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UMD Banneker-Key Full Scholarship vs UVa/Dartmouth

justpeachy1justpeachy1 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
I am trying to decide between the Banneker Key Scholarship, plus the MD Distinguished Scholarship, or UVa or Dartmouth. At Dartmouth (still on wait list, but talking to coach about getting admission slot as a full recruited athlete), I would be paying $52, 000 a year. UVa is $46,000 a year. My family does not qualify for any financial aid but we still can't afford to pay full price without taking out student loans. Is that much student debt worth the education and experience at either of those schools?

Dartmouth is my dream school and I grew up on UVa's campus (uncle is a prof there). I love Dartmouth and UVa both for different reasons, but is their price worth it? I know they are both excellent in academics and especially the field I want to study. I would like to major in international relations and minor in Italian, if that helps. Maryland also has an Individual Studies program that I could take advantage of to study abroad in a lot of places. It also has many internship opportunities, and I know it has a good reputation.

Is Maryland's education and experience a good deal? I am unsure if I would be a good fit for the school, because it is very large. I don't want the mistake of going somewhere where I could be unhappy. Could current Banneker-Key students tell me what their experiences have been? Are there many opportunities for Banneker-Key scholars?

I really appreciate everyone's help! I would love any input people have.
Post edited by justpeachy1 on

Replies to: UMD Banneker-Key Full Scholarship vs UVa/Dartmouth

  • guesswho17guesswho17 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I am not a Banneker-Key Scholar, but I think I might offer some insight into UMD. Firstly, I've known a couple of Banneker-Key Scholars who just graduated, and their accomplishments at the time of graduation have been seriously impressive. Other than that, I don't know much about the program.
    About your majors: Independent Study: another friend did this and the impression I got is that it does give you a lot of choice and options in how your academic experience will turn out. This particular friend did an exchange program in Spain for a whole year (or maybe even year and a half). She absolutely loved it.
    Which brings me to the point to be made about UMD Study Abroad: I don't know what they're doing, but they must be doing it extremely well, because every single person I've met who has done has loved the experience. Definitely go for it if you end up here, especially since you'll have those funds saved up.
    You didn't say that you might major in Government and Politics, but if you so choose: I've had some experience with them, the faculty seem great, but I've heard bad things about the advising and the department. Italian: School of Languages is strong. I would definitely recommend the Language House, which is a Living and Learning Program for students studying languages. It truly makes the campus smaller and you will feel as part of a community - for the very least, with your apartment.
    I understand your worry about the size of the school (though your other choice UVA is also very large). It can be a problem or a blessing. Yes, you will not immediately find your niche and might feel unpleasantly alone, but eventually things will fall into place. And when they do, you will notice that you have come to love and appreciate your community.
    Money and practical matters such as grad school admissions matter very much, but you also have to feel right emotionally when you start college next year. So do go where your heart lies, but only after doing some serious research :).
  • astrophysicsmomastrophysicsmom Registered User Posts: 4,326 Senior Member
    "Is Maryland's education and experience a good deal? I am unsure if I would be a good fit for the school, because it is very large."

    Maryland offers an excellent education and lots of opportunities for those who wish to take advantage of them. I can't remotely imagine that Dartmouth could be worth that much more money, and ditto about UVa. With the proximity to DC, the embassies, etc., there are huge opportunities for an international relations major. I'd say this to an in-state student paying full tuition at UMD; In my mind, there's no question for a full B/K scholar.

    We are (were) a 2-Terp family. D1 (partial B/K) just graduated from UMD with double degrees in Astronomy and Physics, and a minor in German. She'll be beginning a Ph.D. program in Astronomy at Harvard in the fall.

    D2 is a junior working toward double degrees in Environmental Policy and Spanish. D1 lived in the Language House from sophomore-senior years; D2 will be there at least for sophomore-junior years. If she chooses to stay as involved as she has been there, she most likely will live their her senior year, as well. Both would heartily recommend it.

    Although they would have loved it, neither of my Ds chose to study abroad, due to their desire to earn double degrees within the 4-yr timeframe. (both had lots of AP credits coming in). With a single major, and I assume you have a lot of AP credit as well, you will certainly be able to plan to study abroad (most likely Sophomore or Junior year). I've heard nothing but great things about the options and experiences available to you.

    I hope this helps...
  • cwocwocwocwo Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Old Dartmouth grad here (class of 84). Now have 2 sons at UMCP (one was accepted to Dartmouth, one wait listed). I feel UMCP was a better choice, although it took me a while to see it. UM has so many opportunities and the prices is right (even for non-BK kids).

    The great education of my life occurred in a public medical school and then the Navy.
This discussion has been closed.