Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Berkley or UChicago for Undergrad?

Berkley
32
67%
U Chicago
16
33%
 
Total votes: 48

texaskk
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Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby texaskk » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:32 pm

Have a family friend who is choosing between these two for undergrad in the fall, and don't know anyone who went to/goes to either of them. Told his mom I'd do what I could to find out a little more about the schools.

Just general opinions/knowledge from people who went there or know people who went there for undergrad is great, don't know anything specific about what he's looking for/what he plans to major in, but would like to help him get info on the general "feel" of each school.

Thanks!

TheOldestMan
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby TheOldestMan » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:35 pm

Very good friend who goes to Chicago and loves it. I visited Berkley and was overwhelmed by the far eastern influence.

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MrKappus
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby MrKappus » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:38 pm

TheOldestMan wrote:I visited Berkley and was overwhelmed by the far eastern influence.


Way to use your very first post to be a huge racist.

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bk1
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:38 pm

Who's paying? Parents?

While the UC's are going up in tuition, UChi is still a private school that costs $40,000 a year or something like that.

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Hannibal
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Hannibal » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:40 pm

Berkeley has better weather and is probably cheaper (one year OOS, three years in-state). They're both excellent universities. I think it's more a question of whether you want to be in a big city with crap weather, or near a big city and surrounded by hippies.

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Veyron
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:41 pm

Better not go to law school. Those two UGs have the worse curves on the planet.

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bk1
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:42 pm

MrKappus wrote:
TheOldestMan wrote:I visited Berkley and was overwhelmed by the far eastern influence.


Way to use your very first post to be a huge racist.


But Asians are scary!

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Hannibal
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Hannibal » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:42 pm

Veyron wrote:Better not go to law school. Those two UGs have the worse curves on the planet.


I'm not at all knowledgable about UChi, but I know someone who barely does any work at Berkeley and has a 4.0. I think it depends on the program.

texaskk
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby texaskk » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:44 pm

bk1 wrote:Who's paying? Parents?

While the UC's are going up in tuition, UChi is still a private school that costs $40,000 a year or something like that.



I'm not sure... But he'd be out of state for California so guessing that's pretty expensive too? The only advice I could offer her based on my own "knowledge" was: 1) not sure whether now is a great time to be at a state school (have spent the last 4 yrs at UT Austin and watched budget cuts get worse with each passing year) 2) UChicago undergrad has the reputation of being "the place where fun goes to die"

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Hannibal
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Hannibal » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:47 pm

texaskk wrote:
bk1 wrote:Who's paying? Parents?

While the UC's are going up in tuition, UChi is still a private school that costs $40,000 a year or something like that.



I'm not sure... But he'd be out of state for California so guessing that's pretty expensive too? The only advice I could offer her based on my own "knowledge" was: 1) not sure whether now is a great time to be at a state school (have spent the last 4 yrs at UT Austin and watched budget cuts get worse with each passing year) 2) UChicago undergrad has the reputation of being "the place where fun goes to die"


In California it's pretty easy to gain residence after the first year.

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Knock
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Knock » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:50 pm

I'd go with Berkeley for the weather and cost.

Tuition Data from USN&WR:
Berkeley out of state- $33,747, instate- $10,868 (Source)
University of Chicago- $41,091 (Source)

So for 4 years it's going to be:
Berkeley (1 year oos, 3 years instate)- $66,351 in tuition for 4 years
University of Chicago- $123,273 in tuition for 4 years

Weather:
Chicago: The temperature in January averages about 29°F (-2°C) in the afternoon, and 14°F (-10°C) at night (Source).
Berkeley: Average January temperatures are a maximum of 56.4 °F (13.6 °C) and a minimum of 43.6 °F (6.4 °C) (Source).
Last edited by Knock on Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:07 am, edited 12 times in total.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:51 pm

I would never ever in a million years go to Chicago for undergrad. But, I probably had different priorities. Chicago's undergrad is... well... do a google search. It has a reputation of its own (some of which gets unnecessarily applied to the Law School)

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dr123
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby dr123 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:11 am

I wouldnt bank on in state at a UC. A friend of mine had to take a year off and work fulltime for a year and do some other shit (I dont remember off the top of my head) to get instate at UCLA for UG

GMVarun
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby GMVarun » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:33 am

I made this exact decision so please PM if you have any specific questions.

