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UTD vs A&M

flushtflusht Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I'm in kind of a dilemma and I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but...
Should I go for a full ride at UTD (the National merit scholarship here: Office of Undergraduate Education - The University of Texas at Dallas) with a "$5000 stipend" equating to about 70K, or a sort-of full ride with less perks at Texas A&M (48K guaranteed plus up to 20K in additional scholarships I can apply for)?
I looked up the respective costs of each college and UTD ends up to be about 10k while A&M is about 8.3K. Which leaves me confused - what does the extra ~15K from the guaranteed money from A&M go towards? Do I only keep what I spend on academic things or do I get to keep the 15K to spend on whatever? Which brings me to the question, what does the 5K stipend mean from UTD? Are there any restrictions on that money?

I don't really have too strong preferences on the qualities of each college, except I think smaller class sizes = better and more professors teaching = better. A city with good nightlife is always a good thing too.
Any advice?
Post edited by flusht on
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Replies to: UTD vs A&M

  • nee92nee92 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    I'm not sure about the answer to your question about aid and scholarships, but I'm in the same situation as you. I got close to a full ride at UTD and will definitely get some scholarship from TAMU. If you're from Texas, I think you should visit both of those colleges before making your decision. Both UTD and TAMU are excellent schools. If you want smaller class sizes, then UTD will be better. Dallas will most likely have better nightlife than College Station.

    I would really love to chat with future UTD or TAMU students, so PM me !! Whats your major at UTD and TAMU?
  • kbfunkymonkeykbfunkymonkey Registered User Posts: 366 Member
    UTD is in Richardson so I wouldn't count the "nightlife" anything more than average. Yea, its close to Dallas but you really are not getting the "college experience" at UTD.

    College Station is a college town and would be a great "college experience." College students everywhere, athletic events to attend, and lots of pride.

    Overall, if you don't care about the "college experience"....go to UTD. Its a good school and close to many businesses so its pretty easy to get an internship/job/etc.
  • RollingRolling Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    That's not quite the case, kbfunkymonkey.

    While College Station is a college town and A&M is a large university, I wouldn't call the college experience there "great." A&M has a lot of sheltered kids, small town kids, people who want to get engaged before they hit 21, etc. The lifestyle there leans a bit too conservative to be a great college experience (meaning tons of booze, loose girls, good memories, etc.) Not everyone there is like that of course, all my friends weren't, but a lot of my friends said the same things about A&M as I just did. I had one friend in particular who went to either Dallas or Austin every weekend.

    I also had another friend who went to A&M before he transferred to Tech and he told me he left because to him it seemed like every girl he'd meet on campus had long-term boyfriends. I did the opposite, I transferred from Tech to A&M, and I know exactly what he meant.

    A&M is a good school academically but if you're expecting a college scene like Tech or even "Animal House," you won't find it there. I had some really damn good friends at A&M and some fun times but overall A&M just felt too family-centric for me. It's like watching a PG or PG-13 movie when you're expecting a NC-17 film.

    I have a relative from Dallas at UTD and he enjoys it. I know that there is no way he would enjoy A&M, being used to the culture and amenities of Dallas. The cool thing about UTD is that it's getting more respected, there's PLENTY to do in Dallas, and there's several other universities up there so you don't feel like an outcast by being a college student in Dallas.

    If I had to do it all over again I would have at least looked into UTD.
    Which leaves me confused - what does the extra ~15K from the guaranteed money from A&M go towards? Do I only keep what I spend on academic things or do I get to keep the 15K to spend on whatever?

    It should be sent to your bank account.
  • kbfunkymonkeykbfunkymonkey Registered User Posts: 366 Member
    I actually go to Tech and not A&M but I would agree on some of your points. Texas A&M is def. not Texas Tech in terms of overall "college experience" but I still think you get that more at A&M than UTD (not everyone is looking for that of course, but some are).

    A&M has big name football/basketball programs so thats one thing that stands out over UTD. I hear tailgating is pretty nice before football games. You also have your greek life at A&M that stands out big time when compared to UTD (again, not every one is interested but its there). Also, I hear they have some pretty cool bars in College Station. I really prefer "college towns" because when you go to a local club/bar/whatever you know that a large majority of the ppl there go to college with you...so its easy to meet people.

    Dallas (richardson in this case) is just so big. Its a commuter school so its just harder to meet people. Its nice that Dallas has so many things to do but its not the "college experience"...

