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UM or UI

wtr008wtr008 47 replies14 threads Junior Member
So I've been accepted to UM and the University of Illinois- Urbana/Champaign. I got into the engineering school for both of them and I'm considering studying mechanical or biomedical engineering. I've already visited UM and loved it, but I haven't seen UI yet. I will visit both in mid-March, but I was wondering what you guys thought. Is one better than the other? Or about the same? And would I like one alot more than the other? The tuition for both should be about the same or a little less for UM (I got a scholarship). If anyone who knows about both Universities could give me an unbiased comparison I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
edited February 2008
31 replies
Post edited by wtr008 on
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Replies to: UM or UI

  • j89j89 1091 replies12 threads Senior Member
    This decision's actually really difficult, if you're going to apply OOS for both of them. Engineering wise UIUC is slightly better, although the overall academics at UM is slightly better than UIUC. So academics (i would say) are at the same level. as for financial rates, I'm pretty sure UIUC and UM would offer similar tuition fees.. so financially they're almost the same. Sports... are also the same, although UM is (i think) more school-spirited. So in the end, I would say that it all depends on which campus you enjoy. Check out the dorms, people, classes, clubs/activities, etc, and see which one matches you better. But, hard choice anyways.
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  • MightyNickMightyNick 2062 replies34 threads Senior Member
    UM is better than UI overall. For engineering, both are equal. Go to whichever is cheaper.
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  • SachmoneySachmoney 1240 replies14 threads Senior Member
    UM has a BME program, UIUC does not. UM has a better ranked MechE program but it's 4 and 5...so what's the big difference. They're pretty evenly matched in engineering in my opinion. UIUC is probably slightly better overall. You can't go wrong either way. I would go to the school that was cheaper/offered a better undergraduate experience.
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  • vc08vc08 3188 replies152 threads Senior Member
    on the west coast, and probably world-wide, Michigan definitely has a more notable academic rep. Both are good schools, but in the end, unless you find a significant difference in the campus tastes, etc., i'd go UMich
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24280 replies434 threads Senior Member
    CAMPUS: Both universities have relatively nice campuses. Michigan's is less uniform but more impressive looking. Michigan's campus is also more lively. Edge Michigan.

    TOWN: Ann Arbor is a quaint, lively, intellectual, relatively wealthy college town with its fair share of fortune 500 companies and a thriving high tech/biotech industry. Urbana-Champaign are small, rural and traditionally farming communities. However, in recent years, there has been am emerging high tech industry. Again, the edge goes to Ann Arbor.

    LOCATION: Ann Arbor is 20 miles away from an international airport and 40 miles away from Downtown Detroit. Although the city of Detroit isn't much to look at, it offers the amenities that come with any major metropolotan area. The closest international airport or metropolitan area to Urbana-Champaign is Chicago, with si roughly 150 miles away. Edge goes to Michigan.

    ENGINEERING: In terms of overall Engineering rankings, Illinois is ranked anywhere from #4 and #6 in the nation. Michigan is ranked anywhere from #4 and #8 in the nation. For Mechanical Engineering, Michigan is generally ranked anywhere from #2 and #5 in the nation and Illinois is ranked anywhere from #3 and #5 in the nation. For Biomedical Engineering, Michigan is usually ranked between #8 and #10 in the nation and Illinois is not ranked among the top 20. For Engineering, Michigan and UIUC are roughly the same, but I don't think UIUC has a Biomedical Engineering program.

    OVERALL ACADEMICS: In the Sciences, particularly Chemistry and Physics, the slight edge goes to UIUC. In Engineering, Michigan and UIUC are even. In the Humanities, Social Sciences and Business, the edge goes to Michigan. Overall, Michigan is more well-rounded. Edge Michigan.

    RESCOURCES: UIUC has the third largest university-owned and operated library in the World. Michigan has the 7th largest university-owned and operated library in the World. Both universities have world-class, state-of-the-arts labs and facilities. Michigan's endowment stands at $7 billion (tied with Columbia) as the 6th wealthiest university in the US. UIUC has an endowment of $2 billion. Both schools have huge budgets ($1.5 billion/year).

