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Old 05-31-2013, 11:47 PM
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What would be the best school for my dd to consider--UT-Austin, or Texas A&M?

She's currently 10th grade, AP, honors student, all A's, into athletics, band, drama----so she's in the running for either. Which school would be the best long-term investment? Which would have the best name-recognition?
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:53 PM
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Hook em horns!
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:20 AM
Location: Austin, Texas
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UT, obviously, is more nationally well known and has greater prestige. But you really should know what your daughter wants to do first before asking which one is better for her.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Austinite101 View Post
UT, obviously, is more nationally well known and has greater prestige. But you really should know what your daughter wants to do first before asking which one is better for her.
this is the correct answer....UT will have the higher "rank" as a "university", but that is meaningless if your daughter wants to major in something that one school or the other does not offer or that one school is clearly stronger in than the other

if she wants to be a pharmacist well a pharmD degree is not an undergrad degree it is a 6+ year deal and Texas A&M does not have a pharmacy program in College Station it is in Kingsville while the UT Austin Pharmacy program is right in Austin so she would not have to move if accepted and it would also be the higher ranked program of the two and the much longer established program

on the other hand if she was interested in Animal Science, Food Science, Industrial Engineering, Oceanography, Bioengineering (not Biomedical), Forestry, Landscape Architecture, Marine Science, Horticulture and on and on TAMU would be a better option...if she wanted to go to Vet School again that is a post graduate degree and both schools can easily prepare one for Vet School and going to TAMU as an undergrad is NOT a guarantee that you will get into the Vet School, but if you do you would not have to move

if she wanted to teach, be a social worker or enter some other profession that is mainly government work (like teaching and social worker) and therefor set in salary and pay with little or no regard for where one obtained their degree then the school where she feels most comfortable would be the best choice

if she wanted to go on to medical school, law school (NOT a good idea presently), or physical therapy or some other degree that requires post graduate studies then again she should choose the school where she will be the most comfortable and where she will have the most friends and people to study with and interact with.....the REALITY that many parents do not want to face and that many students do not want to face is that if a student is not happy and not making friends at a school their grades will almost without a doubt suffer no matter how good of a student they are and TAMU and UT are really two very different universities and College Station and Austin are two very different college towns.....and I do not mean getting hammered drunk, sleeping around, getting placed on double secret probation (or ScoPro) or the like I simply mean making friends, meeting people, and actually having some sort of a life outside of the classroom and studying or work

between now and the time to choose a school she needs to REALLY talk with her friends about where they are going, why they are going there, she needs to look at how she socializes, who she socializes with, and she REALLY needs to visit each school probably more than one time with mom and dad and she needs to really take a look at what is going on at each of them......study the professors that are in the departments she is interested in....see what they do research on.......decide of she likes to "fraternize' or if she is a non-fraternization type (both TAMU and UT have frat daddy and sorority scenes, but the UT one is more omnipresent) and as a parent you need to work your circle of parents (that you trust their BS) and look at their kids that are older than your daughter by a grade or two and that you know your daughter liked to socialize with or that you feel your daughter is similar to and talk with those parents and see how their kids are getting along at those schools and why

as personal opinion having been a student at UT and having many friends at TAMU (and other connections to TAMU later in life) and having been to College Station numerous times I personally feel that UT is a MUCH harder place to meet people in general because the students are extremely spread out across Austin, Austin is much more expensive to live which means more students work and work more hours, there is so much to do when people do have free time that they often already have plans, and honestly there is the "cause" thing going on at UT where if you are not 100% committed to saving whales, scuba diving, going EMO, rock climbing, mountain biking, or some other thing that you LIVE then you might not make close friends with a lot of students in Austin and at UT the frats are so frat that there are cliques in the frats.....I had a friend that was in a major frat and his roommate was working and some guys came in that were in that same frat and his roommate said "oh do you know X" and they said no are you sure he is in this frat and he said yes of course he is my roommate and the guys answered back "oh well we really don't hang out with everyone in the frat".....and a large number of other frat daddies I knew at UT were pretty much done with it for the most part (other than their small sub clique) by the time they were juniors........while all the people I knew at TAMU met people left and right because College Station is cheaper (so students can survive working fewer hours), much less spread out, and there are fewer things to do overall so you end up being around a lot of students when you are out and about and Aggies have a bond right from the start and I don't recall if any of them were frat daddies at all and if they were they still had friends from outside the frat

