Please help, Pitt or Penn state?

<p>I'm a Pennsylvania resident, and was accepted to Pitt and Penn state. I'm really having tough time choosing where to go. Basically the situation is I like Pitt and strongly dislike Penn state. However, my mom works for psu Hershey med, so I could go to Penn state for only 14000 vs 25000 at Pitt. My family is middle class, and I have a sibling at psu, so money is a concern, and I doubt I will get much if any financial aid. But I loved Pitt. I think I want to be pre med, and Pitt just felt right to me. My parents will support me to go there but I feel badly making them pay more. Please any insight is great.</p>

<p>What do you like about Pitt and do not like about Penn State?</p>

<p>$44,000 over four years is a significant amount of money, especially if it will have to be taken as loans. Bringing a lot of undergraduate debt into medical school is not a great idea.</p>

<p>What's not to like about Penn St? I can think of a few things to not like about Pitt...like area and lack of campus.</p>

<p>I assume you mean that is Pitt's total costs since in-state tuition is only about $15K at Pitt.</p>

<p>Anyway, try to get your GPA and SAT scores up as high as possible. Pitt is known to be more generous with both need-based and merit-aid, so you never know. Also, apply as early as possible at Pitt, as scholarship money tends to run dry over the application acceptance period. Make sure you show interest by attending an official visit/tour. Other people have reported that contacting the admissions office and telling them something like "I strongly prefer to go to Pitt, it is my top school, but it will only cost me $XXX, is there anything you can do to make Pitt more equivalent in cost?" People have reported that it sometimes works, sometimes it doesn't. It doesn't hurt to try.</p>

<p>It is generous that your parents are willing to help you wherever you choose. It is not as if you couldn't get a good education at PSU and go on to med school from there, but only you and your parents can decide whether you preference is strong enough to warrant the extra cost. It is not ideal to be saddled with extra debt entering med school, but the financial difference may not be worth being miserable for four years (and the atmospheres of the two schools are pretty different). Only you can decide that. Pitt will offer more health and biosciences if you decide not to do medicine, and you will be exposed to more of the medical world at Pitt (although with your mom at Hershey you are likely already somewhat know about it). </p>

<p>But first, see what Pitt can offer you, and then weigh the decision.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What's not to like about Penn St?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Pitt and Penn State are pretty different environments. Penn State is much larger, very rural land grant and dominated by a greek and football party scene. Pitt is very urban, has greater access to cultural amenities, has about 10% greeks, and is more diverse in many aspects. Not everyone likes large, sprawling rural settings. </p>

<p>For this student's interests, Pitt would provide one of the best settings in the country for students that are interested in medicine with access to one of the top 5 bioscience complexes in the nation right on the undergrad campus. Penn State's much smaller medical center is 100 miles away in Hershey.</p>

<p>The general atmosphere is pretty different from one to the other if you've ever spent any time at each, and there were many articles recently exposing the culture at Penn State. You also may have noticed a little scandal at PSU this past fall. That isn't going away any time soon and it absolutely has tainted the perception of that school, fairly or not, for much of the rest of the country. That shouldn't someone's future med school admission prospects, but it did turn many people off.</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies. Some of you aksed why I dont like Penn state, and basically here is the answer.</p>

<p>I dont like the rural setting of penn state. I am from philadelphia but was raised in rural pa, so I know I would much prefer a school in or near a major city. Mom2collegekids is right though, pitts campus isn't great but it is urban. Penn state is in the middle of nowhere. </p>

<p>I have an older sister at psu and another who graduated a few years ago so I have been in state college a lot, I have been to parties and football games there and got a feel for the vaunted psu social scene. Everytime I went to penn state I came away feeling like every person I met was very arrogant and close minded. I know not everyone is like that but alot, maybe most penn state students certainly have an attitude, its hard to articulate it but it is by far the thing that bothers me the most. </p>

<p>And there is nothing to do but get wasted. I drink socially from time to time and am sure I will drink in college but I am not the type of person who likes getting drunk multiple times a week. I am not the kind of guy to get wasted when ever the oportunity arises. And there is nothing else to do at penn state. </p>

