Oberlin vs. U Rochester

<p>Alright, I have a pretty good understanding of these two schools, and i think they are considered pretty close in terms of academics and admissions. I just want verification on the second part. If you want, you can throw in any opinions you have about social differences and academic quality. Anything will help.</p>

<p>I am sure you know most of this. Oberlin is smaller and in a small town, Rochester is bigger, has graduate programs and is in a large city. Both have excellent music conservatories associated with them - Oberlin's is an integral part of the Oberlin campus while the Eastman School at Rochester is a completely seperate campus. Oberlin is very liberal. Rochester is more middle of the road. While the 2 schools have similar academic reputations and admission criteria, they both feel very different from one another. </p>

<p>Rochester feels like a small university. It has several professional degree programs, most notably their medical programs. They have fraternities and a fairly extensive intercollegiate athletic program. Intro classes MAY be larger and you will likely have some TAs. They have many strong departments but are most noted for the sciences and political science. They also have one of the only optics programs in the country. Many would consider the Eastman School to be a slightly more competitive conservatory than Oberlin, but others would probably disagree.</p>

<p>Oberlin is more like a liberal arts college. There are no fraternities and classes tend to be smaller. There are no TAs and no professional type programs like engineering. Oberlin's population will likely be somewhat more diverse. It, too, is very strong in many areas, most notably sciences and music. </p>

<p>I think that Rochester is more likely to offer merit aid but if you are a strong candidate, there may not be too much difference in your merit aid packages from either school.</p>

<p>I don't know much about URochester, but I do know that Oberlin is an excellent place for undergrad. Professors place tremendous emphasis on being good teachers and actively engaging with students. They have great resources that are available to students, and their academics are great at preparing people for grad school or work (they're apparently great at producing people who go on to become Ph.D's/professors). Oberlin is a very intellectual place, with many free thinkers and smart kids who love learning (kind of like UChicago). It's VERY liberal, but the kids tend to be very communal and friendly (more harmless hippy types than snobish faux intellectual-liberals). All in all, Oberlin is a very welcoming place that provides top-notch education.</p>

<p>URochester feels like a larger LAC...and has the 5th year otion and is great for a humanities kid.</p>

<p>They both have music conservatory/music school. Rochester has a greater graduate student population...probably more research opportunities for undergrads. Rochester is affiliated with a medical school (adjacent). UofR is very strong in sciences, econ, linguistics, microbio, genetics, poly sci, optics, chem, physics, statistics, music. U Rochester has an engineering school. U R has new bioeng building. U of R lacks a commercial district near campus for stores, clubs, restaurants, etc. Rochester is a great city for culture with professional theater, orchestra. U of R owns an excellent art gallery.</p>

<p>Don't know as much about Oberlin. Oberlin is perhaps more prestigious among LACs that U of R is among universities. I have the impression that Oberlin is more artsy and U Rochester more pre-professional. Don't know as much about Oberlin.</p>

<p>Two excellent choices, potentially. FWIW, here's an earlier thread that may have some relevance:</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=167658%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=167658&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>The OP of that thread is now at Oberlin.</p>

<p>As for your second point, when my d was applying a few years ago Oberlin was a bit more selective. But the most recent stats for each school are available.</p>

<p>Thanks for the help.</p>

<p>I think i'll be a bit more specific. You see, roch was the first college i actually did a tour at, mainly cuz it was easy to do in one day from where i live. i liked it, so i immediately added on my list. But now that i think about it more, and now that i know that other people from my school wanna go there too, the close proximity is a total turnoff. Oberlin is about twice as far away or more, so i'm thinking of just switching out roch for oberlin (assuming i got accepted to both). So tell me if Oberlin fits what i want:</p>

<p>I want to be either a math major or a music theory major. Not matter what, it'll be a liberal arts major. The level of acceptance is good for me, cuz (i hate to sound presumptuous, but...) roch and i think oberlin too could be just about safeties, or very strong matches. I know oberlin doesn't have frats, but do they have frat-like events (aka parties)?? maybe the co-ops take this role?? I really can't take time to go to visit oberlin at this point because of school and everything, so i need opinions from you guys as to how smooth a switch this would be. Hopefully i could visit oberlin if i got accepted and i had to resort to my 3rd and 4th choices.</p>

<p>I can tell you that: i) part of Oberlin's attraction for my daughter was that it didn't have frats, and I'm sure she's not alone there; and ii) the math dept. is very good; iii) she was an excellent student in high school, very high SATs, etc, and was quite happy to be accepted to Oberlin, which was her first choice or maybe second.</p>

<p>Alright, but i DO like frats, or at least the "events" they put on. Are you saying i'll be unhappy with this at oberlin?</p>

<p>In my stereotypical image a frat-lover might be happier at say, Colgate rather than Oberlin.</p>

<p>But I don't go there. They do have parties, of course, but I haven't heard them described.</p>

<p>I highly recommend visiting to see if it's right for you. If it's not worth visiting then perhaps it's not worth applying to either? Perhaps there are alternatives that might work better for you.Just a thought.</p>

<p>What?? i never said it wasn't worth visiting! i said i don't have time! i couldn't POSSIBLY take a weekend off to visit it now. if i didn't do 3 varsity sports and 50 clubs, i'd LOVE to visit. I like oberlin for its programs; i'm not going to apply to colgate (which is even closer than rochester) just for parties. i mean, i was obviously drawn to oberlin for the con and things like that.</p>

<p>Can anyone else add an opinion?</p>


<p>I am sure there are parties at Oberlin. My son was accepted and both. I thought for sure he would attend Rochester, but when it came time to send in the deposit, I didn't feel there was any enthusiasm on his part. While he had visited Roch several times, he had only been to Oberlin in the summer. He made a quick trip with his dad on an accepted students day and made the decision to attend Oberlin.</p>

<p>He, too, did not want to take any time away from school to visit, but we insisted. He liked the more casual nature of Oberlin and the smaller feel. The schools are very different in that regard and it is hard to know if you would like it without knowing you. </p>

<p>Oberlin is a very socially active and liberal school. There is a very active lesbian and gay population. It has a reputation for being a druggie school but I don't think this reputation is warranted. My son states that he hasn't seen much drug use so far. He says the musical atmosphere is amazing and he attends 1-2 concerts each week featuring all kinds of music. His classes are challenging but not overwhelming. He loves it there. However, I don't know if you would love it there as well.</p>