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I need some advice for which College to pick.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Bitethythumb, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Bitethythumb

    Bitethythumb IncGamers Member

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    I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Mmm... I hope this sub-forum is still filled with liberal Ph.D'ers as it was one or two years ago...

    Anyways, I'm in need some wisdom, really soon (Deadline for choosing comin up May 1st). I'm stuck between choosing between Ohio State and Wisconsin in Madison.

    Wisconsin is the better school for what I'm going into, Biochemistry. Wisconsin is ranked #7 or 8 for that. And as for Ohio's Biochem, it's ranked 58. Going to Ohio would be 10k cheaper a year in comparison to Wisconsin.

    I plan on going to Graduate school after I get my degree, would jumping from a 58 ranked undergrad program to say 20 ranked grad program be much more difficult than if I just started from a 8th ranked undergrad program?

    So my question is, is it worth it to go to a school that's 50 ranks higher for 10k more a year?

    (Oh yeah, I'm in the Honors program for Ohio but not for Wisconsin.)

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. BobCox

    BobCox IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Which one will teach you the most?
     
  3. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    It probably depends on your intended career. If you think your future employers will really care which college you went to then maybe it is worth it.

    Also, rank isn't everything, sometimes the quality of teaching at a lesser institution can actually be better. But then again, sometimes they're ranked the way they are for a reason. Unfortunately it's very difficult to know before you go.
     
  4. Bitethythumb

    Bitethythumb IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Hmmm... in your experience, did your employers care about college you attended? I've had some input from other friends that the first "real" job you get mainly depends on the quality of the institution you went through. After your first job, the college thing ceases to matter since you're already experienced and it all depends on the interview.

    Right, judging strictly by the rank has many pitfalls. But I just can't shake the feeling that going to an average school will make my life a bunch more harder (Though most of my friends don't care and decided go to a somewhat below average in-state school).

    And oh about the money issue, how much did you usually spend on miscellaneous stuff (Stuff other than the tuition).
     
  5. Carino

    Carino IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    pick the one with the hottest ladies.
     
  6. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    I would say it depends on the reputation of the school, going to MIT or CalTech is probably always going to give you an edge.
     
  7. Croup

    Croup IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    If you are SURE that you're going to head to grad school, then take this advice. If you're not positive about it, then I would make a different recommendation. That being said:

    I would go to Ohio State instead of Wisconsin in this case. Rankings definitely do matter, but they matter more when you're going from school into the job market, NOT as much when you're going from undergrad to grad. If you're sure you're going to go to grad school, you need your grad school to be the most impressive part of your resume. So your undergrad should be spent doing as well as you can in order to build your application to grad school.

    You can get into a high ranked grad school even if you went to a mid-level undergrad institute. They'll look at your standardized scores, your GPA, your activities, and you yourself if you go for a visit and an interview (and you should do that). So when you're looking at getting into a honors program at Ohio State and saving $10K a year, I think Ohio State has to be your choice.

    If you're not sure about going to grad school though, it's a tougher choice. If you're going into the working world right out of undergrad, you'd probably want the degree from the higher ranked institute. So it comes down to how sure you are about going to grad school in my mind. Ohio State if you're going to grad school, more of a choice if you're not sure or not going.
     
  8. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    How much do you like winter? Columbus has a little, Madison has a lot. How far away are families? Friends? There is a lot more than rankings to consider when you are deciding where you will spend the next 4 years of your life.

    I'm just finishing my 7th (and final) year at Ohio State, and I love it. If you've got any questions about OSU in general, feel free to send me a PM and I'll do my best to answer.
     
  9. kberger

    kberger IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Where you go is not as important as what you do when you're there. If your gut, or whoever is paying for all this isn't leading towards one over the other, use a dart board or something.

    I've never been to OSU, but I'll say Madison is a great place. I head down there often.
     
  10. Q33

    Q33 IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    What Coupe said is really good advice. In the end, what matters is where you got your graduate degree (assuming you are going to grad school). When you're looking for your job, they're going to care where you got your Ph.D, not where you got your B.S/B.A.

    If what you are worried about is the difficulty from jumping from a 58th ranked undergrad school to a 20th ranked grad school versus an 8th ranked undergrad school to a 20th ranked grad school...I wouldn't let that dictate your choice. That jump in potential work load can be easily overcome by hard work once you get into grad school. Just think of it this way...would you rather be working hard for 8 years (hard undergrad and hard grad school) or 4 years (just hard grad school) if they both lead to the same place?

