UofM, University of Alabama or Ohio University

<p>My daughter is trying to decide which of the following schools make the most sense for her. She is an excellent student interested in biological sciences and considering pursuing an advanced degree. She is very eager to participate in research during her undergraduate years.</p>

<p>UofM - she loves the campus, Ann Arbor, the academics, research opportunities, the sports and proximity to home (2.5 hours) but the out of state tuition is scary (we are from Ohio).</p>

<p>University of Alabama - she was offered full out of state tuition so this makes the school appealing from a financial stand point. She was also admitted to the Honors College. UofA is well over 12 hours away from home so travel is a consideration. We are planning to visit the school soon so she has not had a chance to get a feel for the school yet but is concerned about the respectability of a degree from UA vs one from UofM should she decide to continue her education.</p>

<p>Ohio University - she was admitted to the Honors Tutorial College and with that comes full tuition and the opportunity to participate heavily in research and build strong relationships with faculty due to the small size of the honors program. She loves the campus, the faculty she has met, proximity to home (3 hours) but, again, is concerned about the respectability of a degree from OU vs UofM.</p>

<p>Is a degree from University of Michigan worth that kind of investment (approximately 210,000 for 4 years of tuition plus room and board) vs one from UA or OU for far less (40,000 - 50,000 for 4 years of room and board). I have no experience in the advanced degree area so I am not sure how to guide her. We are a middle class family so expenses are a concern but, in the same regard, I don't want her to feel like she has "settled" for less than she was capable of due to finances.</p>

<p>…approximately 210,000 for 4 years of tuition (including room and board). Fixed it for you. </p>

<p>How much debt would be involved? How big a deal is the $160,000 difference to you?</p>

<p>Is the advanced degree of interest an MD (very expensive) or PhD (fully funded)?</p>

<p>Your choices, from a practical point of view, are Alabama and Ohio. Your daughter should consider spending at least a full day exploring the biological sciences program at Alabama - spend some time in the labs and talk with various professors to see if they have funding to support undergraduate research. From what I know, Alabama’s research funding is meager, but don’t know how it compares with Ohio U. Also inquire which graduate schools have their UG students have been admitted. </p>

<p>Alabama, as long as your daughter isn’t turned off by her visit.</p>

<p>From what I’ve gathered UA is a nic school with a nice campus and strong academics.</p>

<p>Someone from a previous post mentioned that UA recently funded a new STEM building / facility thing, so that may interest her biological pursuits.</p>

<p>Given free out of state tuition vs. 210k, I doubt any school is worth that much more over another regardless of what it is.</p>

<p>Choose between Alabama and Ohio. Save the money to put toward her graduate program or whatever else she might need to launch into life. Our S took the fullride school and was very happy to graduate with money in the bank and no debt.</p>

<p>She should go to OU if she really likes the Honor Tutorial College. I too live in Ohio and from what I have gathered the HTC is possibly the best educational experience in the state and perhaps the best educational bargain in the country (for Ohio residents). If she wants to do research, the HTC is probably the best way to do that. Her program would be much more flexible than almost anywhere else. The OTC is not an honors program, it is its own small college amidst the larger university. Thus it is the best of big and small, plus the advantage of being modeled on the Cambridge and Oxford tutorial method. Maybe Michigan offers equal opportunities, but I personally doubt it. </p>

<p>Having said that, Michigan is overall – but only overall – the best of the three universities. Along with Cal-Berkeley, UNC-Chapel Hill, and perhaps University of Virginia, UM is among the very finest public universities in America. If you can afford it, without debt, then you should not quickly turn your back on it.</p>

<p>Alabama is a fine flagship university, and is a good choice if you cannot really afford Michigan and if your daughter is not that keen on the Honors Tutorial College at OU.</p>

<p>Finally, if she makes excellent grades in her field of interest, all of these schools are more than respectable enough for post graduate study. It is almost unheard of for a graduate school to turn down an applicant because their school was not respectable enough.</p>

<p>Another vote that UM should be out if it requires loans.</p>

<p>My kid is a freshman at Bama, OOS from PA, STEM major and in the Honors College. My kid is not very proactive or outgoing and isn’t first to line up for Prof office hours, research, etc. He has had some great opportunities in choices of research, Prof’s knowing his name, etc. I can only imagine how much better it could be if he were pro-active. Bama is worth you setting up a visit through the Honors College, meeting with the Deans and a Professor. You should also explore Alabama’s University Scholars program in which a student gets BS/MS in 5 years all tuition paid. </p>

<p>I wouldn’t be concerned with the prestige of a school name. If she can get strong opportunities at Ohio or Alabama, her personal experiences will set her apart and she wouldn’t need the Michigan name to carry her. I don’t think with the personal opportunities available at Alabama she will feel like she settled. From your description of Ohio, it sounds like she will have great opportunities there as well.</p>

<p>As parents, we want to do the best we can for our kids. It is difficult to predict what the best is, but I can assure you, accumulation of large debt at 18 is a burden to be avoided.</p>