    In the end, its really depends on what you are looking for. Personally, (as a Tech student) I hate A&M with a passion but I could see why someone would go there over UTD. On the other hand, UTD is improving to move away from the "commuter school" image and its a really good school and there are lots of opportunities if you don't just sit in your dorm room all day and play video games.
  • VyseVyse Registered User Posts: 1,875 Senior Member
    I go to A&M. There are a lot of Christians and Republicans, but very few evangelical Christians that wont drink or have sex. Its not like we're BYU or something. I went to a Christian high school, and didnt drink, but that changed when I got to A&M. We're not as big of a party school on the whole as Tech, but if thats your thing, just rush and you'll find kindred spirits in college station.
  • RollingRolling Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    I actually go to Tech and not A&M but I would agree on some of your points. Texas A&M is def. not Texas Tech in terms of overall "college experience" but I still think you get that more at A&M than UTD (not everyone is looking for that of course, but some are).

    It really depends how much of a "Dallas boy" you are. If I'm right with what I think you mean by "college experience", A&M probably has more of that than UTD but it's so country oriented that you might feel out-of-place if you're not exactly country. I'm not terribly familiar with the "college scene" at UTD but I think for someone who was raised in Dallas and used to Dallas, it will be a smoother transition than A&M. Plus honestly, for being such a big school, A&M is still oddly enough a good place to keep your friends from high school. Same thing with a commuter school like UTD.

    I have a friend who transferred to A&M from A&M Commerce of all places and he thought that A&M Commerce actually had a better college scene than A&M. He was an international student and kind of a city kid; he didn't really quite fit into A&M. I think A&M has a good college scene IF you can blend into the small town/country atmosphere.

    Personally, I had a lot of friends at A&M but by my senior year I was getting bored with it all. It was like I was preparing for a professional career in the Emerald City but was still stuck in Kansas, if you know what I mean.
    A&M has big name football/basketball programs so thats one thing that stands out over UTD.

    True but our football team has pretty much sucked since '98 and basketball isn't quite that big of a deal at A&M. Here it's pretty much football or off-season football. Oh, and football tickets here are expensive... you can get cheaper tickets to watch freakin' Florida football. All that said, going to A&M football games were a big advantage for me.
    You also have your greek life at A&M that stands out big time when compared to UTD (again, not every one is interested but its there).

    Greek life at A&M is pretty much a joke. For one thing, A&M is not a Greek school. Granted, the Greek scene is exploding ever since our ****ty administration bungled on-campus living but still, A&M doesn't really lend itself well to the Greek. Everyone on campus makes fun of the sorority girls mainly because most of them are total airheads. I don't have anything against sororities in general but at A&M, man, they attracted some real dumbasses. The ones who weren't complete airheads still had real generic personalities.

    One or two of the frats were okay. I had a buddy who was in a frat and they had the legit, "Animal House" thing going on. But the rest of them were just wannabes. I think it's kinda silly for them to run around in boat shoes without socks and North Face jackets pretending to have status when we're 100 miles out in a rural part of the state.

    I think the fact that A&M isn't really a Greek school and they're not a large percentage makes them act more exaggerated and pathetic. If you go up to a Greek school like TCU, you'll have more kids in frats and sororities who act more level-headed and indifferent about the whole thing.
    Also, I hear they have some pretty cool bars in College Station.

    They're good for the most part. Northgate is like a miniature Sixth Street. But there are also a TON of cool bars in DFW.
    I really prefer "college towns" because when you go to a local club/bar/whatever you know that a large majority of the ppl there go to college with you...so its easy to meet people.

    Comparing my experience at Tech with my experience at A&M, this is a bigger deal at Tech. The bars around Tech were better for walking up to people you didn't really know (especially girls) and striking up conversations with them. Again, the college scene difference.

    At A&M, this happens more if you're a Greek or a like organization mingling with a ton of other people associated with the organization you may not know. I usually just went to the bars to hang out and chill with friends so I guess in that sense I didn't really care whether anyone else there went to A&M or not.
    A lot of A&M students at the bar were like that too it seemed.
    Dallas (richardson in this case) is just so big. Its a commuter school so its just harder to meet people. Its nice that Dallas has so many things to do but its not the "college experience"... Personally, (as a Tech student) I hate A&M with a passion but I could see why someone would go there over UTD. On the other hand, UTD is improving to move away from the "commuter school" image and its a really good school and there are lots of opportunities if you don't just sit in your dorm room all day and play video games.

    But that's true with UTD versus just about any other non-commuter school in Texas, including Tech. The only reason I was pointing out that it might be worth looking into UTD over A&M is if the country atmosphere at A&M isn't right for the OP. Plus A&M has 50,000 students, so while it might be easier to meet people, you're still going to have to put in effort. The best group of friends I made at A&M were out of the third or fourth student organization I joined. The other organizations weren't worth a ****.
    I go to A&M. There are a lot of Christians and Republicans, but very few evangelical Christians that wont drink or have sex. Its not like we're BYU or something.

