Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

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sidartvader
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Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by sidartvader » Thu May 16, 2019 7:58 pm

Please see note from my son regarding his college choices and share your thoughts (once more). This is pursuant to the previous post (link below), which was pivotal in helping him make his choice at that time. He was waitlisted at Brown at the time.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=278725

"A while back I was deciding between UC Berkeley and UMich and this forum provided solid advice as to the job prospects, atmosphere, and merits of both schools. I ended up deciding on going to UMich for CS and a potential minor in Business (there is a selective application process). However, I was recently offered admission to Brown University for a joint Computer Science and Economics major, which is more interesting to me than a CS major and business minor. Additionally, Brown as a school is more prestigious than UMich and sends its students to top tech/finance companies at a higher frequency (according to their respective career services websites) than does Michigan. The cost differential between the two schools is around $20,000 over four years which I’d be taking as loans. Seeing as my future career goals would be something in either finance or tech, does anyone have an opinion as to how my options stack up? Note that I will not actually be able to visit Brown while school is in session until the fall due to how late waitlist decisions roll out. Thank you!"

Bacchus01
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu May 16, 2019 8:48 pm

Brown is a great school. I loved in Rhode Island for a while. Providence is a neat town and Newport is great. Providence is absolutely run by the mob.

I have a friend who is a professor at Brown.

That said, I don’t see that Brown is that much more prestigious than UMich. The atmosphere at both schools is going to be very different. UMich is much larger and has a very rabid sports program. Brown, not so much.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu May 16, 2019 9:31 pm

Not even close.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by random_walker_77 » Thu May 16, 2019 9:48 pm

With Brown, you have an ivy league degree. Compared to U of Michigan, that might not matter so much if you're going into CS, unless you're thinking of taking that CS and going to fintech/wall street. U of Michigan has a well-respected engineering program, but Brown is an Ivy, which can open doors and leave you more options. For example, you're more likely to have the option of taking that pair of degrees and going into consulting, or IBanking.

Acceptance rate at Brown: < 7% (https://www.thedp.com/article/2019/04/i ... -princeton)
Acceptance rate at U Michigan: 28.6%

4 yr graduation rate at Brown: 85%, w/ 96.2% within 6 years
4 yr graduation rate at UMich: 77%, w/ 92% within 6 years

# undergrads at Brown: 7K
# undergrads at Michigan: 30K

The other thing to consider is that, generally speaking, these selective smaller private colleges generally have more favorable policies for their students. This matters when you want to try an interesting class in another department. My experience at a HYPS+ was that the university allowed you to register for pretty much anything, and there was really never any problems with securing a spot in a popular class. Large public universities, on the other hand, are usually managing huge student populations and are known for often having big class waiting lists. In some universities, classes are open only to students admitted to that department, making it impossible to take a CS class for example if you're just interested in trying a class or two. The private university would probably be more flexible allowing students to change majors, explore classes, and be more likely to facilitate getting into the classes you'd need to graduate in 4 years.

At just 20K more, I'd probably go for Brown.

[edit: Based on this one random ranking, Brown's CS program is highly regarded.
https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/b ... r-science/]

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by Sconie » Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 pm

Just fwiw, I view Brown as significantly more prestigious than U of MI.
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randomguy
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by randomguy » Thu May 16, 2019 10:01 pm

Sconie wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 pm
Just fwiw, I view Brown as significantly more prestigious than U of MI.
Pretty much everyone but michigan grads will agree with you:) Obviously there are specific fields where Michigan does better and Michigan is still a very good school. Just on pure academics, Brown will win for CS. Through in things like social life (i.e. do you want a big school or a small one? DI sports?...) and location (i.e. if you plan on working in Michigan, the degree might have more local cache than it does on the national stage. ) and you can make arguments for either one.

