I just noticed you were THE mom2collegekids. Wow! Anyway...
1. UCO is extremely affordable. Money is a major reason for my undergrad decision. I am getting a full scholarship there. OU is a bit more expensive (about $15,000 a year after scholarships).
2. I do like UCO very much. It is known to have small class sizes , which I really like. It is also rich with student opportunities, and it focuses much on leadership, which I'm interested in. Most students at UCO commute because of its "central" location. I will be commuting as well, but it won't be a problem to me. The school is literally 15 minutes away from my house. Living in a dorm is not worth the money to me; it just isn't practical.
3. While I feel that I would stand out somewhat grade-wise, this is a perk of going to UCO rather than a reason to attend there. If I was accepted into an Ivy League school, I would not refuse to go because I wouldn't be a top student there (which I wouldn't be).
4. For one thing, I do not like OSU (I don't like orange or cowboys). While I do like OU when it comes to football, I'm not hardcore enough to want to go to school there. I acknowledge that OU is considered a better school than UCO, but I have no strong desire to go there.
5. My GPA is a 3.9 and my ACT is a 31. I'm pretty involved in extracurricular activities as well, but I'm not here to boast.</p>
You have good reasoning. However, competition isn't the only factor in the decision. I do agree that the standards of peers can influence one's work ethic, but I can't depend on others to improve my effort. I also can't put full trust in the possibility of creating connections. Ideally, this would be great, but I need to expect the worst to be safe. Cost is also an important factor.</p>
You have good advice. I'm focusing too much on medical school admissions for my undergrad decision. I agree that it's important to not concentrate too much on rankings of colleges. I'm not crazy about going to an Ivy League school or anything. Being comfortable at a college is very important, but I also need to be smart with my decisions. Cost and quality of education are probably the top two factors in terms of practicality. It seems your D enjoyed her undergrad, had her costs payed for, and received an enriched education. And evidently, she didn't need to graduate from a high-ranking school to get into medical school. This is ideal. I think I would have a similar experience at UCO. While it isn't the state flagship school like OU, I doubt the "prestige" of the institution would have a significant impact on admissions. We seem to be on the same page here.</p>
You're absolutely right. I shouldn't focus too much on competition for this decision. And you have a good point--what if my grades aren't what I expected them to be? However, this is where (like you said) money and satisfaction come into play. The truth is that cost is a big issue for me, and it would be extremely convenient to go to UCO instead of OU for this reason. As I've explained to mom2collegekids earlier, I would enjoy going to UCO more than OU. Weaker class competition is nothing to attend a school for, but it is a potential perk of going. However, I still need to take it into consideration, especially for medical school admissions. But you're right on the point that I can't depend on this whatsoever. Thanks.</p>
I agree with you. The rankings never tell the full story, and there are several hidden factors that come into play. I understand your concern about going to a low-tier school because of the lack of a challenging education. I agree with this, but I assure you that UCO is challenging enough. For the AP scores subject, I think you're right; being familiar with the classes will help one transition into college easier. I wasn't really planning to skip any classes anyway. I also agree that while it may feel great to get into the best college possible, it's best to be smart about the decision and consider everything before jumping into it based on the hype. And I do believe that UCO offers a great amount of opportunities, so you might approve of my decision to go there. Don't worry, I'm very familiar with this school. Thank you.</p>
<p>From what I've gathered from this discussion, happiness, money, and quality of education are top things to look at for the undergrad decision. College rankings are to be noted, but not fully trusted. It seems the name of the school has very little weight in an application compared to WHAT a student does at that school. Though going to a top school would give a boost, it isn't an option for me. Knowing your competition at the school is important to consider; it gives you an idea of what to expect. However, it is not something to underestimate or take for granted, and it is NOT a good reason to decide to go to the school. </p>
<p>What do you think of schools that have "good pre-med programs"? How much do they matter?</p>