Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

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ram
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Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by ram » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:36 am

My son has done well in high school. He got an ACT score of 36 (top 0.05 %), SAT score of 2290/2400 and a SAT biology score of 800/800. He is a national merit finalist and an AP national scholar (11 subjects x score of 5 each at the end of junior yr). He is giving 8 more AP tests next month. He (his high school team) is the National ocean science champion and state champion/ national participant at Science Bowl, Science Olympiad and HOSA competition. (health occupation students of America).

He plans on a biology major and hopes to join Med school. He did not apply to Ivy league as we wanted to get merit scholarships. He has been accepted at the following schools and I am listing the school, scholarship received over all 4 years and 'additional' out of pocket cost for 4 yrs. (total cost is the sum of these two columns). Total cost includes tuition, room, board, books, living expenses. Excludes travel to and from home and health insurance and study abroad (but see below).

1. Vanderbilt Univ---- Scholarship 175 K ------------out of pocket 45 K
2 Emory--------------------------------60 K-----------------------------150 K
3 Univ of Miami-----------------------96 K------------------------------100 K
4 Case Western ----------------------40 K -----------------------------170 K
5. U Wisconsin, Madison(state U)--10 K-------------------------------60 K
6. U Minnesota Twin Cities----------40 K-------------------------------40 K
7. Duke----------------------------------0--------------------------------200 K
8. Rice ..................................0.................................200 K
He was rejected by Johns Hopkins.

The Vanderbilt scholarship includes 4 yrs of tuition (future increases are covered), 6 K for study abroad/ research project and 8k for room/board for national merit scholars (2k/yr)
At our income level he will not get any need based aid.

Ques 1. : Which college is the best value.

"IF" all goes well he is looking for additional 11 to 15 yrs of schooling. (4 yrs college + 4 med school + 3 to 7 yrs of medical residency/fellowship). Eventual age 29 - 33 yrs. He will have enough AP credits to finish college in 3 yrs. This will entail giving MCAT (medical entrance exam) at the end of second yr.

Ques 2: Should he spend 3 or 4 yrs in college. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by ram on Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by 3504PIR » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:16 am

1. Where does he want to go? I would think that would be the # 1 factor. Personally, I'd eliminate the University of Florida (Miami) which I've never heard of (and I taught at UF in Gainesville) and the twin cities one, I've never heard of that either.

2. 3 or 4 years depends. His GPA will factor into med school acceptance and being in a race to complete undergrad may not be in his best interest. Understand his AP credits. Maturity matters a lot as well. Have you been on a campus recently at the beginning of a fall semester? The freshmen look and act like 14 year olds compared to the upper classmen.

As we get older, we tend to forget the noneducational purpose of higher education in personal growth. My guess is that 4 years of maturity in an undergraduate program will make him a much better doctor assuming he still wants to be one in 4 years.

Obviously, Vanderbilt is the best value when glancing at the list, Duke is the worst. I'm excluding the Miami and Twin Cities ones because I've never heard of it and even if free, I doubt it would be worth it in the long run.

Good luck to him, I hope he has some say in the matter.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by RadAudit » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:20 am

ram wrote:Ques 1. : Which college is the best value.
Which college has the best biology department? Which school is rated highest?
ram wrote:Ques 2: Should he spend 3 or 4 yrs in college.
Plan on 4 years in undergrad. He should benefit from the extra year in school by getting grades in and exposure to additional classes in his major.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by HardKnocker » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:46 am

Congratulations on a very talented kid. He'll do well no matter where he goes.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:46 am

If he is going to post-graduate education, which he is, there is no reason to spend 4 years in college. He might as well finish in 3 years. I asked this same question of the Dean of Students of a respected university many years ago. She told me: finish in 3 years.

I know you have read the MIT vs U Wisconsin thread. :) What did you learn from that?

And I have to ask, why did this kid not apply to some more rigorous schools? I can see U of Wisconsin, Madison as the default state flagship, but why not Washington University in St Louis and Rice University in Houston? Those UMinn & U of Florida, Miami seem so to be a waste of an application, what was up with that? Are his guidance counselors whacko?
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by dbltrbl » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:55 am

Congrats to you and your son. Vandy,Emery, Duke and Case Western are fine schools with good medical schools down the road. Other schools are fine too but may be a tad below. From financial view point Vandy is clear winner. Combination of reputation and scholarships.