20k over 4 years is pretty much peanuts in the overall picture and future career earnings. Pick the school where you will fit in best. If I was interested in finance, I would much rather be on the east coast than the midwest.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by WhyNotUs » Thu May 16, 2019 10:33 pm

You have to search within yourself to see if you are open to humiliation at the hands of The Ohio State University every November.
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by kenoryan » Thu May 16, 2019 10:42 pm

Can’t lose either way. When my daughter was applying, we encouraged her to go to Wisconsin (in state) over Michigan. I love Michigan but it’s just too expensive for out of state students.

Speaking of OHio State, my cousin is a professor at OSU and we both studied at UM. When his son got admission to UM, he texted me at 2 am to tell me the good news. When I asked him if he got into OSU, I learned that he had not even applied! Lol. He ended up going to Berkeley which is almost as good as UM.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by TheOscarGuy » Fri May 17, 2019 8:55 am

sidartvader wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:58 pm
Please see note from my son regarding his college choices and share your thoughts (once more). This is pursuant to the previous post (link below), which was pivotal in helping him make his choice at that time. He was waitlisted at Brown at the time.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=278725

"A while back I was deciding between UC Berkeley and UMich and this forum provided solid advice as to the job prospects, atmosphere, and merits of both schools. I ended up deciding on going to UMich for CS and a potential minor in Business (there is a selective application process). However, I was recently offered admission to Brown University for a joint Computer Science and Economics major, which is more interesting to me than a CS major and business minor. Additionally, Brown as a school is more prestigious than UMich and sends its students to top tech/finance companies at a higher frequency (according to their respective career services websites) than does Michigan. The cost differential between the two schools is around $20,000 over four years which I’d be taking as loans. Seeing as my future career goals would be something in either finance or tech, does anyone have an opinion as to how my options stack up? Note that I will not actually be able to visit Brown while school is in session until the fall due to how late waitlist decisions roll out. Thank you!"
I would go to Brown.
I am in same field as he wants to pursue, coming out of school I think he would get more offers, and possibly at better companies, than UMich. If he wants to go into graduate school having gone to Brown will help more on his academic resume as well. Both are great schools, and I certainly don't want to knock UMich down but at $5K per year additional expense, in my mind it is a no brainer. Brown is an Ivy League school and has in my mind more prospects for him whether he wants to have a career in academia or industry.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by TSR » Fri May 17, 2019 9:02 am

Brown. For all the reasons people have talked about above, but also people change their minds about what they want to go to school for, and Brown would accommodate that a lot better. That Ivy degree is worth a lot -- arguably much more than the $20k figure thrown out here.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by investingdad » Fri May 17, 2019 9:13 am

I'm a PSU grad. While I will acknowledge that UM is very strong academically and probably carries a bigger prestige factor than State U, there is no way it hangs with Brown. Sorry, but no.

If that's important to the OP, it's gotta be Brown.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by donaldfair71 » Fri May 17, 2019 9:16 am

Sconie wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 pm
Just fwiw, I view Brown as significantly more prestigious than U of MI.
But that's only because Brown is significantly more prestigious than the U of M.

ModifiedDuration
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by ModifiedDuration » Fri May 17, 2019 9:18 am

Either way is a win.

Here you can see that Michigan computer science majors have a median starting salarying of $100,000:

http://career.engin.umich.edu/wp-conten ... rt1718.pdf

While Brown doesn’t release starting salaries, if you look at the companies that hire computer science and computer science/economics majors, it is an impressive list, with Google, Microsoft, and Facebook being the top employers in recent years:

https://www.brown.edu/campus-life/suppo ... yer-sector

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sunny_socal
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by sunny_socal » Fri May 17, 2019 9:30 am

Brown

The sports program would the least of my concerns.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by fru-gal » Fri May 17, 2019 9:30 am

Brown. UMich may mean something in some areas of the country, but it means zilch on the coasts, it's just another state university, whereas Brown is Ivy League. Plus, Providence is a great city and RI has hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline yes despite its length and width.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by Thegame14 » Fri May 17, 2019 9:34 am

random_walker_77 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:48 pm
With Brown, you have an ivy league degree. Compared to U of Michigan, that might not matter so much if you're going into CS, unless you're thinking of taking that CS and going to fintech/wall street. U of Michigan has a well-respected engineering program, but Brown is an Ivy, which can open doors and leave you more options. For example, you're more likely to have the option of taking that pair of degrees and going into consulting, or IBanking.