    PROFESSIONAL/GRADUATE SCHOOL PLACEMENT: Engineers at both universities are heavily recruited by all sorts of tech/manufacturing companies. However, when it comes to recruitment by exclusive firms, such as the elite Aerospace, Investment Banking, Consulting firms, Michigan tends to be more heavily recruited. A degree from both universities will be highly respected by adcoms accross the academic world, but somehow, Michigan places a significantly higher portion of its students into top graduate schools. Edge Michigan, but in the case of Engineering firms and Engineering graduate programs, both schools do equally well.

    INTELLECTUAL ENVIRONMENT/ACADEMIC INTENSITY/ARTISTIC OFFERINGS: Michigan has top ranked Art, Music and Dance programs, attracting some of the most talented students in those disciplines. Furthermore, Ann Arbor (and Detroit) attract some of the finest artists and musicians from around the World to perform on or near the campus. Michigan's Hill Auditorium is one of the most acoustically perfect music halls in the country and is booked years in advance to host some of the most gifted musicians in the World. The Michigan Museum of Art, which is currently undergoing major construction work to double its size, is home to some incredible and internationally recognized works of art and exhibits. The campus's academic and intellectual energy is truly astounding and permeates every aspect of campus and city life. Furthermore, Ann Arbor's proximity to Detroit provides students with several world-class institutions, exhibitions, sporting/artisitic and musical events. UIUC has similar properties, but not in the same scale. Edge Michigan.

    SPORTS/SCHOOL SPIRIT: Historically, Michigan's Football and Hockey programs are unbeatable. Fans of the sports programs are ridiculously spirited. UIUC has a fine Football and Basketball history, but not to the same extent as Michigan. Edge Michigan.

    ALUMNI: UIUC can claim Hugh Hefner. Edge, UIUC! Seriously, both schools have huge and successful alumni bases. UIUC can claim Jack Welch (ex GE CEO and arguably the most effetive CEO ever). Michigan has its share of notable alums, including Google founder Larry Page and US President Gerald Ford. Michigan's top ranked MBA, Medical and Law programs provide the university with a very large and very wealthy alumni base. Alums from both universities are as loyal as they come, but Michigan alumni base is more spreadout, more diverse accross professional, ethnic, social, economic and geographic lines. For that reason, I give the edge to Michigan.

    In short, UIUC is a fine university, but Michigan edges it out in most respects.
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  • SachmoneySachmoney 1240 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I was going to add from reading Alexandre's post. If you go to college and decide that engineering isn't for you, Michigan offers more to fall back on. Michigan is so well rounded where you wouldn't have to transfer.
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  • vc08vc08 3188 replies152 threads Senior Member
    Wow Alexander, that was very informative! Thanks, I'm not even considering UIUC, but I found that very helpful ;)
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  • A2Wolves6A2Wolves6 4039 replies193 threads Senior Member
    Michigan's tuition = 31,301
    Illinois' tuition = 11,130
    Difference = 20,171

    Michigan, in the long run, will end up costing 80,000 more than Illinois.

    It would be idiotic to pay 80,000 more for what is essentially seen as the same engineering degree.
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  • bennisbennis 317 replies34 threads Member
    Yeah, if cost is an issue, I would go with UI
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  • dsmodsmo 1699 replies50 threads Senior Member
    Go to whichever is the best value financially (cheapest.)
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24280 replies434 threads Senior Member
    A2Wolves, compare apples to apples. You listed in-state tuition for Illinois and out-of-state tuition for Michigan. For out of staters, Illinois costs $25,000 to Michigan's $30,000. Michigan simply isn't that much more expensive than Illinois. And the OP clearly stated in the opening post:

    ..."The tuition for both should be about the same or a little less for UM (I got a scholarship)..."

