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Iowa State, Notre Dame, or Northwestern?

  1. Apr 8, 2010 #1
    I am a high school senior, still deciding on which college I will attend. I have searched the internet for answers and have seen some of these interesting discussions. I am very interested in physics, also mathematics. This is my very first post ever, and I don't even know if anyone will read this. If you are reading it now and have some contributions, I would greatly appreciate them.

    Here's a little more about me, just so the reader knows my situation: I am a Midwest kid and love it here. I have been accepted into all three universities: Iowa State, Notre Dame, and Northwestern. I come from a small town and school, but I have a 4.0, got a 34 on my ACT, got a 2240 on my SAT, and am a National Merit Scholar. Again, I just want to provide a little more information about myself.

    My dilemma is about choosing the right university for me. I realize that Northwestern has the best academic program, and probably best physics one, too. Notre Dame could be considered to have the second best academics, but Iowa State, at least as far as I know, is known to have a very good science/math/engineering program. I want to be challenged wherever I go; obviously, NU and ND are the best choices there. Still, both cost a lot of money. I guess one could say that I have good enough scores to get some scholarships, but I haven't from either. I have, however, been offered a full-ride to ISU, and I could be in the Honors Program, there.

    Does anyone have any information about any of these universities? their academic programs? their physics/science/math programs? Would I be dumb to refuse a full ride to a decent school like ISU? Does ISU actually have a really good science program compared to ND or NU? Should I take some loans and try to do my best in the competitive "prestigious" schools like ND or NU? I find myself liking all three options about the same. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. To the responder, Thanks so much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2010 #2
    I was just in your shoes...I decided a few months ago where I wanted to go to college next year. A major factor that influenced my decision was tuition. My parents said that they would help a little, but it was up to me to pay for 90% of my tuition. All the schools I applied to would give me an excellent education (I want to be an engineer), but it was ultimately the cheapest one that I went with...I don't want to be paying $100K loans off when I get out.

    Personally, I would go to Iowa State. ISU would have to have a major drawback for me to hesitate. Plus, they have an excellent engineering program (not sure if that's what you want to do).

    Have you been to all three of the campuses? Keep in mind you'll have to live there for four years, so it might help with your decision.

    I can't comment on ND or Northwestern as I don't know much about them....other than they are very expensive!

    Hope this helped and good luck!
  4. Apr 9, 2010 #3
    I'm actually an Iowa State student right now, and its great here. Everyone's really nice, and extremely helpful. There's tons of help available, and every professor I've had is always willing to help with your questions. I'm an EE major btw.

    I'd say the only down side is your intro math/physics/chem classes are in larger class sizes, but after you get through the basic program, of calculus, general chem, classical physics, then you will notice a more comfortable class room of 25-35 students generally.

    P.S: ISU has a very respectable program in math/physics/engineering
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
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