Acceptance rate at Brown: < 7% (https://www.thedp.com/article/2019/04/i ... -princeton)
Acceptance rate at U Michigan: 28.6%

4 yr graduation rate at Brown: 85%, w/ 96.2% within 6 years
4 yr graduation rate at UMich: 77%, w/ 92% within 6 years

# undergrads at Brown: 7K
# undergrads at Michigan: 30K

The other thing to consider is that, generally speaking, these selective smaller private colleges generally have more favorable policies for their students. This matters when you want to try an interesting class in another department. My experience at a HYPS+ was that the university allowed you to register for pretty much anything, and there was really never any problems with securing a spot in a popular class. Large public universities, on the other hand, are usually managing huge student populations and are known for often having big class waiting lists. In some universities, classes are open only to students admitted to that department, making it impossible to take a CS class for example if you're just interested in trying a class or two. The private university would probably be more flexible allowing students to change majors, explore classes, and be more likely to facilitate getting into the classes you'd need to graduate in 4 years.

At just 20K more, I'd probably go for Brown.

[edit: Based on this one random ranking, Brown's CS program is highly regarded.
https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/b ... r-science/]
+1 purely on academics, and I don't think it is close. Also think that the cost difference is nothing in the long run of getting an Ivy vs non-Ivy, but I would assume UMich would be more fun, also not sure prozximity to family. So purely academics, is not question Brown. I cannot speak to fun, family, location, perseron preference, family history at either school being a legacy at one, no idea on which one has better ratio of females which college is where many people meet their future spouse....

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by ModifiedDuration » Fri May 17, 2019 9:43 am

While this is in regard to graduate schools, based on peer assessments USNews actually has Michigan ranked much higher than Brown for Computer Science:

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-sc ... e-rankings

Also, Brown is really a Liberal Arts school. Computer science is an afterthought there, while Michigan has one of the most prestigious Engineering / Computer Science schools in the country.

If we were talking about Liberal Arts, then Brown hands down.

If we are talking about Computer Science, then you get into what you are looking for in a college: liberal arts where you can do computer science or a hardcore engineering/ computer science program.
Last edited by ModifiedDuration on Fri May 17, 2019 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Elena
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by Elena » Fri May 17, 2019 9:46 am

I attended Brown for my Ph.D., a long time ago (humanities). I taught one undergraduate class as part of my scholarship, and found undergraduate students to be overall engaged and respectful. They did party, but you could see a good classroom environment, I could schedule activities outside of class which they would complete as a group, and campus life seemed pleasant. As a liberal arts college, you would see very interesting curricular combinations. As for my own experience, all I did was study, study, study. I was never much of a social butterfly, but my peers were nice and profesors were key to my development as a scholar. Snow, black ice, and study, study, study.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by knightrider » Fri May 17, 2019 9:52 am

ModifiedDuration wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:43 am
While this is in regard to graduate schools, based on peer assessments USNews actually has Michigan ranked much higher than Brown for Computer Science:
Grad school and undergrad are completely different. For undergrad, I look at the overall school reputation. For grad school, I look at the individual departments. I always chuckle when folks name drop they went to some Ivy league for Phd/Masters . It means nothing...

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by freelancer » Fri May 17, 2019 10:19 am

UMich is way better for CS from an employment standpoint. West coast big tech (Google/Facebook/Microsoft/Amazon) hires more people from Stanford and UMich than other schools. This is both because of the perceived rigor of the CS program at UMich as well as the large class size.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri May 17, 2019 10:34 am

The student experience will be very very different at these two schools. That is not a negligible factor.

