My son is completely on the fence choosing between two radically different schools that have offered admission - William & Mary and UCSD, both for biology (not pre-med - he’s more of a natural world kid). He has narrowed his choices down to these because of their bio programs and quality of research. I recognize not many people make a choice between these two, but any thoughts?
The primary ‘pros’ for UCSD (Revelle) for him are the top quality research and easy access to the city and possibly numerous internships/jobs, plus a West coast vibe (he grew up in WA); he also likes the easy commute between school and home (direct flight). The primary ‘con’ is the sheer size of the school and classes, and getting crowded out of meaningful research opps -essentially becoming a lab rat.
The primary pros for W&M are faculty-led research, small class sizes, being a known quantity to faculty - he doesn’t excel at putting himself out there. He’s also attracted to the opportunity to genuinely partner with faculty on research design, authorship, and presenting. The primary cons are that there is not a high powered internship/ job market in the area (Williamsburg) and it’s a very Virginia vibe from what we have seen in the virtual tours and Insta posts. Not a knock against VA at all (he was born there and has grandparents 25 minutes from Williamsburg) but it’s culturally different than his West coast upbringing for sure. Also a bit more difficult to get to from our WA home (two flights + car + full day).
Price is not a differentiator as they are roughly the same for OOS, no aid. He’s been to both campuses and likes them both. Doesn’t seem to care about the weather differences.
Full IB diploma, strong study habits, great writer. Not a party seeker.
Ultimately he wants to graduate in a strong position to continue on to grad school (at least that’s the plan for now).
Would love to hear from anyone who has insights into the perceived pros/cons of these schools, or this kind of choice. Much appreciated!