Texas parents/ parents with transfer students!


<p>i am a freshman at Texas A&M University pursuing a major in the liberal arts department, and i am considering transferring to the University of Texas.
my main reasons:</p>

<p>-i feel that A&M is not a good place to be for a liberal arts major
-the major i'm thinking about doing is better at UT (supposedly)
-UT's honors program seems better.
-graduating from a more well known university like UT might make me more marketable when it comes to going to graduate school
-i simply hate the small town environment that i'm in right now and austin would be great.
-i have a good gpa right now.</p>

-transferring to a new university as a soph. is a big transition
-costs about $3,000 more per year
-i've already started here and i know the good profs, which classes to take etc.</p>

<p>my question to the parents especially in Texas is: does UT really have that much of a better "name" when compared with A&M when viewed from out of the state?</p>


<p>is transferring really a logical option or should i just try to make the best of it here?</p>

<p>thanks to all!</p>

<p>Hi Peace&Happiness,</p>

<p>What a great name!)</p>

<p>There are 2 questions that you seem to be asking that I'd like to address:</p>

<li>Is a degree from UT all that much better than a degree from A&M?</li>

<p>This was the subject of hot debate in another thread - might have been in the UT section of the forum. You might do a search for that. The conclusion I arrived at after reading that thread was that if you are majoring in Engineering, then it probably won't matter that much. UT is definitely higher ranked, but A&M is still excellent, for engineering. So, for engineering, it may matter a little but probably not enough to justify transferring. </p>

<p>However, since you want to pursue an liberal arts degree, I cannot fathom A&M comparing to UT. (uh-oh, I'm bound to get a lot of disagreement on this.) I personally think a liberal arts degree from UT would be much more valuable.</p>

<li>The personality of the schools.</li>

<p>I may be a bit biased on this because my son has chosen UT and would never dream of going to A&M, but here's why he made that choice:</p>

<p>Although it's supposedly not as much that way as it used to be (again, refer to that other thread) - the reputations of the 2 schools are completely different. Every time I go anywhere near the campus in Austin, I cannot walk halfway down the street without getting asked to sign a petition. I also notice all the interesting people!</p>

<p>When we spent a weekend in College Station for my son's Robotics competition, he commented on how 'dull' and 'dreary' and 'conservative' the whole town, and the campus, seemed to be.</p>

<p>This is in no way intended to be critical of A&M - one person on that other thread said she chose A&M to get AWAY from all the 'weirdness' in Austin.</p>

<p>Whereas, that is a definite selling point for us - my son loves diversity! He loves the rich, varied environment, the cool music scene, the huge range of views encountered in Austin...A&M seems much more homogenous by comparison.</p>

<p>Bottom line is that it's really a personality thing. I would encourage you to research it a bit more - try Trent & Sappie's Unofficial Guide to the Best Colleges (or something like that) in which the describe such things as the social scene, political leanings, etc.</p>

<p>I do think that, since you do have the means to do it, you should seriously consider transferring. By your tone and choice of words ('make the best of it') you don't seem to be particularly happy where you're at. This is 4 years of your life - why not make sure your college is the best possible fit for you?</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Well, lealdragon has addressed the Texas vs. A&M aspect of your situation. I can comment a little on the transfer aspect. I transferred schools myself after my freshman year, because my original school was not an academic fit for me at all (not at all challenging) and it did not have strength in the major I decided to choose. My son transferred after Freshman year because he was at Tulane and his major was one of the few slated for phase out after Katrina.</p>

<p>From my own experience and my son's, I can certainly agree that transferring is a transition and I guess you could call it a major one. But I don't think it is a daunting one. </p>

<p>Learning to navigate the new school, figure out prof reputations..., came pretty easily to me (I was at a small LAC, though, so I don't know if that makes a difference). I think that's fairly true of my son's experience also (mid-sized U).</p>

<p>I felt at the time, and still feel, that I lost the closely bonded friendships that seem to come to many in freshman year. I mourn that a bit. I stayed close with my first-college friends for a while. My transfer school was in the same metro area and I initially continued socializing with them, because it took a while to make new friends. But I did become very close with a group at my new school and it happened within that first year. It's perhaps too soon to tell how the friendship/social thing is going with my S (as he doesn't talk to me about that stuff much ;) ), but he does not seem lonely and when my H visited him about a month into the term, he reported that he was happy and making friends through his roommate (who was not a transfer).</p>

