I’m an international student, and I know there isn’t much time left, but I’m seriously struggling to make a decision. I also got into Kalamazoo (3rd on my list) and Wooster (last). Any help will be greatly appreciated. Here’s where I’m at right now.
Arizona is the cheapest. Not taking into account the campus employment portion of my FA package (because I plan to work regardless or where I end up), It’s Arizona, then UNL (+15k USD), then Wooster (+33k), then Kzoo (+38k). The only things that would make Wooster and Kzoo worth it are the research (Wooster) and study abroad opportunities (Kzoo), but those seem a bit iffy. I took a look at Wooster’s Research Program catalog of the projects available for this spring and it seemed like 1. a pretty short list, and 2. none of the projects interest me, though it’s possible that it’s just for this intake. Kzoo has a lot of study abroad programs, but I want to study in an English speaking country for that, and the options for that seem pretty limited.
However, I’m thinking of graduating in 3/3.5 years. UA gives me credit for my A Levels for two 100 Math courses and one foreign language course that count toward GE for a total of 12 units. UNL doesn’t state on their website how this factors into GE, but I would get credit for two 100 Math courses and two 200 Physics courses for a total of 18 units, and a 100 History elective. I could get credit for 100-level English course, but I’ll have to appeal, because the A Level subject that corresponds to that isn’t standard (it’s only offered in my country) so that’s still up in the air. UNL could be the cheapest, but it’s a bif if and graduating early is never guaranteed, especially considering I’m thinking of doing a double major (more below).
I’m admitted as a philosophy major, though I intend to double major. In terms of the strength of philosophy departments, UA is in the lead by far (PGR top 20 vs UNL just outside top 50). I applied to UNL because I read that despite the seemingly low ranking, UNL philosophy professors actually do a surprisingly good job of getting their students into good PhD programs. Kzoo and Wooster too have good track records of sending students to grad school, though I couldn’t really find any information about philosophy specifically.
In terms of how this fits in with my long term goals, I am going to try to pursue a philosophy PhD with a career in academia being the end goal, but because of how huge of a risk that is, I want to double major. My interest lie with international relations/political science, but I’m naturally good at math, so I’m also thinking math, physics, or CS, especially considering the OPT extension for STEM. Arizona’s strengths are the sciences, and they do have an Astrophysics major, which I like. UNL isn’t particularly known for it’s sciences.
I didn’t apply to either of their Honors Colleges (I didn’t have time in terms of the US applications timeline matched with my country’s education system). I will be able to apply even after I enroll at UA, but I can’t find any information about that for UNL.
I prefer smaller class sizes, though I’ve also heard of how much pressure there is to speak up because of that at Wooster (not sure about Kzoo), and I’m more of a quiet thinker. I like listening and feel like I learn more listening to discussions than lectures, but I’m not really the most chatty. I think as long as I have access to office hours, I should be able to make do even with lectures.
If the PhD doesn’t work out, I do want to make full use of my OPT, but I don’t really have any information about how well these four schools do in job placements for international students.
I’m not a partier at all. I know UA and UNL are party schools, but as long as it’s possible for me to avoid it I’m okay, and I’ve read that it’s more possible at UNL than at UA. However, I do like watching sports, and I don’t mind learning to watch football. I’m also really introverted and shy. I do have my friends, but when making new friends, I usually rely on the other person to make the first step. I’m working on that, but I don’t expect major changes by the time I go to college. I also really love my alone time. I want a tight knit group of friends, and there are pros and cons to both the universities and the LACs. On one hand, LACs feel more like a community, but I feel like if you don’t fit their type then it won’t work, whereas the state schools are big so it may be harder to meet people, but there’s something for everyone. I haven’t visited any of the schools. I also care about how accepting the students are of international students. I don’t want to just stick to other international students.
I don’t want a politically active campus, or one where politics bleeds into academics. I don’t want to be sitting in an ethics class and have everyone around act like if you aren’t decidedly liberal, you’re wrong.
I’m a city kid, which is why Wooster went from tied with Kzoo to bottom on my list. I thought I was fine when I applied, but then I just couldn’t with that isolation. Weather wise, it never falls below 75 degrees where I live, but I don’t mind snow, though I’m not sure about the brutal Michigan winters. They don’t call Arizona the desert for nothing, but as long as there are ACs in the dorms and everywhere indoors I should be fine.
Something else to note:
Accessibility to mental health support is extremely important to me. I’m able to find some information online, but if anyone else has any insights into this, as well the cost of psychiatric consultations at UNL (something that could affect how I feel about UNL vs UA), it would be immensely appreciated.
This is all I can think of to pen down at the moment.