Honors Program at URI vs. standard addmission at Umass Amherst

My son (pre-med biology track) got accepted into the honors program at URI. He also got accepted to Umass Amherst, but only as a regular student.
Umass Amherst has more weight to its name. However, I wonder if the benefits of the honors program at URI outweigh that. Any suggestions?

My guess is that one or the other is in state, if that is the case I would suggest going to that one and saving the surplus for graduate school.

^^agreed, make sure to take price into account

Thanks, the price is practically the same: in-state tuition at Umass, out-of-state + scholarship at URI.

personal opinon, i would go with umass. more opportunities in the Boston area not just for jobs but for grad school and when employers and schools are looking at the applicant i don’t think the honors program will play a big role. both great programs honestly, comes down to personal preference!

Apparently it is very possible to apply into the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass once you are already a student. The direct admission to it is more attractive, I understand, but CHC is still possible for your student if he wants UMass more.

I’m a little disappointed that URI does not have honors housing for their program. That’s the biggest attraction for a direct admit to CHC at UMass. The nicest dorms, immediate programming available. I get the whole LLC thing at URI and it also sounds good – but specialized honors housing sounds better. I could say much more on this topic. A lot of this is perception but who doesn’t like a little extra pat on the back for doing well?

Hi, thanks for your comments.
It is true that our son can apply to the honors college at UMass once he is already a student.
My understanding is that URI offers honors housing Honors Housing – Honors Program
At URI, we like housing, small classes, and interdisciplinary courses coming with the honors program. All of these should help our son with adaptation. He is a typical “late bloomer”. He is a typical “late bloomer”; a good student but not fully mature yet :).
UMass is a good option. It offers high-quality education - and the potential of joining the honors program next year. However, we are terrified a little bit by the huge class size (regular, not honors program). We do worry that he may get lost…

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Few classes are actually of just honors program students. It’s a big student body, but it’s be just as big had he been accepted into the honors program. I was also accepted but not into the CHC and I believe you can apply after just 1 semester on campus. Rumors are that they have a terrible retention rate, although I’m not sure whether that is true. Let him choose which school he thinks will offer him the best opportunities.

UMASSDad – URI does offer honors housing, but not to freshmen. The only freshmen who get honors program housing are those who are undeclared in their major, which makes NO sense to me. Otherwise most freshmen, including all in the honors program, are placed in LLCs – Living Learning Communities – with others in their major or college. For example, all freshmen in the College of the Environment and Life Science end up on the same floor in the same dorm. This definitely has its plusses…but overall I personally worry about it for my son who is a more quiet kid, definitely not a partier, and isn’t looking for that kind of lifestyle in college. Which is not to say that smart kids don’t party. It just sounds like a calmer atmosphere in the honors housing at both UMA and UNH.

If URI created some kind of specialized housing for freshmen in the honors program, they might succeed in drawing away students who have been accepted into CHC at UMass or the honors program at UNH, for all the reasons you stated and are concerned about. It’s a tad smaller and there is a lot to like there. UMass and UNH are both very smart to have specialized honors program housing specifically for freshmen. It appeals to students and parents alike for reasons that, in the end, may be silly. But we all have to make a decision based on our lists of pros and cons.

Just my opinion, together with the fare it might get you on the T.

Good luck!

My daughter went to URI - graduated 5 years ago. She was accepted to UMass also - but the cost of URI was the same. She was in the honors program at URI. She did not like the UMass campus at all. She really liked URI the entire time she was there. She then went on to Tufts Vet School and is now a veterinarian. I can’t say whether being in the honors program helped her get into vet school or not. She stayed on campus all 4 years - the last 3 in honors housing.