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Highschool senior seeking college advice

  1. Aug 18, 2006 #1
    This year, I am entering my senior year in highschool. I plan on majoring in physics, but I'm having some trouble deciding where to apply. Obviously, I'm not going to decide where I go to college based solely on advice given in an online forum, but I'd appreciate a couple nudges in the right direction. :smile:

    A little background infortmation-
    My family isn't made of money, so wherever I go to school must be affordable. I'm not a fantastic student, but I'm not a terrible student. I've made some As but also a lot of Bs. My SAT and SAT2 scores are very high and I got fives on all of my APs.

    I'd like to know what kinds of schools I should apply to. Is it true that where you get your undergraduate degree in physics is far less important than where you go to grad school? If this is the case, I'm considering the University of North Carolina, because the affordability of in-state tuition would be a huge plus. I'm taking multivariate calculus and mechanics through UNC this semester, so I'll find out a bit about the program that way.

    Are there any slightly less competetive/more affordable schools that have very strong physics programs out there? What about schools with undergraduate research opportunities?

    I feel so lost right now. There are so many schools out there and I'm having trouble finding the information I need.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2006 #2
    i personally would recommend UNC chapel hill. it really does appear that your choice of undergraduate school is far less significant than your choice of graduate school.

    also, ivies like harvard are making extra effort to include students with families that have a combined income of less than a certain amount. you might want to look into that, too.
  4. Aug 20, 2006 #3
    keep in mind though that almost every grad school in the US doesn't require you to pay tuition.
  5. Aug 23, 2006 #4
    Well, you may already be aware of this, but most private schools provide "need based" financial aid. I have heard of quite a few cases where it would cost the same family more money to go to a state school (in-state) than a private school that costs twice as much.
  6. Aug 25, 2006 #5
    I agree - UNC - Chapel Hill is a great school...and if you're looking for a Ph.D. eventually, your undergrad degree only serves to get you into a good grad school. Chapel Hill would be a great place for either degree, depending, of course, on what you eventually want to focus in in grad school. And you have to be willing to let that change, too! Basically you want a school large enough to expose you to many different fields, but don't forget to have fun! It's College!
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