MIT vs. Stanford

<p>I like MIT... a lot, but I LOVE EAST CAMPUS!!
Sorry, long story short: I got a good vibe from MIT, but I'm still deciding between MIT and Stanford. Aside that I'm from California, one thing that's holding me back from MIT is the possibility of not getting into my top-choice Grad schools, four years from now.
Some say that stanford engineering is relatively easier and the name recognition is the same as MIT.
So what should I do???</p>

<p>(P.S. 2 grad students warned me not to go for undergrad at MIT...)
(P.P.S. have u noticed that ppl from east campus are generally happier than ppl from west campus? is this b/c east campus ppl are more fun-loving, partying, less competitive, and have worse grades?)</p>

<p>Upon first seeing this thread title, I thought it was analogous to the "Caltech vs MIT" thing. That would be weird. Of course, from what I've gathered, Stanford and the ivies don't hack/prank...they just sit by and look confused while getting hacked/pranked. </p>

<p>Anyway, to answer your question, I'd go for MIT. I was waitlisted by Stanford, but I would not have chosen it over MIT. The Stanford atmosphere is similar to that of the ivies (albeit a little laid back). MIT seems much more unique and quirky. It has that active science-ey feel. If you're worried about grad school, MIT has some great 5-year masters things (look them up).</p>

<p>Basically, though, don't always live your life for tomorrow, because tomorrow will always be tomorrow and never today. Go where you want to go. If you are determined, no silly political garbage will keep you out of grad school...especially not if you succeed at MIT.</p>

<p>123 -- </p>

<p>"no silly political garbage will keep you out of grad school...especially not if you succeed at MIT."</p>

<p>My reading of this is that the OP is worried about not getting grades at MIT that are as good as those he would get at Stanford. I.e. "succeeding" is exactly the concern. I've definitely heard this a whole lot as a reason for choosing X over Caltech -- having a reputation for being intensely hard, as the top tech schools do, often lowers yield. Maybe that's what you meant by "political garbage," though, and I might just be confused :-P</p>

<p>I would wonder about two "grad students" warning you not to do undergrad at MIT. How would they know? My daughter was warned by a professor friend (who did graduate work but not undergrad at MIT) that the undergraduate work was "too hard." Well, she is there and it is hard, but definitely not "too hard." She is doing quite well. Everybody is different.</p>

<p>The Caltech hackers were quite good at pretending to be grad students</p>

<p>oh pebbles, that's funny!
those Caltech hackers cracked me up
it was my first experience with that kind of thing</p>

<p>"The Caltech hackers were quite good at pretending to be grad students"</p>

<p>werent they pretending to be prefrosh.everyone other than prefrosh has an MIT ID</p>

<p>They delayed our Tangerine Tour group by a good half hour wandering around in our path as grad students out late. I was not pleased :P</p>

<p>"Political garbage" is the term I use for most stupid trends that usually involve people giving up their authenticity in pursuit of some meaningless goal that will ultimately leave them empty (like power, status, etc.).</p>

<p>The Caltech people did a good job. I was surprised they'd spend so much money on the shirts, airfare, and other stuff, though. I wish I could be at the Caltech weekend to witness the retaliation, but they waitlisted me.</p>

<p>Hey this message is directed for the OP --</p>

<p>Stanford and MIT were my two first choices. I applied to MIT early and was admitted. I applied to Stanford regular and was admitted. However, I have no doubt in my mind that MIT is the place for me. I'm not going to state that it HAS to be the place for you too, but let me tell you my point of view, and maybe you will be able to relate to it.</p>

<p>RESEARCH
Alright, so I'm really into research. I had a really positive experience locally at a professor's lab and I've decided that research is definitely for me. I am going to major in Course 7, which in non-MIT terms, is basically the same thing as majoring in bio. When I was at CPW, I found out that a lot of freshmen serious in studying biology can get a UROP within their first year if they push, and can definitely get a UROP for the summer after freshmen year easy. This was a big priority for me.
At Stanford, you can't even declare your major until mid-sophomore year, and of course, you can't get a research project in the department until you have declared that you are going to be a student majoring in that department. Furthermore, at Stanford, graduate students have the priority over undergrads in research. Undergrads I met at Stanford told me that there is basically a 0-chance getting a research project until at least your junior year, even if you have the credential of RSI or the like. This is a big detriment for me. I got the feeling that at Stanford, student research is more the exception, and that it's not truly genuine to state that anyone can get a research project.</p>

<p>CAMPUS ATTITUDE
Alright, so you can't really know about it until you visit, but the campus "vibe" of MIT is very special. It transcends simple "quirkiness." At MIT, you really feel that you and your peers are a team. People work together to solve their problem sets, and they really are passionate about helping each other achieve their life goals. I was always a geek in high school and was proud of it. If that's the way you felt in highschool, then there's no doubt this is the place for you.
No doubt that Stanford also has awesome students. But you will find that prepiness and arrogance will be much more common there. Stanford students would be great if I wanted to have a conversation about Nietzsche versus Kant. But MIT students will be better if I want to tell a joke about a muon. AND, I'm sure they could also entertain a Nietzsche discussion too. You get the point!</p>