However, another important consideration should be how far away from home the school is away. At this age, 4 hours drive maximum as you can support on a monthly basis minimum. This is important for many young kids. You may not realize it but family food and occasional Laundry help is good. Talk with him.

I also agree with OP as to let him enjoy 4 years not 3 years. In life's scheme of things that 1 year is a bleep. Think instead of working 30 years he will work 29 big deal.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:02 am

Getting away from parents can also be important, so going to the school farthest away is the choice of many college students.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by bigred77 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:11 am

I would send my acceptance letter to Vanderbilt and not look back.

The only other contender for me would be if your kid REALLY wants to go to UW-Madison since it may be closer to home, all his friends may be there, etc.

Getting a full-ride to a school like Vandy is a VERY big deal. It looks to me like all you need to pay is a little difference in room and board plus transportation home. I think your 45k out of pocket figure is really high in that case.

If your son gets stuck on this one let him know this: co-ed bikini weather is a lot longer in Tennessee than in Wisconsin.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by bottlecap » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:48 am

I don't see how you can't choose Vandy at a total cost of $45k, unless:

1. He doesn't like Nashville;

2. He doesn't like the residential college idea for the freshman year (the University is trying to expand it to other years, but there is some serious resistance);

3. He wants to go to a huge school (U of M);

4. He wants to go where the girls wear bikinis most of the year (U of F);

5. He really, really likes another program of study else where; or

6. He wants to go to a football school (actually, Vandy seems to be getting better here, but there are guaranteed to be at least a few heartbreaks).

Regardless of where he goes, it sounds like he'll be fine. Vanderbilt is a great school, however, and he'd be getting the deal of a lifetime.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:00 am

Tell your son to take the 4 year route. I know there is a big push to try and cram it into 3 years, but that argument is usually made when costs are a factor, in this instance if your son chooses Vanderbilt, that extra year will cost you/him $10K. On the face of it, it doesn't appear that 10K will be a hinderance for you/him. The extra year will give him time to think and relax before entering into the grueling trial of medical school.

As for college choice, ideally Vanderbilt due to the significant financial consideration they are providing. Where does your son want to go? A cheap school is great only if the student really wants to be there, if he doesn't compromise and meet in the middle.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by coalcracker » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:13 am

I have recently emerged from the other side of your son's proposed journey, finishing residency and fellowship training. While I am certain things have changed considerably in the past 15 years (ah, the good old days of a perfect 1600 SAT), I can speak a little bit of my experience.

First off, I agree with letting him take 4 years in undergrad. Academically this may not be the optimal choice, but he would be missing out on the equally important social aspects of college that can "culminate" in senior year. I knew a few people in my medical school who fast tracked through undergrad and they regretted it. The only exception would be if he has aspirations to be a leader in his field, i.e. getting and MD/PhD and heading a department at a large academic medical center, in which case it might make sense to finish undergrad ASAP.

One of the most important factors in gaining admission to top tier medical schools and residency programs, fair or not, is the reputation/ranking of the undergrad/medical school he attends. Duke, Vanderbilt, Emory and to a lesser degree Case Western are very highly regarded schools and would put him on the right track. Based on reputation alone, Duke would be the choice, especially if he wants to continue on to top tier med school and residency. I attended a small liberal arts school and was able to get into a top 20 medical school, but I know from the admission commitee point of view they really put a premium on kids coming from these top tier undergrads and med schools.

BTW I cannot believe he was rejected by Hopkins. My high school credentials were light years behind his and I got an admission offer. Schools seems to get more competitive every year.

As an aside, if he is not passionate about practicing medicine, he should at least consider other career options. While I love what I do and am certainly not hurting financially, medical school has become much more expensive even since I finished. I know people who finished with 300K in loans, and now the interest rates for unsubsidized loans are nearing 7%. And in the current environment, I see physician salaries holding steady or decreasing in real dollars. Just something to think about.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:41 am

I highly recommend that students who can go ahead and complete their degree requirements in 3 years.

