UC Berkeley, Fordham, and U Chicago pros/cons?

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: UC Berkeley, Fordham, and U Chicago pros/cons?
By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:10 am: Edit

I am going to be an entering freshman at the University of Kentucky this fall, and although it is probably the best university overall in the state, I really want to transfer somewhere else better at the end of the spring 2005 semester. I see myself as a very determined person who went about things in the wrong manner in the past, especially when it came to my grades in high school. (I had a 3.1, which isn't horrible, but still. Refer to some other posts to figure out my other stats if you care to.) So I this is not another "What are my chances?" sort of thread.

I've done plenty of research about the schools I am thinking about applying for transfer to, and I know for sure that I want to apply to Columbia and Yale, as I can really see nothing wrong with these schools for the type of person I am. However, I want to apply to one or maybe 2 more, just to broaden my possibilities so that if I don't make transfer at Yale or Columbia, I can still move up somewhat to somewhere I want to go.

So if anyone has any info at all on anything about UC Berkeley, Fordham U, or U of Chicago AT ALL, (quality of programs, quality of students and faculty, quality of dorms or even campus food) please post. As of now it's a tie for me between Berkeley and Chicago, and Fordham is a close second under them.

I'm not sure what I want to study, but I do have it narrowed down pretty much to computer science, writing, music, and biochemistry or some such science. (I mean I have some interest in things like astrophysics but I just haven't totally decided what I want to do.)

Even though I don't want this to be a "What are my chances?" post, as I said, I'm pretty sure that all of these schools allow transfer. Please tell me if I am wrong, and their transfer rates if you know them. I want pretty much any helpful info that you can give. Thank you very much and sorry for the long post.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 03:52 am: Edit

I know SOMEONE has to know SOMETHING useful as far, as their quality, about one of those colleges.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 08:55 am: Edit

What is there to say. Cal, Chicago, Columbia and Yale are all top 10 universities. They are awesome. I am not sure how Fordham fits into the picture, but the others seem to fit nicely.

As far as transfering into them, Yale, Columbia and chicago are not known for admitting many transfer students. Cal on the other hand, is.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:10 am: Edit

Yes, but the vast majority of Cals transfer are CA community college graduates who must recieve extreme preference there. Very hard out of state. Fordham doesn't see to fit with the others.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit

Well, I know some people say U Chicago doesn't "feel" friendly and that the atmosphere isn't really an atmosphere conducive to learning, and that it isn't a fun place to spend for years. Verification of that, if there is any, is what I'm looking for, as well as similar stories, with a negative slant or not, for the other schools.

I'm aware that UC Berkeley and U Chicago are very high-ranking schools, which is why I am considering transferring to them, as I would only want to transfer up. Fordham probably doesn't rank as high, but it still appeals to me in the sense that, although as of now I haven't visited, I would still rather go there than UK.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:43 pm: Edit


By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:13 pm: Edit

Whoa, there about transferring before you see what you can do at U of Kentucky. I've known some very successful people who came out of that school. Close friend is a U of K graduate who did transfer to U of Chicago, bombed their and transfered back, got into a top med school and is now a dept chair of a major hospital. He had top grades and test scores at his Kentucky highschool and a 4.0 at U of K. He went back because the grading scale at U of Chicago which is a "C scale" would have seriously undermined his premed ambitions.

Berkeley is a tough school for out of staters, in particular as are all of the UCs. Look at the out of state stats and you will see what I mean. U of Chicago's atmosphere is very, very different from that of any flagship state school and may not be what you want. Something you may want to check out first. And remember the C scale. Northwestern, no easy in, may atmosphere wise be a better transition as a reach school. The Loyolas in Chicago and La are also possibilities, more in the tradition of Fordham. Some other choices are Vanderbilt and Tulane that may be less of a stretch.

By all means, if these are your dream schools, pursue them, but do think about what you really want that U of K cannot give you.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:27 pm: Edit

Well, although it is not so much the topic, one thing UK cannot give me and one reason for me thinking it it so much the perfect school for me is Columbia's Creative Writing major. UK only has an English major and few writing classes I actually want to take. (In fact, the only one I really want to take is English 205, which I am waitlisted for right now.)