CS/ economics major sounds like heading east after graduation where the Ivy trademark would be more valued.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri May 17, 2019 10:36 am

knightrider wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:52 am
ModifiedDuration wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:43 am
While this is in regard to graduate schools, based on peer assessments USNews actually has Michigan ranked much higher than Brown for Computer Science:
Grad school and undergrad are completely different. For undergrad, I look at the overall school reputation. For grad school, I look at the individual departments. I always chuckle when folks name drop they went to some Ivy league for Phd/Masters . It means nothing...
Michigan is by far preferred for the Ph.D. degree in CS if an academic position is the goal.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri May 17, 2019 10:37 am

I have never met anyone who didn’t have a great time at UMich. That said, I’d still pick Brown.

The posts say that Brown is a liberal arts school, CS is an afterthought, etc. The same things were said to us about DS choosing Yale for CS. We know it was a great choice, notwithstanding his also being accepted to UMich.

$20k will be rounding error in the first year of employment.
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by Jags4186 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:44 am

Two schools couldn’t be any more different. What type of social life does your child want? There’s a pretty big difference between Ivy League sports and Big 10 sports. There’s a big difference between Providence and Ann Arbor. And there’s big differences where people will be from (lots and lots of Michiganders at UMich, more diversity of locales at Brown.). Brown is definitely more prestigious than Michigan, however I’m sure if you get into the right program/track at Michigan you will surround yourself with professors and peers who are every bit if not more qualified as anyone at Brown.

Personally, I’d go with Brown if those were my choices, but you wouldn’t be making a bad decision to to go UMich. I think that if your son just ends up being an average student (and I don’t mean that in a negative way, every school has top, middle, and bottom students) you’re better off being an average graduate from Brown than an average graduate from Michigan. One thing you learn when you go to prestigious schools is that you may have been the smartest or one of the smartest kids in your high school class, but when you get to these universities everyone was the smartest in their class.
Last edited by Jags4186 on Fri May 17, 2019 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by ThriftyPhD » Fri May 17, 2019 10:45 am

As someone who works in STEM/Tech, I didn't even know Brown had a CS department. Based entirely on school reputation, for anything science/tech related, UM or any other top flight state school would be well above Brown in my opinion. That would not be the case for Humanities. If you had mentioned MIT/Stanford I would understand giving them the nod above UM, but Brown?

Big State Schools and Little Ivies are very different in feel and demographics. Comparing average salary at graduation, graduation rates, etc is impossible. If Brown has 90% trust fund kids that graduate and become CFO of daddy's company making $50 million while UM has a diverse set of graduates that mainly go work for a wide selection of American companies in entry level positions making a average to high average salary, does that mean Brown is the better school based on salary at graduation? The better school for your son?

It would likely come down more to what does your son need. Can he handle a huge university where it is up to him to seek out opportunities? Or would he do better in a smaller environment where people will be reaching out to him to remind him to register, show up, do his homework? Everyone is different.

For me personally, I would pay $20k more to go to UM, UW, OSU, or any other top flight state school over Brown.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by stoptothink » Fri May 17, 2019 10:59 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:37 am
I have never met anyone who didn’t have a great time at UMich. That said, I’d still pick Brown.

The posts say that Brown is a liberal arts school, CS is an afterthought, etc. The same things were said to us about DS choosing Yale for CS. We know it was a great choice, notwithstanding his also being accepted to UMich.

$20k will be rounding error in the first year of employment.
You say this same thing in every education thread, that Yale was worth every penny for your son, but the objective reasons are what? He has been very successful, but objectively, Yale is simply not one of the top CS programs (and neither is Brown). Your son probably fit in better at Yale, and there is absolutely merit to that, but I have a difficult time believing the results (from a career opportunity standpoint) would not have been similar had he went to Michigan.

From a purely financial, job opportunity standpoint, this is probably a wash. In fact, UM may be superior depending on what exactly they want to do in CS. It's also a totally different environment. My sister did undergrad at Brown; I visited twice, it was not my scene. I also have a childhood friend who went to Brown and then transferred after a year back home (UCLA), because he just didn't like it. My MS school decision came down to Cornell and Houston, I spent a week at Cornell and it couldn't have been more clear where I fit best: Houston.

