UW vs. Gonzaga vs. SeattleU

Hi! I’m currently a high school senior from Hawaii. I’ve finally heard back from all 11 of the colleges that I applied to and these are my options:

-University of Washington
-Gonzaga University
-Seattle University
-Pacific Lutheran University
-University of Portland
-University of Oregon
-Sonoma State University
-San Diego State University
-Santa Clara University
-Hawaii Pacific University
-UH Manoa

I’m planning to major in psychology and eventually go onto grad school to either become a genetic counselor or industrial organizational psychologist (I know these fields are completely different but I’m hoping to explore my interests within the field of psychology a bit more during college to get a better idea of what I want to do). I’ve narrowed down my list to University of Washington, Gonzaga University, Seattle University, and UH Manoa.

  1. UW: this has been my dream school since I was a little girl and I feel like I’d really get that “classic college experience”. From what I’ve read it sounds like they have a strong psych program and there’s a wide range of majors and minors. It’s location would also provide me a lot of opportunities to shadow or intern. The negatives are it’s very expensive bc I’m OOS and psychology is capacity constrained so I’d still need to apply to my major once I complete the necessary classes.
  2. Gonzaga: I really loved the school when I toured, and I liked the idea of attending a smaller school bc I feel like I’d have more guidance when applying to grad schools. It seemed like a very welcoming school and for a private Jesuit college they have a lot of school spirit (probably bc of their basketball team). They gave me a decent amount of money so it’s a lot cheaper than UW but my only concern is the location and lack of diversity. I don’t know a whole lot about Spokane and I’ve only been in the area for a few hours when I toured the campus.
  3. Seattle University: I like the location a lot and I feel like bc it’s a Jesuit School their values about leadership and service connect a lot with my own (similar to Gonzaga). The only thing is that when I visited campus something just didn’t feel right but I think I’d eventually grow to like it.
  4. UH Manoa: It’s just basically my state school and the cheapest option so I’m still considering it especially because I plan on going to grad school.

I’ve been doing a lot of research and trying to compare all their different psychology programs, but I’m having a difficult time making a final decision. Please let me know if you have any advice or feedback on these schools! It doesn’t have to be in my top 4, it could be any of the schools I named because maybe there’s a big factor I didn’t consider about one of the other schools. Would one school better prepare me for grad school/have a way better undergrad psychology program, or could you tell me about the student body/environment of each school?? Thank you so much for any feedback!!

Congratulations! You have great college options. I cannot speak of psychology major or a pathway each school provides for grad school but here are some thoughts.

My son is sophomore at SU. He is a bio major and chose SU over UW because smaller class size appealed him. SU is not a party school nor very sporty but they have many clubs you can participate in and make friends.

I don’t know how competitive to get in psychology at UW and it’s up to a student how to deal with the stress but if it costs a lot more to attend UW, a private school (with direct admission to your major) may give you better overall college experience.

If you love Gonzaga and it is affordable for your family, it may be the one. Gut feeling is important.

How big is the price difference between the colleges, and have you talked to your parents very recently (considering recent events) about what their financial situation can afford for your college?

Also, travel may be more difficult now than it historically has been.

It would certainly be easier to travel to & from Seattle then it would be to Spokane.

OP: Why did you rule out the other schools such as Oregon, Santa Clara & San Diego State ?

FWIW I do feel that Gonzaga might be a good school for you, but the location is not great based on your assessment & difficulty of travel.

@Publisher There are many inexpensive flights between Seattle and Spokane. Alaska Airlines has flights practically every hour.

@knxbe808 I am curious about your thoughts about PLU. Did you visit the campus?

@dadof2d Yes, I actually visited PLU last year and the campus was really nice. They give really good financial aid and scholarships also but the school was way too small for me personally. I believe their total undergrad enrollment was smaller than the amount of students that go to my high school.

@ucbalumnus yes, my parents and I have been talking a lot lately about financing my college education and as of right now our finances have not changed (they both classify as essential workers in my state)

@Publisher At the beginning of senior year I didn’t really know exactly which state I wanted to end up in so I applied to schools in Oregon, Washington, and California.

  1. University of Oregon: I ended up applying because I liked the school when I toured it and I read something online about their psychology program. However, even after their merit scholarship I felt like it was too expensive for a public institution (I know UW is in the same boat but I haven't crossed off UW yet just because its been my dream school since I was little)
  2. Santa Clara: I loved its jesuit identity and the atmosphere was so friendly when I toured. This school was actually in my top three when I applied but once I got my financial aid package I ruled it out (even after aid it was $60K+ a year)
  3. SDSU: I don't really have a good reason for ruling out SDSU but my parents weren't very fond of the idea. They believe it isn't worth the price especially if there is UCSD nearby

I agree that “fit” and “feel” are valid. I would not pay an extensive amount more for UW ash without the guarantee you would be able to continue taking courses in the major of your interest. I’m a fan of Jesuit undergrad education and I think Gonzaga could be a good fit for you. (southwest may have some flights from home to spokane now so look into that).