As for friends from HS, almost all will change after a semester at college. He will have mostly new friends. And they are not gonna be the normal freshman. They are gonna be the freshmen in sophomore classes who are putting the year-older classmates to shame. You can ask your daughter about this.

If he completes degree requirements in 3 years, then he will have opportunities not available and can make choices then. For example, he could travel abroad for a year or work in a health care for a year. Or see the other side of life by being a bartender for a year. Taking 4 years to finish is just sandbagging and closing the doors on some better opportunities.

Have you all visited some of these schools?
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Prokofiev » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:49 am

Has he considered MIT?
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Igglesman » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:50 am

...whoops....ignore
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Igglesman » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:50 am

I recommend 4 years. The extra AP credits allow him to take extra courses that they typically do not have time to take. Most schools encourage the 4 years (maybe for obvious reasons).

With such great grades and GPA etc., what was the "reach school"...Hopkins?

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by campy2010 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:59 am

Neal wrote:I have recently emerged from the other side of your son's proposed journey, finishing residency and fellowship training. While I am certain things have changed considerably in the past 15 years (ah, the good old days of a perfect 1600 SAT), I can speak a little bit of my experience.

First off, I agree with letting him take 4 years in undergrad. Academically this may not be the optimal choice, but he would be missing out on the equally important social aspects of college that can "culminate" in senior year. I knew a few people in my medical school who fast tracked through undergrad and they regretted it. The only exception would be if he has aspirations to be a leader in his field, i.e. getting and MD/PhD and heading a department at a large academic medical center, in which case it might make sense to finish undergrad ASAP.

One of the most important factors in gaining admission to top tier medical schools and residency programs, fair or not, is the reputation/ranking of the undergrad/medical school he attends. Duke, Vanderbilt, Emory and to a lesser degree Case Western are very highly regarded schools and would put him on the right track. Based on reputation alone, Duke would be the choice, especially if he wants to continue on to top tier med school and residency. I attended a small liberal arts school and was able to get into a top 20 medical school, but I know from the admission commitee point of view they really put a premium on kids coming from these top tier undergrads and med schools.

BTW I cannot believe he was rejected by Hopkins. My high school credentials were light years behind his and I got an admission offer. Schools seems to get more competitive every year.

As an aside, if he is not passionate about practicing medicine, he should at least consider other career options. While I love what I do and am certainly not hurting financially, medical school has become much more expensive even since I finished. I know people who finished with 300K in loans, and now the interest rates for unsubsidized loans are nearing 7%. And in the current environment, I see physician salaries holding steady or decreasing in real dollars. Just something to think about.
In terms of demographics, graduating from high school the past 2-3 years has been the peak of the millenial (baby-boom echo) generation. This large cohort of kids, plus increased interest in undergrad education from foreign students has made college admission very, very competitive. So, congrats to the OP's son for the admissions and some really fantastic scholarships. Hope his son's #1 choice is Vandy and not Duke. (I have some good friends who went to Vandy and they loved every minute of it.) ETA: For what amounts to $10k at Vanderbilt, stay a 4th year and take extra classes of interest, do independent research with a professor to get that great letter of rec. for med school, and socialize with friends. Why not?

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Muchtolearn » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:48 am

I would apply to the Ivy League. It would help greatly going forward as it puts him in the highest academic space. Why couldn't you use a merit scholarship at the Ivy League schools? Who guided him this way?

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:56 am

Muchtolearn wrote:I would apply to the Ivy League. It would help greatly going forward as it puts him in the highest academic space. Why couldn't you use a merit scholarship at the Ivy League schools? Who guided him this way?
The deed is done. College acceptance letters and e-mails have all gone out for HS seniors to receive them by April 1st. This is why ram posted today. His son got all his notices. It is possible that OP only told us about one rejection; there could have been more or even waitlisting (which is really a rejection). No matter. The son has lots of great choices and probably some school visits to help him decide.

