Torn between 4 colleges! Help!

Hi everyone! I’m in a bit of a pickle with determining which college I should choose to attend for my undergrad years in the fall this year. I am debating between UIC, Loyola, Marquette and Purdue (I’ve been accepted to all of them) majoring in Psychology and possibly minoring in Polish language. I’ve been trying to research each college to the best of my ability, but all of their psych programs seem very similar and I don’t really know what school has the best program for it. I’m looking to get my doctorate in the field as well, so I’m going to be going to school for a looong time.

UIC is my cheapest option, but I didn’t really get that “college” atmosphere when I went to visit. From what I have heard, its simply a glorified community college that doesn’t receive that much credit and recognition from graduate schools and businesses nearby.

Although I didn’t visit Marquette, from the pictures I saw, the campus and the city itself seem beautiful and it really gives off that college feel. It is big enough to accommodate all of its students and all the activities it holds while still maintaining small class sizes to cater to the individual (which is important). I’m also unsure as to if a degree from Marquette is recognized by graduate schools and businesses.

Loyola is at the top of my list, however when I visited the college, the Lake Shore campus seemed very small and there wasn’t much happening in the area. I read that there isn’t much school spirit and that safety is a major concern (which I’m not surprised since it is so close to Chicago). I got the most money from Loyola - $25,000 a year and it is closest to home.

Purdue is breathtaking and is a huge campus. The psychology program there has some connections with AI, which I find super interesting (since I love the psychological standpoint and ethics behind artificial intelligence). I read a few forums and articles about how Purdue ranks very high in their psychology program in the whole country, which meant that the college is highly recognized and respected. The downside is that it is the most expensive option and the furthest away from home.

Please let me know of your experiences with any of these colleges and what you would recommend! Thank you guys a bunch! :slight_smile:

I think I would eliminate the most expensive option because as you said, you do plan on grad school so save your money. Could you consider Purdue for grad school?
All of the schools are “recognized by graduate schools” so not a worry there.
If you are close to Loyola, I would honestly take the drive up to Marquette and at least drive around campus. Campus at Marquette is smaller with some green spaces and is definitely inner city and urban and close to downtown Milwaukee and all the activities there. Stay on campus or go east, going west gets a bit sketchy.

Have you checked out Loyola? Although I’ve never been to Loyola, I have seen pictures of the campus and I believe that the campus is very pretty, especially next to the lake. I also believe that it’s the closets to home, which is another reason to go their.

Also have you thought of the more prestigious schools in Illinois (Northwestern, University of Chicago, UIUC)?

Hi! I’m a northeast girl so my knowledge on some of these schools is limited, as I haven’t visited them or attended. However, Purdue seems to be like the best school for your interest in psychology, and I have seen it ranked highly among other psychology programs in the nation. The AI addition sounds very interesting. I love psychology and am now wondering why I didn’t apply to Purdue LOL.

Being far away from home definitely can be a downside, but college can be a fun experience and the independence you will gain can be the biggest upside. If you are the type of person to get homesick, depending on how far away it is from your home, you may want to reconsider, but in my opinion, it seems like Purdue may be the best option for you.

I think the biggest concern would be the financial situation. As I don’t know your financial circumstances, you need to evaluate how expensive Purdue will be for your needs. If the cost is higher than your EFC, it may be hard, and you will have to evaluate whether or not you want to take out any loans (which can be tricky with high interest rates, and I personally wouldn’t advise it if you have other options that can let you graduate debt-free). If there are any work-study programs you can do, or any independent jobs you can obtain, I’d seek that route.

Graduating from college debt-free is HUGE, and if possible, you should seek a fresh start in the real world, rather than paying off loans. However, if Purdue is within your range and you can afford it (and it is simply the most expensive of all affordable options), then I see no reason why not to go.

If you do not end up going to Purdue, I think the next best option would be Loyola, based on financial aid and on reputation/recognition you may receive in the future. Based on what you’ve said, Marquette and UIC’s names may not carry as much weight. While it is not all about the name, Purdue and Loyola may be able to best prepare you for your future jobs.

Make sure to look at starting salaries of their graduating classes vs. the cost of attendance for you. The pay-off is a very important factor, if not THE most important factor.

Good luck to you! If you have any other questions, or any other details to add regarding your circumstances and decision criteria, feel free to reply and I could add some more insight. You will end up in the best school for you, and you will go on to do great things.