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Is it worth $216K, JHU - Berkeley v.s Oregon State University.

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#1 Boeinco



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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:33 AM



I am sincerely apology if I am posting this question to the wrong forum.  I am sure you have been down this road before, so any thoughts on this dilemma are greatly appreciated.


I have been accepted directly to an undergraduate departmental program at Johns Hopkins University, Berkeley, and Oregon State University Honors.  I intend to persuade dual BS in Computer Science and Bioinformatics, followed by PhD in Bioinformatics.  Net cost to attend 4 years at OSU is $46K and the others is $260K,  giving a delta of $216K.


- Is JHU or Berkeley worth $216K over OSU and its intangible benefits from being near home.  JHU and Berkeley rank quite a bit higher than OSU especially in the biological/bioengineering field.


- After a BS degree, would being at or near the top of my class with relevant in-depth research projects (or internships) equalize school reputation in terms of getting a job or being admitted into well-known graduate school?


- Finally, I keep reading/hearing that one of the reason to go to "famous" university is the plethora of opportunities for connections to jobs and research projects.  Is this really true and a big deal?  AND these connections just do not automatically happen, one still has to seek and cultivate them, right?


Thank you so much for your time,



#2 bob1


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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:48 PM

Johns Hopkins and Berkley have excellent international reputations, whereas OSU doesn't - check out the university rankings at the Times higher education page.


other than that, I can't offer you much advice, as I'm not based in the US.


Note that it is relatively rare to do your undergrad and post-grad in the same university, but definitely not unheard of for good programs.

#3 Tabaluga


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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:25 PM

A very interesting question, to which I don't know an answer. I once had a similar choice to make, although in my case it was less about money but more about time because the studies at the "better" university would, all in all, have lasted two years longer. In the end I decided against the "better" university because I did not want to lose this time.However it was a painful decision and to be honest I still don't know if it was the right decision or not, nor will I ever know.

As I said, I don't have a real answer to any of your questions but on the other hand...if you just want a subjective opinion, these things are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I'm not sure whether it will pay off in monetary terms (it might, but who can tell for sure?), but if I were you I'd probably go grab that opportunity !

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#4 Ameya P

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 04:23 AM



If you are considering the two courses, even after the extravagant difference in fees, it means that somewhere you are can afford the one that it higher.... :) So, if you are able to afford it, then why not go for it. 


Colleges of higher repute do come across as ones that offer better opportunities. But like you said, it does not happen automatically. You have to go ahead and make that extra effort to make contacts and let them develop into something meanigiful for you.Similar is the case with ob opportunities. 

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#5 hobglobin


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Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:29 AM

If you have already an idea where (in terms of reasarch direction/subject) you want to go, then I'd prefer the university that has a good or well known professor/working group/institute there (or if a research branch such as microbiology or ecology exists there and in the other not, since not all universities have all subjects). So even if a university has a suberb ranking in general, the other might have the better working group for you.

Anyway it might be too early if you just start from scratch and have no idea what about you want to do reasearch later and you can switch later.

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