Just me speaking personally, unless I visited Brown and felt like I just had to be there (and didn't like UM), it would be UM for me.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by tapotti » Fri May 17, 2019 11:17 am

Michigan

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sk2101
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by sk2101 » Fri May 17, 2019 11:19 am

Michigan carries more weight than Brown. Never been to Brown, but student life at Michigan is very good!

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri May 17, 2019 11:22 am

Brown is at the bottom of ivy league
UM is at the top of State league

For undergradute, I would pick Brown.
For post-graduate, I would pick UM.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by Ricchan » Fri May 17, 2019 11:24 am

In terms of actual learning, any decent CS program will provide the tools necessary for a student to learn as much as he needs to be successful. How much a student actually learns depends more on their personal drive and commitment.

A prestigious degree may help land an interview, and even more helpful would be knowing people at a company. But in the end, you still need to perform well in the interview. I'd say Brown has the much better overall name recognition, but UMich may be slightly more respected by actual CS teams. Also, with a larger body of technical students and alumni, UMich may be a better place to make industry connections. It's a bit of a toss-up in my opinion, though if your son thinks there's a chance he might want to go into something other than CS, I'd give the edge to Brown.

With both schools being fairly similar in terms of opportunity (with a lot of that subject to the student's own efforts), I believe it may be more important for your son to visit each school, talk to the students, maybe even spend a couple days there and sit in on a few lectures, to get a feel for which environment he would most enjoy spending 4 years of his life in. Try to get a sense of the general atmosphere of the student body. These are the people with whom he'll be interacting on a daily basis for perhaps the most formative years of his life and forging lifelong friendships.
Last edited by Ricchan on Fri May 17, 2019 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by inbox788 » Fri May 17, 2019 11:29 am

random_walker_77 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:48 pm
Acceptance rate at Brown: < 7%
Acceptance rate at Brown for students accepted at U Michigan: < 7%
Acceptance rate at U Michigan: 28.6%
Acceptance rate at U Michigan for students accepted at an Ivy League school: 86.9%

4 yr graduation rate at Brown: 85%, w/ 96.2% within 6 years
4 yr graduation rate at UMich: 77%, w/ 92% within 6 years
4 yr graduation rate at UMich for students accepted at an Ivy League school and turned it down : 97%, w/ 99.2% within 6 years

# undergrads at Brown: 7K
# undergrads at Michigan: 30K
# undergrads at Michigan for students accepted at an Ivy League school and turned it down : 30
No, those aren't real. If only they were available, but it's a lot of work to accurately collect and of little benefit to the institutions to publish these types of comparative statistics. Privately, I'm sure there are some numbers out there and some sampling (you have to be careful with the methods and inferences).

https://www.unigo.com/admissions-advice ... yale/662/1

OP, where do the 2 schools rank in your pre-application preference order? Which was a reach or backup school? How many other Ivy League or top 20 schools did you apply to, and how did you fare? There is a self selection process going on here where most of the applicants who apply to big state schools and are reaching for Ivy League schools would usually attend if accepted. More of those that wouldn't prefer the Ivy League school probably wouldn't apply in the first place.

Congratulations whatever your choice, but I'm guessing 96% it's going to be Brown.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by ohai » Fri May 17, 2019 11:32 am

From my perspective about 10 years from school, my impression is that even in this short time frame, some of the strengths of traditional liberal arts schools has faded in favor of technical or overtly business oriented institutions. 10 years ago, I'd say that the minor prestige benefit of a lower Ivy League school like Brown outweighs the better engineering department at Michigan. Today, I am not so sure.