    Now I agree that spending $80,000 more on a university degree (even a Harvard or MIT degree) when the alternative is a school of UIUC's calibre is definitely "idiotic". However, in this case, Michigan and Illinois will cost the OP roughly the same.
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  • vc08vc08 3188 replies152 threads Senior Member
    yeah, A2 wolves' post was really deceiving...
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  • bennisbennis 317 replies34 threads Member
    haha, I didn't even read that. Since cost isn't an issue disregard my previous post. =)
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  • muzicgirl89muzicgirl89 385 replies37 threads Member
    hmm, well I'm in Illinois so it certainly puts things in perspective for me, lol. I'm dearly hoping that some of my demonstrated need will be met by out of state schools like Michigan or Wisconsin though. My EFC is about 18,000 for federal methology and 13,000 for institutional according to calculations, and I'm hoping that doesn't all translate into loans.
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  • wtr008wtr008 47 replies14 threads Junior Member
    well thank you all for telling me all of this. ill probably go with UM because it has a biomed. engineering program and ill have more to fall back on if things dont work out. overall though, its a hard choice. im still visiting both in march.
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  • A2Wolves6A2Wolves6 4039 replies193 threads Senior Member
    If tuition is the same, go to Michigan. Ann Arbor is a much better place than Champaign.
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  • infiniteabyssinfiniteabyss 119 replies30 threads Junior Member
    I have a similar situation...instate @ UofI (honors program) vs OOS Michigan(no special program or anything).

    I still think Michigan has more prestige, plus I don't want to see a bunch of kids I knew back in high school all the time...

    Ann Arbor > Champaign-Urbana (cornfields!? LOL)
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  • barronsbarrons 23083 replies1956 threads Senior Member
    I don't think anyone can argue with that. But in engineering only UI might have a bit better overall reputation worldwide. Lots of internationals flock there.
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24280 replies434 threads Senior Member
    Barrons, I am not sure I agree. Both schools have huge international populations. Michigan has 4,500 international students and Illinois has roughly 4,900 international students. Clearly, there are two things that determine a university's international reputation:

    1) The overall quality of the university, where Michigan has an edge over Illinois.

    2) The quality of a university's Business and Engineering programs. In Engineering, Michigan and Illinois are roughly equal but in Business, Michigan is better than Illinois.

    Here's a breakdown of their international student populations (according to the USNWR):

    Michigan: 5% (1,400) of Michigan's 26,000 undergrads are international.
    Illinois: 5% (1,600) of Illijnois 32,000 undergrads are international.

    -Michigan full time graduate Engineers: 52% (1,143) of 2,198 are international.
    -Illinois full time graduate Engineers: 47% (1,130) of 2,405 are international.
    -Michigan part time graduate Engineers: 42% (106) of 252 are international.
    -Illinois part time graduate Engineers: 37% (25) of 67 are international.
    -Michigan total international graduate Engineering students: 1,249
    -Illinois total international graduate Engineering students: 1,155

    MBA programs:
    -Michigan full time MBA students: 35% (290) of 838 are international.
    -Illinois full time MBA students: 56% (114) of 203 are international.
    -Michigan part time MBA students: 16% (120) of 753 are international.
    -Illinois part time MBA students: 11% (4) of 38 are international.
    Michigan total international MBA students: 410
    Illinois total international MBA students: 118

    TOTAL MBA & Engineering (graduate)
    Michigan: 1,659
    Illinois: 1,273

    I would say that internationally, Michigan has a greater overall reputation than Illinois. In Engineering circles, I would say Michigan and Illinois are equally regarded.
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  • -Lurker--Lurker- 1356 replies64 threads Senior Member
    This post only confirms why I applied to both UIUC and UMICH - they are very, very similar! Since tuition cost is almost exactly the same, I would go with UMICH.

    1. Both are neck and neck in engineering programs, so either would be great.
    2. UMICH has a great liberal arts education that you can fall back on and business majors are recruited heavily.

    Alexandre stated the facts and summed everything up perfectly, but UMICH has the edge, and not by a large margin. I would wait and visit UIUC before you make any commitments because happiness should play a huge factor in your decision, especially if you are choosing between two very similar schools at a very similar cost.
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