Santa Clara vs. Villanova

<p>I'm stuck deciding between these two schools, I've been accepted to both. Any input on pros/cons of each? I'm a pre-law political science major from Southern California, if that helps. Thanks!</p>

<p>IMO, I prefer Villanova.</p>

<p>Please tell us more about what you’re looking for in a school. Have you visited both? What were your impressions? </p>

<p>I went from the East Coast to California for school and liked the whole experience of being away at college. I can tell you that there’s absolutely, positively no comparing Philly to the Bay Area. It doesn’t even hold a candle to it. Philly is definitely a second-rate city. </p>

<p>I don’t know much about Villanova specifically, but I know a lot about SCU and the city of Philadelphia, so I hope I can be of some help!</p>

<p>Thanks for your imput! I have visited both, and I could see myself at either one. They both have great Political Science programs, internship opportunities, small class sizes, and community involvement, which are very important to me. Santa Clara is offering me much more money, though. On the other hand, Philadelphia is such an amazing city to be close to, so Villanova has an edge for me there. I am also a competitive cheerleader, and Villanova has a great cheer program. Aside from these factors, I’m still unsure how these schools compare in terms of national recognition/prestige. Any opinions on this? Thanks again!</p>

<p>Great to hear back from you.</p>

<p>In terms of national prestige, I can tell you SCU is a little weak on the East Coast. I’ve found that Jesuit alumni have usually heard of us and consider us to be a pretty good school. California transplants know of us as well. However, there are fair amount of people (even well educated people) who have never heard of us. I’ve noticed that East Coast people tend to be unaware of California schools, even good ones, while the reverse is not true. That being said, I’d bet money that Villanova has a much better reputation on the East Coast than it does out West. </p>

<p>How much does this matter? I’m not sure. In certain fields, prestige matters a heck of a lot, in others, it doesn’t. SCU alumni I know went to some pretty amazing grad schools, including Ivy League institutions. </p>

<p>In terms of cheerleading, how important is that to you? If you’re looking to do something you like and meet some friends, don’t worry too much about the program. You’ll get that at either school. I guess if you want to become a professional cheerleader, you’ll have to do some more research into this. Sorry, I know very little about SCU’s cheer team.</p>

<p>From my personal perspective, Philly isn’t that amazing of a city at all. Frankly, one of the best features about it is that it’s easy to get to other East Coast cities, like Washington, DC and New York. However, unless you happen to know high school friends going to school there, you probably won’t go their very frequently at all. In all most all aspects, the Bay Area has Philly beat hands down. </p>

<p>Pay some attention to geographic location. Where do you see yourself living right after college? Getting a job through career services is usually a pretty strong bet and each school will have much better connections in their local areas. </p>

<p>Are you taking out loans for school (or otherwise responsible for at least part of the tuition bill)? If you are, my advice is to go to the cheaper of the two.</p>

<p>Why? As you said, they’re very comparable schools. The reality of it is that political science isn’t a technical program. When you get internships and a job, your BA in Political Science isn’t going to carry much weight. What will carry weight is your resume and overall demeanor. If you develop that at either school, you’ll be fine. </p>

<p>Completely biased, SCU Kool Aid point: we did pretty well by Gavin Newsom (Lt. Gov of California), Jerry Brown (Gov of California), Janet Napolitano (Secretary of Homeland Security, former Gov of AZ) and Leon Panetta (Former CIA head and Secretary of Defense, as well as the guy who at least partially orchestrated the killing of bin Laden.) :slight_smile: </p>

<p>Let me know if I can be of any more help and good luck. You should be proud of having such a decision to make!</p>