In any case, I am sure kid has or will attend some admit events at both schools, where he can get a sense of the community and resources at either school. My feeling though, is that if kid is extremely self motivated and can develop a specific and bespoke academic path, then the smaller private school will give him more flexibility. However, if he just wants to graduate with a strong technical degree and marketable skills, Michigan will be better.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri May 17, 2019 11:39 am

stoptothink wrote:You say this same thing in every education thread, that Yale was worth every penny for your son, but the objective reasons are what? He has been very successful, but objectively, Yale is simply not one of the top CS programs (and neither is Brown). Your son probably fit in better at Yale, and there is absolutely merit to that, but I have a difficult time believing the results (from a career opportunity standpoint) would not have been similar had he went to Michigan.
I think I’m not the only one on BH who repeats him/herself :D

My son obviously has many friends and colleagues who attended Michigan, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, etc. They all talk. For a while, he was sorry that he didn’t apply to MIT. He came to the conclusion that Yale’s lesser status in CS would not be a factor after his first job and that its smaller department allowed him to be a CS student getting a lot of personalized attention from the professors. On balance he feels he came out ahead. Socially, he likely would not have been happier at the other contenders, but who knows?

Every education post here someone mentions the Malcolm Gladwell David and Goliath thing (about the school you’re accepted to but don’t attend mattering more than where you actually attend). Maybe my son stepped in the Gladwell lucky poo when he attended a “lesser” program. :D Maybe he wouldn’t have done as well at MIT. Maybe he would have. Who knows?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by inbox788 » Fri May 17, 2019 12:06 pm

freelancer wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:19 am
UMich is way better for CS from an employment standpoint. West coast big tech (Google/Facebook/Microsoft/Amazon) hires more people from Stanford and UMich than other schools. This is both because of the perceived rigor of the CS program at UMich as well as the large class size.
I'm guessing it has more to do with the larger class sizes than anything else. The larger alumni network has it's benefits, but the Brown/Ivy League alumni network may have other benefits.

The first result for a google search for top cs programs yielded this popularity list that wasn't US News as I had expected. A lot of international universities on the list, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of public institutions.

1. Stanford University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
3. University of California Berkeley

4. Harvard University
5. Princeton University
8. Cornell University
31. Columbia University
50. Yale University
77. University of Pennsylvania
84. Brown University

7. The University of Texas at Austin
9. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
13. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
14. University of California in San Diego
15. University of Michigan
16. University of Maryland, College Park
19. Ohio State University
21. Purdue University
22. Georgia Institute of Technology
29. University of California, Irvine
30. University of California, Davis
32. Arizona State University
39 (Tie)University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
41. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
51. University of Washington
53. University of Colorado at Boulder
55. University of California, Santa Barbara
57. Rutgers University
60. University of Utah
61. Michigan State University
62. Texas A&M University
64. Pennsylvania State University - University Park
65. University of Delaware
78. University of Wisconsin
85. University of Florida
93. University of Illinois at Chicago
97. University of Houston
100. New Jersey Institute of Technology

https://thebestschools.org/features/bes ... the-world/

FYI, US News ranks 188 CS programs in the US

University of Michigan--Ann Arbor
#11 in Computer Science (tie)

Brown University
#25 in Computer Science (tie)

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-sc ... e-rankings
Last edited by inbox788 on Fri May 17, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

psteinx
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by psteinx » Fri May 17, 2019 12:11 pm

School prestige is very much a regional thing, and, IMO, falls away much faster outside of the home region for smaller schools.

Michigan's center of "high prestige" is the Midwest, but it's big enough that it's well known across the country. The prestige of its sports programs perhaps shouldn't matter for academic prestige, but perhaps does, in a small way (at least among those only casually following matters of academic prestige).

Brown is, of course, Ivy League, and while "Ivy League" has broad national (and international) recognition, I'm not so sure that Brown itself does. I'm a midwesterner and have had little (actually, none that I can clearly remember) contact with Brown graduates. To me, the "Brown" label says lower tier Ivy, spoiled rich kid/scion of the famous (JFK Junior, assorted Hollywood-types, etc.), and maybe a crunchy granola flavor of Ivy-lite.