As for Vandy vs Duke, I'm laughing. I would guess that half the kids going to Vandy also applied to Duke (if not more than half).
campy2010 wrote:..., do independent research with a professor to get that great letter of rec. for med school, and socialize with friends. Why not?
There is no reason not to start independent research in the sophomore year and have a couple of papers published before graduating in 3 years.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by epilnk » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:16 pm

Unless something has changed since my day (quite possible, departments come and go), Madison is an excellent choice for biology. I was turned down by the PhD program there and had to settle for my second choice (Ivy League) school. However you need to assume that your son will get to college and suddenly see the world through a different lens. Most smart kids do. So you want to consider more than just the biology department, in case he decides the pre med track is not right for him after all.

Vanderbilt is not only a great deal on tuition - that support for extra opportunities such as research and study abroad is extremely enticing. Taking advantage of the extras is only going to enhance his med/grad school potential. However I strongly suspect you've got the kind of kid who will do well no matter where he goes in life. Point out the obvious advantage of avoiding a crushing burden of debt but trust him to make a good decision, because he clearly has a good head on his shoulders. And congratulations, by the way.

You cannot assume he'll be done in 3 years even if he aims for that. It's not entirely under his control; many students struggle to be done in 4 and it's not always because they made mistakes. But more importantly, if he pushes through in 3 years it is highly unlikely that he will do any meaningful research. If he's planning on a career in science or medicine a research project will most likely be the most valuable part of his college experience in terms of education, mentoring, and letters. It would be worth the extra year just for that alone.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by greg24 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:25 pm

With a lot of AP credits and a great brain, 3 years is a great goal. If he finishes in 3 and wants to experience more college, get a masters.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Muchtolearn » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:55 pm

greg24 wrote:With a lot of AP credits and a great brain, 3 years is a great goal. If he finishes in 3 and wants to experience more college, get a masters.
College is more than just the academics. Relationships, college culture, etc. A lot of these "smart" kids don't do any of that stuff because they are studying. I could have graduated in 3 years -- no way.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by JPH » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:58 pm

Choosing a college is a very personal matter. From the data you show Vanderbilt looks like the best deal. I vote for a full four year progarm for med school preparation.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by travellight » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:05 pm

I would advocate for finishing in 3 years but it depends on his mindset. I was so gung ho at that age.... I really did not want to enjoy myself or relax and do some recreating. I ended up finishing med school just before age 22 (went to Hopkins). I sure appreciated being done earlier than others after a very long road. You will have to assess based on his maturity and inclination but if both are favorable, go for 3 years.

I also wonder why he didn't have more elite schools with such a background. One of my friends e-mailed me that her daughter just got acceptances from: Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, U. of Pennsylvania, Brown, Cornell, Duke, Vanderbilt, U. of Miami, Wellesley, NYU-Stern Business School, and Johns Hopkins.

She was waitlisted at Harvard & Columbia, and was waiting to hear from Stanford.

Your son's creds sound remarkable enough to be in the same category. Congratulations overall though! Sounds like you've done many things right to have two kids turn out so well. Maybe we can start a different post on parenting principles and outcomes. I would be seriously interested; my son is 15 so I have a few years to go.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:17 pm

I see no reason why one cannot work 20 hours a week, publish a couple of research papers in well-respected scientific journals, be captain of the lacrosse team, go out on lots of dates, meet many professors who seek you out because you are the state champion in squash, race in the summers, and form your own software company, etc. and still graduate in 3 years.

Don't let your son set his sights as low as the folks in this thread would have him do.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by greg24 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:22 pm

Muchtolearn wrote:
greg24 wrote:With a lot of AP credits and a great brain, 3 years is a great goal. If he finishes in 3 and wants to experience more college, get a masters.
College is more than just the academics. Relationships, college culture, etc. A lot of these "smart" kids don't do any of that stuff because they are studying. I could have graduated in 3 years -- no way.
They aren't mutually exclusive. Sounds like he'll accrue a large number of AP credit hours. So you think he should spend 4 years earning 90 credits?

