Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

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ThriftyPhD
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by ThriftyPhD »

ks289 wrote: Sun May 19, 2019 7:54 am Specifically about the joint CS - economics concentration, it sounds somewhat rigorous for B.S. (or ScB as Brown calls it) with 20 required courses vs 16 for the B.A. (or AB at Brown). This is made more palatable by the Open Curriculum (complete absence of non-major requirements) and lenient grading policies (ABC/No credit or Satisfactory/No credit). Grading without pluses and minuses (just aim for a 90), Ds, and Fs, and being able to drop classes at any time can greatly reduce stress about outcomes. I’ve mentioned before that the average GPA for Brown graduates is 3.63 which just looks great when compared to similar schools.
The problem is this is widely known. I really expect a high 3.X GPA from an Ivy grad, since many classes give As to more than 50% of the class.

This can be bad if the student has an off semester and struggles. If the 'average' graduate has a 3.8 and you have a poor semester, you might struggle to get back to 3.8.

That said, I think GPAs are overrated so I don't give a ton of weight to them, but in comparing I wouldn't consider the high grade inflation in the ivies to be a positive. I think it hurts the students' learning process when As are handed out like participation ribbons.
ks289
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by ks289 »

ThriftyPhD wrote: Sun May 19, 2019 8:51 am
ks289 wrote: Sun May 19, 2019 7:54 am Specifically about the joint CS - economics concentration, it sounds somewhat rigorous for B.S. (or ScB as Brown calls it) with 20 required courses vs 16 for the B.A. (or AB at Brown). This is made more palatable by the Open Curriculum (complete absence of non-major requirements) and lenient grading policies (ABC/No credit or Satisfactory/No credit). Grading without pluses and minuses (just aim for a 90), Ds, and Fs, and being able to drop classes at any time can greatly reduce stress about outcomes. I’ve mentioned before that the average GPA for Brown graduates is 3.63 which just looks great when compared to similar schools.
The problem is this is widely known. I really expect a high 3.X GPA from an Ivy grad, since many classes give As to more than 50% of the class.

This can be bad if the student has an off semester and struggles. If the 'average' graduate has a 3.8 and you have a poor semester, you might struggle to get back to 3.8.

That said, I think GPAs are overrated so I don't give a ton of weight to them, but in comparing I wouldn't consider the high grade inflation in the ivies to be a positive. I think it hurts the students' learning process when As are handed out like participation ribbons.
I think you underestimate the quality of the average college student in 2019 compared to 20-30 years ago. Competition is fierce (I view this as being generally negative) such that grade “inflation” is largely justified based entirely on merit. This is precisely why a school which gives more As than a comparable school (like Cornell or UPenn) is worth serious consideration.

I think that unfortunately GPA is very crucial for certain fields (medical school, law school, some graduate schools, etc) just to be considered. You are correct that it can be overrated and nearly meaningless in other areas, and over time experience and performance are far more important.
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Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

Post by LadyGeek »

I removed an off-topic comment and several replies regarding the collegiate background of several politicians.This thread has run its course and is locked (no progress in the discussion, rehashing similar information, repeating college "X" is better than college "Y"). See: Locked Topics
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