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The Value of College

  1. Jan 18, 2010 #1
    Hey everyone, I am currently a senior in a high school with a pretty low reputation academically and behaviorally, but I push myself far beyond our school standards and I create my own. Essentially, I push myself to learn what I want to in the manner that I most desire.

    College is approaching and I am VERY paranoid. My education is important, but I don't know where to go. Sadly, I was unaware of the early deadlines for the ivy league schools and top universities (that seem to be ranked on criteria that is useless to me) so those are not an option. Even if I had the chance, my family has very little money so I am stuck with options that are close to home.

    Anyway, this whole rant comes down to one question: Is my undergraduate education as important as my graduate/PhD education? I have been accepted to Ohio State and Cincinnati and I am nearly done apply to Michigan in Ann Arbor while waiting for responses from various liberal arts schools.

    I am still unsure of what I want to do, so Ohio State looks like my best bet, but I want to know if I would be able to survive in a graduate program like MIT's or Caltech's coming from a school like Ohio State or even a liberal arts school that happens to specialize in a relevant academic field. If it helps, my choices are narrowed down to a major surrounding bio-genetics, neuroscience, and aerospace engineering.

    Thanks for your responses in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2010 #2


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    Yes, if you take the hardest undergrad courses, and whatever grad courses are open to undergrads in say physics and take all the opportunities to get research experience, browse and be able to read and critique a couple of articles in journals such as Cell, Neuron or the Journal of Neuroscience (which is the same advice I'd give to someone at say MIT), Ohio State would certainly prepare you do to well in neuroscience graduate school anywhere (except maybe Caltech).
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  4. Jan 19, 2010 #3


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    Your education is what you make of it. The private universities tend to push you harder and talk more of abstract concepts, while the public colleges try to cover the basics, and spend most of their time explaining the material twice to the students. This is usually because the students in public schools are, on average, dumber than the private university students. I went to NYU and CUNY, I would know :rolleyes:

    That being said, undergraduate studies are for you to find your niche. You may not even know what science you are interested in, whether it is science vs engineering, or just liberal arts. Physics has a tendency to disappoint you. The career prospects are iffy, the studies get harder as you get closer to graduation, and the number of females studying alongside of you tend to approach 0. From what I know, OSU is a great school. If I lived in Ohio I would be thrilled to go there. You should try to take as many different courses as possible, and party as hard as you can at the same time. This is a daunting task at first, but an important skill to develop. Good luck.
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