<p>I have been accepted to both...and I must make a very tough decision between the two of them. Both are top schools. Both have incredibly good academics, food, and quality of life for students. WUSTL does not have D1 sports, but other than that...what are the differences? and which, in your opinion, is better?</p>

<p>well, i'm biased, i'll be going to ND next year.</p>

<p>however, imo, ND is a very closer-knit community that will help you throughout your life no matter where in the country, or even the world, you find yourself</p>

<p>ND has tremendous tradition that permeates in all things related to the school</p>

<p>ND also gives you a spiritual experience i am confident you will find nowhere else in the country</p>

<p>Son looked very closely at WUSTL, but at the time his intended major was relatively new compared to ND. (At least that was what was said during an info session!) Yes, the campus is nice and some of the dorms have been remodeled, but in the end, I think son felt the sense of community at ND could not be matched. Have you visited both campuses? If not, that might help you in your decision. Also, isn't ND ranked higher than WUSTL generally? The Alumni connections cannot be matched, either. Somehow, I just don't know if WUSTL can compare to the international Alum base that ND has--and that may come in handy when job hunting comes around!</p>

<p>If you're interested in medicine, Wash U has a great pre-med (though several in my med school class said it's an extremely tough program). I've heard that wash U is a pretty liberal school overall and has a lot of diversity in its student body.</p>

<p>i think the only way WUSTL would be better for internationals or non-catholics is that it does not have a religious affiliation. Otherwise I think ND would be better. I have heard that ND has a conservative student body and is not very accepting of other religions/race. But i cannot substantiate this opinion. lets see what other posters will have to say...</p>

<p>Also, this is stupid but a lot more people know that ND is a big deal than know that WUSTL is a big deal. That may sound stupid, but when you are in a job interview and they think WUSTL is some weird public school you will appreciate the difference. It is because ND has the track-rate, WUSTL has shot up the rankings in the last 15 years. In 1990 they were nothing special. What they have done is amazing, and they are a great school, but people just don't realize it yet.</p>

<p>Daughter was accepted to both schools last year (and is a freshman at ND now...so you know where this is going!). The more we looked at both, we started to feel that the "family" of ND would be so much friendlier. We had heard a lot about the "cut throat" atmosphere at Wash U. and knew that it wasn't like that at ND. In the end you have two very good schools but there was no comparison when you add them up. The community of ND, the strong programs in many disciplines, the national recognition and on and on. Wash U. just didn't add up for us. Good luck!</p>

<p>thank you all so much for your help!!
I visited ND last month for Spring Vis, and I will be visiting WashU next month for Multicultural weekend. I must admit, when I went to ND I was blown away by what an amazing place it is, but I am not Catholic, and it's constant presence was a bit strange for me. I feel very strongly about my Protestant beliefs, and I just felt a bit out of place. I am hoping that the overall feeling of WUSTL is the same level of "amazingness" as ND was, w/o the religious affiliation. I have often said that if ND wasn't religiously affiliated, it would be the perfect match for me. I know that WUSTL's job placement services suck (from what I've heard), but I plan to go on to some sort of grad/law/med school anyway, so I dont think that would affect me.</p>

I'm glad you love ND, but I have to say that I don't think it would be the same school without the religious affiliation (not nearly the same school); I'm sure most other alums would agree. </p>

<p>That said, I disagree with Irish that you should base your decision on something as shallow as name recognition. As I said, if you go into medicine, there won't be anybody who hasn't heard of WashU; it's a superstar school for medicine...right up there with Johns Hopkins. Likewise, many a business/graduate school (especially the top programs) have heard of Wash U. While I admit that it doesn't have the same "wow" factor as the Notre Dame name among people not as familiar with academia, it's definitely a great school, that carries name recognition where it matters. Some people you meet in passing may not know much about your school, but you shouldn't make your decision based on how prestigious the school sounds to others anyways. I call the latter the "Ivy League State of Mind."</p>

<p>Lastly, Notre Dame is a fabulous school, and I love my alma mater, but it too rose to national acclaim for academics fairly recently: mid-late 80s. Much of Notre Dame's name recognition--especially outside of the midwest is due to football (which is kind of embarrasing considering this year's season). It was only during the end of Fr. Ted's (who I had the pleasure of meeting during my senior year at ND) presidency that NOtre Dame really emerged as an elite academic institution. </p>

<p>Finally, I was accepted to several presitigious medical schools, many with the "wow" factor names. I chose my school, and looking back on it, I couldn't be happier with my decision. I chose a school where the values and priorities fit my own...that's more important than any name. </p>

<p>Enough said, I just advise OP to not think about the name recognition. It really has no bearing on your life for the next for years, and in the case of these two schools, no bearing on your future. YOu would get a fabulous education and lots of opportunities at each of them, but where will you be happiest?</p>

<p>Lizzie--son is soph at ND currently. The religious aspect has not been an issue for him and he is protestant. I really think the tipping point for him was indeed the sense of community that abounds. Do consider all options when making a decision, tho!</p>

That said, I disagree with Irish that you should base your decision on something as shallow as name recognition.