I didn't say 3 years was a requirement, but its a good goal. He is a high achiever, averaging 22 credit hours per year is woefully selling himself short.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Muchtolearn » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:22 pm

livesoft wrote:I see no reason why one cannot graduate in 3 years, work 20 hours a week, publish a couple of research papers in well-respected scientific journals, be captain of the lacrosse team, go out on lots of dates, meet many professors who seek you out because you are the state champion in squash, race in the summers, and form your own software company, etc.

Don't let your son set his sights as low as the folks in this thread would have him do.
Where do you propose he do the research? That would be good for half of the courseload for the 4th year of college. that's what I did.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:27 pm

Muchtolearn wrote:Where do you propose he do the research?
There are many outstanding undergraduate research program opportunities around the USA that take place in the summer months. But one could also do this at any of the universities in the original post to this thread during the school year and into the summers as well.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:30 pm

travellight wrote: I was so gung ho at that age.... I really did not want to enjoy myself or relax and do some recreating. I ended up finishing med school just before age 22 (went to Hopkins).
How do you complete medical school by the age of 22? I thought I was ahead of the curve by completing my first MS at that age, and I began my undergrad at 16 with a ton of AP credits.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:33 pm

^ Alright! Now we have some players on the forum. Great!
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by coalcracker » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:36 pm

Regardless of whether he takes 3 or 4 years, I can't advocate enough that he take advantage of a study abroad experience. It did wonders for my independence and really changed my world view from the US-centric mindset I had up until that point in my life. I went for a semester but wish I had gone a year.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Watty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:53 pm

Which College? 3 years or 4 years?
There is a third alternative which would be to take four years but to get a double major if that can be done under the terms of his scholarships.

He could choose a second degree in something that complements his biology and medical career track such as a computer related degree if he has interest in that area. In addition to other technical fields there lots of other areas like business, management, etc areas would also fit in well for a future doctor if that fit him better and these might give him a more diverse background.

Partway through he could decide to switch areas of emphasis if he wanted and let one degree or the other just become a very strong minor and this would give him a very good alternative path if he decides that medicine is not right for him.

As for choosing the school the package at Vanderbilt looks like an easy choice but it wasn't clear if he had actually visited each of these schools. Before making a final decision it would be good to him to make a quick trip there if at all possible. Some of those schools sounds like they are in pretty urban areas which he may or may not like.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by climber2020 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:56 pm

ram wrote:Ques 2: Should he spend 3 or 4 yrs in college. Thanks in advance.
I think a good approach is for him to overload his hours (i.e. taking 5 classes a semester instead of the usual 4) during his first year or two. This would at least give him the option to finish in 3 years if he wanted to.

I finished college in 3 years, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I hated college.

As far as the Biology major, that's all fine and good if that's really what he loves and wants to study. But's it's not essential. A lot of the pre-meds I knew in college majored in Biology because that's what every other pre-med did thinking it would give them some sort of advantage in medical school. It doesn't. He will learn all the relevant science he needs to know during the first two years of med school.

If he's passionate about the humanities, art, or music, then he should major in one of those and simply take the minimum required science courses needed to apply to medical school. A candidate who is a master at playing the bagpipes and still got A's in his required science courses is quite the impressive applicant who will stand out from the rest of the herd.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by mholdi1540 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:18 pm

I can personally speak for Emory for I graduated there in 1981. He might want to rethink 4 years instead of 3. He is going up against the cream of the crop that want to go to medical school and the comptetion is severe. 90% of each freshman class back then declared pre-med as their intention and he may need a little longer to absorb the class material to do well against the competetion if med school is he goal. He's has done well but make no small bones about it he going up against severe competetion at Emory (as well as most schools) and they do not take prisoners..

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by travellight » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:20 pm

stoptothink- I graduated high school right after age 14. I took very full course loads peaking with taking 26 credit hours spring quarter of my freshman year, took 23 credit hours summer quarter while working 15 hours per week in a hospital; got into a combined program Hopkins had where you finished in 7 years instead of 8. I finished everything by January senior year of med school (age 21) and graduated in May after my birthday in April. I went to Greece with some classmates to celebrate.

