde Park during the night, and you can call for another shuttle to pick you up at your door and drop you off if you're not near another shuttle route. I can't walk a block at night without seeing a police car. The police men are also very friendly, polite, and helpful. They are there to take care of students, and that's it. Dorm security is also extremely tight; I can't enter a dorm that I don't live in without being signed in by a current resident, there is 24 hour front desk security, you need to show your ID to the person at the front desk of your dorm, you need to key in several times before even getting to your hallway, etc. I am a woman, and I feel safe walking around campus, even at 2 AM (assuming I'm with friends at that time).</p>

<p>If he has an intellectual bent and enjoys intellectual conversation, he will certainly feel at home at the U of C. If he thinks some of the core classes sound exciting (<a href=""&gt;;/a>, even better. There are no "easy A" classes here, which my friends tell me there are at their schools, and the quarter system (which Northwestern shares) means that terms move quickly--if you get very behind on your reading, you'll likely never find time to catch up. It's certainly manageable academically, though, and there's plenty of time for outside activities. </p>

<p>Aid usually stays the same if nothing changes, but if more children will be starting college, your aid will likely change to reflect that. What does your son think? Is he interested enough in the U of C to help out with the cost discrepancy between the schools? Maybe out of that $5000, he could pay $2500 and you could pay $2500? If he works during the summer and during the school year, that amount is very do-able, assuming he isn't also paying for his own room or meal plan or anything like that. </p>

<p>He shouldn't worry too much about major now. Lots and lots of student change their majors here. He can start off fulfilling pre-med requirements and see how it goes, and taking the core courses will help him experience many different disciplines. Students love the International Studies major (essentially IR by a different name), and he can also take classes in that during his first year to see how he likes it. He doesn't need to make a decision right away.</p>

<p>Anyway, he obviously has great choices. I'm sure that it will work out fine no matter what. I don't know too much about the other schools, but we've had a number of prospective students here lately with similar decisions to make. The one thing a prospective student who was considering Georgetown said which I thought was very interesting was that she liked that the U of C would have more diversity in terms of intellectual interests and goals. Georgetown has a lot of students interested in the same general fields, and she liked that at the U of C she would be with students who are passionate about Computer Science, Latin, or Anthropology.</p>

<p>Thanks for the information about Debate at Georgetown & U/C. It's good to know, although S did IE (individual events), not debate. Maybe he could try debate, but given how competitive jonri says the Georgetown team is, it might be hard to make the team if he hasn't done debate in high school. </p>

<p>I am thrilled to hear about all the security at Chicago. It calms my fears quite a bit. As for the suggestion S split the cost difference w/ us, it's not possible. Chicago's package already requires S to take out 2 loans, work this summer (which he planned to do anyway), work during the school year (which he has no problem w/) and use ALL of his savings his freshman year. He doesn't have any problem with any of these requirements and is grateful for the aid, it just doesn't leave him any way to come up w/ $2500 more. I just can't shake the fear that next year Chicago will deny him aid again but that our appeal won't work, leaving him at a school we can't afford.</p>

<p>Your son should consider that the social environment between Georgetown/NOrthwestern, both classically preppy schools, is very different from U. Chicago. In addition to social scene, both Georgetown and Northwestern are much more pre-professional in their culture. </p>

<p>Regarding the safety of chicago, you might want to venture over to the U Chicago section of this board, where security is a frequent topic.</p>

<p>I will say, having lived in Hyde Park two years ago for a year, that a U. Chicago police officer told me they spend most of their time Friday and Saturday evenings finding students who are too drunk and hauling them off to the hospital. Several observations from this: (1) contrary to conventional wisdom, the students do seem to go to parties and have normal fun (2) the cops don't spend most of their time chasing down muggers and such.</p>

<p>I am holding my breath that the fin aid for my first-year will be as good next year.</p>

<p>"Does that mean we're likely to get the same or similar answers, assuming the circumstances stay the same? Anybody know? "</p>

<p>My son is a third-year at UChicago - grants for the first three years have been 13, 14 and 15k respectively - circumstances roughly the same.</p>

<p>Congrats to your son on some excellent options!</p>