<p>One thing I did not do was to join clubs/organizations at my new school and I would advise any transfer to do that as a way to make quick connections.</p>

<p>I interpreted your post a little differently from lealdragon in terms of your level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with A&M. It occurred to me that a number of your reasons for transferring are along the lines of "what others think" (major is 'supposedly' better at UT-A; UT-A more well-known, etc.). The only specific unhappiness you mention is the small town atmosphere. That, in itself, can be a valid reason to transfer. And I may have misread your other motivations. I'm just kind of trying to reflect them back to you, as you try and sort through how important a move is.</p>

<p>All in all, I think if you really would like to transfer, you should not worry that the transition will be unmanageable. You can do it.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>There is a stigma to UT. There is a stigma to A+M. Just not the same stigma. You've been there long enough to figure it out. ;)</p>

<p>College Station is infinitely safer than Austin - Sixth street is a stye. Carry a gun AND a big knife if you are there after dark. Maybe two guns after 11:00 p.m. . </p>

<p>In Texas both degrees will open many doors. Just not the same doors. A+M has the edge in fiercely loyal alumni. Hands-down (it ain't even close). </p>

<p>UT honors programs (especially Plan II) are very well thought of but can you transfer in to honors? I wouldn't think you could to Plan II but I haven't checked.</p>

<p>So national grad school rep for liberal arts? Go ahead and transfer-UT will probably do you better. B.A. and staying in Texas (or any B.S. or engineering degree) ? Even-Steven. Pick your stigma and the door you want to open.</p>

<p>"Sixth street is a stye. Carry a gun AND a big knife if you are there after dark. "</p>

<p>Is it really THAT bad? You're exaggerating, right?</p>

<p>Yep...Sixth Street late at night is not the place you want your kids to be. Lotta nonsense going on down there.</p>

<p>And I agree with curmudgeon about his assessment of alumni network strength. A&M's is definitely formidable...especially in my husband's industry which is the energy industry. The only other school that comes close in oil & gas is OU. But I would have to think that this is a factor that varies depending on industry and location.</p>

<p>Info about transfer honors:
<a href="http://bealonghorn.utexas.edu/transfer/honors/index.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://bealonghorn.utexas.edu/transfer/honors/index.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>That's very disconcerting. We go to Austin a lot, but not usually late at night. And not usually to 6th street since we're not partiers. But I thought that since it was 'the' college hangout, that it would be relatively safe, because of just so many students all over the place.</p>

<p>Are you saying there is a lot of violence? Why aren't parents concerned about that? Why doesn't it say more about that in the college books about UT, for example?</p>

<p>You really think a college is going to advertise a dangerous hangout???</p>

<p>When S was in boarding school in Austin, the parents and kids had to sign a statement saying they would not go to 6th Street. (the parents could go-just not the kids). Period. End of story. Regular evening hours not so bad- still a lot of drunks. Late at night- out of control. </p>

<p>I agree with Cur's assessment. If you are going to stay in TX, either degree will serve you well. Totally different ballgames, though.</p>

<p>Curmudgeon did sum it up pretty well: A&M can match the quality of UT at some levels, but Plan II is amazing and attracts students from around the nation. If you plan on leaving Texas at some point, UT will be your best bet. And, yes, the connections at A&M are insane and you'll get a job, but be prepared to be living in Texas for a long time.</p>

<p>As for honors, you can transfer into Plan II, although it's obviously more difficult.</p>

<p>lealdragon, I'm 6'3"+ and 300 pounds. I'm afraid of no man and very few women and the last 3 times I've been on Sixth Street late at night I have been scared. Not as much in the well-lit , well-traveled areas, but you have to park somewhere and those parking lots are CSI episodes waiting to happen. </p>

<p>Most of the lots just keep the police tape up full-time as a time saver and have recorded messages trying to urge the students and tourists to "Please crawl to the permanently chalked body outlines". The City of Austin does have those handy assault-kit vending machines though. That's a thoughtful touch. </p>

<p>There's talk of a moving sidewalk type conveyor belt directly to Brackenridge (Hospital) ER for the victims that are more ambulatory but I think the Trans-Texas Corridor will suck all the money out the budget for the next century so it's unlikely to get funding. </p>

<p>But it's not that bad. D and some friends were thinking of heading down after a UIL competition and asked my impressions of the threat level. "Think about running a gauntlet of PCP crazed pit-bulls wearing a hambone necklace".</p>

