Must decide TODAY - CMC vs WashU

I found links to a path for CS either through Pomona or HMC, but not for engineering. The only option is to 3/2 with HMC or several other non consortium schools.

I’d call CMC. in this year I’d be shocked and amazed if they’d take a late acceptance. No top schools will be short this year…I don’t think.

WUSTL is a wonderful school. You made the call. So go and be happy. If you go in expecting a wonderful experience you have a great chance of having a wonderful experience.


“No. I’m saying if their methodology left HMC out it must be bad. . . Dig into the methodology to see how much of it is subjective or self reported.”

Exactly. You disagreed with HMC not being included, therefore the methodology must be bad. Circular reasoning.

Did you even read any of it? What they clearly stated is that a school must have scored high on BOTH “work hard” AND “play hard” to be included. HMC can be far and away #1 on “work hard” and still not make the list if they don’t score high on “play hard”.

And of course much of the data is subjective and self reported. Do you want to identify the objective data sets for “play hard”? The whole point of a survey based analysis like this is that it is based on the opinions of the students who live and work at these schools every day. That’s not garbage. Take it for what it’s worth. If you don’t like it that’s fine. It’s just one source of information.

But let’s bring this back to the issue at hand. I didn’t post this to initiate a debate over study methodology. The thread has been drawn off topic far enough already.

I posted this for the benefit of the OP who is experiencing some buyer’s remorse at this point. His worry is that Wash U is too academic whereas he is looking for a “work hard play hard environment”. This study based on surveys of thousands of students as well as other data says that Wash U offers exactly the kind of “work hard play hard” campus culture that he is looking for.I hope that the conversation would focus on any other information which might be helpful to him gaining some perspective on impressions he has developed so far.

Wash U consistently scores high on surveys of “happiest students”. There must be a reason for that. Like Niche, Princeton Review surveys thousands of students annually. From those surveys, they post dozens of “top 20” lists. USC doesn’t show up on a single one of those top 20 lists in PRinceton Review. Starting with the list of “students love their colleges”, Wash U shows up on 10 of them - everything from high marks for facilities (libraries, athletic facilities) to quality of life, fraternities, dorms, food, and financial aid. If surveys like these are a college’s report card from their customer base, Wash U is getting straight A’s while USC is passing with gentlemen’s C’s.

Wash U has a beautiful campus and is adjacent to one of the largest urban parks in the country - larger than NY’s Central Park and well over 1000 acres. It’s located in a nice neighborhood just outside the city of St. Louis but in St Louis County.

I hope that the OP digs deeper, gets on accepted students’ chat rooms, and even gets to have one-on-one conversations with current students and other accepted students. These kinds of contacts have made an enormous difference for students I know. CMC and USC represent the known and the familiar. Wash U takes a leap of faith into something unknown and unfamiliar. I hope that he can find the encouragement and sense of connection to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

I personally the OP is going to WUSTL or nowhere. Schools like CMC and USC don’t extend their admission acceptance deadline.

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This is what I believe too. They are already managing their waitlists. To hold on every student who didn’t SIR would be a logistical nightmare.

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they responded saying they’ll still give me offers. so they ARE on the table…

Cool! Every day you delay lessens that likelihood though. They will eventually fill.

Also, every day you delay prevents them from offering to another student who is eagerly awaiting a waitlist notification.

Why did you SIR with Wash U in the first place? Are you having buyers remorse? Fear of commitment? Just trying to understand how you got here.

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“I visited and am NOT crazy about St.Louis and the weather. IMHO I really like the CMC location, and USC’s proximity in LA (though I’m aware the immediate USC areas is not great). Socially, WashU is much more academic and not much of a ‘work hard play hard’ school.”

You seem to have concerns about all your potential choices, which is fine, but is there a college you think is a better fit, that you didn’t get into, so now you’re deciding between these three? you don’t have to share that of course, but that could help in deciding, in case the other options are still on the table.

