UNC Chapel-Hill vs Appalachian State University

I am a facing a great dilemma! App State is offering me a full ride with a study abroad, however, they do not have my specific major. They do have a major that is close to it though. I am also not a person who enjoys the freezing cold weather, but for a full ride I suppose I can get used to it. App State also does not have that much diversity. App State is also 4 hours away from home. What I do like about the school though is that they are trying to become more diversified, have great arts programs, and a medium sized campus.
UNC-Chapel Hill, however, is not offering that full ride and study abroad. They do have my major, they have diversity, and everyone says that they are just a really good school to go to given their academic record. Also, sometimes I feel like I worked so hard and I deserve to go to a more prestigious school. The downside for me to UNC-Chapel Hill is that their campus is so big and I really didn’t feel comfortable. I don’t want to set myself up for failure. At this point I don’t know what to do. Do I choose the school who’s offering me money, a study abroad, has a close major, but the weather is not my favorite or do I choose the prestigious school that has my major but I’m not completely comfortable in the environment?

If you were my child, the only concern would be diversity. I think weather can be tolerated for 4 years, and you might even grow to like it. You seem to be flexible with your major and ASU offers an acceptable substitute to what you would take at UNC.

I’m am very familiar with UNC’s campus, and I have toured ASU twice with my son. There isn’t a large amount of diversity on ASU’s campus, but everyone we met seemed very nice. One of my son’s best friends spent a recruitment weekend there in December, was recently offered a scholarship, and accepted last week. That kid is also a PoC and said he felt very comfortable at ASU during his visit.

You’re right, the prestige factor of UNC is hard to overlook. On the other hand, a free ride would be a big factor for our family to consider, because it’s not as if ASU is a garbage school. ASU is a very good university. And the study abroad opportunity would be a another big reason for us. Another thing I would have my son look at closely is the respective sizes of enrollment. I think he would do better at a college that was not 20k+. ASU is not as small as I would like, but it’s a nice compromise. You sound like you’d also like a mid-size campus.

In the end, if my son was as fortunate as you to be presented with these two options, I’d have to advice him to choose ASU. If price is not a concern for your family, the decision might be a lot more difficult. For us, it would be a big factor in the decision.

The environments are actually pretty similar in terms of being large schools (UNC is bigger), the only difference being the student body. UNC is diverse, and you’re more likely to find students with similar levels of academic achievement. If you’re worried about campus size, ASU’s campus is actually pretty big, it just seems small because its not as sprawling as UNC. You can always do a study-abroad at UNC after your freshman year. The “failure” rate is going to be pretty low at UNC, since they’re graduation rate is 90% (ASU’s is 70%). It’s pretty hard to not succeed at UNC. If cost is not a major factor, UNC should be a no-brainer.

You may get more input if you share your academic interest(s). Some programs are sufficiently strong at both schools (e.g. biology), whereas UNC Chapel Hill has a noticeable edge in others (e.g. journalism).

I’ve spent a fair amount of time at both schools and have taught at App. You can’t go wrong with either, but I think you’ll have to evaluate whether you really can’t see yourself at UNC Chapel Hill. It’s one of the most well-rounded colleges in the country with a great quality of life. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Carolina grad who didn’t rave about his/her undergrad experience.

Agreed. The two are also pretty similar in terms of undergraduate enrollment, with UNC being slightly larger (17,500 vs. 19,000 students). UNC Chapel Hill has far more graduate students, of course.