Georgia Tech vs PSU Schreyer Honors College for BME (pre-med)

Alright gang… it seems our DS has come down to two choices… his entire roster of schools was PSU, South Carolina HC, VT HC, Clemson HC, RPI, CWRU, Boston, UM, Notre Dame, GIT, Cornell, CMU).

He is accepted to all… except will hear from a few on April 1st like ND, Cornell, UM… maybe that’s all that’s left. Once into GT it mostly wiped everything off the board as he wants to study Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis towards then going to medical school. Separate thread lamented keeping a high GPA at GT is hard.

That written, found out accepted to the Schreyer Honors College at PSU… and as a parent I think GT is more prolific, but, also, in the spirit of undergrad is just the start, stay focused on the longer term… I’m aware SHC at PSU is pretty elite… and they do a LOT to ensure those kids are very successful.

You can find DS stats elsewhere… as active first time college kiddo parents… so, now, we must truly let our son decide.

As a BME with eye on MD…


Thoughts? Pros/Cons? No debate/retort from me… just let me have it! I’m open to positive/negative feedback.

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Just an outsider but if med school it doesn’t seem like it matters.

For pure BME, everyone says Ga Tech can’t be beat.

The Honors part comes down to student experience - will they excel in that environment, do they need that attention. Are they excited by living, eating, and studying with that group ? Do they like the required curriculum ? Do they want the added responsibility of having to have a high gpa - of course med school necessitates that anyway.

Environment - loved loved loved PSU. Expansive campus, gorgeous. Middle of nowhere but you can fly there. Ga Tech in Atl.

I’m sure most would say Ga Tech and it’s not close.

I’d say wherever they can excel. Va Tech and PSU, to me, structurally are very similar. The campuses etc. so if you asked about those two, I’d throw my hands up. But if you feel Ga Tech beats VT, then it will PSU as well.

Do honors for what it gives you. Best I can tell, it’s for you - not employers. Nowhere to write it in a job app.

It’s the issue with being so accomplished. Too many choices. Congrats to him on being a stud !!

I thought your S already chose GT (from your previous post).

Until you have all the options in hand it is hard to meaningfully opine.

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I would take Cornell hands down. It is optionality to try a whole range of other career options apart from BME, Pre-Mid, Consulting, Banking etc, without changing your major.


If med school is on the table I would look for the school that offers the best med advising and has shadowing and research opportunities close to campus. Second would be cost.

S20’s HS friend has a full-ride to Pitt, honors and medical GAP. Turned down Penn. Changed his mind about med school. Having great advising and shadowing from the beginning helped. Better to find out early. @neela1 comment about Cornell is relevant if he changes his mind.

It sounds like your son is a strong student. If he’s taking a rigorous AP/IB he should be fine anywhere. GT is tough but you can do well. Every semester it seems like there’s one class that throws a curveball.

PSU is much different than GT. Much bigger and in the middle of nowhere. Our HS probably sends 30 kids a year. Several got into Schreyer over the years. They do very well. Plus the Penn State alumni network is huge.

There’s no bad choice on that list. Case could be a nice option. Affiliated with Cleveland Clinic with plenty of medical facilities nearby.

The combined program with Emory is another plus for GT


Oh, just down-selected VT to waive it. Now he’s down to two… but who knows, he said what about Cornell… and well, he will have to make up his mind.

Congratulations!! Getting into Schreyer is no easy feat!!

One thing to note is that the Schreyer dorms do not have air conditioning. School starts the third week in August. With the way the weather has been trending recently, it has been pretty unbearable in dorms with no a/c. To some it’s a big deal, to others, it’s ‘character building’. Lol.

I’m going to PM you with some more details…

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Ok. I have no idea how to PM here… but I will try to find it.

GT is like CWRU. In a city. GT ranked #4. GT cheaper. Etc. So CWRU off the list…

I think you should 100% step back and let your son decide where his heart tells him he belongs and where he will be happy. Where he steps on campus and feels it. Not based on the opinion of random people on college confidential. It is his life, he needs to be happy. Its not a mathematical equation that needs to be solved- college choice is based on many intangibles and is an emotional decision. My advice woud be to step back and let him make the decision and not get lost in the weeds.


We can leave parenting out of it. Recall, the OP says that its his decision… so no lecture needed. :wink:

you said that you were open to positive and negative feedback. Based on all of your posts on other threads and here, it isn’t a lecture, but a real observation. My impression is that it really isn’t his decision, but it should be. He needs to feel it and love it. IT needs to be home. PSU and GT are polar opposite. One is rural the other is urban. One is surrounded by crime, one is in the cornfields. Where does HE want to be? Does a US News and world report matter to him? Or location and feel? Football Pride? Ask him, not us


Fair enough. I was suggesting feedback w.r.t. GT vs PSU honors.

As an aside, son applied in September… have by-in-large not even had “real discussion” about where he wants to go… he just gives us tidbits like, well, this one is out, etc. (like he kind of said, GT over VT).

After his term is up and he finishes up some things mid-March… plan to visit GT/PSU/maybe one other … and then decide by Easter. God bless.

Again, not asking you to make up his mind, asking general folks impression comparing A vs B. But I get your point. We will continue parenting. God Bless.

They are completely different schools.

Does your son like urban or suburban?
Competitive or non-competitive?
Well rounded or all academic?
Football experience vs doesn’t care?
fraternity vs no fraternity

Where does he want to work? GT recruits to the south and west coast. PSU recruits to the east.

I think its unimportant to worry about a ranking. All are great options.

Cost is a real factor as are the items above.

He needs to be passionate, he needs to want to raise that flag.

Cornell and PSU are even more opposite! Completely different experiences.

I think he should find out what type of school he likes and then choose from schools in that group. The list right now just sounds like a list from US News and World Report.

My opinion is to look past that and to what really matters.

Thats all.

Not about parenting. Its about him making the right decision for him.

Visiting is a great idea.


I’m familiar with both. S20 is at GT and CWRU is close and recruits at our HS. If Case falls off the list due to cost then so be it. But to fall off because GT is #4 is shortsighted.

Again, if med school is the end game you need to consider many more things than BME rankings.


what do the rankings even mean? Sometime based on the number of publications a professor has? Some based on average GPA? I don’t think any one will tell you PSU out ranks GT in BME ranking, or bragging rights. I get in. Your son is #1 at a private school and wants validation for that. I get it. Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Cornell give that validation. PSU honors in my mind has that validation, but I think you want to hear that from others on here. I do feel that. I feel PSU honors is right up there with those, so he can be proud whatever he chooses. But he needs to feel it and look at the important points I mentioned above. He needs to be happy. Because hes done telling people he got into cornell, then he actually has to live it. Its 100% opposite than PSU, so he has to decide which is his best fit. No right answer, comes from the heart.

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From your list GT, Cornell and PSU would be good visits. Very different environments. I think one would eventually stand out to your son.

And yes, Schreyer is very competitive and the students do very well. It’s well regarded and on par with the other top schools. Just do a quick web search on Schreyer graduates.

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I recommend the summer before college, visiting 2 rural school, 2 urban schools, 2 ivy types, 2 state types. Then, he will know the type of school he likes. Then focus applications. You should be very proud he got into 10 schools of high caliber, a few visits and he will know. He will just know.

Does he like an IVY league or a big state school? So different. Apples to oranges.