and again that is a lot about socialization when talking about "college" but the REALITY is if a student is unhappy or not making some quality friends they just will not have the grades they could or should if they were at a place where they felt more at home.....it is just a fact and many people do not give near enough thought to that.....and I am not saying it is necessarily a great idea to move right to college with a ready made group of HS friends especially if those HS friends are going to that university "because" or just to be around other friends or based on overall university rankings with an unclear major and goal in mind....that could be a negative, but I don't know anyone from ANY school that I have been to or been around a great deal that regretted the fact that at least a few close friends were at that same school....some might have regretted that some of their friends ended up there, but it is easier to break away from some friends in college as well

so there are a number of factors you need to consider, there are a number of things you need to do as a parent, there is some inner reflection and self evaluation that your daughter needs to do as well as having discussions with trusted and equally intelligent and motivated friends before any meaningful decision can be made
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:13 AM
Location: Boerne area
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Oh boy, what a question! See Vines ^ for a wonderful detailed response.

But in general, it depends first on what your daughter wants to major in, and secondly which campus is most appealing to her.

And although Texas might have more 'brand recognition', never discount the Aggie Network. Meaning if your daughter becomes an Aggie, she can count on other alumni for support and job networking.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:19 AM
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The Aggie Network is played out, unless you're an engineer. The idea other student bodies don't look out for their own too gets overplayed. All major universities as big as those 2 also network.

Both are highly ranked. Both are very well regarded in the state, although nationally UT would be recognized more but honestly I think that's based on athletics. That doesn't mean A&M is that far behind. Just means more people recognize a Longhorn logo.

Just comes down to preference. If you want to major in business or engineering, both are great. One might offer a major the other doesn't.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:29 AM
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UT if she has any desire to leave Texas. Both are good if she plans to stay in Texas. FWIW, I hate that Texas colleges have the most liberal admissions policies in the country that strongly discriminate against parents that have worked so hard to get into a good school district that happens to be highly competitive. While many of these hardworking parents can afford to send their children to UT or A&M, they cannot afford comparably ranked out of state schools or private schools. Using a single highly relative and highly subjective admissions criteria is an insult to a student's hard work and complete picture.

With that being said, I do agree that the very top students from all schools be given a chance. No more than, say 30% of admissions be class rank - whatever rank fills 30% of capacity, be it 3%, 5%, or whatever. The remaining 70% should be traditional wholostic admissions. Admitting >75% of students based on the highly subjective class rank discriminates among the "less affluent" families who worked hard to buy into a nice area that has a strong but very competitive schools districts and their hardworking kids who fall just outside the top 10% and whom there are not spots left and the children and their families are forced to go elsewhere.

Last edited by Htown2013; 06-01-2013 at 09:49 AM..
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:18 AM
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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Whichever one she is most comfortable with, but UT does have a better rep in the academic world - both in the US and internationally.

There is a lot of good advice in this thread and plenty of time to make her choice.

Best wishes for your daughter, she sounds like a great kid....or young lady, I should say.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:20 AM
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I don't know what a better international rep even means when both are neck & neck in most academic rankings. UTs larger endowment is what has them ranked higher in some rankings. & their academic recognition is mostly from having a bigger alum group & a bigger focus on liberal arts compared to A&M. TAMU was a very small university until the late 60s.

The OP should check out college confidential forums. UGA or GA Tech. Auburn or Alabama. Cal or UCLA. People are always asking which state schools would be better. When both are so big and renowned, it just comes down to preference.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:28 AM
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I would also add OU into consideration. They are very supportive of high end kids with scholarships.

I went to UT and was in a small department and did very well. I transferred out of Engineering as it was too big.

Grades mean everything - and she should consider dropping extracurriculars if she has trouble keeping up in her HS classes.
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