UF vs Pitt (pls help!)

I was admitted into both honors programs, roughly the same price. Intended major is international studies. I am from PA, received $10k/yr merit at Pitt and $20k/yr at Florida. I love the weather at UF and the academics are both are great but I obviously know more people attending Pitt being from PA. Just give me your general opinion please! I know more specifics would help but I’ve got about 6 hours left!

In terms of weather, Florida will be hot and humid (tropical) from April through October, but there won’t be any snow and it’ll be nice half the school year.
UF will have online classes and it’s HUGE.
It’ll also offer you the chance of discovering another region of the country and it’s one of the top public universities in the country.
Look carefully at the conditions for your scholarship: the Florida legislature is cutting OOS scholarships, starting with the one for NMFs.

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Benaquisto is the NMF scholarship and is funded by the state. Completely different from the school funded scholarships. Also, benaquisto grandfathered in students that were accepted for the class of 2025 so you would be fine either way. Go Gators!

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My daughter had this situation - except no money from either. So congrats - that’s AWESOME.

A major like international studies is not job ready - so in that sense, you want to go cheapest.

Both are fine schools. I’ll just say this - in the few months I’ve been on CC, I’ve read nothing but fantastic things about Pitt. The worst thing I’ve read is- they don’t give merit (obviously, not true for you).

On the flip side, Florida Honors is impossible to get into. So that’s a great get. Congrats to you. Everything I’ve read about Florida is - they act like you are lucky to go there vs. being welcoming. My daughter visited UF and loved the campus- but you read so much about dumpy dorms, large classes, and in business at least, online classes.

Maybe it comes down to - medium/large school in the city vs. one of the country’s biggest campuses in a small city.

Both are great names- yes US News ranks FL higher but honestly, 99% of people who hire don’t read US New and if you are applying for a job in NY, Philly, Chicago or Denver, no one will care if you went to FL or Pitt or Indiana or Oklahoma…all are just solid schools.

Good luck to you.

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Thank you so so much, this was super helpful. Really helped put things in perspective! Best of luck to your daughter in her college and career :+1:

A little more perspective - my daughter learned about international studies when we went to American’s preview day b4 covid. She was sold on the major and Amercian (where she got in - $57K after merit) along with Washington and Lee ($81K) and Miami FL($53K or so).

Where’s she going? College of Charleston - where she’s in some small cohort stuff - Honors, International Scholar, Fellow. Her next three - U of SC, Florida State and Arizona. AU fell down the list - although it’s where she learned of the major. Had merit been better, perhaps it’d be there.

My point being - plenty of kids are not going to the “top school” on their list and not necessarily the cheapest.

You need to spend four years there - day after day after day. So after you know you can afford it, then fit becomes your biggest concern.

That US News or the WSJ or Niche or whoemever says one is better than the other…I promise you all these schools have kids who do great in life and all have some that will struggle. In the end, you are the one that will drive success.

Good luck. Let us know what you choose.

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If you like big schools, and I assume you do, since these are the two you want to go to, then you’ll love the atmosphere at UF. I can’t overestimate how awesome the school is in terms of alum network, also.

Pros: Amazing college town. Great school spirit. Access to top-flight research opportunities and profs. Recruiters flood the campus. Internships are innumerable. So freaking much to do, activities-wise. Ninety minutes from Jax beaches. Two hours to Tally or the Gulf Coast.
Cons: UF can be arrogant and I agree that they act like you’re lucky to go there (you are, fwiw). It’s a college town, not a city. If you’re dead-set on a true city experience, I would pick Pittsburgh. It is brutally hot and humid and doesn’t stop being hot until mid-November/December, and starts back up again at the end of March. Parking on campus is nonexistent; you’ll ride a bike or do a ton of walking (see above re: hot). Gen-ed classes will likely be massive lecture halls and hundreds of students; I never actually saw my Econ prof because I took a sector that consisted of sitting in a lecture hall with a couple of hundred other kids, watching a closed-circuit TV replaying the live lecture. I surmise that’s the same at Pitt, though.

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I’m glad i’m old - we didn’t watch closed circuit tv. we had classes of maybe 100 or 200 and then a breakout. still impersonal - but that description is nuts - and for that people pay all that money!! Crazy. I think if i was going to school today, i’d look for small to midsize. Off topic - but that was a great email, very descriptive…yet horrifying.

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FWIW, if you are still trying to decide, Pitt does have some very large Gen Ed classes. Both my kids had a few classes with 300 kids. These are taught by profs. I don’t know how you would take a class and not see the prof? He or she is at the front of the lecture hall. These very large classes do have recitation sections of about 20 each once a week with TAs.

Online courses were rare at Pitt before COVID. There were a few scattered online offerings mostly targeted at non traditional students who can’t come during the days. One of my daughters roommates took one when she had to make up a class over the summer and her job prevented her from going to a regular class. Neither of my kids took any online courses. I asked both and they can’t even remember seeing any options for taking online courses (pre-COVID of course). As most classes were online this past year, it will be interesting to see if this changes things. Will everything revert back to in person or will some classes stay online? It’s too early to tell. All my sons classes for the fall are supposed to be in person, in classrooms, even his last remaining Gen Ed.

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The quasi-requirement of taking online classes is a Florida “specialty” and of course UF among them. And huge lecture halls go hand in hand with huge universities.
Pitt is large but not as big as UF so lectures aren’t as large and online classes aren’t required and weren’t common precovid.

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<<These are taught by profs. I don’t know how you would take a class and not see the prof? He or she is at the front of the lecture hall.>>
Sorry, I wasn’t clear; I meant I never saw the prof in person.

To clarify, Penn State rarely gives good merit - very rarely, as in, I’ve never seen it (some small amounts, yes, but not “good” merit). Pitt can give excellent merit for high scores, both in and OOS. They just tend to not give merit for <33 or 34 on an ACT.

To the OP, Pitt is a fantastic school, as is UF. For my own kids, I wanted them to explore somewhere away from home to live in and experience new territory. Does that appeal to you and/or your parents? Are you ok not coming home on weekends or some holidays when most do? Are you ok with most (not all) of your classmates being from FL?

I grew up in NY, but went to Va Tech for school. The vast majority of students there were from VA, so it could get lonely on some weekends. The campus was never empty, but there was some time to myself. Occasionally I would go along with a friend to their house. I still loved it because I love exploring and was eager to get away from home, but some would get homesick.

Think about your own fit when choosing to get which choice is best for you.

Also, the costs might be the same, but have you factored in travel costs? Join a frequent flyer club if going to UF. Since my kids went further from home, after a few flights they would get one free.


@lexiplaisted : have you made a decision?

Not yet haha, I actually got an aid appeal from GW which has thrown a wrench in my decision making. Missed the deadline for pitt now though

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Those deadlines aren’t final though, if necessary.

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I’m very familiar with UF (alum, etc) and S21 was accepted to both UF and GW. Is attending GW in fall. I’ll PM you.

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If you like gw then u want super urban. So not uf. Some schools allow til Monday. Make sure you deposit somewhere so you are not shut out

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