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Cornell vs. UNC

kollegekids_mumkollegekids_mum Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
OK...I realize this is a UNC thread, but my daughter needs to decide between these two schools. UNC being less expensive and NO student loans for my daughter. Cornell would be $10K in loans for year one and prob. that much each year after. Parent cost would be a bit less and UNC, but with travel expenses from where we live, it would be about the same.

She needs advice, this is a tough choice. We are from New England and an Ivy education sounds great, but she (and I) love the NC area.

ideas, thoughts, opinions would all be greatly appreciated! THanks!
Post edited by kollegekids_mum on

Replies to: Cornell vs. UNC

  • confusedmanconfusedman . Posts: 35 Junior Member
    wow 10k! my parents pay 40k a year. go to cornell. its such a better school. + a work study job helps
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,404 Senior Member
    What degree program or programs is she likely to pursue?

    And remember "Ivy" is just an athletic conference, and ACC is a *much* better one in most sports :-D
  • eadadeadad Registered User Posts: 2,759 Senior Member
    Let me preface this by saying that we have three friends with children at Cornell while our son is at UNC.

    Cornell is a great school and in certain disciplines an outstanding school. While it is an Ivy, it is considered by many to be one of the "lesser" Ivies in terms of prestige, certainly not on a par with HYP. This isn't my opinion, just one voiced many times on CC. In fact you often see OOS students accepted at Cornell and rejected by UNC.

    It is known as the one Ivy with zero grade inflation and many students are shocked when they see grades they've never seen in their lives the first semester. As a result of this the competition can be pretty intense especially in the hard sciences.

    Educationally in most disciplines you will see very little if any difference between the two. My son's Advanced calculus class at UNC had 55 students, taught by a tenured professor who spoke English. His best friend from HS who is at Penn (very similar to Cornell) in the same class was one of 300 plus, taught by a TA who spoke very challenged English.

    The other questions to address should be about undergraduate college experience, Ithaca vs Chapel Hill, cold weather vs more moderate climate etc.

    From a grad and professional school point of view, unless she is in one of the few areas that Cornell is known for like Hotel/Restaurant management, I would think it is a draw. What does she want to major in?
  • kollegekids_mumkollegekids_mum Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thanks EADAD!

    My daughter WAS going to be a biomedical engineer major with plans to go on to law school (patent law, most likely). She was admitted into the Engineering school. After 4 years with this plan, she is now thinking she doesn't want to major in engineering! (as her mother, I have cautioned her...gently...that that may be too narrow a field for her undergrad degree and she was SURE that engineering was for her). As I predicted, and you all too, now she's not sure.

    She DEF. wants to go on for a Master's or such, perhaps med school, but most likely law school. What it comes down to is that she isn't sure exactly what she wants to do. She thinks the 'fit' is better at UNC (I do, too) but I will admit...and she does too, that she's stuck on passing up the concept of 'ivy.' She went to private, all girl HS.

    Cornell's zero grade inflation...I have heard of it but really don't know much about it.

    I think ZERO loans with a degree from UNC (HIGHLY respectable) is good for her knowing she wants to go on for more degrees. I know, I have 3 and it got very expensive!

    Three guidance counselors at her school separately suggested UNC, that they don't know ANYONE from Massachusetts who got in, plus with such a great FA package, grant for laptop, NO loans, climate she loves... they think she's crazy not to go to UNC.

    She LOVES to sail and races competetively, anyone know if there is a sailing club/team? We couldn't locate info. on this. That would be a selling feature, but not being too familiar with the area, don't know where they'd sail.

    She loved Duke too, but was her only rejection. WAitlisted at Harvard, but hasn't heard. She loves the idea of the warmer climate and a much more friendly campus. I just can't believe it is April 28th and she hasn't decided!

    ANY suggestions/advice is very, very much appreciated!
  • JMAN1211JMAN1211 Registered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    There is a sailing club team:

    http://www.unc.edu/sportclubs/
  • hmkbhmkb Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    I would say definitely UNC. Although it is not as prestigious as Cornell and does not have the Ivy tag, it's still a very reputable school. Also, the fact that the favorable climate, the lack of loans, and the flexibility of major are provided by UNC, I think your daughter should definitely go to UNC unless she really does like Cornell/Ithaca.

    I had to make the tough decision of deciding between NYU and UC Davis. Obviously, NYU is more prestigious but I chose UC Davis anyways due to other more important factors (happiness, weather, friendliness of campus). If your daughter can't see herself in Cornell and does not feel that she would be happy there, then UNC is probably the better choice. Both are extremely renowned schools and she really can't go wrong in what school to choose in terms of education. Good luck! :)
  • kollegekids_mumkollegekids_mum Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thanks for the advice!
  • upstater05upstater05 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    Just to reiterate what others have already said:

    It seems like UNC would be the best fit for her, given your post above. I, too, applied to both UNC and Cornell. I got into UNC, rejected at Cornell. UNC and Ivy admissions really are a crap shoot. That being said, I have friends that didn't get in to UNC that have matriculated at Cornell.

    The schools are pretty comparable in size. Athletics are much more of a passion at UNC, although I hear that the Cornell ice hockey games are pretty intense.

    You stated that she really liked Duke. In terms of atmosphere, I would say that is probably more like Cornell than UNC. However, from what I can gather, UNC is more laidback than either of the other two.

    She applied to some very fine schools. I too am from the Northeast (NY) and I absolutely love the climate as well as the people here. Carolina offers, in my opinion, the quintissential collegiate experience. I hope she chooses to become a tar heel. :)
  • mommaslilinjunmommaslilinjun Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    depends waht you want... one of my best friends is at Cornell and absolutely loves it, but keep in mind cornell is a high-stress environment where you have to work really really hard then come thursday night drink yourself into oblivion. nothing wrong with that, but unc is more laid back as a whole. you still have to work hard, true, but theres a sort of southern mentality, its laid back, you have more all-round kids, you dont have as many people living in the library, etc. and its still a really fun school to go to. teaching quality is about the same at both places, its just a difference in mentality. cornell is work really really hard play really really hard, unc is sort of chilled out in the south have fun and do well too but not take everything so seriously. and the weather at cornell sucks.
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,404 Senior Member
    UNC's connection to their fantastic hospital is going to make for one heckuva BME program; the person coordinating such things is an accomplished teacher and researcher. And if your D really liked Duke, she can always take a class or more there if UNC doesn't offer it via the interinstitutional agreement!
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