Anecdote, anecdata, etc. Take it with a grain of salt...
Last edited by psteinx on Fri May 17, 2019 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SouthernFIRE
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by SouthernFIRE » Fri May 17, 2019 12:13 pm

UM grad here. This is a tough one. UM was an absolutely fantastic college experience. The degree has opened many doors and the alumni network is massive. That being said, I do think Brown has an edge from a pure academic reputation standpoint for undergrad. Don't think he can go wrong here and I echo the posters that have emphasized fit with your son's personality.

TheMadEph
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by TheMadEph » Fri May 17, 2019 12:20 pm

Probably a toss up academics wise with slight edge to Brown (i.e. Brown overall stronger in academics, Mich stronger in CS specifically). But social fit i think is much more important - sibling of mine went to Brown, and loved it. Also, if the son wants to go into finance, Brown is better for connections, but again - different group of friends etc. and networking. I didn't even apply as I knew it wasn't the experience that I wanted. (My username gives away where I went). I do think another concern is whether your son is going to be super focused immediately. Brown is probably better if he takes a little bit of time to get in the swing of college. UMich, if he starts partying and blows off a few semesters, it may be harder to "come back" and end up with a good looking college resume of grades/awards/internships etc.

louiethelilac
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by louiethelilac » Fri May 17, 2019 12:33 pm

Familiar with both schools. If he is the least bit "nerdy" (and I mean that with the utmost respect), in a vacuum I would predict he will be much happier at Brown.

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bengal22
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by bengal22 » Fri May 17, 2019 12:38 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:33 pm
You have to search within yourself to see if you are open to humiliation at the hands of The Ohio State University every November.
Good point but at least at both Brown and UM one won't be distracted by following football.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

jrbdmb
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by jrbdmb » Fri May 17, 2019 12:39 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:37 am
I have never met anyone who didn’t have a great time at UMich. That said, I’d still pick Brown.

The posts say that Brown is a liberal arts school, CS is an afterthought, etc. The same things were said to us about DS choosing Yale for CS. We know it was a great choice, notwithstanding his also being accepted to UMich.

$20k will be rounding error in the first year of employment.
What would you consider a "rounding error?" 10% seems like a very high number for a rounding error, but even that would mean an Ivy graduate in CS can expect a starting salary of $200,000 per year more than a UM grad. :moneybag :moneybag :moneybag

But if you look at real data (US News Salary information for graduates) Computer Engineering majors average $80,600 at UM and $78,500 at Brown. (No info available for CIS at Brown, so I couldn't compare that.)
Last edited by jrbdmb on Fri May 17, 2019 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri May 17, 2019 12:48 pm

jrbdmb wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 12:39 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:37 am
I have never met anyone who didn’t have a great time at UMich. That said, I’d still pick Brown.
The posts say that Brown is a liberal arts school, CS is an afterthought, etc. The same things were said to us about DS choosing Yale for CS. We know it was a great choice, notwithstanding his also being accepted to UMich.
$20k will be rounding error in the first year of employment.
I would consider a "rounding error" to be at most a 1% difference. So that would mean that a Ivy League graduate in CS can expect a starting salary of $2,000,000 per year more than a UM grad? :moneybag
I guess my liberal arts education at a school much lower tier than either Brown or Michigan included a course in poetic license :D
Glad I didn’t call it “decimal dust.” :oops:
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Jags4186
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by Jags4186 » Fri May 17, 2019 12:48 pm

Could someone educate me on what the “lower Ivy League” schools are?

ohai
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by ohai » Fri May 17, 2019 12:48 pm

I still think kid should go to Berkeley over both of those, but I guess that ship has sailed.

staythecourse
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by staythecourse » Fri May 17, 2019 12:52 pm

Not much difference in the prestige factor so that shouldn't matter much.

Two totally different areas and college vibe (sports at Umich and NE vibe at Brown). Different style cities. I would think the choice is down to what he feels he wants to experience for the next 4 years.

