neurodork

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I have been accepted at both of these schools (I am a Texas resident), and I have no idea how to decide which one I should attend. Both seem like very good schools, and I would like to hear input from anyone else with opinions on these two schools. Thanks! :)
 

BlueCow

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Penn State because they have a better football team and it is the BIG TEN Conference.
 

ChubbyChaser

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Reputation is probably equal...so tuition being sign less at A and M...

A and M ftw
 

172858

America = The New Texas
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First, congrats! This is an awesome "problem" to have! :D

I was accepted to A&M and OOS schools this cycle and had to make a similar decisions. I'm not that informed about Penn State, but here's my 2 cents on A&M:

1. Probably one of the most supportive administrative staffs and faculty I have ever come across (IS and OOS). The students seem happy, well adjusted, and generally enjoy the program.

2. College station is a cool little college town, and offers a great many opportunities to cut loose and have a little fun. Temple didn't seem to be the greatest town in the world, but Scott & White is a world class hospital (and, in my opinion, just plain pretty :p) and Austin is just down the road a hop and a skip away.

3. When asking a number of attendings I know in the Texas Medical Center in Houston (mostly BCM facutly), the consensus opinion was that A&M students generally have a reputation as being very well prepared for the clinical setting and do well on the floor from day one both as externing medical students and interning residents.

4. Cost cost cost. Texas tuition is cheap, and A&M's low cost of living helps you to cut additional cost. From what I saw in investigating where/how students live, it seems that students are able to live VERY comfortably and get a really good bang for their buck.

5. Although I am a Longhorn and bleed orange, I have to admit that I have always had great admiration for Aggie spirit and pride. That doesn't seem to be relegated simply to the undergrad campus. It permeates through to the medical program as well.

6. The people that I met (current students and those who would have been my future classmates) all seemed to be great people, the classes didn't seem to be overly competitive (promoting cooperation, group study, note posting, etc), the facilities on both campuses were first rate, and A&M' s integration of technology into the curriculum and campus resources is pretty 'effin impressive.

7. I found the flexibility in the program pretty cool. All 4 in CS, all 4 in Temple, or 2+2 (which, it seems, could include College Station, Temple, Round Rock, or Corpus Christi when the class of 2012 hits 3rd year) gives you options on how you do your 4 years.

8. Lastly, considering that the last few classes where so small, the specialties A&M grads were able to match into were pretty impressive. As with most state schools, the majority match into TX programs. But there was a good number in the ROADS specialties and a big chunk in primary care.

Personally, I found my decision to be REALLY tough. The ONLY reason I didn't end up going with A&M was because of the surprisingly generous fin aid package I got OOS that actually made it slightly cheaper to go OOS. A&M said they generally don't offer a great deal of need-based aid, as all of the cost of attendance is generally covered by Stafford loans.

All in all, I hope that helps. Feel free to PM me for anything else, and GOOD LUCK! :luck:
 

RoadRunner17

Fleet of feet
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Who won the Alamo Bowl last year? That's your answer ;)
 

mdgator

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I have been trying to make pretty much the same choice. (Penn State vs. a much more affordable state school.) I think Penn State is an amazing school. It was my favorite of those I interviewed at, and it would definitely be my top choice if cost was not a factor. In the end, however, cost is a factor, and I think I will be choosing the cheaper state school.
 

-Goose-

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I have been accepted at both of these schools (I am a Texas resident), and I have no idea how to decide which one I should attend. Both seem like very good schools, and I would like to hear input from anyone else with opinions on these two schools. Thanks! :)
Go to A&M. It is a solid state school and you'll graduate with minimal debt. Attending a low-ish ranked OOS school over a solid in-state option would be somewhat insane, unless you had a compelling reason.
 

mdgator

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Go to A&M. It is a solid state school and you'll graduate with minimal debt. Attending a low-ish ranked OOS school over a solid in-state option would be somewhat insane, unless you had a compelling reason.
I wouldn't personally call Penn State low-ranked. They don't participate in US News rankings, they have a good rep, and the opportunities are amazing. I just think there is very little basis for calling it a low ranked school.
 

mdgator

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^^ but I know what you're saying, and pretty much agree. Unless you are talking about Harvard, Hopkins, or a school of the like, or unless cost is not a factor, it seems like the smart way to go is with the school that costs half as much.
 

-Goose-

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I wouldn't personally call Penn State low-ranked. They don't participate in US News rankings, they have a good rep, and the opportunities are amazing. I just think there is very little basis for calling it a low ranked school.
I said low-ish.

While I think there's nothing wrong with PSU (I interviewed there a few years back and liked the school) it is certainly not worth, IMO, paying extra when you have a solid in-state option (that will save you money). I also would not say that the opportunities at PSU are particularly more "amazing" than any other school. Maybe I missed something.

IMO, it is only worth it to pay extra $$$ for truly exceptional schools (schools that come to mind for ME = Duke, Vanderbilt, WashU, etc). It simply will not make any difference in your application coming from Penn State vs Texas A&M come residency application time.
 
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neurodork

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Dec 28, 2006
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Thanks everyone for your input. While I know that both schools are fairly equal in terms of opportunities, my biggest concern about A&M is their match list because it seems like the majority of the class matches into a primary care residency, and I am interested in neurology because I have a background in neuroscience. I do know that it is very possible that I will change my mind, so I shouldn't worry so much about the match lists, but if I do end up wanting to match into a competitive specialty, I feel like my chances will be better going to Penn State.

The one thing that I really liked about Penn State is the fact that they give you a lot of choice in choosing your 3rd year rotations, while A&M doesn't really give you much room for electives during that year. However, I was very impressed with Scott & White during my interview, so this is a big plus for A&M. But I am concerned that I will not get as much clinical experience at A&M since I will be in College Station for the first two years and will not get to do anything at Scott & White until the third year.

Anyone have any opinions on these aspects of the schools?