I’m writing to try and convince some of you higher-stat kids (National Merit Semifinalist-level) to give UD a chance over whatever “more prestigious” schools you might get into in the coming months.
I use those quotes intentionally, because despite being an Ivy grad myself (Penn), I am of the opinion that prestige is largely illusory. When it comes to the brand of your degree, your wristwatch, your car, etc. It’s 99% marketing and image curation. Too many people fall for it, IMO.
Why choose a state school like UD over an Ivy (or other “prestigious” school)? There is the matter of money, of course. A high-stat applicant to UD will probably qualify for merit aid, up to a Full Ride+ (for Eugene DuPont Memorial Scholars). Maybe money doesn’t matter to your family, but it certainly did for ours (despite me being an Ivy grad!). A high-stat applicant to Penn will just be another applicant…and since Ivies do not award merit aid, you’re really just dependent on your FA package in terms of financial assistance.
Another great reason to choose a state school like UD over an Ivy is if that school specializes in a field that you want to pursue. My daughter was a Chemical Engineering major at UD. According to the latest US NEWS ranking, UD’s undergrad ChemE department is #10 in the country. The closest Ivy is Princeton, at #12.
Also, as a high-stats applicant, keep in mind that you will be at/near the top of your class at UD. This can have many benefits, including getting first dibs on opportunities like working in a lab, mentoring by a professor, etc.
My daughter chose UD over Carnegie Mellon for her undergraduate degree. It’s a choice she doesn’t regret. She’s now at Penn for her PhD in a STEM field…it can happen.