Michigan Valedictorian Chooses Baylor over Harvard, Yale, Duke and Rice

<p>I do believe in diversity. I didn't marry someone who doesn't speak English, but I did spend six years of my adult life in two different countries where English wasn't spoken. I've lived on both coasts and have been in most of the states in the continental US. I'm not a Christian, but I've attended many Christian services of several different dominations. Two of my best friends at Harvard ended up as priests or ministers. I personally would rather go to a college which welcomes everybody. I think college is a good time to broaden ones horizons.</p>

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<p>Financial</a> Aid Office says:</p>

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<p>Harvard's net price calculator indicates that below that level of parents' income (which is about the 63rd percentile in the US -- i.e. 63% of households have lower income than $60,000 per year), the only expected contribution (a few thousand dollars) is from student summer and other work and assets. Not a "full ride", but pretty close to it.</p>

<p>wasn't there a post on cc a couple of years ago about a student who chose Brandeis over Harvard? </p>

<p>Regardless: great for the OP. She found a college that she is excited to attend. Harvard ain't for everyone.</p>

<p>found the link:</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/704360-turning-down-harvard-go-brandeis-4.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/harvard-university/704360-turning-down-harvard-go-brandeis-4.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

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Part of the decision was that there are a lot of programs at Brandeis that I'm really interested. One of these is a combined BS/MS program in both biology and biochemistry (and other subjects, I'm sure) that allowes undergraduates to complete a Master's degree as well as a BS in only four years. Also, many of the biology and biochemistry classes are open to both graduate and undergraduate students, so I feel like if there's plenty of room to challenge myself if I feel like the undergraduate classes aren't enough. There are also tons of research opportunities at Brandeis, despite it being substantially smaller than Harvard. </p>

<p>Another thing that really attracts me to Brandeis is that there really accomodating to people doing multiple majors and minors and really diverse subjects -- everything through to a triple major with a triple minor has been done, as I understand it. I'd be really interested in doing a double major in biology or biochem and study art, and maybe a minor in a language or something. I believe at Harvard I could technically do a major in bio with a minor in art and a "citation" in a language, but still in terms of flexibility of major and minor-ing Brandeis seemed stronger. </p>

<p>There were a couple more programs that caught my idea, such as the Lerman-Neubauer Program my dad mentions in the first post and Russian classes tailered specifically to native-speakers who feel like they're losing the language (which would be me...), among other unique programs. </p>

<p>Also, though the kids at Brandeis may not be nearly as smart or talented as the ones at Harvard, many of them are still turning down great schools for Brandeis: the "what schools I gave up fro Brandeis..." thread on the Brandeis Class of 2013 Facebook group lists schools such as RPI, Wellesley, Chicago, Rice, Carnegie Mellon, Tufts, Wesleyan, and URochester, to name a few, so I would still be surrounded by students who were accomplished and interesting, not to mention really open, friendly, and warm. </p>

<p>This probably doesn't sound like enough of a reason to turn down Harvard, but the rest is hard to but into words -- kind of like a gut feeling, when you can just "tell" if something's right or not.... While we were still deciding, thinking about going to Brandeis made me happy; I'd already started to think about specific class, clubs, etc. that I'd be interested. Whenever my parents brought up Harvard, on the other hand, I'd involuntarily start feeling anxious and antsy. I just couldn't imagine myself there, as incredible as Harvard is. </p>

<p>2good2b2rue, I don't know what you're position is... if you're a high school student considering schools (and actually even if you're not...) I highly suggest watching the interview with Greg Petsko that B77 mentioned earlier... I'm not very good with words and explaining stuff, but Professor Petsko talks about Brandeis exactly as I see it and will explain to you probably why I chose it. I watched this interview the afternoon before I sent in my decision, and it confirmed all the gut feelings I'd been having about my feeling better as Brandeis.</p>

<p>I don't knew if I made the wrong decision by turning down Harvard, and I'll probably never know, because there's no going back now. But I do knew that I most definitely did not make the wrong decision by decideding to go to Brandeis... I came home from school yesterday around 4 pm and found myself so unexplainably excited about Brandeis that I spent the next six hours setting up my student account and browsing the Class of 2013 Facebook page and Brandeis website... random Brandeis accepted students have already friend-ed me on Facebook basically with the words "let's be friends... i'm super-excited about Brandeis!!" or something along those lines. I'm not saying that something similar wouldn't have happen had I joined Harvard, but this just feels right to me... </p>

<p>So sorry for the really long post, but hopefully now you understand that I'm not, in fact, crazy, as some people try to tell me, and a little bit of why I chose Brandeis.

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<p>If the reported post that was referenced was her, she noted wanting to be a speech path. That major, I believe, is at few, if any of the Ivy Leagues. That could have also had impact on her school choice.</p>

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It would be interesting to hear from any atheists or non Christians who have opted to attend a Christian college for the purpose of diversity and self discovery.