I chose UChicago and never regretted it. There are several factors (a) cost (slight advantage to Berkeley, but depends on your need package), (b) interest in academia (I think if you are serious about Ph.D. stuff, UChicago is the best place to be), (c) interest in econ/finance banking jobs (tilts heavily in favor of UChicago), (d) GPA if you want to go to places that will care about your gpa (UChicago recks GPAs, I don't know how much more so than Berkeley, but having talked to this with some people, I think this is a slight advantage to Berkeley),(e) location: Berkeley wins hand down (while downtown Chicago is not that far away, Hyde Park is not nearly as sick as a neighborhood as Berkeley ... this could go on. So let me know if you have specific questions.

{edit} In response to the above point about UChicago's undergrad reputation, this is so largely overplayed for the undergrads too. Honestly, if you want to really challenge yourself academically, and have a predisposition to go into to academia, Uchicago is the right answer. If no, then it's likely not.

80884
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby 80884 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:55 am

GMVarun wrote:I made this exact decision so please PM if you have any specific questions.

I chose UChicago and never regretted it. There are several factors (a) cost (slight advantage to Berkeley, but depends on your need package), (b) interest in academia (I think if you are serious about Ph.D. stuff, UChicago is the best place to be), (c) interest in econ/finance banking jobs (tilts heavily in favor of UChicago), (d) GPA if you want to go to places that will care about your gpa (UChicago recks GPAs, I don't know how much more so than Berkeley, but having talked to this with some people, I think this is a slight advantage to Berkeley),(e) location: Berkeley wins hand down (while downtown Chicago is not that far away, Hyde Park is not nearly as sick as a neighborhood as Berkeley ... this could go on. So let me know if you have specific questions.

{edit} In response to the above point about UChicago's undergrad reputation, this is so largely overplayed for the undergrads too. Honestly, if you want to really challenge yourself academically, and have a predisposition to go into to academia, Uchicago is the right answer. If no, then it's likely not.


agree with everything but the location. Hyde Park is SICK. No one walks home after sunset.

keg411
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby keg411 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:23 pm

It's undergrad. The kid should visit and figure out which school he likes better (as long as money isn't an issue). I picked my undergrad because of the weather :lol:.

FWIW, my cousin got into Chicago but didn't go because he hated the idea of the quarter system and wanted to be on a regular schedule (he's at Swarthmore now).

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tea_drinker
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby tea_drinker » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:35 pm

dr123 wrote:I wouldnt bank on in state at a UC. A friend of mine had to take a year off and work fulltime for a year and do some other shit (I dont remember off the top of my head) to get instate at UCLA for UG


+1

It's not easy for OOS undergrads to get instate tuition after the first year. They have to show they are financially independent and are not claimed by their parents in tax return

smittytron3k
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby smittytron3k » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:46 pm

I made this exact decision six years ago and ended up at Berkeley. I loved it and think it was one of the best decisions I made. The faculty is top-notch in nearly every department and I had a ton of interaction with professors. The TA's can be hit or miss, but they are not a huge presence except in lower division classes and many of them are very, very good (especially in the humanities and social sciences). If you're worried about grades, don't be (unless you're an MCB or hard sciences major); because there are so many students, a smart, hard-working student should be able to get good grades pretty easily, and either very hard work or extreme intelligence should be enough to get you to the top alone. You have incredible freedom to design your schedule and to take the classes you want to take: in the fall of my freshman year, I took an upper-division diplomatic history class, loved it, and didn't feel overwhelmed.

