UW (Foster) vs Santa Clara (Leavey) Undergrad Business

My kiddo got direct admit to both schools, Foster and Leavey. In the current Covid conditions, we are unable to visit and meet students and faculty to make a decision. So, wanted to get community thoughts.

Which school is better? Please note that in our case, the 4 year total cost (includes room and board) to attend SCU versus UW will end up being 70K versus 120K respectively. So, the difference in cost will not be the reason for choosing one over the other.

My daughter is also accepted to both Leavey and Foster. She visited both schools before applying. She thought UW is too big, crowded and too familiar (we live in Seattle). That’s why she started looking at different schools. She thought SCU was beautiful and peaceful. She liked the new dining hall. The dorms were really nice. She liked the area around school. They emphasized the connection to Silicon Valley during the information session. Although SCU has been one of her top choices, she is deciding against choosing SCU because of the distance from home. Both schools have great internship opportunities and job placements in the area so it may come down to where you want to live after graduation. (It doesn’t mean you cannot get a great job elsewhere though.)

It all depends on what kind of college experience your kid is looking for. Do they want to be at a large school (>30K) or a smaller school (<10K)? How far from home do they want to be? And to a lesser extent, where do they want to work and live after graduating? Both colleges are great names on the West Coast so they will be fine with either, but it’s still something to think about.

Thank you both for your responses. Here are some of the things I was researching and pondering over

  1. College ranking - Leavey was ranked in top 20 a few years ago and Foster was lower ranked. Over the past few years, I have seen the ranking for Leavey drop and Foster rise and now they have flipped positions. Also, from P&Q, I was focusing on educational experience segment and Leavey is ranked 50 and Foster is 29.
  2. Educational experience - P&Q description of the two programs makes me believe Leavey is more focused on getting tech jobs in the valley, experiential learning. Foster seemed to be in the middle, with students touting signature experience (not sure what that is). As you rightly said, both have great internship opps (being valley and cloud hubs respectively).
  3. Undergrad focus - Foster has a strong MBA program and its a Research school, so I was unsure how much focus or time is available for Professors with undergrad students, and then the class size. Leavey on the other hand might have Professors investing more time with Undergrad students, this is an assumption on my part, anyone have more info on this?
  4. Size and learning experience - As you pointed out, smaller class size definitely will help have better connections with Professors and deeper relationships. This is amplified if the Professors are great teachers and mentors. I would love to hear if anyone from their Leavey experience have something to add to this.
  5. Weather & environment- People are going to be a lot more upbeat and cheerful in a sunny location, so that is a big plus for Leavey, Foster has been investing in new dorms and buildings and they are supposedly extremely good. Leavey also I hear has nice modern infrastructure and nice dorms.

Any further inputs is much appreciated!

If I understand correctly, total 4 year COA for Santa Clara will be $70,000 versus $120,000 for UW-Foster.

Undergraduate business school is largely about internships and recruiting. If your son or daughter is comfortable with the internship placements at Santa Clara University, then–despite being lower ranked–it is a great option.

How easy is it to take classes of interest outside of one’s major at each school ?

Does either school offer a special program or minor which appeals to your son or daughter ?

No wrong choice between the two as both are located in hot job markets & both are respected in their respective markets.

Thank you!

Yes, because of grants, cost of education at Leavey (SCU) will be lower than Foster (UW).

I will explore your question about the ease of taking other classes, good point.

Programs in both school offer sufficient major and minor options of interest. However, I do hear at times it can be hard to get into your major interest due to the size in Foster, and pre-req Biz courses performance will drive that decision.

Also, while educational experience and learning followed by job opportunities is what I have been focused on. The other aspect is life experience of living away from family and developing independently. Since we are from WA, going to Leavey will be a bigger change and maybe a good thing, especially since it is not costing more, infact is less due to the support from School.

One other important data point: My kiddo got into the SCU University Honors program. So, the educational experience might be richer, getting priority registration, possibly translates to better Professors for these classes (I am assuming it will be). I see Leavey Scholars and their comments and each student calls out 3 things: (1) Surrounded by students who are equally motivated and driven (2) Deeper dive into the course with strong Professors (3) Stands out when discussed during interviews for Internships and Jobs.

This is tipping my inclination towards SCU as this might give a better rounded and stronger graduate.

Anyone with Honors program experience can help translate how much of above thinking translates to reality.

Thanks again everyone!

Kiddo also got into USC Marshall and will most likely end up going there. Thanks everyone!