MSU vs. the field

I am trying to decide between MSU (honors college), U of M, and Notre Dame for next year. I'm hoping to study math, CS, or biochemistry. Any feedback would be appreciated. I know ND and UM are much more highly rated, but I get the feeling I have access to more of MSU's resources (what with the honors college and all, plus I got a professorial assistantship, hopefully will be in Lyman Briggs and won full-tuition from the Distinguished Freshman scholarship). I guess my question is, do the rankings really signify a big enough difference to warrant my choosing ND or UM over MSU given my situation?</p>

<p>Wait…you won full tuition and you’re still not sure?!</p>

<p>But anyways, I’m in Briggs and in the Honors College. I feel like there’s more of a community of support here than at U of M (I have a lot of friends that go there), and way more opportunities to succeed and get to know professors. A professorial assistantship is HUGE because you’re automatically able to get paid to do research with no experience. If you’re going to grad school, where you went to undergrad doesn’t mean much at all, so I’d say go where you can 1) get the money, and 2) succeed. Clearly you’re smart, so you’ll probably succeed anywhere.</p>

<p>Thanks astradend…and I’m 90% sure I’m going to MSU, I’m just trying to weigh all the options. I’m fortunate enough to come from a family where money doesn’t have to be the deciding factor, though it’s definitely a big part of my analysis.</p>

<p>You actually hit on one of my main concerns; would you say that getting to know and interacting with professors is easy at MSU? Given MSU’s size, I’m worried that I’ll end up with 500 person lectures and have dubious access at best with my professors, or worse be taught by TA’s I can’t understand and have zero interest in helping me learn. I suppose UM probably has similar issues, ND probably not (based on their sizes). Have you had any experience likes this, especially in math or biochem?</p>

<p>No, it really, really doesn’t. ESPECIALLY not if it means debt vs no debt. </p>

<p>I can only give my experience. I chose MSU over U of M for undergrad due to better fit and better funding opportunities. I’m now a senior and have been accepted to every grad school I applied to (different field though) including Ivy league grad schools and will be going to U of M for grad school. Going to MSU did not hinder me in any way and in fact was better overall in many ways. </p>

<p>Getting to know professors can be done at MSU if you put in the effort. Yes, it’s more difficult in intro courses where the class sizes can be outrageous, but in upper level classes it’s MUCH more manageable. If you’re in LB, the class sizes are much smaller and the profs are pretty open.</p>

<p>First off, I am in Briggs and Briggs is actually considered by many as JUST as prestigious as UM, but probably just a little bit less. Lyman Briggs College is filled with many students who are in your situation. In your freshmen chem class about half the students decided to pick Briggs over UM. I know at least 100 Briggs Students over the last 4yrs that have turned down UM to go to Briggs, most of them is b/c they got a scholarship.
The scholarship part is bigger in my mind. And don’t listen to idiots that will tell you the class sizes are huge. If you do go into Briggs your chem 1&2 classes will have 100 students in it, while MSU gen-chem will have about 350. And you will be with smarter people than gen-chem. That is the truth. There is a reason Briggs’ chem classes are much more challenging than the MSU gen-chem classes: the students are held to a higher standard. But since you’d be in the Honors College you would just take Honors-Bio not Briggs Bio, but I have heard MSU Honors Bio is easier and less challenging than my Briggs Bio 1&2 classes I took</p>

<p>You really won’t have to worry about 500 student classes. Those don’t exist, people exaggerate a lot. I have had just two classes in which I had more than 350 students in the class, and they were Intro to Nutrition and Pscyhology elective classes.
And just to let you know that BMB 461&462 are considered the two hardest and most challenging undergrad classes MSU offers (that is not part of the engineering college) and this class is usually 220 students but the only kids in this class are BioChem and Physio major students. </p>

<p>Take the scholarship and go to MSU, especially Briggs! But I know people that chose MSU over UM because they would rather receive a 3.6 to 3.8 at MSU while still trying hard than going to UM and busting your @$$ off 3 times as hard as you would at MSU just to get a 3.1 gpa! Just to let you know, most Master’s Programs, Graduate Programs, and Medical schools couldn’t give 2 cents about where you got your Bachelor’s Degree! There are kids that get accepted with 60 cred of community college credits and then transfer over to State and graduates with a 3.4 gpa, but the kid who has all 120+cred from MSU has a 3.38 gpa gets declined despite both having similar to the same MCAT or GRE scores.</p>