<p>C'mon Princess, that isn't what I said. It should never be your primary criteria, but I listed it because it is worth thinking about. If you are going into business, name recognition is huge. I think it is hard for anyone to argue against that, and given that, it should be considered. I am not saying WUSTL isn't a good school, but I am saying you have to know all the pluses and minuses, not ignore it like you suggest.</p>

<p>ND--->name recognition :P</p>

<p>WUSTL, imo, is fairly over-rated. There's a huge discussion on this school going on in the UMich forum, if you wanna check it out :)</p>

<p>Let me just share one things I've heard about WUSTL that would make me skeptical about wanting to go there, and it's that I feel like the school has a complete inferiority complex. </p>

<p>It's not an overrated school at all. It has some really strong academic programs and a solid alumni network. It's in a semi-large city, is diverse, and probably has some really talented students and a beautiful campus.</p>

<p>The thing is though is that it holds this reputation for being, "the Ivy League reject school." I would think that most people stop caring about not getting into their first choice school by the time they are well into their freshman year, but I know of a couple of WashU friends (who didn't get into Harvard, UPenn, Duke, etc) that still seemed bitter about it over a year later. Whether the myth is true or not, WashU kids seem to hold it over their heads. </p>

<p>I'm sorry if I sounded really shallow in this post but I just wanted to let you know that as somebody who loves the avid sense of school spirit we have here, I would not want somebody who has the same feelings to end up going to a school that constantly feels like it has to prove something to somebody.</p>

<p>...and from somebody who posted on the UMichigan vs. WashU thread...</p>

<p>"Wash U is by far the superior schools as it is ranked higher by US NEWS and if often considered a feeder into top med/law schools as well as top business firms like Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. There is no competition here.</p>

<p>I do think that Michigan has a better anthropology program though so if you want to go into a major that will provide you with no income after graduation, then choose Michigan. Also, Michigan has crazier parties and sluttier girls. So if you want to acquire some STD's and plan a career as an alcoholic, then Michigan is also a great fit.</p>

<p>Obviously, you should take into account other factors. I think this is a good overview for now. Also, were you accepted and if so, was your SAT scores below 2000? I think Michigan is aiming for a class of lower SAT scorers this year."</p>

<p>...^^uhhh i think this gives you a better idea of what I was talking about...as much as I hate Michigan as an ND fan, you wouldn't find me or any other ND student making those kind of remarks.</p>

as much as I hate Michigan as an ND fan, you wouldn't find me or any other ND student making those kind of remarks.

Haha, as you can see, that kid was chased out by many people (even WUSTL students!) in short order. My favorite one was a thread he started on the Mich forum titled "Why is this second-rate school taking so long?", which, as you can imagine, was taken down immediately. :)</p>

<p>again irish, i disagree that this should play a role. You want a good school...there are plenty of schools that people have heard about, that may not be the best schools.</p>

<p>But it still makes a difference. Ask applicants to business schools, or graduate schools, or even jobs in business. People look for names. </p>

<p>One of my friends went to Grove City College. It is a great school, quite selective as well GCC:</a> Freshman Profile. However, it's name sounds like a community college. I am sorry, but to me, it does. If you don't really know your colleges, if I am an employer, I am going to ask him if he went to a 2 year college or if it is a 4 year school. It may not be right, but it is how it is. </p>

<p>There are many great schools that people haven't heard of. Grinnell, Pomona, Swarthmore, etc. Do you really think they will be viewed as equals with their more well-known counterparts by people not in the know? I don't think so.</p>

<p>Yes, getting a good education is the most important thing, but it makes a difference with getting into grad school (I know it did for me, they told me so) and it makes a difference with getting jobs. Isn't that a big reason why we go to college after all?</p>

<p>LizziePoo - If I were you, I would also post your question on the WUSTL forum. On the ND forum you will hear the ND voice, and will get a completely different opinion on the WUSTL forum - as it should be! </p>

<p>My D is currently a freshman at WUSTL. Like you, she was accepted at ND (as a ND Scholar) and at WUSTL. Her decision as to which school to attend was a very difficult one. In all, we visited each school three times - very early in her junior year, again in her senior year and visited both AGAIN after she was accepted. </p>

<p>I have to admit, being raised a Catholic, I was rooting for ND to be her choice. People are correct - when you say, "I'm going to ND", they say "OOOOHHHHH". But, despite the fact that ND is an excellent school, we found that most of the time this positive reaction was based on the school's football legacy and had nothing to do with their outstanding academics (which is sad!). When I tell people my D is at WUSTL, unless they are "in the know", most people know nothing about the school (which is also sad!). Ultimately, I decided to keep my opinions to myself and let her choose the school she felt was best for her. I have much admiration for Princess ND and her comments in post #9 are right on target (as always)! My D made her decision based on what she felt was right for her - as you should. She didn't let my opinions, my Catholic relatives (who nearly had the vapors when she decided not to go to ND), or those of all of my husband's Catholic patients (who would ask nearly daily - "Has she decided yet?") sway her and I am very proud of her for that. It wasn't easy. </p>

