Intended major: Neuroscience (pre-med for now, but that is very loose)
Other interests: computer science, marketing, creative writing (would be nice to pursue one or two as a minor)
• Cost: 17k a year including indirect costs
• Hodson Scholar (access to close-knit community, special events)
• I visited the campus and I really liked it. A little small, but I felt like I could see myself there.
• Admitted as a Biomedical Engineering major, which I like because I could pursue Neuroengineering. I could also easily switch into Neuroscience. Hopkins is one of the strongest schools academically for both of these.
• Hopkins is also very strong in creative writing and decent in computer science. I like that the open-ish curriculum means 60% of students double major or do a minor.
• fellow CO 2025 students seem so nice, welcoming, and supportive. Easy to make friends even over FaceBook/IG.
• I resonate with the “mission” (innovation, knowledge to the world, etc). It feels like most kids aren’t just looking to get rich and genuinely want to create something meaningful.
• I’m a bit of an introvert and it seems like a lot of people at Hopkins are too
• Baltimore isn’t the safest city. I like to go out so I’m worried about feeling trapped on campus.
• Since there are so many pre-meds, competition might feel worse compared with other schools. I would hate an extremely cutthroat environment.
• Most people are studying biomedical subjects which might get boring since there’s not a lot of diversity there. I also worry that if I switch my major to something that isn’t CS or biomedical in nature (although I’d be unlikely to do so), I wouldn’t find many opportunities.
• Poor mental health facilities
• Farther from home
• Love the diversity in majors due to the any person, any school philosophy → could minor in business or CS if I wanted to
• Haven’t visited but seemingly beautiful, big campus I won’t feel tired of
• Love that Ithaca’s remoteness means there’s a strong campus community and the strong sense of school pride is very nice. People are decently welcoming!
• Milstein finalist — if formally admitted, I’m able to pursue my love of technology while still being a neuro major in a low commitment program + get to live in NYC for a summer!
• Great food!
• People seem to have a good balance of wanting to work hard but also have fun. Doesn’t seem as strictly academic focused as JHU and at the same time, the greek life scene isn’t overbearing.
• Great dorms (I like the ease of getting program-themed houses like all women housing)
• Ivy League resources
• Around 23k per year including indirect costs (fortunately not a huge deal, though)
• Farthest from home / remote location makes it challenging to travel there
• Very poor mental health facilities
• Extremely stressful culture due to grading system (according to my interviewer + friends on campus)
• Their neuroscience program is pretty focused on biology as opposed to the psychological aspect which I’m more interested in
- Although the med school matriculation rate is pretty good, there aren’t many clinical volunteering opportunities so I’d have to spend my summers doing that which is a bit limiting/stressful
• 17k per year including indirect costs
• Very close to home so I could see my family when I need to
• Very strong religious/cultural community at Penn (active clubs for both of them) compared to the other 2 schools
• I really like their emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. The Neuroscience major is probably the most flexible out of the three schools. There’s a unique computational neuroscience minor, I’d benefit from entrepreneurship resources at Wharton should I go down that route, and there’s also journalistic writing minors!
• Ivy League resources + probably the most “prestigious” school (I know prestige shouldn’t matter but still)
• just like Cornell, should I decide to change my major from Neuro there’s a lot I could do
• Really strong pre-med opportunities (tons of hospitals in Philly, med school right on campus) but also a lot of other extracurriculars/majors/support should I choose to switch out of that
• Guaranteed Benjamin Franklin Scholars program – kinda interested in the humanities + it would give me a tight knit community
• Located in Philly so there’s a lot to do
• I’m a bit of an introvert. I’ve heard Penn is a very extroverted school. On one hand that’s nice because it would challenge me, but I think I’d also be very uncomfortable compared to a place like Hopkins.
• I don’t like partying + don’t drink + am not planning on doing Greek life which apparently the social scene revolves around
• I haven’t really connected with the other CO 2025 students well. Ngl, they seem a lot less friendly than the people at Cornell and Hopkins.
• Philly seems kinda unsafe.
• When I toured, I didn’t really love campus. It seemed small and busy.
• I don’t love the preprofessional culture either. People seem like they just wanna get rich. I know this sounds privileged, but I want college to be an experience, not just a place to get my degree as quickly as possible.
• Apparently people are extremely stressful and depressed. Mental health facilities are supposed to be better than the other 2 schools tho.
Thoughts? I’m leaning toward Hopkins or Penn. I’m drawn to Hopkins because of the tight-knit community and opportunity to really create something meaningful as a Biomedical Engineer. I’m drawn to Penn because I love the academic structure and I like that people do want a good social life, but honestly the social scene seems like the exact opposite of who I am.
My other concern just comes down to BME. I don’t have much exposure to see if I actually love it, so it’s very possible I’ll drop it. I’m worried it might ruin my GPA for med school and Penn has the more appealing Neuro program.
Thank you! Sorry for the super long post. I’m also on a couple other Ivy waitlists if that matters, but I think even if I got off, I’d probably still prefer the schools I was admitted to.