Don't get me wrong, I've been to Lexington 3 times and I already see it as a very nice city to live in the heart of, and UK is a pretty attractive campus and all that. It is just that Columbia and Yale I know hold many of the nice qualities that UK does, as well as plenty of additional things. But I'm not sure about U Chicago, Fordham, and UC Berkeley, hence this thread.

If anyone has anything extra to contribute, please post!

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:40 pm: Edit

Do visit Chicago. It is very different from any of the colleges you have even mentioned. Academically, it is probably the finest in the country, but socially, well, it is very different. If Writing is something you want, take a look at the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, the progam at University of Iowa, along with some other writing programs. I would focus on a few schools that really are of interest, and then work as hard as possible your freshman year at Uof K. Transfer applicants have their college transcripts scrutinized. The other major consideration is the desire and fit with the program that the applicant wants. The more you know and can target in that school, the better your chances.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:48 pm: Edit

While Berkrley ranks highly, it has a huge undergraduate population, is well known for being a brutally hard place to get good grades, graduates less than half their students in less than five to six years and is expensive for an out of state student. Yale would be a much better experience in may opinion as would be many other schools. If creative writing is what you're looking for, many other schools would be better, Kenyon and many others among small LACs which you may want to consider. Just look in the archieves on these boards for other ideas. What are your stats, we could be more helpful with those.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

Thank you for all of your posts.

Mainly, as far as stats, my ACT score was a 30 (SAT equivalent 1340), and my cumulative GPA was a 3.1. For much more elaboration on my stats, please refer to the July 2004 Archive under College Admissions, the title of which is something like "Mediocre Kid Transferring to Top Schools?". It is in the top half of the posts, I think.

Of course, as you can see if you refer to many of my other posts all over this board, I am planning to work very hard in college, in which case a substantial improvement and steadfast determination will be obvious when it comes time to actually apply for transfer.

I would also like to note that the main reason for my 3.1 is the many Algebra classes I took, (At least one every year), as I am thinking about also studying Computer Science, biochemistry, or something a bit similar. Strangely enough my Geometry and Trigonemetry classes were not very difficult at all to me.

Again, thanks, and if anyone has anything else to post, please do.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 11:19 pm: Edit

Bump. This topic covers 3 schools in totally different parts of the country, I'd figure I could get more info than this.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit

The schools you are talking about are highly competitive other than Fordham. It's harder to get into them as a transfer than as a freshmen. So you'll need as close to a 4.0 as possible and even more important, a compelling reason for wanting that school. So I would advise you to indeed work very hard, but to also focus on schools where you can make a strong case that they can offer you something (in an area you've shown dedication to) that your current college can not. Good luck!

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:17 am: Edit

Thank you, Mom101, but even though you did post some helpful advice earlier, as I said, stating that "it'll be really hard to get into those schools, so you sure better work at it!" is not really much help, because I have already been told that and was already aware of it even before I was told for the first time that it would be hard. Not to be rude, I'm just saying. Thanks for the "Good luck!" and all that too.

If anyone has any info on the quality of the schools, such as strength of programs, friendliness of student body, things like that, especially one school as opposed to one of the others, please post.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 03:42 pm: Edit

Bump, just one more time

By Pattykk (Pattykk) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 12:29 pm: Edit

Have you looked at the Indidual Schools threads? There is a lot of discussion of these schools in the archives, too, if you do a message search. You also might want to look at studentsreview.com and epinions. Good luck.

By Mini (Mini) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 01:13 pm: Edit

Having spent 3 years at U.Chicago as a grad. student and t.a. (but a long time ago), the advice that you have to visit is very sound. It is "different", and not for everyone. Let's put it this way: students walk around in sweatshirts that say "We're #316"." That's because of someone's ranking of the student quality of life at 316 major colleges and universities, U.Chicago finished.... They are very proud of it.

Creative writing and music are not their strong suit (Northwestern is much better in both, with a more appealing environment.) And I'd say that the best part of the U.Chicago education is in the core curriculum in the first two years.

Still, if you like studying hard with lots of other folks who like to study hard in an environment very conducive to doing so, this is your place. (I think of it as Reed without trees.) Just visit to be sure.

By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 08:48 pm: Edit

If you are interested in creative writing, I have heard good thngs about that program at UC Irvine. It has a very different atmosphere than Berkeley but might be a bit easier to get into as a transfer student.

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