I was accepted into UCR for the upcoming Winter quarter and LMU for Spring. I’m going in as an English major, but I am thinking of double majoring or minoring in Chicano Studies. Which school is better for me? I understand the cost of LMU compared to UCR, while it is a factor, it’s not the main one for me. I believe LMU doesn’t have a Winter semester which might make a heavier workload for me to graduate on time. UCR’s quarter system really interests me and might help me work with a double major or minor better. Loyola is of course a better school though. Before being accepted to LMU, I really made sure to look into UCR and I was ready and excited for it because of all the programs they have (e.g. underground scholars, Herman’s unidos) and their overall Chicano presence. I might feel more comfortable there. I like that UCR is an underdog, but LMU is a better school overall. I can’t decide, which school would be better? If anyone has attended these schools how did you like it? and how would it be for a Chicano to experience?

@Fisherman99 is a graduate of UCR, hopefully he or she can chime in here for you.

I wouldn’t call UCR an underdog. It’s moved up fast in the rankings, now #88, with LMU being #66. I think they’re both great schools with LMU having a superior location.

I don’t think LMU’s reputation is so meaningfully better than UCR’s that it should sway your decision. If anything, I think they are somewhat similarly positioned in their respective spheres. LMU is well-regarded and in some ways up-and-coming (particularly in that their engineering programs recently received ABET accreditation and will be a much bigger draw going forward for this reason), but it is also fairly well understood that it’s easier to get into than more elite Jesuit schools like Santa Clara, Holy Cross, Boston College, and Georgetown. Similarly, Riverside has the gravitas of a UC education; the students there are all well-qualified; and the profile of the university is only rising with time… but at the same time, it’s known to be an easier admit than UCI, UCSD, Davis, UCLA, and Berkeley.

I think you’ll encounter people who think a UC degree from Riverside is more impressive than an LMU degree, and you’ll encounter people who think LMU is more of a feather in your cap than UCR. But ultimately it’s going to be a wash, and it will be far more important what you do once there, and whether the campus has the opportunities you want. For a student who wants to be involved in Chicano activism and advocacy, and who feels as if they’d “fit” better at UCR… why spend more money for LMU, and wait longer to enter and stress about fitting in the coursework you want?

If you were In Love with LMU, I wouldn’t discourage you. But I think the resonance you feel with UCR is well-founded, and the opportunities you see there are real and well-suited to your passions. There is no should about LMU. Both your heart and the money seem to point in the same direction.

I assume you’re transferring in from community college, since I don’t think UCR has winter admission for freshman applicants. Compare the transfer credit being awarded between the two schools, just to be sure. But since the articulation path is well-worn within the CA public system, I’d be really surprised if LMU were giving you more advantageous transfer credit than UCR.

As long as everything seems to align well, don’t second-guess yourself. UCR is an excellent school. I think whichever you pick, you’ll find that its reputation will only grow over the years, and a decade or two from now, people will be even more impressed than they are now. They’re both on that kind of rising trajectory. You really can’t go wrong, but I’d consider them equivalent and choose based on fit and value.

they are both excellent schools. That said, at full tuition, I’d have a tough time rationalizing LMU’s cost.

Taking on debt to fund the difference is something you’d probably regret shortly after graduation. If that’s your plan, I strongly suggest UCR is the better choice.

My daughter is a senior at LMU and loves it. I’m sorry but I don’t know anything about the Chicano experience. Full tuition at LMU is high, and I think you have great advice above. Cost is important, and if you’ve found something you love, then it’s the right choice! What is pulling you towards LMU? If it’s just that you think “LMU is a better school overall”, put some more thought into that. What is important is which school is better for you.

My D is a double major plus minor, she has attended both summer sessions her sophomore and junior years in order to accomplish this. One of her majors is in Women and Gender Studies, which is probably the same dept as Chicano studies, and she really likes it a lot (she discovered this there and added the major). She has developed strong relationships and mentors with professors which is a huge part of why she thinks LMU is so fantastic. The students are great, too. LMU is on a semester system and does not have a winter term (it was briefly considered due to covid and dropped). Also it looks unlikely that many, if any, classes will be in person at LMU in the spring, unfortunately, if that matters.

All the stated points are valid. Additionally, from an employment perspective, there is not much difference. Further, if you plan on graduate school, I think UCR is a better choice for preparation. UCR is much cheaper in terms of costs to attend and since you have an interest in Chicano studies and presence at UCR, UCR is a better fit for you. LMU is just not worth the much higher costs.

