Penn or UT Austin?

<p>I have narrowed down my choices to Penn and UT Austin. I am interested in Journalism and Urban Studies.</p>

<p>UT Austin: Accepted to College of Communication. They recently built a brand new building. I love Austin and the music scene there (I'd like to be a music journalist). However, I am afraid that class sizes are big. </p>

<p>Penn: Flexible distribution requirements. I have guaranteed acceptance to the Ben Franklin Scholars program. However, only a journalism minor is offered.</p>

<p>I was born in Texas and have lived here my entire life. I don't mind staying - I think Austin is a vibrant and dynamic city to live in! But I'd like to get out of my comfort zone and explore something new.</p>

<p>Any thoughts and advice?</p>

<p>If it is affordable, I think students learn more by getting away from home for college and meeting more people who are different from them.</p>

<p>UT has a very strong regional brand, and a solid national brand. Penn may be virtually unknown to the average person in Texas, but most people who are responsible for hiring, will know Penn.</p>

<p>Penn’s student body is significantly stronger than UT from a grades and test scores perspective. Some students like that feeling of being with peers, but for others it is hard to accept not being the smartest kid in the room all the time. </p>

<p>Have you had an opportunity to visit both schools? If so, what was your feeling about them?</p>

<p>You can get a good education at either school, but I think the experiences will be quite different. UT is much more sports centric. Penn students seem to be more education and activity focused.</p>

<p>If you are very sure about your major and it is not offered at Penn, (except as a minor) that may be the main thing to consider in making your choice. </p>

<p>You may also want to consider an English major at Penn. Penn has on of the most highly rated English programs.</p>

<p>LOTS of successful and prominent journalists have come out of Penn. Both Penn’s English major and the Communication major (administered through the College by Penn’s world-renowned Annenberg School for Communication, home of provide academic majors directly relevant to a journalism career, and the Kelly Writers House provides an amazing and literal home for programs and activities related to journalism.</p>

<p>Plus, to my knowledge, NONE of the Ivy League schools offer an undergraduate Journalism major per se, yet it goes without saying that many, many successful journalists have come out of those schools. You don’t have to necessarily major in Journalism–or English or Communication, for that matter–to become a successful journalist. In fact, some students I personally knew at Penn who went on to highly successful journalism careers at national publications, majored in fields like History and International Relations.</p>

<p>Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!
I visited both schools - at UT, I felt excited and enthousiastic, but maybe that’s in part because I’ve been to the campus several times already.
However, I was not at all impressed by Penn. Something didn’t feel right - a mix of the campus and the students I talked to. I tried to like Penn, and I did like some aspects of it, especially the Kelly Writers’ House. But I kept telling myself to find more things to like about Penn, because after all, since it is an Ivy League school, it must be a good school, right?
The more I thought about it, the more I could see myself at UT. Once I went beyond Penn’s status as an Ivy League school, I realized that it didn’t have more opportunities that I couldn’t find at UT.
After all, I feel, it’s what the student makes out of his/her college experience, not the school itself, that will be important. </p>

<p>I think that you will be more successful where you are excited to go. If the only thing you like is that Penn is an Ivy League school</p>

<p>maybe it is not the best fit for you.</p>

<p>^ Agreed! The best school for any student is the one at which he or she is happy, and which feels like the right fit. It’s very much a personal, instinctive determination, and you should choose the school that just feels right.</p>

<p>And UT is an excellent school that has produced more than a few great journalists. Not to mention that Austin is a fantastic place to go to school–and to live, period! So if that’s your choice, I say HOOK 'EM HORNS! :)</p>

<p>I am interested in understanding one thing you said: “Something didn’t feel right.” Can you articulate what that something was? </p>

<p>Nice job going with your gut. When it comes down to it, that’s what you have to go with.</p>

<p>I remember interviewing at the business school there and something didn’t feel right either. UT is a solid place and assuming your parents don’t live on Guadalupe, you should be able to feel away from home.</p>