Decision Support: How to choose a school

Recorded Thursday, April 8 at 09:00 PM

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About this livestream


We get it — you’ve got options. Now that admissions results are out, the time has come to decide where you truly want to go. So join CollgeVine’s in-house decision-making expert Elias Miller for guidance on how to make one of the most important decisions of your life.

Elias will be going the various factors you should consider when making your final matriculation decisions, from the location, environment, prestige, and cost of whatever schools you've been accepted into. He'll also be sharing some of his personal experience as both a first-year and then transfer applicant, so make sure not to miss this special stream before it's too late.

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my third year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored hundreds more through my livestreams. I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist, and I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston and as Opera Saratoga's assistant conductor. I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States, and I'm looking forward to making my international conducting debut in Vienna this fall.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
6:21@asiah17:we can see your entire face
6:23@aforsy5059:we can see your face:)
6:35@Ineffable.Ari:I can see you!
22:03@hydrangea:Stanford probably
22:06@anonymous:State schools
22:08@anonymous:Public schools
22:31@Ineffable.Ari:Santa Clara? I don't know many CA schools
24:13@akumar:UC Berkeley UC Berkeley
24:16@Prudence:Cal Tech
24:42@Ineffable.Ari:Cal Poly
25:48@anonymous:Harvey mudd
27:39@anonymous:Is it ok to go to a school in California if I’m interested in finance?
28:29@anonymous:Is it a good idea to go to Stanford if I’m interested in finance?
32:38@aforsy5059:apple is in Cupertino, CA
33:15@aforsy5059:I am trying to decide between BU and Carnegie. Any Advice? I think CMU is more prestigious, but it is more of a STEM school and I am a Marketing major?
36:36@aforsy5059:yeah, pittsburg, lol
36:51@akumar:wow ! We should look at overall ranking or the department/major's ranking besides location?
38:11@Ineffable.Ari:For the academic point, I'm conflicted on choosing between an institute (so they have way less degrees, but super good at what they focus on, for context, GA Tech), and a university in which there are way more degrees but since I'm thinking of doing engineering it might not be the smartest to go there (UGA and Emory). I also want to do biology and architecture and all of them have that
38:19@Ineffable.Ari:Sorry for the super long question
40:09@Prudence:what is an example of a competitive school?
40:23@akumar:Hi for someone thinking of Biomedical engineering on a premed, which one is the best option -UIUC, U Pitt, UVA, USC and Penn State. These are all out of state tuition, So which one is the best value for money ?
42:35@anonymous:Would Columbia be a better option than MIT/Wharton for finance, accounting.... bc it’s located in NY?
42:52@akumar:UIUC and UPitt are ranked at 20 for Biomed as per US news . USC is higher overall ranking
43:48@stemcurious:Thoughts on CS from SJSU vs UCSD/UCI???
45:04@akumar:Yes USC is 12th ranked engineering and uIUC is 6th
45:46@Prudence:Is it okay to decide which school to go to based on if you feel at home?
48:06@akumar:I am on the fence regarding premed vs engineering. That's why it is tough to decide.
49:56@akumar:My mom is worried its a party school !LOL
50:23@anonymous:I am interested in sociology or political science and ten law school, will liberal art college or big school like U Michigan?
50:27@anonymous:Sorry I meant Haverford college vs u Michigan?
54:52@Ineffable.Ari:Will the livestream be up later and when if you have a time? Thank you so much for the info and your time!
55:21@akumar:UIUC- is the party school as per her!
56:34@anonymous:Do you have a preferred website for college research other than the specific college websites themselves? Can you also quickly repeat the criterias to consider when researching college (I joined late)
57:54@akumar:It is fun talking to you ! you talk sense !!
58:04@akumar:Any advice on how to request for appealing for more aid at USC.
59:54@akumar:My UVA package is same as USC
60:17@Prudence:My major is Engineering (idk which one, but I'm leaning towards Mechanical). I have to decide between IIT Chicago and GSU Georgia. I have a scholarship from IIT and a net cost of 23k and I don't have any scholarships from GSU. I don't know what to decide. GSU is closer to me though and IIT is far away.
61:32@Prudence:Georgia Southern University, Georgia
62:14@aforsy5059:I was pretty torn between the two, this was so helpful. Thanks!:)
62:19@asiah17:I am trying to decide between Rice and Northwestern. They gave me similar financial aid, so I'm really torn. I am planning to study psychology on a pre med track.
67:44@Prudence:Referring back to my question Georgia Southern University, Georgia is cheaper than IIT chicago
67:54@akumar:Thank you for your insights !
68:11@anonymous:its the 8th
68:49@Prudence:Do you know which of these schools have the best engineering program? IIT Chicago, Georgia Southern, Georgia, University of Alabama, Nova Southeastern, Florida, and Embry Riddle Florida
69:49@anonymous:thank you for your help!
70:27@akumar:University of Alabama is not bad ! Don't know about others.
71:47@Prudence:Georgia Southern Uni in Georgia
81:26@Prudence:No Georgia Southern is in Georgia
81:28@Prudence:That's what I meant


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