SUNY ESF or Oswego?

Hi, I’m a nontraditional student returning to college for a second Bachelor’s this fall. I was accepted at both Oswego and ESF, and am having a tough time making a decision.

My major at ESF would be Environmental Biology, and Oswego would be Zoology. I’m going back to school to change careers (previous degree is an art major) and work with animals. Long-term goal is to become a vet, but I’m trying to be practical since I know acceptance to vet school is highly competitive, and I want to be set up with a degree that can still help me even if I do not get into vet school

Since it’s been quite a while since I’ve been in school, and the last time I was I took only the minimum required math and science courses, I’m a little nervous about starting a science degree, and I want to make sure I choose a school that has good student resources and won’t feel completely overwhelming. I’m a very hard worker and I’m passionate about learning what I need and want to learn, but just don’t want to get bogged down immediately. At the same time, I worry if a school is too “easy,” it’ll reflect poorly on me when applying to vet schools in the future. The impression I get is that ESF is a very challenging school, and Oswego is not as rigorous, but I know that rumor and opinion on schools can be very different from what they’re actually like!

I have not received a financial aid package from ESF yet (only got my acceptance letter a few days ago, things are moving slowly), so that may sway me one way or another if it’s substantially more or less than expected. Oswego is able to provide minimal financial aid, which was what I expected since it will be my second degree. I imagine ESF will be the same story, but again I could be surprised either way and that would affect my decision.

I’d love to hear anyone’s experience with either school in the meantime–especially if you have anything to share about these majors or departments specifically. I’ve been making pros and cons lists for both and just can’t seem to find any definite feeling one way or another. Thanks in advance!