uw vs. ucb? please help me decide

<p>may 1st is looming near, and i need to decide on a college! so, i'm asking:
for a marine bio/environmental sciences major, which college is better---- the university of washington, or uc berkeley?</p>

<p>some things about me:</p>

<p>i am from the bay area in california, and as much as i like the sun, i do not at all mind the rain. the weather in washington wouldn't bother me, and neither would the distance. in fact, i am rather excited about the prospect of living in another state. </p>

<p>i have visited both campuses, and love them both. i LOVE seattle--- how it's by the water and seems to have a lot going on. although academics are important to me, it is also important that there are things to do off campus to relieve the stress... i'm digging the whole music scene they have there. berkeley is also nice. its campus is pretty, and i like the whole line of cafes across the street. other than that, however, i'm not sure there's that much to do besides making trips to sf. </p>

<p>some questions i have:</p>

<p>how is uw's bio program? i have searched the net, but have not found anything to indicate how challenging it is. how does it compare to ucb's bio program? </p>

<p>thanks for any advice!</p>

<p>berkeley just because you live in California and is much cheaper than Washington and from my knowledge, UCBs environmental sciences rock.</p>

<p>Hey, I was in exactly the same situation, grew up in the Bay area, so had to decide UCs or out of state... I chose UW and overall loved it! Even though as it ends up I'm planning to move back to the Bay Area when i graduate this June, the experience of getting away was really great. Seattle is nice because it is fairly similar to the Bay Area so not a total culture shock and, as you mentioned, the music scene is like no other! Plus, the weather is not nearly as bad as people make it seem....
As far as the bio program, I honestly don't know how it compares to the UCB program...However, if your leanings are towards environmental science from what I hear the UW programs are really good. Seattle is a very environemtalist/outdoorsy city so there is always lots going on in that field. Hope that helps a little bit. Good luck!</p>

<p>thanks for the input! actually, i was leaning towards uw but was worried about the financial cost. </p>

<p>since the tuition is much cheaper if you are a washington resident, how long do i have to wait before i can apply for residency? and, (to megs27) how hard is it to obtain a driver's license considering i have no car and would have to borrow someone else's?</p>

<p>I know it seems fun to go away to school, but you'd be crazy to not pick Berkeley. You could try to do summer internships away.</p>

<p>Yeah the residency thing is sort of an issue, but once you do establish residency tutition, as well as overall living expenses, it's a little cheaper (unless you were planning on living at home if you went to UCB). It took me until Fall quarter of my sophmore year to establish residency for tution purposes. Overall, it was pretty easy and once granted they never revoke it, unless you've been out of WA state for like 5 years or something. The only drawback is you technically can't come home for the first summer, because you have to show you've been living continously in Washington state for 12 consecutive months (think you are allowed to be gone up to three weeks at a time). As far as the driver license, if you have a CA license all you have to do is go down to the DMV and take a written test and they exchange your CA license for a WA one without having to take a road test.</p>

<p>Oh yeah, one more thing, try to do the driver's license thing and open a bank account ASAP, because they start counting your 12 months from the time those two records document your "intent to establish WA as your residence." Whatever you decide, good luck with everything!</p>

<p>We live in the bay area also. I have 2 kids that are just finishing at the UW. They truly loved everything about the Northwest--the people they met there, Seattle and all it offers-what a great city!, the beautiful campus, the IMA building, the intramural sports scene,the Ave, Husky stadium on autumn Saturdays, the music scene, and all of the outdoor opportunities. Both found the academics challenging and most teachers interesting, approachable and caring (acct. and comp. sci) Both graduated with great grades and lots of job offers. Personally, I think the school is a hidden gem (I am also an alum, so understand my bias!). However, my understanding is that Washington 's in-state residency policy has tightened up quite a bit within the last year, and finances certainly are a consideration. If you decide on Washington, definitely get a license, bank acct. and register to vote ASAP. Youngest D is presently deciding between these same schools (along with UVA and UNC) We find ourselves battling the UCB "prestige" issue, and know that the academics there are simply top notch. Is the environment a fit for you? We have personally seen how successful young adults can be when they are happy and in a school that is a good fit. My opinion (for what it's worth) is that Seattle is a great fit for many people.<br>
Good luck!!</p>