<p>In reference to some of the comments made regarding WUSTL, I will answer as to what my D's experience has been (mind you, this is only her experience).</p>

<li><p>ND does have amazing tradition and unmatched alumni connections are fabulous. WUSTL has great alumni connections, but they come from a "different place", if that makes sense. There is a great pride of the alumni in the school, but you don't see the generations of family members, etc. that have attended as ND has.</p></li>
<li><p>WUSTL and ND both have very beautiful campuses. WUSTL's dorms win hands down - they are not remodeled, they are new. One by one they are demolishing the old dorms and rapidly building new ones. As of next year, there will only be 3 old dorms left for freshmen and we thought these traditional dorms were nicer than ND's. D is in a modern dorm with double room that shares a bathroom with another double room this year. Next year she will be in a four person single room suite (four single bedrooms where the roommates share a common room and bathroom). Gorgeous! I thought the food both places was great! </p></li>
<li><p>As far as rankings go, USNEWS has WUSTL just a few slots higher than ND, but when you get to the top 20 schools in the nation out of 3,000 or 4,000 schools, does it really matter??</p></li>
<li><p>Princess ND is again correct - pre-med is TOUGH at WUSTL, but when you complete the prereqs you will be ready! They take med school admission VERY seriously and walk with you through the process, step by step. My D was a NMF, val at her hs, had great SAT/ACT scores and has never worked so hard in her life!</p></li>
<li><p>WUSTL has a very diverse student body - my D has met so many interesting and SMART kids from all over the world. It has really expanded her horizons.</p></li>
<li><p>We had heard the word "cutthroat" used about WUSTL, but had people tell us it was not so (before D accepted) and she has found what they said to be true. It is HARD, but she has found the students to be very cooperative in studying. She has study groups with other students and finds people very agreeable to helping when you are stumped!</p></li>
<li><p>The religious atmosphere of the ND campus is unmatched - as I said once before, the place just has a soul. At WUSTL you find students of MANY different religions and D has found it stimulating to be surrounded by such diverse beliefs.</p></li>
<li><p>Regarding the comments about WUSTL always having to "prove something" - I read those things (primarily on CC), but never get that feeling on the campus from the students, professors, or administration. Maybe some kids use the school as a place to go when the Ivies reject them, but frankly, WUSTL is ranked higher than some of the Ivies. Many people from CC (moderators, long time posters, etc.) encouraged D to apply to several of the Ivies - she just wasn't interested. They weren't what she was looking for in a school. So many people apply to an Ivy because it is an Ivy, which we never understood. ND and WUSTL had what she was looking for. The kids at WUSTL just seem proud and happy to be there!</p></li>

<p>In making her final decision, as I said before, my D s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e-d!! D is a combined science/foreign language major (taking the premed prereqs), but also plays in a WUSTL musical group (for no credit - just loves it). The science and performing arts buildings at ND are amazing! But, WUSTL has this P-N-P major (Philosphy-Neuroscience-Psychology) that D found fascinating. When D visited with the music professor at ND, the professor said she COULD NOT guarantee D would make the ND group (!?!?!?). D was #1 in the group in hs, was the only 3 time state qualifier at her hs, and was 3rd chair of the state group her senior year. That really took her back a little - to commit to a school and not be allowed to participate in something that means a lot to you would have really lessened the college experience for her. In a couple of classes she visited at ND the discussion between the students was more combative than cooperative. Now that could have happened anywhere, but it left an impression. So in the end, I think her decision to chose WUSTL over ND came down to the attitude of the music professor, the class atmosphere she experienced, a very uninterested student host she had at ND - also could have happened anywhere (on the post acceptance visit), the WUSTL P-N-P major, the ease of double majoring (and minoring) across different schools at WUSTL, and maybe wanting a more diverse student body. </p>

<p>When I picked her up at the airport for Christmas break on the car ride home I asked, "Well, after the first semester, what do you think? Did you make the right choice?" A huge smile came over her face and she said, "It was SUCH the right choice!" She proceeded to tell me that the most surprising thing she discovered about WUSTL was that she had something to learn from EVERYONE there - students and professors alike. She has had amazingly brilliant professors and described them in detail. She said she has met kids who think like no one she has ever encountered before. This is not to say that everything is rosy every day, but all in all, she is happy and that is what is important. This is also not to say that these very same things wouldn't have happened had she chose ND. She could have gone there, found a major she loved, been selected for the music group, etc. But we'll never know!</p>

<p>I will tell you that a tear ran down my cheek when I mailed the card back to ND saying she was declining their admission offer. D feels like she is at the place she belongs, and after all, isn't that what each student should really be after?</p>

<p>Go to WashU. Much better than this school</p>

<p>Thank you Midwest parent, that was a very informative comment. Not so much for Milkmagn, but I would be open to hear why you feel that way should you decide to post support for your statement.</p>