I think livesoft was partly joking, tongue in cheek about starting a software company whilst doing all this but I agree with the sentiment to let the person rise to their own highest level and not be constrained by perceptions of normal. It really has to be individualized. There isn't a right answer to this.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:24 pm

travellight wrote:stoptothink- I graduated high school right after age 14. I took very full course loads peaking with taking 26 credit hours spring quarter of my freshman year, took 23 credit hours summer quarter while working 15 hours per week in a hospital; got into a combined program Hopkins had where you finished in 7 years instead of 8. I finished everything by January senior year of med school (age 21) and graduated in May after my birthday in April. I went to Greece with some classmates to celebrate.

I think livesoft was partly joking, tongue in cheek about starting a software company whilst doing all this but I agree with the sentiment to let the person rise to their own highest level and not be constrained by perceptions of normal. It really has to be individualized. There isn't a right answer to this.
Impressive. I can't even make a successful backdoor brag on this board. Most people can't believe how I completed undergrad at 19, on Bogelheads it is par for the course.
Last edited by stoptothink on Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by travellight » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:26 pm

Undergrad at 19 is still very bragworthy, stoptothink. There is always someone who is faster, stronger, higher, etc. I am sure there are people out there who finished college at 12. We both still did quite well.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Random Poster » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:26 pm

Before someone who is on academic scholarship considers increasing their course load in any particular semester or year, they might want to check if the academic scholarship is limited to a maximum "X hours per semester" payout basis.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by SobeCane » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:37 pm

Is it University of Miami or University of Florida? They are very different schools.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by mlebuf » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:41 pm

Vandy would be my first choice by a mile. It's an excellent school, they offer the best financial package and Nashville is a great city. I don't know where in the Midwest you live, but it's likely a short flight home from Nashville.

As for the 3 or 4-year route, I'll leave that recommendation to the Boglehead docs.

Congratulations on having such a talented son. If he applies himself, he will be successful no matter where he goes to undergrad school. All too often, parents anguish over getting their son or daughter into the "right" college. Truth be told, the greater seeds of success are sown in high school.
Last edited by mlebuf on Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by steadyeddy » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:19 pm

3504PIR wrote:I'm excluding the Miami and Twin Cities ones because I've never heard of it and even if free, I doubt it would be worth it in the long run.
You've never heard of Minnesota's flagship state university with the 4th largest student body in the country? I'm not saying it's the best, but I'm not convinced you're well-equipped to comment on this thread. :oops: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Minnesota

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Dave76 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:33 pm

{personal attack deleted by admin alex]

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Dave76 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:12 pm

[OT post (and responses to this OT post) deleted by admin alex]

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by 3504PIR » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:00 am

steadyeddy wrote:
3504PIR wrote:I'm excluding the Miami and Twin Cities ones because I've never heard of it and even if free, I doubt it would be worth it in the long run.
You've never heard of Minnesota's flagship state university with the 4th largest student body in the country? I'm not saying it's the best, but I'm not convinced you're well-equipped to comment on this thread. :oops: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Minnesota
I've never heard it called that, no. I've heard of the University of Minnesota, never heard anyone call it U of M T/C. Sorry to disappoint you. You guys should up your PR budget.

As far as how well equipped I am, until recently I taught and was a department head at the University of Florida. I spent a lot of my time on admissions. The OP can take what I've offered or not.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by 555 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:01 am

[off-topic comments deleted by admin alex]

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by nisiprius » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:11 pm

I would personally say take the full four years if you possibly can. Forgotten everything but the title of "What Makes Sammy Run?" but for most of us, life is not a race (and think about the implications of "finishing in the shortest possible time.") Getting through college in four years is plenty stressful under the best conditions. Anything to cut a little slack and leave a little room for error is a good thing.

Furthermore: college is an opportunity to diversify. There are people who enter college knowing what they want to do and taking a straight line to get there, but that's not everyone and I'm not even sure it's an ideal. Look at the young woman in another thread who went to college to learn engineering and is leaving it headed for med school. That's a Good Thing, and you need to allow time for it to happen.

Electives. Use 'em. I've never done a thing with the anthropology course I took, but I'm glad I took it.