    Of course it's not like BYU, sorry if I made it sound that way. The town around BYU shuts down at like 6PM and I doubt they have any bars at all. But compared to Tech, A&M is much more conservative and the college scene isn't nearly as wild. Plus I've never met so many kids in serious relationships before I came to A&M. I knew a few of them getting engaged at 20 or 21. Definitely not the case while at Tech.
  • aGGieENGiNeeRaGGieENGiNeeR Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    I have multiple friends at UTD who told me to go anywhere but there. They have a 4.0 and skip class because everything is so much easier there. Let's face it: UTD is not known for any campus life/interaction whatsoever. TAMU is a better school and if you have anything close to a full ride there then you should strongly consider it. My biased opinion.
  • kbfunkymonkeykbfunkymonkey Registered User Posts: 366 Member
    "They have a 4.0 and skip class because everything is so much easier there"

    I don't go to UTD but I'm going to call b.s. on that statement. You might be right about the no campus life part but there is no way I would say it is "much easier" and "have a 4.0 and skip class". Maybe your "friends" need to pick a real major if that is the case. Lots of smart students are UTD and it is probably pretty hard to stand out and make that 4.0 since there are so many high caliber students. (esp. in pre-med focus or engineering/computer science)
  • AlexlinFTWAlexlinFTW Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    UTD, like anywhere else, is really fun if you meet the right people, go out, and make friends. School spirit isn't as much as A&M, but then and again, A&M has a football team (and other T1 sports), UTD doesn't... But still lots of things to do.

    I currently attend UTD, and to the person who's friend said they made a 4.0 without attending class, your friend is either on top of his game, or has a really easy major, because trust me, UTD is NOT easy. Lots of talent from local top high schools feeding (Plano Schools, Allen, Highland Park, Coppell) students into UTD. There are a lot of smart kids here (Especially in College of Natural Sciences and School of Engineering) that are on full rides.

    It's probably one of the most difficult public schools in texas in terms of academics. I came from an "exemplary" Texas High school, so I must have really anal-retentive professors or something, because all the classes I've taken here put my high school AP classes to shame. To be honest, I know a lot of kids from A&M, (although I don't know them all) and I've been to cstat more than a few weekends, and I'll definitely say that the average student at UTD would academically hand a TAMU student their ass. But again, maybe all the kids I know are above average and the kids I know from A&M are the degenerates, but I doubt it.
  • ignatiusignatius Registered User Posts: 3,259 Senior Member
    I have multiple friends at UTD who told me to go anywhere but there. They have a 4.0 and skip class because everything is so much easier there.

    My daughter seriously considered A&M. A&M "courted" her as she had NM Finalist status - and only one error on her SAT. She liked A&M - and could have attended at little cost with the multiple scholarships offered, but ultimately decided to attend UT Dallas. She likes the size of UT Dallas - and the fact that tenured professors teach undergraduates. A&M invited her to campus to spend a day meeting various professors in her intended major - A&M meant to impress, but in actuality the professors did not work with undergraduates, so ... maybe A&M for graduate school. She remains pleased with her choice of college.

    My daughter likes her classes - and the professors who teach them. She never skips class - ever - and finds the work challenging. Neither does she have a 4.0. If I were you, I wouldn't buy what your friends are selling - just saying :)
  • aGGieENGiNeeRaGGieENGiNeeR Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    You can think what you want.
    There are a lot of smart kids here (Especially in College of Natural Sciences and School of Engineering) that are on full rides.

    People outside top 10% get full rides easily at UTD. People at my school were surprised how easy the money comes from this school. Some who never thought they would see an academic scholarship in their life got a scholarship from here. There are plenty of good students I'm sure, but to me a full ride is not much to be bragging about.
    Maybe your "friends" need to pick a real major if that is the case.

    Both pre-med and both in college of natural sciences. I may have over-exaggerated skipping class, but they tell me that they do not show up the majority of the time for some classes which I am sure you can hardly get away with anywhere else.

    They may be blowing smoke on how they don't try very hard, and for the most part I was skeptical too. However, I would not put it beyond these guys. They are truly bright students. I will not, however, take back that TAMU and UT have superior programs in nearly all aspects (except I have heard that UTD comp sci is superb).
    your friend is either on top of his game, or has a really easy major
    Pre-med neuroscience and and he is quite smart graduating 8 in his class of 1100 in high school that is pretty competitive. I don't doubt that he can pull this off. Other person I know is doing same thing except Biology. Maybe I'm not referring to a typical UTD student.
    I'll definitely say that the average student at UTD would academically hand a TAMU student their ass
    There are 40+ thousand students at TAMU. You may have experience with a very small fraction of what TAMU really is. I have about the same knowledge about UTD as you do about TAMU. So I guess we should just stop this rant altogether because we are clearly both making highly biased opinions without enough facts to back them up.