Academics aside, the place is so big that there's really a niche for everyone, and the vibe on campus is very friendly and open. Berkeley is a really cool place, and if you get bored of it you can always go to the city (which is just a BART ride away). Finally, if you're worried about getting into a good law school, I go to HLS and there are dozens of Berkeley grads here (there are also UChicago grads, and grads from virtually every other school you can imagine). If you're picking between these two schools based on which will give you a better chance of getting into law school, you're going about this problem the wrong way.

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Rand M.
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Rand M. » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:56 pm

JollyGreenGiant wrote:I would never ever in a million years go to Chicago for undergrad. But, I probably had different priorities. Chicago's undergrad is... well... do a google search. It has a reputation of its own (some of which gets unnecessarily applied to the Law School)


This. The undergrads her are largely a peculiar bunch. If this person would fit in, it might be the right place. If not, stay away.

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ahduth
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby ahduth » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:29 pm

Rand M. wrote:
JollyGreenGiant wrote:I would never ever in a million years go to Chicago for undergrad. But, I probably had different priorities. Chicago's undergrad is... well... do a google search. It has a reputation of its own (some of which gets unnecessarily applied to the Law School)


This. The undergrads her are largely a peculiar bunch. If this person would fit in, it might be the right place. If not, stay away.


Hyde Park. Where fun goes to die.

I have a hard time imagining two UG schools more diametrically opposed in temperament. Maybe Reed and BYU.

cornellbeez
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby cornellbeez » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:37 pm

Hannibal wrote:
texaskk wrote:
bk1 wrote:Who's paying? Parents?

While the UC's are going up in tuition, UChi is still a private school that costs $40,000 a year or something like that.



I'm not sure... But he'd be out of state for California so guessing that's pretty expensive too? The only advice I could offer her based on my own "knowledge" was: 1) not sure whether now is a great time to be at a state school (have spent the last 4 yrs at UT Austin and watched budget cuts get worse with each passing year) 2) UChicago undergrad has the reputation of being "the place where fun goes to die"


In California it's pretty easy to gain residence after the first year.


As some others have mentioned, no it's not, not for undergrad.

You have to be completely independent from your non-resident parents and pay your own way basically for 1-2 years before establishing residency as an undergrad. It's much harder getting residency as an undergrad than a grad student. (And even after working 1-2 years and paying their own way, I've known people who were denied residency.)

If both OOS, I would go to Chicago. If instate, I would go to Berkeley.

A lot of it deals with what kind of undergrad experience you want. At a large university like Berkeley, all of your small sections are going to be taught by GSIs and you get less face time with professors. A lot of it is going to be self-study. That means you can pretty much not attend class all semester and just study the book and get by. At Chicago, there's more face time with profs, but you probably have to attend class more.

Also, don't decide solely on tuition rates because some privates give out a lot more need-based aid. I had a friend who went to UPenn who pretty much got a full ride (need-based) because her parents were below a certain income threshold. While public schools may have lower tuition rates if you are in-state, privates have a lot more need-based aid to give.
Last edited by cornellbeez on Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HowdyYall
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby HowdyYall » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:44 pm

id chose the school with the better weather: berkeley. also, UChicago is where fun goes to die

EDIT: darn you ahduth, beat me to the undergrad stereotype

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Hannibal
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Hannibal » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:49 pm

My bad.

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AreJay711
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Whichever one is free. If neither one is free then expand the list.

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: Non-Law School School Choice.. Berkley or UChicago Undergrad

Postby Stupendous_Man » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:56 pm

UC Berkeley, hands down. You are comparing the best public school in the entire world to ... well, not that. Plus, internationally (I don't know if this matters to anyone), lay people in Europe and Asia generally have heard of 4 schools in the U.S.: Harvard & Yale on the east coast. Stanford & Berkeley on the west coast.

As for the feel, Berkeley is incredibly diverse, and there is a scene for everyone. Don't buy into stereotypes, most large undergrads are what you made of it, and you will find your niche whether it's through classes, organizations, clubs, sports, greek life, etc.




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