Student activities. Don't underestimate their educational importance. How often in your life will you have a chance to do radio announcing or build a fiberglass canoe or edit a magazine, with no major life commitment, it's just sitting there, that fully-equipped workshop and supplies waiting for you come in and get started?

If you race through college in three years where are you going to find the time to take a student job in the Adaptive Computer Laboratory, or the cardboard box tucked away in the library stacks with all that strange stuff in it? For being the sorority treasurer?

And, yes, for "meeting people?"
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by livesoft » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:47 pm

^I'm sorry, but your post almost says that life stops after one graduates from college. I certainly had plenty of opportunities to do all the things you listed.
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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by curly lambeau » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:09 pm

ram wrote:
1. Vanderbilt Univ---- Scholarship 175 K ------------out of pocket 45 K
2 Emory---------------------------------60 K-----------------------------150 K
3 Univ of Florida, Miami-------------96 K------------------------------100 K
4 Case Western ----------------------40 K -----------------------------170 K
5. U Wisconsin, Madison(state U)--10 K-------------------------------60 K
6. U Minnesota Twin cities----------40 K-------------------------------40 K
7. Duke----------------------------------0--------------------------------200 K
There is no Univ of Florida, Miami, so I assume that is the University of Miami.

I would rule out Emory, Miami, Case Western, and Duke. I'd consider Duke if the expense is miniscule for you. I would assume Wisconsin is a stronger choice for biology and medicine than Minnesota. Vanderbilt is a good school but don't go overboard in estimating its national reputation in this decision. I'm speaking in general terms, not the strength of the bio and med programs. I have no insider info on med school acceptance.

As for 3 vs. 4 years, college is supposed to be an opportunity to explore various interests. I see no reason to get out in 3, but I am not in medicine. I do think a lot of 18 year olds who enter college with these sort of grandiose plans end up doing something completely different. The overplanning strikes me as folly. Most people in my Ph.D. program didn't even end up doing what they planned upon entrance, I doubt your 18 year old will.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by HomerJ » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:52 pm

livesoft wrote:^I'm sorry, but your post almost says that life stops after one graduates from college. I certainly had plenty of opportunities to do all the things you listed.
Exploring new things and meeting new people is certainly easier in college. At least, it is for most of us.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by steadyeddy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:06 pm

3504PIR wrote:
steadyeddy wrote:
3504PIR wrote:I'm excluding the Miami and Twin Cities ones because I've never heard of it and even if free, I doubt it would be worth it in the long run.
You've never heard of Minnesota's flagship state university with the 4th largest student body in the country? I'm not saying it's the best, but I'm not convinced you're well-equipped to comment on this thread. :oops: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Minnesota
I've never heard it called that, no. I've heard of the University of Minnesota, never heard anyone call it U of M T/C. Sorry to disappoint you. You guys should up your PR budget.

As far as how well equipped I am, until recently I taught and was a department head at the University of Florida. I spent a lot of my time on admissions. The OP can take what I've offered or not.
That makes sense, and I shouldn't have have questioned your post's value, I apologize. The U of M--Twin Cities is differentiated from handful of other campuses where they typically ship the lower scoring students.

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Re: Which College? 3 years or 4 years?

Post by Rodc » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:22 pm

My wife was valedictorian at her private undergrad school and went to Vandy on a full scholarship for an MA in Classics (to read some threads on this board a totally worthless endeavor, but she has never been unemployed and is now a high school vice-principal on the rise, so I guess maybe it will work out. :)) So, I'm guessing Vandy will be ok. :)

Double major can be a great idea, either in reinforcing majors (I doubled in math and physics, seemed to work out ok) or just two that are orthogonal, if he does not want to take 3 years. (edit changed typo, 4 -> 3)

Or start graduate school in his final year before finishing is undergrad (which I did, only for me it was year 5 not year 4) is another route.

Read an article the paper just this morning about a kid, sophomore I think with two majors (history and middle eastern studies I think) who studied software in his spare time and has his own thriving software company he started (complete with several real seasoned software professionals on his payroll). Only issue is he travels globally meeting with customers which does complicate his study schedule.

So livesoft's comments about publishing papers and starting a software company on the side while getting a double major appears doable.
Last edited by Rodc on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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