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Berkeley vs UCLA: Which one should I choose?

Hey guys! I'm really torn between Berkeley and UCLA, and I'm not sure what factors to consider when making the decision. What are some major differences between the two schools that I should be aware of? Do you have any tips on how to choose?

7 months ago

Hello! Congratulations on getting accepted to both Berkeley and UCLA! It's a tough choice, but I'm here to help you weigh some of the factors.

1. Location: Berkeley is located in the town of Berkeley, a smaller, quirky college town with a rich history of activism. It's close to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, offering great opportunities for internships and networking in the world of tech. On the other hand, UCLA is in Los Angeles, a sprawling city with a diverse cultural landscape and better access to entertainment-related resources. If you prioritize access to beaches, sports, Hollywood, and a vibrant city life, UCLA might be the choice for you.

2. Academic Programs: Consider the strength of the programs you're interested in, as each school has its own set of renowned departments. For example, Berkeley is well-known for its engineering and computer science programs, whereas UCLA is famous for its film school and strong programs in the social sciences.

3. Campus Environment: Berkeley has a more traditional, ivy-covered campus with older architecture, while UCLA's campus features a Mediterranean vibe with palm trees and more modern buildings. Try visiting both campuses (in person or virtually) to get a sense of which environment suits you better.

4. Size and Resources: Berkeley and UCLA are both large, public universities, but they offer different resources for research, extracurriculars, and campus life. Research opportunities and facilities at each school might vary depending on your major, so investigate these factors when deciding, as one school might have especially good offerings for what you're interested in.

5. Social Life: Which social scene is right for you often depends on the individual's interests and efforts rather than the school itself. However, some may find that Berkeley has a more politically engaged environment, while at UCLA there's a greater focus on Greek life and sports-driven social events.

6. Housing and Food: Each campus has its own housing options and dining facilities. It's usually recommended to live on campus during your first year to facilitate your adjustment to college, so check out things like variety of food options and the number of people you'd likely be living with to decide which environment would make you feel most comfortable as you're settling into your new home.

7. Cost: The cost of attendance could be a major factor in your decision. While both schools are part of the UC system, tuition and fees may vary slightly. Additionally, consider the cost of living in Berkeley versus Los Angeles, as well as potential financial aid packages.

Ultimately, the best way to choose is to reflect on your personal preferences, academic goals, and the overall feeling you get from each campus. Good luck!

7 months ago

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