UC Riverside Highlander alumnus…is one of the most diverse UC’s and fastest growing for a reason…barely recognize the campus now. The secret is out on this once hidden gem…not so much an underdog anymore …getting tougher to get in each and every year…rapidly rising on US News Ranks (#88 National Rank this year) along with ranking number one in the nation on social mobility the last two years. Is one of the few UC’s that still has a personal touch and a much more collaborative yet affordable education. Riverside county is the third fastest growing county in the nation with growth projected through year 2065. The campus is positioned very well to continue upward and onward in a big way! Enjoyed my time at UC Riverside…definitely take a tour of the campus and see where you feel most comfortable along with the appropriate research…good luck to you!


Here is some additional insight if it helps

Pros for UCR (no personal experience): campus looks well kept, resident halls are above average!, free events and concerts and free printing/lab equipments (commodities), cool classes to meet requirements (such as classes on memes and classes on Walt Disney), less costly.

Cons for UCR: location (middle of no where) in the desert, nowhere close to anything for recreational fun and shop, homeless issues (encampments which can effect how safe you feel), not a lot of extracurricular activities, the heat (the number one issue I heard from other students. People’s bike tires melted!), sometimes hard to get classes you need because they fill up.

Pros for LMU (by experience): Location, beautiful campus, the teachers are really supportive, closed campus every night (it is on its own road and has only one entrance with a gate which closes at night for safety), events on campus, the offices are really organized and respond quickly (they care), you get a general school councilor and an academic advisor specific to your major, support services/tutoring/essay reviewing/therapy is free and easy to access, easy to double major and have a minor, core requirements are flexible so even though you need to study religion there are many classes that fulfill this requirement that are fun!, food is above average on campus but the food around is amazing!, very close to the beach and there is a bus on campus that is just a 15 minute drive to the beach and the bus also goes to Disneyland!

Cons for LMU: Campus size, no basketball team (which can effect school spirit for some people), COST (Don’t do it if you don’t think you can ever pay it back!)

Clearly I am biased and I don’t know about your major, but here is some general things I thought about!

@CindyLeuWho, did you mean to write that LMU has no football team? Because it most definitely has both men’s and women’s basketball teams.

I was there a long time ago before the Student Recreation Center, University Village, and homeless encampments…campus was totally safe although a bit dicey a ways down University Avenue at night. Sometimes we would play pick up basketball games with the locals off the street on campus. We studied very hard and still found plenty to do and had fun…worked out like demons in the old school gym (Pre Rec. Center days) with metal free weights and Universal machines. Some great bands would play at “The Barn” right on campus (No Doubt, Blink 182, Wall of Voodoo, and many others were there) with nooners on Wednesdays. Took the stairs to the top of the bell tower (16 stories)…“Hike To The C” is a UCR tradition. Did it one freezing Winter night with some West Lothian dorm mates and got sick the next day. There was no “Spring Splash” then…it was “Scots Week” with some crazy competition between West Lothian and Aberdeen and Inverness (A&I) dorms…the only two at the time! UC Riverside is actually pretty centrally located with most stuff within an hour away or less like Palm Springs which is the true low desert. The campus is inland, however the climate is really considered “interior valley” and not desert… similar to Pasadena, Burbank and so forth. It does get very hot in summer…are you going to be there then? Fall, Winter, and Spring have nice weather. The Northern California students would say the climate is very similar to Sacramento but not as cold or foggy in the Winter. Received a solid education/college experience at UC Riverside. Will have to check out the campus again one of these days and see if I can recognize anything other than the bell tower and my old dorm!

@CindyLeuWho is LMU open? Are the dorms open? University planned/sponsored activities? I thought colleges in LA County were not allowed to open.

@lkg4answers , LMU is not open. You are correct about LA county. Classes 100% remote, a very small number of kids living on campus (athletes), campus is gated as mentioned above and no one is allowed on who isn’t living there. No on campus activities. I suspect she was referring to pre-covid? Their plans for Spring depends on LA County who will not be making announcements until after Thanksgiving and will not allow campuses to open under Covid “Tier 1” (the worst tier), which is where they are now. LMU has emailed that if they are allowed, they plan to open up 1100 more on campus housing spots and allow some classes on campus that really sound like they will only be for seniors who need them to graduate.

Love LMU but their hands are tied by local government and local covid levels.

Yes I meant football team my bad!

@fisherman67 i have never been there myself! All my Pros and cons for it was created through watching student experience videos and posts. It’s great to hear about these other things!

Right on…a common UCR misconception for some never there is that it is in the middle of the desert (really “interior valley”) and as flat as a pancake when in reality it is the highest elevation campus of any UC (1100-1400 feet on campus)…hence the name “Highlanders”. The top of Box Springs Mountain Reserve is 3083 feet as well close to where the “C” is located…a pretty solid hike…sometimes snows up there in winter!