Swarthmore Versus UVM Honors College

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time posting on CC, so pardon any mistakes.

I got into four schools, but I am most interested in two of them: Swarthmore and UVM (where I got into the honors college). I have a brother who is a first-year currently, so Swarthmore is 25k for the first three years and then 40k for my senior year, while UVM would be around 10k every year. Is it worth it to go to the more expensive LAC over the middling state school (even if I did get into the Honor’s college)?

I am coming in as a math major, if that makes any difference.

Thank you for any advice!

Do you have a preference?

What can your parents comfortably afford (no hardship, no debt)?

Have you looked at the course catalogues online to see the math classes offered at each school? Have you looked at the websites of each school to see who the professors are?

since you have a relative at Swat, you will know what you’re getting into. Does your sibling like their experience? I’ve known about 4 former Swat students and sadly none of them enjoyed their experience. Do not get me wrong. Swat is great for some people. You might be that person, but the report of others has been that it attracts students who are competitive by nature using their intellect; that the classes are overly difficult (starting on Chapter 3 of chemistry with no review of the chapters skipped); one person I know interviews prospectives and he confided to me that he wonders if he should tell them how miserable he was. Again, Swat has many fans. I just haven’t met any of them once they’ve experienced it. UVM on the other hand is fun. Will there be a difference in your career trajectory choosing UVM vs Swat? Probably not. Studies show that the person’s trajectory is mostly determined by other things. A perfect-SAT score person ant SW Nowhere University will do as well as a lower scoring student at Name uni, on average. If you were my child I would counsel you to choose the school where you feel you will get good grades and have fun, because fun is also important in life.

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Great comments so far. Hopefully, I can keep up with the other posters.

Your options probably offer two very different college experiences.

Univ. of Vermont Honors offers a beautiful setting in a cozy small city on a magnificant lake with approximately 11,000 other undergraduates.

Swarthmore College has under 1,600 students. Beautiful campus, major city.

The danger, obviously, at UVM is that if Canada invades, you will be among our first line of defense. If you can accept that responsibility, then enjoy the experience which offers low COA in a medium sized university with small college benefits of an honors college.

But, based on your intended major, Swarthmore College is probably the better choice.

Savings & fun versus better major in a competitive environment.

I’d go to swat! (current swattie) Most math majors love their professors and their classes! If you can afford it though!

Thank you everyone for your replies :slight_smile:

I prefer Swarthmore in the abstract; I really do like the liberal arts, and if cost was equal, I would defintely choose Swarthmore, but the brunt of my question is whether the $60,000 more it would cost (over four years) is worth the price. My parents can afford Swarthmore (I think - it’s only a little more than they will have paid for my brother by the time he has graduated college), but it would be better to not spend that money if it isn’t worth it.

Adding a thought to the excellent prior comments: Would you rather be an alum of one school over the other? You’ll spend the rest of your life in alumni status. How will you benefit from one vs. the other after you graduate?

If your parents can afford Swarthmore I’d go there.