<p>Some of you alluded to pitt and penn state being totally different, and I couldnt agree more. They are very different and pitt definately suits me more. </p>

<p>In terms of pre med, to be honest I'm not sure I want to be a doctor. Its all Ive wanted to be for years but I am definately open to other options and I hope to be exposed to new career ideas when I get to college. There is a chance I will not do pre med, but it is still absolutely a consideration for me when choosing between the two schools. Pitt probably gets the edge over penn state in that regards.</p>

<p>But finances are huge for me. My parents tell me not to include that in my decision but I absolutely am. Without going to much into my situation, my parents are getting old and I know hope to semi retire and move in the next 10 years. 40,000 dollars would obviously be a huge help to them. My sister is a sophmore at penn state, so obviously they have to pay for her too. I dont hope to get merit aid from pitt, theyre site said they only consider you for aid if you have a 1400 and I have a 1300. PA sucks for financial grants for students too and I am not an overtly at need student so I would be suprised to get much if any money from them. My parents make a lot of money now but didnt for most of their careers and both come from middle class and working class homes, so there is no "family money" lying around.</p>

<p>You have all illustrated the problem. I get that Penn state obviously makes more sense financially, but that Pitt is where I would absolutely be happier. My question to you is knowing what Ive told you about myself which would you choose?</p>

<p>By the way, if I go to penn state Im going to make the best of it. I wont be happy about it but I will try to enjoy myself.</p>

<p>I dont like the rural setting of penn state. I am from philadelphia but was raised in rural pa, so I know I would much prefer a school in or near a major city. Mom2collegekids is right though, pitts campus isn't great but it is urban. Penn state is in the middle of nowhere. </p>

<p>============</p>

<p>It's been a long time since I've been to PSU, so my memory may be foggy.....</p>

<p>But, if I'm remembering correctly the campus is like a city itself simply because of its size of 50,000 students. Plus with the need for housing and stores for profs and employees, it's not really "in the middle of nowhere" like some small LACs that don't have the need to have much in the surrounding areas.</p>

<p>How much time have you spent at PSU and its areas?</p>

<p>It just doesn't make sense that a school that size could really have nothing around it.</p>

<p>mom2collegekids-I have spent a lot of time at penn state. Your right in that there is certainly a lot of stuff going on around there, and that the campus is so large it is like a city, but the fact of the matter is it isnt a city. All the stuff to do in state college PA centers around penn state. There are no non psu affiliated activities going on. In pittsburgh there are tons of things happening that have nothing to do with pitt. My family is a "penn state family" so I have been ther a lot. My family definately promotes penn state but even they would admit that there is nothing to do that is not penn state related. The entire culture there is penn state and everyone bleeds blue.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Everytime I went to penn state I came away feeling like every person I met was very arrogant and close minded. I know not everyone is like that but alot, maybe most penn state students certainly have an attitude, its hard to articulate it but it is by far the thing that bothers me the most.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I grew up in that area. I call it the "We are" attitude. As in, "We are, and you're not". It is nauseating and I think the world got a whiff of that over the last couple of months.</p>

<p>I applaud your maturity with your concern for your parents. You know, the other option is just to take out student loans yourself. Lots of people do that. If you'll blossom more in a setting like Pitt, and enjoy yourself more, than you might also likely be a better student as well. There is something to be said for being in an environment that suits, though only you can decide the worth of that.</p>

<p>BTW, I think Pitt, like Penn, has one of the most underrated urban campuses in the country. In Pitt's case, it is right next to a giant urban park, has lots of green lawns around it, is right across the street from the city's major museums (which are free to students), and has some of the most impressive buildings of any school anywhere even including the Ivies. Really, it has the most impressive building anywhere in the world of higher education. If people don't like cities, that's one thing, but Pitt has a darn nice urban campus, especially when compared to places like Temple, Drexel, NYU, DePaul etc.</p>