    I am not going to say by any means that the academics are bad. It is not a bad school at all. I'm just saying it is not the same caliber as the well known state schools.
  • ignatiusignatius Registered User Posts: 3,259 Senior Member
    I am not going to say by any means that the academics are bad. It is not a bad school at all. I'm just saying it is not the same caliber as the well known state schools.

    How about just saying it is not as well known as the well known state schools?

    From Peterson's:

    A&M
    * SAT critical reading scores over 500 84%
    * SAT math scores over 500 93%
    * SAT writing scores over 500 78%
    * ACT scores over 18 99%
    * SAT critical reading scores over 600 43%
    * SAT math scores over 600 60%
    * SAT writing scores over 600 32%
    * ACT scores over 24 73%
    * SAT critical reading scores over 700 9%
    * SAT math scores over 700 15%
    * SAT writing scores over 700 5%
    * ACT scores over 30 20%

    UT Dallas
    * SAT critical reading scores over 500 91%
    * SAT math scores over 500 97%
    * SAT writing scores over 500 85%
    * ACT scores over 18 99%
    * SAT critical reading scores over 600 54%
    * SAT math scores over 600 73%
    * SAT writing scores over 600 45%
    * ACT scores over 24 81%
    * SAT critical reading scores over 700 15%
    * SAT math scores over 700 28%
    * SAT writing scores over 700 11%
    * ACT scores over 30 29%

    From College Board:

    A&M:Test Scores
    Middle 50% of First-Year Students - Percent Who Submitted Scores
    SAT Critical Reading: 530 - 640 75%
    SAT Math: 570 - 670 75%
    SAT Writing: 500 - 620 75%
    ACT Composite: 24 - 30 25%

    UT Dallas: Test Scores
    Middle 50% of First-Year Students - Percent Who Submitted Scores
    SAT Critical Reading: 520 - 660 94%
    SAT Math: 560 - 690 94%
    SAT Writing: 500 - 620 94%
    ACT Composite: 24 - 30 46%
  • aGGieENGiNeeRaGGieENGiNeeR Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    We will have to agree to disagree on that one. There are many more statistics in TAMU's favor that you fail to recognize that clearly set it apart from UTD. Engineering and Business school rankings anyone?
    How about just saying it is not as well known as the well known state schools?

    Being a well known school is actually quite important. It shows that a school is great on the research front and in job placement, and much more. Therefore, by saying UTD is not as well known, you are implying that it has not done enough to receive the recognition that other state schools have. I have a feeling it will be there someday in the near future, but right now it is not.
  • ignatiusignatius Registered User Posts: 3,259 Senior Member
    We will have to agree to disagree on that one.
    Actually, I'm not sure we disagree. The stats I posted were in response to the ongoing discussion on the overall caliber of student body. My daughter liked A&M, so I meant no disrespect. She came away from her visit believing that its various high rankings are well-deserved. She just felt that it wasn't the school for her - not a good fit.

    I also agree that a well-known school can be an asset - particularly if the degree stops at the undergraduate level. For students applying to law, med, graduate schools - well, a high grade point average and test scores rule the day. A&M also has a solid alumni base which can only help, particularly if a graduate degree is not in the equation.

    UT Dallas shouldn't be as well known as A&M. A&M is the oldest university in the state of TX (1800s), I believe. UT Dallas formed its first freshman class in 1990 (it started as a graduate school). Don't assume I imply that "it has not done enough to receive the recognition that other state schools have" - only that it's quite a young university and relatively unknown for that reason. (Throw in the fact that it doesn't have a football team.)

    I think that the solid merit scholarships offered by UT Dallas make students take a good look at the university. UT Dallas fit my daughter better. The name of the school seemed less important - obviously - and I mean that in regard to A&M also. She declined two difficult-to-get-into "name" schools to focus at the end on A&M and UT Dallas. She's never looked back and wished she had gone for the big name - and I did ask.

    Truly many A&M students would not be happy at UT Dallas - just as A&M isn't for everyone. I've always considered it lucky that TX has so many choices for students who choose to stay in-state. Sounds like you're happy with your choice. :)
  • aGGieENGiNeeRaGGieENGiNeeR Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    Ok, I think we actually do agree somewhat. I will say that if I were going to pursue med or law, I would have most definitely gone to UTD. The scholarship would have been a big help for my parents to save for med school. However, for engineering it would have probably been a bit detrimental for me to attend UTD due to graduate school opportunities since the A&M name goes farther than UTD, but UTD will someday get there I have a feeling. I had other big schools in the engineering field accept me, but they are just simply too far from home. Texas does provide a lot of opportunities and choices as far as education, it seems like there is no point in going out of state when there are many high caliber schools here.
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