    Now having said all this, I would still choose Wisconsin over Ohio. There are advantages to going to a top ranked school, and I think its worth it. The first thing is...how do you know you can get into a #20 ranked graduate school? Going to a college that is highly ranked in that area not only gives you prestige when being selected for grad school, but more importantly, it gives you more opportunities to work with the top scholars in that area. Why do you think they are top ranked...its because the faculty are well known and produce a lot of research. By going there, you not only associate your name to the school, but also to the faculty, which is really important when you're talking about graduate school.

    Its true that GRE/standardized scores are important, but for grad schools (Ph.Ds) one of the most important things is research...and you're going to have more opportunities and better opportunities (top journal pubs anyone?) at a school thats highly ranked in that field. Furthermore, a 4.0 GPA from a top ranked schools is going to hold more weight than a 4.0 at less highly ranked school. Finally, grad schools also look at recommendations, and it never hurts to have a well known person in the field endorsing your application.

    From my perspective, if you KNOW you can get into you #20 ranked grad school (you somehow already have an in or something), then go with Ohio state, because really, once you're in grad school, undergrad means nothing. But if you don't know where you'll be going to grad school, then go with the best undergrad to ensure that you will be able to get into the best grad schools, which will lead to the best job opportunities.

    I know people might give me BS saying "oh, I didn't go to a top college and I did fine"...and that happens all the time, but I'm talking about maximizing your possibilities. You might as well do everything you can do to guarantee your success.

    Last point is...how much money do Biochemist Ph.Ds make once they get out? If they make a significant amount of money, then who cares about going into some debt. Granted, 40k is quite a bit of money, but in the long run it isn't that bad.
     
  11. AluminumKnight

    AluminumKnight IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    If it's really that close of a decision that the academics and money are about even, look at the other things the school offers, the surrounding city, the distance from family, etc. I assume you've visited both schools? Which one were you more impressed with?

    Personally, I found Madison to be too spread out and huge for me. However, I think Ohio State is even worse in this regard. I know people that have gone to both schools and loved them *shrug*.

    I made my decision not as much based upon rankings, but rather class sizes, professor attitudes, distance from family, surrounding city and physical structure of campus.
     
  12. Thelioness

    Thelioness IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Most employers don't pull up school rankings to judge you. They will notice a "big name" think Yale, MIT, etc, and in some cases those big names can help you get a job simply because people who went to those schools like to hire people that went to their school. Most of the time, employers are looking for a good fit for the job, how well will your personality blend in with the rest of the staff, how much training (expense) is it going to take to get you up to speed, things like that.

    Good luck and pick which ever school you are going to feel more comfortable with in terms of student body, location, ..., the things that are going to make your stay more enjoyable. It doesn't matter the ranking if the entire time you are there you are wishing you weren't.
     
  13. Dude_Dave

    Dude_Dave IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Just a few comments about Madison as I go there currently for school. Don't let the honors part of the school make your decision. You can apply for the honors programs here every semester and even starting your first semester you can still take the honors classes, you just have to ask.

    I don't know much about Ohio, but I know in Madison, there are plenty of opportunities for you to work in a bio lab with a professor and grad students pretty closely, which is awesome experience for grad schools and something I know many professors look at on applications. In my opinion, the rank of the program does matter for grad schools and even how well known the professors are that write your recommendations.

    I guess I could say more, but I don't know anything about Ohio so I would assume that they have many opportunities also. If you want more info about school here in Madtown, let me know!

    ~Dave
     
  14. DaveZa

    DaveZa IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    You should also consider the futher benefits of your choice. 10k a year might seem a lot more now, but what will be your advantage be when you've completed your study at the more expensive school?
    (will your futher bosses really depend their choice for an employee on his study)

    :prop:
     
  15. disgruntled

    disgruntled IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Wisconsin. Madison is a great place. Ohio sucks. You'd be amazed at what your surroundings can do for happiness. And Madison does have a great school.


     
  16. moo-cow

    moo-cow IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    look at it this way: if you weren't going to grad school would your job prospects care which high school you went to?
     
  17. bg1256

    bg1256 IncGamers Member

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    Re: I need some advice for which College to pick.

    Oh God, Wisconsin says the Wolverine.
     

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