Hi my daughter was admitted to U of Delaware, Maryland Penn State and the honors program at University of Delaware. She is deciding between Penn State and Rhode Island. After scholarships from URI they are about the same cost. Penn State is much more prestigious but at URI she would be in an honors program, and be able to participate in Varsity Sports. Please help us decide. Thanks!
URI honors (not Delaware Honors) VS Penn State
It depends, does she want a more prestigious and fun school or she wants to participate in Varsity sports. I am biased towards PSU main since I am going there next fall, but URI is very good as well. If she does decide to got to PSU, she can apply for PSU honors program and get extra 5k a year.
For some kids taking part in college sports is a key part of what they want in college. If this is your D and the club sports at PSU are not a good substitute then URI starts to look good. Making a decision based on ranking alone can be a bit problematic; a lot of what students get out of college comes from what they put into it (studying, clubs, internships, getting to know profs, making friends, etc) no matter where they go. Fit and affordability matter too. Rankings do carry some information even if they aren’t the complete story, but there’s no absolute rule on how to take them into account in most situations.
I’d be leery of assuming URI Honors is a big boost as seen by future employers. Honors colleges offer valuable perks and let you meet some of the top students at your college. But too often they’re oversold with glossy pamphlets suggesting a small LAC has been set up giving an elite private education at the public school price. On the forum you’ll see posts that say/imply that. Often its a relatively small number of classes (at URI 18 credit hours out of the 120 needed for a degree according to https://web.uri.edu/honors/the-program/) and everything else are the regular classes with the regular students and regular class size. Honors perks may include early registration so you get the classes you want (a perk worth its weight in gold!), special counselors, guaranteed housing, special library privileges. Your diploma will proudly bear the honors insignia.