Sewanee or Lawrence? Econ student with 26k vs 29k scholarships

Hello, there! Good morning or afternoon.

I got admitted to Sewanee and Lawrence University. Could you give me some advice?
I, an international student, who plans to major in Economics, with a big chance to apply to graduate schools. Want to transfer to a Public Research uni. Want to stay in the U.S. and get a work visa.

Sewanee: the university of the south

  • I am familiar with the admission officer
  • Sewanee has a beautiful campus
  • 26k scholarship
  • the city is too small, and inconvenient to get to market
  • has more Economics teacher
  • has the pre- Business program
  • good relations with Vanderbilt university


  • located in a middle size city
  • Higher scholarships 29k
  • Music opportunities
  • A friendly Econ professor I have met in the Info Session

Please help me, I have no idea where to go.
I want to know it is common to transfer from LAC to Big publics?
And is transferring hard?

Thank you very much~

Transferring is not that difficult, as long as you have a solid reason. Typically academic reasons are the main reasons that students transfer from one college to another. Transferring for the sake or prestige won’t be taken well.

Also note that once you transfer, you’ll lose all of your scholarships. Colleges favor transfer students who can pay in full. So as an international transferring to a big public state school, you’ll be expected to pay out of state tuition. Plus I’d be surprised if you got any financial aid.


Which university costs less for you? Do the finances matter at all?

Frankly, I don’t recommend starting college with the intention of transferring. It tends to make people less committed to their experience and they have a harder time building social connections. But, if you were interested in a transfer, U. of Wisconsin at Madison is very well known, and is little under 2 hours from Lawrence. Lawrence is about 25m from the UW-Oshkosh campus and 37m from UW-Green Bay, in case there are any cross-registration opportunities.

  1. The amount of scholarship isn’t as important as the net amount you pay. Based on their websites, it looks as though Sewanee is $35,680 / year and Lawrence $36,499- so $819 different, not $3K different in total cost.

If you can afford that, then you can look at the “public research” universities that you are interested in: which ones have a total cost to out of state students of $35,000? because, as @sgopal2 pointed out, you will be paying full cost.

  1. If the reason to transfer is to improve your chances of getting into graduate school, you don’t need to do that. Both Sewanee and Lawrence can prepare you for getting into a good grad program.

  2. As for staying in the US after grad school, unless the world changes a lot, the chances of that happening are very small: there are 20k work visas for grad school graduates, with about 200K applicants.

ps, UWi would be about $57K/year for you


As pointed out above, getting a H1B sponsorship is difficult. You can increase your chances by majoring in a field where there is high need: typically CS, engineering or other STEM type degrees.

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If you want to go the PhD study in economics, you may want to take more math and statistics courses beyond what a basic economics major requires. Examples include multivariable calculus, linear algebra, real analysis, and probability theory.


What will good relations with Vandy get you? These schools are 2 hours apart.

Don’t mistake good relations for it’s getting you into or access to Vandy.


Thank you very much. That’s really helpful to me. I would like to study Austrian Economics. And the LAC might not have the professors I want(as far as I know). Does that count as academic reason? And I wonder will the university try to stop you after you showed a will to transfer?

Didn’t you have to choose one of these colleges for freshman admission by May 1?

That’s super helpful! I didn’t know Lawrence was so close to UW Madison. However, I am not a fan of UW Madison. I have taken an online course, and the content is not what I have imagined. I feel I studied nothing (but improved my oral English). Maybe the Economics department is different. Sewanee’s and Furman’s costs are similar after the scholarship. And the difference is slight.
Thank you very much!!

Yes, and one college gave me an extension.

So…where did you commit…because only one college gave you an extension.

Thank you! I will reconsider that! :cherry_blossom:

Ok…you might want to consider the other attributes of these colleges…beside academics. How about weather? Very different weather at these two schools! How about ease of travel for you?

Thank you very much! I thought the research university had more research and more advanced knowledge. You can connect to the professor before applying for his/her graduate student. Please tell me if I am thinking the wrong way.
I thought graduate students have a bigger chance to get work visas.

Are you asking about after you finish your degree?

In most cases, it is expected that international students will return to their home country once they have finished college here. Some grads do get jobs where they are able to get work visas but there is no guarantee this will happen.

Thanks for your advice! That would be too hard for me… Both school have good and bad sides…

Thank you a lot! And yes, I am talking about getting a work visa with a graduate degree. I know it’s not easy, But I still want to try my best.

Does that mean choosing a big research university will be more helpful? University got more math courses. Thanks a lot for your helping.

Thank you, STEM major has two years of OPT. Economics has recently been added to the STEM major list.