Yes absolutely. I wanted to go to Penn/Northwestern/Columbia or one of the Ivies/top-tiers. (Stanford/Harvard/Princeton/MIT). This was the hardest admissions year ever so it didn’t work out–but it might as a transfer. I don’t want to go into college thinking I’m going to transfer but it is on the table…

does this help?

I also got into American Uni, GW, NYU, BU, Northeastern, Vassar, some UCs (not Berekely or UCLA), Emory, Waitlisted Brown/Pomona.

Every year is hard like this now. Why? Too many students and their families drank the selectivity cool-aid, so far too many highly qualified students apply to far too few schools. There is some good news though.

In survey after survey, about 80% of people asked say they were very happy with their undergraduate institution, even if it was their last choice.

You seem to be caught up in the myth that the school makes you. That could not be further from the truth. Apple has more employees from San Jose State than from Stanford. Of the top 30 schools that feed Silicon Valley, one is an Ivy. The directors of all but one NASA facility went to public schools, most of them random, no name ones. You make your success, not the school.

I’d suggest you enter first year with the attitude that you are going to slay it rather than with one of discontent. After all, wherever you go, there you are. Starting with a negative attitude will self perpetuate. Then what happens if you don’t get into unicorn school?

I’d also suggest you read Frank Brunei’s excellent look linked below. Good luck!’ll+Be,+by+Frank+Bruno&qid=1590136960&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=collegeright-20&linkId=e174a04283e85e8f48dad407294bcc04&language=en_US


Washington U is a fantastic school – academic quality across the board.

But in my experience, the part that makes any place enjoyable is the people. You’ll make friends wherever you go. You’ll find places to see and things to do, and wherever you are you’ll have fun. St. Louis gives you a chance to experience a totally different place and a different vibe, weather, etc. Diversity of experience will help you down the road.

You have given them your deposit. Anything can be second-guessed, but man, you already have one foot in the doorway of a really great school.


“Too many students and their families drank the selectivity cool-aid, so far too many highly qualified students apply to far too few schools.”

This kid got into Emory, WUSTL, CMC, not a kool aid drinker. CMC RD is probably tougher to get into than Columbia, NU, Penn ED. Also I read Bruni’s book, he would argue for one of the UC’s (not UCB or UCLA) over WUSTL.

“does this help?”

It helps a little, obviously if you can get off Brown or Pomona waitlist, that’s probably where you should go, those are the best in terms of an Econ/CS combo, you’d be happier there as well! I’d put USC, followed actually by NYU, ahead of CMC. If you’re not going to be happy at WUSTL, those four would be better. Assuming all are about the same affordability of course.

Thanks for this input!
USC has larger class sizes and is more of a “party school” (though obviously still a very academic and selective place). Considering I’m still looking for smaller class sizes, etc., do you still think USC/NYU and the like are good fits or should I go for a CMC?

I don’t understand how all these schools are still options - haven’t the acceptance dates passed? I know there was one other that was supposedly holding a spot for you or something, but were they all? How are NYU/USC/CMC all still viable options (along with WashU) at this point?


Rather that seeking advice from random strangers on the internet, each with their own biases and perspective, myself not withstanding, go with your gut and move forward.


+100% @eyemgh . Great book. The only mistakes students will make are going to a school that makes them unhappy and going into too much debt.

I think with covid, colleges are going to be more flexible this year with enrollment decisions and changes. They may not hold a spot for long time, agree.

“Considering I’m still looking for smaller class sizes, etc., do you still think USC/NYU and the like are good fits or should I go for a CMC?”

A CMC consortium school is your best bet, especially if Pomona comes through, since it has a CS major. If it doesn’t then I would go with CMC . Looks like USC and NYU are may be too large for you, so go with CMC since that’s where you think you’re the best fit anyway.

What about WashU?

I almost think we’re being played - with these schools, there’s no way they’ve not yet locked admissions.

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