say what?

<p>So I had my Chicago about two weeks ago. It was amazing, and defn made me love Chicago more and my intervewer went on to say how I would be a great fit for chicago and to keep in touch because he rarely met ppl with such diverse interests (=] aww) but he had asked me where else I was applying, and i replied with only two schools and questioned with a that's it? i threw on yale. I don't know where that came from. i'm not even sure i'm applying to yale. it was a total *** moment. afterwards i made it clear that i was applying to chicago ea and i loved everything about it. would that random yale thrown in there hurt me? =[</p>

<p>It sounds like you did an off-campus interview with an alum. I'm glad you had a good time.</p>

<p>I also don't think you should be worried about the fact that you said you might apply to Yale. Many very bright students are applying there and I'm sure many of them would choose Yale over Chicago. (There are always going to be a bunch of kids who choose Chicago over Yale, and if money and prestige didn't matter as much, there'd be even more, but that's besides the point).</p>

<p>The fact that you might be applying to other schools and might consider them over Chicago for a variety of reasons is not new to the admissions office. We don't have 100% yield. If you want a concrete example, I suggest you read "The Gatekeepers," where a student makes an excruciating decision between Chicago and Yale and ends up choosing Yale.</p>

<p>I think your application and your "Why Chicago" are going to say lots more about you than where else you may consider applying to school.</p>

<p>Yale, Reed & Swarthmore are acceptable answers.Columbia, too. But if you answered Brown or Amherst, it probably would have led to a discussion about the core course requirements versus an open curriculum. And if you said "Penn State because I want to try the Ivy League", the interview would have ended.</p>

<p>... I don't really think it matters that much what the other schools are unless they show an extreme disparity... i.e. ONLY party schools with SAT midranges 100-200 points below Chicago's midranges and U of C.</p>

<p>People who apply to Chicago apply to all different kinds of schools... and if we stick just to the elites, some of my good friends here chose Chicago over Dartmouth, Georgetown, Penn, and Duke. CC wisdom has it that those four schools are on the opposite end of this supposed spectrum from Chicago, but for each of my friends, those schools were appealing enough to apply to and to seriously consider after being accepted.</p>

<p>(Also, the most "Chicago" kid I know attends Dartmouth).</p>

<p>I don't know what percentage of the students accepted at Chicago apply to Yale, but I would bet that it's very high. Columbia, too, for obvious reasons. If Chicago penalized students for applying to those colleges, its entering classes would be composed of people who were (a) different from the ones it accepts now, and (b) probably somewhat stupider.</p>

<p>Seriously, I don't think Chicago as an institution would have a policy of punishing people for doing something rational, and if you are a strong candidate for admission to Chicago it's perfectly rational to apply to Yale, too. If I were asking the question, the turn-off answer would be that you hadn't thought about where else to apply, or that you were applying to Wharton and Stern. I also think the difference between core-curriculum schools and open-curriculum schools is way overblown. I've said before (and will say again) that if you magically switched the student bodies of Brown and Chicago, the vast majority of students from each college would be perfectly happy at the other.</p>

<p>My Post #3 was intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But, in response to the above post, I disagree that the students at Brown & Chicago are interchangeable; most likely, they are opposites as one school has the toughest core curriculum in the country with grade deflation, while the other has the fewest stipulations of any "most selective" school in the nation while treating grades (what grades?) like candy to be given to children.
P.S. Unalove: If the most "Chicago kid" that you know attends Dartmouth--a third polar opposite of the Brown, Chicago, Dartmouth triangle--he will soon be elsewhere.
P.P.S. Within the last few years my nephew graduated Chicago and his sister, my niece, graduated Brown. One would not have survived at the other's school.</p>

<p>There may be some kids at Chicago who would hate Brown, and vice versa, but I would guess that many, if not most kids would be pretty happy at the other school. I'm at Chicago, and it was my first choice, but I loved Brown when I visited. There's a difference in the educational philosophies, but it's possible to like both. </p>

<p>I don't like Chicago's core because I like requirements, but because I support the idea that everyone should have some knowledge in all areas, and I like the common bond it creates between students here. </p>

<p>Brown doesn't directly contradict this philosphy-it just takes a different approach, where the priority is freedom to direct one's own education. This sounds pretty good to me, too. And if I were at Brown, I would use that freedom to take courses in lots of different areas. In fact, Brown also encourages students to study outside their comfort zone, with their Pass/Fail system. Similar idea, different policy. </p>

<p>Cornell, with its pre-professional bent, also seems to be something a Chicago student might hate. And I used to think I would. But I visited a friend there recently, who told me that the idea was to offer a school where one could learn anything they could possibly want to learn. Hence a school to learn architecture, a school to learn cooking, a school to learn about cows. I found that I would have probably been pretty happy there.</p>

<p>Having said all that, curriculum is not really that big a deal. I would've thought that the kids who really would hate Chicago and go to Brown would be those who really hate some subject (ex, math) and never want to take it again. But I've met a ton of kids here who hate math or science, dislike that part of Core, and are still happy overall. The core is really not that extensive nowadays, especially with AP credit in math/sci/language. And students who like core would end up taking similar classes at Brown anyway.</p>