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<p>Since Christianity is the prevailing religion in the US, there is no need whatever for an atheist or non-Christian to go to a "Christian" college to experience the Christian viewpoint on anything.</p>

<p>Even before I read the opening post I had the religion angle as my best guess. Add to it her 50-50 Michigan-Texas family roots and it becomes an obvious choice. Let her go there, where many of us would never choose BECAUSE of the religion, and save room at more secular schools for others. Some people immerse themselves in religion at the expense of intellectualism. Sounds like she is in her world, her problem to be that type, not mine. Yes, I have a bias against nonthinkers who prescribe to any religion- brainwashed from the cradle. She won't get her belief system challenged like she likely would elsewhere. There are many people whose ancestors brought their Church ways with them, smaller towns will have that influence even when kids attend public schools.</p>

<p>I can understand why a student might choose to go to Baylor, rather than to a school where she would have to defend her beliefs against the (actually quite prevalent) viewpoint of wis75. Members of the Christian left and Christian intellectuals can actually be rather lonely in some college environments. I don't think the student's idea in choosing Baylor was to experience the Christian viewpoint on academic subjects--in fact, she herself could figure out the Christian point of view.</p>

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I don't think the student's idea in choosing Baylor was to experience the Christian viewpoint on academic subjects--in fact, she herself could figure out the Christian point of view.

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<p>Actually, I think that is exactly why she chose Baylor, because she said this:</p>

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At Baylor, I can study with professors who share my moral compass.

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<p>Personally, I am fine with people choosing whatever college suits their needs. At the same time, I do not think choosing a religious academic education is good for our society. And yes, that applies to Brandeis and Notre Dame, too.</p>

<p>I read the young woman's statement differently, Bay. It doesn't seem to me as though she's uncertain what the Christian viewpoint is, on any given topic. It is possible for a student at 18 to have deeply held moral convictions (Christian or non-Christian), and to want to work with people who share them. I don't have a problem with her choice. It's not as if she could have escaped the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" and Pasta-farian jokes in high school. </p>

<p>Is it Pete Singer who is the controversial philosopher at Princeton? (Will have to look this up.) I could easily understand a student who doesn't want to try to approach philosophy from his angle, whether or not the student has a physical disability.</p>

<p>Or consider the work of a theologian like Stanley Hauerwas. He asks some questions about cannibalism that some people will find repellent.</p>

<p>Not a big surprise seeing the best schools being turned down for a good school. If I was my school's valedictorian, I would have to choose a SUNY or school that offered very good merit aid over wherever I was accepted.</p>

<p>Whatever exists is worth knowing about. That does not mean you must agree with it.</p>

<p>My impression is that religious institutions do not acknowledge the aspects of reality/society they don't agree with. But I could be wrong because I have never attended one.</p>

<p>I don't know much at all about Baylor, either. It's definitely not one of the unaccredited Bible colleges, though. I am not sure what aspects of reality/society, if any, they don't acknowledge.</p>

<p>I looked around on the Baylor web site a little (following the first dictum in Bay's post #31). The graduates of the law school at Baylor had a 95.88% pass rate on the Texas bar exam, the highest of the law schools in Texas. There is a decidedly religious slant on the web site, but based on a cursory examination of it, most of the academic disciplines are well represented there.</p>

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<p>Some religion-affiliated schools are hard to distinguish from secular schools in most respects.</p>

<p>Others do bring religious doctrine into various subjects other than explicitly religion subjects (e.g. biology at Liberty University).</p>

<p>Here's a link to the list of undergraduate biology courses at Baylor, with brief descriptions of each.
Baylor</a> University || Department of Biology || Undergraduate Courses
From a quick view, this looks pretty much like biology at the large public university where I teach.</p>

<p>Also, this statement might be relevant to the discussion, within the biological sciences:
<a href="http://www.baylor.edu/biology/index.php?id=77368%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.baylor.edu/biology/index.php?id=77368&lt;/a>
It is the statement on evolution, by the Baylor biologists.</p>

<p>Baylor is a great school, very conservative, very southern, but with good programs and a gorgeous campus. After spending the weekend with a friend there I can see the appeal.</p>

<p>I choose brandeis over schools like williams, amherst, lehigh, swarthmore, because the fit was right academically and athletically. The other schools didn't feel right and after visiting and doing an overnight, brandies did. (btw I'm not jewish so that played no role)</p>

<p>Sent from my Vortex using CC App</p>

<p>Baylor</a> Magazine || Baylor University || News</p>

<p><a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/04/gay.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/04/gay.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>S1 attends a Christian college. (because he loved the school, we thought he would do better in a smaller school and they offered merit aid bringing the cost down to the level of our state flagship) They are required to take 2 religion courses. One called Understandings of Religion where students explore the role of religion in the lives of individuals, communities and cultures. The second course is of the students choosing - anything from Judaism, Hinduism, African religions, etc. Seems pretty diverse and open minded to me. </p>

<p>Reading some of these posts makes me feel like I am listening to one of those uniformed cable news anchors who while discussing the Presidential race, assumes that all Christians are ultra conservative and all Christians wear their religion on their sleeve.</p>

<p>I think the religious element most evident in the article is TEXAS. Having lived in OK I know it exists on both sides of the state lines.</p>

<p>A huge percentage of the kids from my kids school go to Christian schools. Other than my D, i think three left the state; one for Baylor, the other for Liberty. There was another that went to a nursing school in Washington..The Liberty kid had a SAT of 2300+.</p>

<p>Another possible reason: She would have much better chances of being Valedictorian at Baylor. Plus, kids nowadys are very good at calculating ROI's. Most of them wanted to be spending the least amount of effort for the maximum amount of gain.</p>