<p>GRAD OPPORTUNITIES
If you are looking at grad school, MIT will feed you anywhere you want to go. Yes, other schools DO know how hard it is. And your research experience will matter more than your marks. THe only caveat would be med-school. However, you may want to know that around 10ish percent of MIT is pre-med and 85%ish get into their first-choice med-school and 95% get into a med-school.</p>

<p>Anyhow, hope some of this info helps. I would love to be one of your classmates next year!</p>

<p>what year are you SDFried? A lot of information you have here are stereotypes of both schools and the statistics are not exactly correct. MIT has around 70% acceptance rate into A medical school. Stanford has an undergraduate grant system that seems to work pretty well if one wants to engage in research. My friend who is a freshman at Stanford is trying to get a position at Andrew Fire's , the father of RNAi. I think in terms of research, both school are awesome.</p>

<p>I'm prefrosh. My figures come from information I received at CPW. Stereotypes are not always true, that goes without saying. But they had to be true enough to be made into a stereotype -- that's just statistics. I congratulate your friend -- I am familiar with Dr. Fire's work. However, it is this sort of anecdotal evidence that drives me nuts. Every college sites as an example the kid who did X. Though they fail to give the facts about what percent of students actually can actually get a research position. I felt that at MIT, the promise that any dedicated student can get research was truly sincere -- whereas at Stanford, I felt that the information I was given was more anecdotal and thus overly optimistic. Anyhow, I prefaced this by saying that this was my opinion and my knowledge. I did not purport to be factual. If you want to go around flaming people, because Cali-kids are partial to Stanford, then go ahead. If you actually want to have a reasonable discussion about college options, I suggest you restart your approach.</p>

<p>My professor said he got a few D's in undergrad, and still got into MIT for grad school and got his doctorate here too. Just because you make some low marks early on in your career doesn't mean you will not be able to get into the grad school of your choice. Don't do poorly your junior or senior years though.</p>

<p>If you do decide to come to MIT, you will be on pass/no record for one semester. Take advantage of this. Learn how to study efficiently and how to manage your time wisely. Know exactly what it takes to get good grades before they start appearing in your transcript. Also, don't take classes with mostly premeds in it unless they are required for your major--much harder to get A's in!</p>

<hr>

<p>I was also admitted to Stanford, and it was actually my first choice until I attended Admit Weekend and CPW. Stanford is an excellent school, the campus is GORGEOUS, and Cali weather sure beats weather around here (don't let CPW fool you, we usually don't have it that good) but Stanford just didn't FEEL right to me. In the end that's what it all comes down to.</p>

<p>Good luck making your decision!</p>

<p>Stanford and MIT are almost polar opposites of each other. Each has its own specific advantages and disadvantages, and at the end, know that there's no way you can go wrong with either one.</p>

<p>MIT's pros:
- best research opportunities
- spirit of cooperation among students
- get a chance to join athletic teams even if you suck like no other
- best place for dedicated science/engineering types
- better city
- hardcore, genius-type prestige</p>

<p>Stanford pros:
- unlike MIT, it's good in almost anything from electrical engineering to philosophy
- good if you're not sure what you wanna do in college
- more laid back and easier courseload
- much nicer weather
- infinitely better athletic teams
- elite, well-rounded prestige</p>

<p>Don't be fooled by people who say one or the other is focused on undergrads. The fact is, grad students are favored at both campuses. In the end, it's up to you. I personally would have picked Stanford, but that's mainly because I'm not sure about engineering and that I want to have a more laid-back college experience.</p>

<p>I would pick Stanford. It's everything that MIT is in science and engineering, plus it has liberal arts, a beautiful campus and California weather.</p>

<p>Frankly, I would put MIT's campus in the "butt-ugly" category.</p>

<p>i'll concede the weather. while i'm satisfied with what i'm getting out of the humanities dept.s here (and i'm one of those weirdos who actually <em>likes</em> to write, and read, and do artistic things), i'll concede that stanford's programs are higher-quality and broader on the whole. but seriously, who cares about what the campus looks like? who's looking? maybe if you were talking about "what's going on", ie, interesting events on and off-campus, that would make sense, b/c that sort of thing tangibly contributes or detracts from your enjoyment. but unless you're an oversensitive architecture student, i don't see how prettier buildings have <em>anything</em> to do with what college you want to attend.</p>

<p>this has been one of my pet peeves for several years, btw, so i'm not <em>really</em> jumping all over you. well, ok, i am, but i have a reason? whatever.</p>

<p>MIT's campus is perfect.</p>

<p>Perfect.</p>

<p>I got chills looking around.</p>

<p>From the 2005 edition of the Newsweek: Kaplan Guide to America's 25 Hottest Colleges ( <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5626574/site/newsweek/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5626574/site/newsweek/&lt;/a> ):
[quote]
HOTTEST ARCHITECTURE:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>No offense meant, or taken. I guess it's a matter of taste. the majority of MIT looks like an old New England sweatshop factory (Harvard too) to my eye (except for that new complex designed by Frank Gehry.)</p>

<p>I was also admitted to both MIT and Stanford...and I would pick MIT over Stanford anyday. The campus as pebbles said is absolutely divine...it's PERFECT! </p>

<p>I was told at a MIT gathering for admitted students that MIT is one of the top feeder schools. Although the students there are smart, MIT makes them work hard for their grades. Also, grad schools understand that MIT is much harder than Ivies with high grade inflation and will take that into consideration.</p>