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Please suggest Universities

  1. Sep 17, 2007 #1
    I'll be applying by December. I still haven't decided on what universities I'll be applying to. I guess I'll be applying to at least 15 universities because I also want to apply to collges from the Ivy League, other top colleges, so if I get rejected from them, i should have back up universities.
    But i still haven't finalize.
    i was going to apply to MIT for early actions, but my standardized tests got delayed, so that planned dropped.
    So can you please suggest names?
    The top of my list right now are
    MIT, Stanford, CalTech, University of California at Berkley, Cornell.

    Could you suggest more.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2007 #2
    Thats depends if you're smart or not. The colleges you listed are generally reserved for the best and brightest. Otherwise, you'll go to a state college or private university with an antiquated physics/mathematics department.
  4. Sep 17, 2007 #3
    I can't give much advice with the universities but one thing I would like to say is that focus on those essays. They make a huge difference to your admission chances especially at top universities.

    Also I would recommend going to talk.collegeconfidential.com to get an idea of the admission process. Several admission officers (e.g. from MIT, John Hopkins, etc.) post on that board so if you hunt around, you should get a fairly good idea of how the admission process works.
  5. Sep 17, 2007 #4
    It would help if we had more information about your situation.
    1. What are you planning to study?
    2. In which state do you live? Public universities tend to favor in-state applicants over out-of-state applicants both in admissions and in tuition costs.
    3. Are you looking for a school that emphasizes teaching or one that emphasizes research? The two are not mutually exclusive, but all of the schools you have named tend to emphasize research, and you might be surprised by how little instruction you receive.
    DavidSmith makes a valid point in a rather tactless way: you've listed five extremely selective research universities, and it's very possible that you will not be admitted to any of them. You should at least add an in-state public university to your list to be your safety school, and if you're a California resident, you should at least add another University of California school and/or a Cal State school to your list.
  6. Sep 17, 2007 #5
    I haven't decided on what I'll study, but I've decided on what I won't study (law, politics, business, economics, medicine, philosophy, art etc.). Maybe something related to physics, math, maybe some type of engineering, don't know.

    my state is CA.

    Emphasizes research.

    MIT is my goal. But of course, i know it'll be tough. that's why i'm applying to 15 universities, and am asking for other suggestions.

    What do you think my SAT score should be.
  7. Sep 17, 2007 #6
    as sid_galt said, collegeconfidential may give better advice since people talk about admissions and stats there all the time
  8. Sep 17, 2007 #7
    Re:SAT - Anything 2200+ is fine. At top unis SAT scores and GPAs are used for the preliminary elimination. After that it's your accomplishments, essays and recommendations.
  9. Sep 17, 2007 #8
    just realize a lot of people have dreams of going to the cal techs, ivy league schools, but not everyone gets in. Do a little bit of research into what cities may interest you. I.E. You don't want to end up at UC Davis if you hate not being in the city.
  10. Sep 17, 2007 #9


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    im sorry but i feel depressed by your social climbing attitude. that list of top 5 schoolsis kind of silly. i.e. if youy get into one of them you will probably get into all, so just. list the one or maybe rtwo you really want.

    then a couple more less exclusive then 1 or 2 much less exclusive.

    dont be foolish. even lower level places like most state schools today, have programs that \most students will be fully challenged by.

    the university of georgia is not harvard, at least not socially, but i guarantee we can give you all you can take, mathematically. most students i have cannot even do well in my non honors calculus course. and our younger people, like valery alexeev, bill graham, will kazez, robert varley, clint mccrory, ted shifrin, .....

    are as good as any teachers at yale, princeton, brown, mit or berkeley. indeed they have taught there.

    we offer a spivak style honors caLC COURSE, and allow bright undergrads to take our grad courses.

    and there are scores or more of schools on our level.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2007
  11. Sep 18, 2007 #10
    If you decide to go to an Ivy League school for undergrad, know that you're providing the best graduate education your (parents) money can buy (for someone else). For undergrad, I would recommend that you go to your state school so long as it's in the top ~20-25 for your program. Excel there and then shoot for a top 5 grad school. The rankings you read about in US News/WR are rankings for grad programs, not undergrad.

    If your state doesn't have a decent public institution then all bets are off and you should just go to the best school you can.
  12. Sep 18, 2007 #11
    Well, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my alma mater, UIUC. It's very good in physics and engineering, and is probably easier to get in to than the schools you mentioned. However, while it won't be $40K a year, out-of-state tuition is still quite high.
  13. Sep 18, 2007 #12

    Chris Hillman

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    Ditto mathwonk. College is only what you make of it. I've known students who wasted the opportunity to attend an Ivy League university (by failing to engage in and master an intellectual pursuit), and I've known students who managed to get superb educations at colleges nobody has ever heard of. One quick way to see that academic success doesn't require attending a "prestigious" college is to look at where entering graduate students in prestigious graduate programs come from. Sure, you'll a lot from who graduated from the most prestigious universities, but you'll also see some who came out of "nowhere" (which actually might be more impressive). The major advantage of attending a more prestigous university is that you are more likely to encounter gifted and ambitious students. (You can assume that faculty just about anywhere will be gifted and knowledgeable.)

    Notice that my comments are also consistent with what Huckmank suggested, which is not at all a bad plan.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2007
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