<p>Sorry OP that your thread has been taken over by Chicago/Brown debate.</p>

<p>Parent of a kid here who thought the only Ivy he could tolerate was Cornell. I believe S also told his on-campus interviewer he had also applied to MIT. There were a few applicants last year on CC who did the Chicago/MIT EA route and got into both -- followed by very tough decisions.</p>

<p>S's list of schools was heavily major-program driven, though in the end, the Core was what sealed the deal.</p>

<p>Cold Wind: I think unalove and her friend are third-year students, so I wouldn't bet too much on the "Chicago" type leaving Dartmouth.</p>

<p>I'll admit that I have trouble understanding how any kid could love both Dartmouth and Chicago equally -- the differences there run much deeper than Brown/Chicago. But I have heard of people who had precisely those colleges as their top choices. It happens. People are infinitely variable, especially 18-year-old people who haven't figured out who they are yet.</p>

<p>My "Chicago" friend at Dartmouth loves Dartmouth, and yes, he's a third-year (or a junior?) and he's not my only Dartmouth friend who could fit in at Chicago.</p>

<p>Anyway, this particular friend is a good fit for Dartmouth because:
-- he loves travel and skiing. (Two things Dartmouth offers all students that Chicago does not)
-- he liked being in a smallish community where people are unusually tight-knit and friendly to each other in an intentional way. (My Grinnell friend refers to this LAC/Dartmouth/Brown effect as "intentional communities"). Chicago doesn't really have that to the extent that some schools do. It's something that's not right for everybody.
-- Darmouth has great programs in what he's interested in.
-- he's not a frat kid by any stretch of the imagination, but he doesn't mind that other people enjoy the Greek scene.</p>

<p>Unalove, what makes those schools "intentional communities"? S2 felt that at some schools he visited, there was no unifying purpose to the student body, and realized pretty quickly that was important to him. He wants a community that feels bound to each other. He is definitely not a frat kid. </p>

<p>S1 has been finding community all over the place at Chicago. Guess it depends on what one is looking for?</p>

<p>Maybe the best comparison would be a school with a Quaker feel to it or another school where it's standard for students to go out of their way to be warm and welcoming to strangers. Some smaller schools make a "community" into a big buzzword in admissions materials, and I don't think Chicago is one of them. </p>

<p>As a whole, Chicago doesn't feel like it's a place where complete strangers are automatically going to welcome you to the Chicago family upon your immediate arrival, but I definitely agree with your S that there's a decent sense of community and camaraderie here, fostered by the house system and on cramped #171 buses, where I have great conversations with total strangers.</p>

<p>Depending on how you look at it, though, you might see something different. When I was doing my own college tours, my father lumped Brown, Haverford, MIT, Carleton, Swarthmore, Reed, Wesleyan and Chicago into the same category, which he called "Kool-Aid schools." His connecting thread among these schools is that each has a distinct party line and students either delve into it completely (ex. Brown and open curriculum, MIT and hacks, Haverford and community meetings, Chicago and core/application/scav) or not at all.</p>

<p>This makes me more and more convinced that the Spring Break College Road Trip will be centered on the midwest -- there are several LACs and a school in Hyde Park he wants to visit...for TOTALLY different reasons than his brother.</p>

<p>I applied ED to Brown but Chicago is my #2. Does this mean I have not done my research? Does this some how implicate I am an idiot for having two, supposed "polar opposites" as my top schools? I love Brown and Chicago for the educational opportunities presented at both schools.</p>

<p>Of course not. The issue is, when looking at Chicago's core, how much value do you see in the communal-experience part of it, the fact that everyone studies something similar at more or less the same time? That's the only thing on which Brown and Chicago are truly opposites. Most other things are a matter of nuance.</p>

<p>This is defn very interesting. However, I have known a fair amount of kids that apply both to Chicago and Penn-- two seemly widely different schools (other than Penn=quaker=community). Any opinions on that?</p>

<p>I said "Wharton or Stern" rather than "Penn or NYU" above precisely because there is plenty of overlap between Chicago and the arts-and-sciences college at Penn. One of my kids applied to both (although he didn't want to attend them equally), and the other one should have. Based on the universities' urban settings, their overall strength across many disciplines, their reputations, and their myriad research opportunities, lots of students who like Chicago should also like Penn, and vice versa. </p>

<p>I suspect that a number of students DO apply both to Wharton and Chicago, thinking that they want a business career and that studying economics at Chicago would be pretty much the same thing as going to Wharton. But they are very, very wrong about that; it shows a lack of careful attention to what the colleges are telling you. That's why if I were interviewing for Chicago and a student told be that various professional business programs were among his top choices, I would probably challenge him to explain why he was applying to Chicago's radically non-professional college. Of course, if he had a thoughtful answer, I would respect that a lot.</p>

<p>Machiavelli, it's ok. I applied to Brown ED and Chicago EA too. XD</p>

<p>For me it's polar opposites that attract me. I either want no curriculum or a really strict one. lol. Weird eh?</p>