Good luck.

p.s. Have friends and family who came from both and have one's that are successful and not come from both so that shouldn't matter in deciding.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

jrbdmb
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by jrbdmb » Fri May 17, 2019 12:56 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 12:48 pm
jrbdmb wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 12:39 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:37 am
I have never met anyone who didn’t have a great time at UMich. That said, I’d still pick Brown.
The posts say that Brown is a liberal arts school, CS is an afterthought, etc. The same things were said to us about DS choosing Yale for CS. We know it was a great choice, notwithstanding his also being accepted to UMich.
$20k will be rounding error in the first year of employment.
I would consider a "rounding error" to be at most a 1% difference. So that would mean that a Ivy League graduate in CS can expect a starting salary of $2,000,000 per year more than a UM grad? :moneybag
I guess my liberal arts education at a school much lower tier than either Brown or Michigan included a course in poetic license :D
Glad I didn’t call it “decimal dust.” :oops:
Especially when available data shows that a UM grad in Computer Engineering will make more than a Brown grad (see edit to my post above).

Note that there *is* a financial advantage if you can get into MIT / Princeton, but that advantage does not apply to all the Ivies. And of course this conclusion is only as good as the data US News collected for their reports.

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beyou
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by beyou » Fri May 17, 2019 1:04 pm

I work in fin tech (financial technology). I have been involved in the recruiting process at multiple NYC wall street firms.

Once you have a CS degree from a top tier school, and both of these are, then the rest is all you.
What internships, side projects, activities etc did you perform ?
How well did you master practical technology skills and understand the concepts ?

CS is mostly the same in the intro/intermediate courses, but in upper level courses larger schools generally have more variety of
courses to select for specialization. This can be useful and can be a plus for UMIch potentially (read their online course listing).

I would also look at non-major requirements (thinks like foreign language or other requirements that make your choices less flexible.
I hate when colleges dictate most of your requirements...you are a paying customer !

Probably most important is more personal. Would you be happiest in a large school, being a small fish in big bond and
having every possible opportunity to meet people and every possible club etc ? Or do you prefer to be a big fish in a small pond ?
Very different.

Also note that as you make college friends, many will stay in the region after college at a state school, but friends at Brown would scatter everywhere. Given you may not stay in Michigan nor Rhode Island, this may not matter much in terms of a decision, but your friends will stick together post college more at a state school than at a nationally known college like Brown.

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by psteinx » Fri May 17, 2019 1:04 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 12:48 pm
Could someone educate me on what the “lower Ivy League” schools are?
Brown, Cornell, Penn (outside of Business) and Dartmouth.

psteinx
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by psteinx » Fri May 17, 2019 1:09 pm

beyou wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:04 pm
Also note that as you make college friends, many will stay in the region after college at a state school, but friends at Brown would scatter everywhere. Given you may not stay in Michigan nor Rhode Island, this may not matter much in terms of a decision, but your friends will stick together post college more at a state school than at a nationally known college like Brown.
Rhode Island is a small state, physically and population-wise, so it's no surprise that Brown grads would heavily settle out of state. Michigan is a bigger state in both senses.

My guess is that Brown grads end up heavily in New England and the upper Mid-Atlantic (NYC area down through Philly). My guess is that, of the Michigan grads who end up outside of Michigan, there's perhaps a broader dispersal, both throughout the Midwest and to the coasts.

staythecourse
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by staythecourse » Fri May 17, 2019 1:18 pm

beyou wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:04 pm
Once you have a CS degree from a top tier school, and both of these are, then the rest is all you.
Interesting to know if there is ANY field that this does not apply. Like any other job interview I remember for applying for residencies that once you hit some arbitrary cut off metrics the rest if up to you to get the actual job.

As long as you are swimming in the same pool as your goals the rest of getting picked from that pool is based on your individual performance.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by mvilleguy9 » Fri May 17, 2019 1:19 pm

Where will you enjoy your time more? Yes you may have better career prospects at Brown but is it worth it if you're going to be miserable for 4 years? Or vice-versa for that matter

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