<p>Alabama Research funding – Just to address Trinity’s post that it is “meager.” I do not disagree that it doesn’t compare to other flagships, but it is plentiful enough that I haven’t heard of any student from the Honors College who wanted to do research not get an opportunity. It may be an unpaid position and may not be breaking news research, but it is there and students are working with new equipment.</p>

<p>Each spring the undergrads present their research. This year it is the week before Easter. I believe the Honors College records the CBH kids. If you go to the Bama forum here, a parent may be able to provide a link to last years CBH projects.</p>

<p>Many students outside of CBH present, but I don’t know of any videos available.</p>

<p>We’ve answered this question fifty times this month. 47 of those times the answer was take the tuition and run. If your daughter is the kind of student who gets these tuition scholarships, she probably will do fine wherever she goes. She’ll find her niche, her intellectual compatriots wherever she finds herself. It’s not where she goes but what she does. I don’t have a horse in this race.</p>

but is concerned about the respectability of a degree from UA vs one from UofM should she decide to continue her education.


<p>Both of my sons went to Bama. My older son was accepted to EVERY Phd program he applied to…all fully funded. He chose a program at an elite univ that CC students clamor to.</p>

<p>My younger son is now in med school. He only applied to 6 MD schools and was accepted to 3 of them (a very good record since most applicants don’t get accepted to any)…and he was awarded merit from all three because of his stats.</p>

<p>So, I guess PhD programs and med schools don’t seem to have a problem. ;)</p>

<p>Definitely visit UA and then compare what you and DD thinks of UA and Ohio. As other posters said, no need for all the debt of MI.</p>

<p>Lots of misconceptions about UA because until you see the facilities, and learn about all the opportunities - seeing is believing.</p>



<p>U of M isn’t really an option, so I agree with the others that it falls between OU and UA. Of those two, I’d probably pick OU as I don’t really see UA having that much of an advantage.</p>



<p>I always think it’s odd when people mention that ‘eliteness’ of a university with regards to a PHD program. Unless that eliteness also applies to the program the person applied to, it’s a useless piece of information. Rutgers is hardly an elite university, but has an excellent philosophy PHD program (top 3 in the ESW); JHU, on the other hand, is an elite university, but has a mediocre philosophy program. (49 in the ESW)</p>

True, but the program was also highly ranked and very competitive admission…accepting about 2-3% of applicants.</p>

<p>And obviously my point was answering the OP’s concern about how grad schools would look at a Bama education. Getting accepted to every PhD program that son applied to, and the other son getting into 3 med schools, after only applying to 6 tells the story.</p>

<p>If you went to the Bama forum, you’d see recent posts about Bama grads getting into PhD eng’g programs at Stanford, and getting into Georgetown Law and UVA Law (with special tuition award).</p>

<p>I would not pick Ohio U over Bama. Ohio U is not OSU. </p>

<p>Ohio U is nearly all instate kids…no regional diversity at all and is 60% women. </p>

<p>Bama’s frosh classes have been over 50% OOS for several years now</p>

<p>Let me pick up a topic that NROTC has addressed. That is OU’s Oxbridge Honors program. I’ve looked into it but don’t have a good feel for it, but I’d say that if the OP’s D feels the honors program as it is constructed would benefit her style of learning then that has to be a consideration. She’ll find an Honors College at UA, but not the same system as the Oxbridge system IF Ohio U’s Oxbridge is all that it could be and not a sham. If your D has done the research and feels that the admin at OU has found a way to make the Oxbridge system work for more than one class every two years (hyperbole) AND she really enjoys tutorial learning then she might prefer OU to UA. </p>

<p>Other stuff: if she intends to live in Ohio after she graduates, OU’s prestige will be more than sufficient, indeed greater than UA’s. One thing I was concerned about when I looked into OU’s Oxbridge was what I heard was its lack of racial diversity, and if that or the kinds of diversity mom2 mentions is a concern of your D then she should look into it before committing. Nothing like going to a college and finding out that all your peers look, sound, think, and act just like you if you went to a high school where that was not the case. Finally, I was impressed with what I saw when I looked at UA’s Honors program and thought my D could do really well there. She, however, could not see herself anywhere but in the northeast and mid-atlantic or West Coast.</p>

<p>“Other stuff: if she intends to live in Ohio after she graduates, OU’s prestige will be more than sufficient, indeed greater than UA’s”</p>


<p>Like Momof2CollegeKids, I too, have to chuckle when I see a poster on CC question a school’s “reputation,” when the fact of the matter is that on CC reputation largely consists a general interest magazine ranking. Bright kids will do fine and make their own opportunities at any school where the fit is good, including Ohio U and U of Alabama.</p>

<p>Thanks SO much for all the input. It really helps to get this kind of input from people who have been through this before. My daughter is the oldest of 4 so I get to do this 3 more times and it has been a huge learning experience. These forums have been so much help thru the whole process. Thanks again!!</p>

<p>I live in Ohio and my older one is already in college and I had no idea OU’s Honors Tutorial College existed. Hmmm…interesting. [off to see if there’s anything about it in the OU forum]</p>

<p>Edited to add: Of course there is, right on p[age one. Thanks for mentioning it!</p>