<p>OK, now I know you're exaggerating (a bit).</p>

<p>Seriously, I had no idea it was that bad. Of course the colleges won't advertise that stuff, but the books usually will be more honest. I remember reading in one of those guides that Rice students are advised to NEVER venture past the hedges after dark, not even across the street.</p>

<p>I thought Austin would be safer than Houston!</p>

<p>The books make it sound like 6th St. is this major cool hangout and all the students are there all the time.</p>

<p>Since my son doesn't drink anyway, I don't see him doing that anyway. What, then, do the students do? Just go to the parties at the dorms?</p>

<p>If liberal arts is what you want to do, A&M is not the best choice. The Texas LACs (Southwestern, Trinity, Austin College) would be better. But if you want to get a job after your undergraduate degree, you would be better served by UT or A&M. And the Aggie network is very, very real. Annoyingly real. Another thought - if you intend to leave Texas after graduation, you would do better with a degree from UT. Aggies don't export very well.</p>

<p>6th street is not that bad!!!! But if you are a drunk female, wandering back to your car parked under IH35 alone at 3 a.m. is strongly discouraged. With a group and relatively sober, it is fine.</p>

<p>whew, thanks for the differing opinion, anxiousmom. I think no place is safe for a drunk female. But, my son is neither drunk nor female.... ;-)</p>

<p>Can you elaborate more based on your experience?</p>

<p>I have a friend who was scared to go to Austin at all. She said it was because of the 'unsavory' characters there. When I pressed her for details, she admitted it was the people with purple hair, tattoos, and nose rings (and the occasional minstrel beggar) who made her uncomfortable.</p>

<p>Well, this person was also uncomfortable when my son first grew his hair long and went thru a phase of wearing eyeliner (the current trend among heavy metal men). And she has known him since he was 10 - he is best friends with her son!</p>

<p>Is that the sort of thing that made you uncomfortable, curmudgeon? Do you actually know about a lot of crime on 6th st., or did you just feel uncomfortable because people tend to dress and act in ways you might consider 'weird'?</p>

<p>I'm just trying to get some clarity on this. Because, if it's just a fashion thing, I don't have a problem with that. My son is used to being around metalheads (who often appear 'tough' but are quite nice - actually that can apply to any fashion trend) but actual violence is another thing entirely. I don't want him in unsafe areas. Weird ok. Violent not ok.</p>

<p>I think the actual street is not that bad if you watch yourself, stay in the well populated areas and don't hang out too late. But as curmudgeon and anxiousmom point out, you have to park somewhere. Everytime we've been, we've been stuck parking under I-35; and honestly, the last time we were there, even in a decent sized group I was pretty nervous on the walk back. </p>

<p>There is some great music to be found down on 6th Street; but you also have to deal with obnoxious drunkards as well. Personally, I wouldn't want my daughter down there at any time.</p>

<p>lealdragon, I couldn't care less about piercings and hair color. I've done my best to describe the area as dangerous (as have others). You (and anybody else ) are welcome to disagree.</p>

<p>Regardless of 'fashion', there is a criminal element down there on 6th Street who look for inebriated idiots who are easy to mug or victimize. When you have 20,000 people hitting over 60 clubs with liquor licenses in one evening, you will have fights, rapes and muggings. In the last five years, they have beefed up the police presence down there, but the primary goal of most who party on 6th Street is to get drunk. So crime is gonna happen.</p>

<p>I don't disagree! I was just surprised. I knew there was SOME rapes, muggings, etc. but just didn't realize the extent of it. Curmudgeon, I do appreciate your input - I was only trying to clarify exactly what you meant, especially since you were sorta half-joking.</p>

<p>There are tons of things to do in Austin, and visiting 6th street is only one of them!!!! Your son will be quite safe visiting 6th street - especially if he doesn't get drunk! I believe there is a UT shuttle bus service, so kids don't have to park under IH35. (And, not trying to ignore the fact that there have been a few people hurt or victims of theft on 6th street - the crimes are not common. Thousands of people visit it with no problem.) But with all the tons of great things to do in Austin, why would your son spend much time down on 6th street????</p>

<p>Well, since he doesn't drink, and doesn't like being around drunk people, I guess he wouldn't have much reason to be there at all...aside from the occasional metal concert which would usually be at Austin Music Hall or someplace else...</p>

<p>Thanks, anxiousmom - now I feel less anxious!</p>