Is UNR seen as a low quality school? Should I apply somewhere else?

(I’ve never posted on this type of forum before, so I apologize if this is the wrong or too much information!)

I’m a high school junior currently completing a dual enrollment program to get my associate’s degree when I graduate high school. I have a 4.0 unweighted and, currently, a 31 ACT (I’m retaking in February and I’m hopeful I can raise it to a 33). I don’t have any extra curriculars to my name. However, by the time I graduate I will have completed 72 hours of documented community service, if that counts for anything. I’m currently going for a general studies associate of science degree (I’m not totally sure what I want to do yet), and at university I was thinking of majoring in either Biology or Biomedical Engineering.

My parents have offered to cover the cost of attending UNR, so they can provide about $8,000 per year (I’m an in-state resident). If it’s worth noting, I would also only be attending a university for two years to complete my bachelor’s, so I’m a little less worried about debt than I would be for four years. Still, at UNR the scholarships I already qualify for would cover my entire tuition (without room and board) and then some. Overall, I’m covered financially at UNR but my parents could provide me with some support if I were to go out of state. I know that $8,000-$10,000 a year will not cover full tuition at out of state schools, but it’s something.

What this all boils down to is my biggest question, should I stick with UNR? I know that Nevada and its public schools rank very poorly nationally and I was curious if anyone has heard bad things about this university in particular, or if employers are any less likely to hire graduates from the school. UNR says it ranks as a “Tier One” school, which sounds nice but I haven’ t been able to find a clear cut definition for what that means. Essentially, is there any stigma I should know about before attending? Do employers care? I’m hoping not but I’d rather hear it now than later.

Additionally, if I were to raise my ACT to a 33 and get involved in some extra curriculars this last year I have of high school, are there any chances I could get into a better school? Any help at all is much appreciated!

Amendment: Forgot to include the volunteering I did over the summer, in total it will add up to about 137 hours of community service, once again I’m doubtful it makes up for no ECs but I figure it’s worth mentioning.

You will be blessed at UNR, sounds like great opportunity. Just got R1 Carnegie Classification, only 130 or so

Reno is booming according to news reports.
Bio and biomed have new faculty and research programs. USNWR grad engineering ranked tied 141.

You could stsrt a masters in a third year.

Ask your guidance counselor.
Ask your parents, See if WUE allows Arizona or New Mexico universities are in budget to compare.

Find the posts by @ski_racer and reach out. She sounded like an amazing candidate who chose UBR. You may need to DM.

Tier 1 can refer to the top 3/4 of schools in a U.S. News category (in which the bottom 1/4 of schools are unranked and labeled as Second Tier). For UNR, see #240 in the link below.

Rankings are misleading, ignore them.

You could go for a scholarship at University of AZ. They probably won’t accept most the credits you have, but the scholarships would cover most of the tuition, and you could take loans for the rest. If you want to go out of state, all you have to do is apply for a scholarship. Just know, the more “prestigious” the university, the more stingy and competitive scholarships are going to be.

You have a solid option at UNR though. NV has some of the lowest tuition in the country and you have an opportunity to graduate 2 years early…and debt free. You could use the savings to get a masters degree. A masters degree is worth more than a bachelors at a “ranked” university.

I agree with ignoring the rankings. Also, most of the things you see about Nevada having bad public schools refer to their K-12 system, not their universities.

What I love about being a UNR student:

  1. So. Many. Options. There are so many majors and classes to choose from, but without a student population of 30,000+. I love that. As the old slogan said, “Big enough to challenge, small enough to care”
  2. The campus is absolutely gorgeous. I love all the matching red brick.
  3. Their scholarship system is wonderful. It is generous and unbiased. Plus, many students get major-based scholarships once they are juniors or seniors.
  4. The Honors Program. I love the small class sizes and priority registration. This is definitely something you should look into. Keep in mind they just hired a new director, so some of the things you find online may be outdated, ie., requirements for graduating with an Honors designation may soon be changing.
  5. Campus resources. My favorites: the Math Center, the Tutoring Center, the Counseling Center, the Mary Ansari Map Library, KC Special Collections, and the Student Health Center. All of these have helped me succeed as a student, and they are all included in tuition.
  6. Getting outdoors. Tahoe is beautiful and a lot closer than it seems. Rancho San Rafael Park is about a block from campus and features biking/hiking trails, a nature path, and a dog park.
  7. I’m not from a swing state so I’ve really been enjoying all the visits from presidential candidates. Not all of them speak on campus, but I try to go when they do since it’s so convenient.

What I don’t love about being a UNR student:

  1. The campus is long and skinny and it’s kinda time-consuming to walk from one end to the other. Not really that big a deal, and I guess it’s actually good for my health.
  2. ASUN policies. This only affects you if you take up a club leadership position. Otherwise, not something you’ll have to worry about.
  3. White supremacy. This is the big one. We’ve had quite a few incidents these past few years. Swastika graffiti, burning of LGBT+ rainbow flags, things like that. The university president was reluctant to act beyond releasing statements and no one has really ever been punished. Luckily, we’re getting a new president next year so I’m really hoping these incidents will cease.

Feel free to ask me anything about UNR. I’m in the College of Ag, Biotech, and Natural Resources.

If you are looking at BME or any eng, look at the 4 yr pathway to asses whether you really do have the right transfer classes to get your 2 yr degree. What math, physics, chem and bio will you have, and will these actually count for credit in the engineering pathway. Just so you are comparing apples to apples. You should be able to see the degree pathway on the UNR website at see how credits apply. Assume you are unlikely to be able to apply these to OOS schools. Get the total figure your parents will pay.