Ivy League Schools

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Friend0rags
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Ivy League Schools

Postby Friend0rags » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:48 pm UTC

Is anyone aware of the cost of tuition at Harvard University, Princeton, Cornell University, and Yale?

At the moment I want to be an Astrophysicists and that means a lot of years with physics, and a degree from a pristine school wouldn't hurt....Plus any personal experience from said schools, just college in general, or even classes dealing with Astronomy and Physics will be really appreciated.

It'd be really neat making a discussion with countless others about my future. I look forward to any replies/responses.

Thank you.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby diotimajsh » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:12 am UTC

Erm, shouldn't that be listed somewhere on the site of any school you're interested in? For example, I found this helpful page by poking around on Princeton's site for less than a minute.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Why Two Kay » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:00 am UTC

Collegeboard's MyColleges feature is useful too for quick comparisons and usually-accurate figures. Obviously it's not dollar specific, but it will ballpark it - e.g. is it 40k or 50k, etc.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Masily box » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:42 am UTC

I would think that you ought to be able to find this on the individual schools' websites. Several Ivies (Harvard and Yale for sure... maybe the lesser ones, too) have recently revamped their financial aid policies to be very generous, so it may actually be the case that you would find it cheaper to go to an Ivy than to another school of comparable quality.

I'm finishing my undergrad at Yale this year, but I don't have much experience with the physics and astronomy programs here specifically (besides having taken a fantastic intro physics class as a freshman). I rather suspect that this isn't exactly the place to do astronomy--I haven't even heard of anyone majoring in astro here, though it's technically possible--but my physics major friends all seem to like it here. Why are you interested in the Ivies specifically?

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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby miles01110 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:29 pm UTC

You should be looking for the merits of the program and not the name. For instance, if you want to do astrophysics but will never be able to get time at a telescope facility through program A which has a big name as opposed to program B that isn't a big name but you get actual experience, I'd go with program B without blinking.

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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Zuffox » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

While the universities you mention are good in general, are you sure they're the best of the bunch when it comes to astrophysics? I'd imagine MIT and Columbia/UCal/CalSci/CalTech being better. Just to namedrop the American ones.

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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby MiB24601 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:13 pm UTC

Don't forget about west coast schools. Berkeley and Stanford are both great schools where my Astrophysics professors received their PhD's from.

I'm not going to badmouth the Ivys. They are all good schools but they aren't the only game in town. Depending on what you want to do specifically (I'm not just talking about astrophysics, I mean what area of astrophysics do you want to specialize in), the adviser you want may be at some state school that's no doesn't have the same name-dropping reputation but in a specific area, is top-ranked.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Schmendreck » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

Also keep in mind that college is what you make of it. You could go to a non ivy school and get a better education if you are more motivated than someone at an ivy league school.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Friend0rags » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:03 pm UTC

Hmmm...all of this is breath taking. I totally understand that's it's not literally the the name of the school that defines your degree but their program...I only wasn't aware of where I should head for an outstanding education in physics. I saw that the famous Stephen Hawkings got his degree in physics at Oxford University, have any of you thought of going overseas for an education? Do you think it would be a wise decision? Monetarily and scholastically.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby MiB24601 » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:48 pm UTC

The more important part of your education as an astrophysicist is where you get your PhD, not where you get your BS. Plus, when you are in a graduate school (for science), you usually aren't expected to pay for it, which removes a lot of the monetary concerns you seem to be worried about.

Since you seem to be looking at undergraduate education, you need to look at what your grades and test scores are right now. If you are worried about money, see if you qualify for a scholarship. If you don't, try to get loans. If you can live at your home cheaply, see if you can find a school nearby.

Don't worry about getting into an ivy. Most Astrophysicists didn't go to ivy league schools and it hasn't stopped them from achieving their goals.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby ecshafer » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:33 am UTC

I know Columbia is around 60k a year, and most the ivys are upper 40s or in the 50s. If you aren't poor, or rich, you may want to rethink going to the ivy's though (ironically) A lot of the ivys dont give merit based scholarships, only need based. You should check the websites for their financial aid policy.

You may want to check out state schools, as some other people said. Arizona State I think it is, is really good as astrophysics. A lot of caltech/arizona state astronomy papers, and photos and stuff. There are quite a few observatories down there because the lack of light.

And any good physics program will do

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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Pit » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:48 am UTC

Friend0rags wrote:Hmmm...all of this is breath taking. I totally understand that's it's not literally the the name of the school that defines your degree but their program...I only wasn't aware of where I should head for an outstanding education in physics. I saw that the famous Stephen Hawkings got his degree in physics at Oxford University, have any of you thought of going overseas for an education? Do you think it would be a wise decision? Monetarily and scholastically.


In the end, an undergraduate program teaches the same things. Most "up there" schools are up there because of strong graduate programs (graduate students being more prepared in their occupation, more acclaimed teachers, ect). A lot of people opt to not go to an Ivy League because it's simply cheaper.

Five students in my high school applied to oversea schools (3 Trinity in Dublin, 1 Oxford, 1 Cambridge). I believe the Cambridge kid made it. Applying to an oversea school is expensive, and very competitive.

ecshafer wrote:I know Columbia is around 60k a year, and most the ivys are upper 40s or in the 50s. If you aren't poor, or rich, you may want to rethink going to the ivy's though (ironically) A lot of the ivys dont give merit based scholarships, only need based. You should check the websites for their financial aid policy.

You may want to check out state schools, as some other people said. Arizona State I think it is, is really good as astrophysics. A lot of caltech/arizona state astronomy papers, and photos and stuff. There are quite a few observatories down there because the lack of light.

And any good physics program will do


Columbia tuition depends on points
---
Like everyone already said, don't forget to look at the west side! Stanford, I think, doesn't have an astrophysics program, but Berkeley does, and it's a damn good school.

University of Colorado at Boulder also has a decent astrophysics program.

On the east side, Penn State, Colgate and Columbia all have astrophysics programs.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Zuffox » Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:11 pm UTC

Stephen Hawking has an estimated IQ at over 280; he could have graduated at Blockbuster and gotten to where he is today.

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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby MiB24601 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:50 pm UTC

Zuffox wrote:Stephen Hawking has an estimated IQ at over 280; he could have graduated at Blockbuster and gotten to where he is today.


I don't want this to turn into a thing and take over Friend0rags' thread but while there are many different tests that determine IQ, not a one of them produces a score of 280. Many of them of are normalized so that 200 is the highest score. As for the 280, that comes from a Simpsons' joke.

Also, when asked about his IQ, Hawking had this to say: "I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers."* So, there ya go.

* Deborah Solomon "The Science of Second-Guessing", The New York Times (12 December 2004)

Oh, but to return to your point Zuffrox, I do agree. Hwaking is smart enough that he was able to accomplish everything he has, even despite his early onset of ALS. I don't think a little thing like going to a lesser school would have prevented him from being successful.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Cynical Idealist » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:25 pm UTC

Stephen Hawking is obviously the most blatant abuse of minmaxing ever.

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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Friend0rags » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:41 pm UTC

I laugh at your words concerning Stephen Hawking, quite humorous :mrgreen:

I sense that Stanford and UC Berkeley would be an exquisite environ to receive a Bachelor's. But I'm still a little fuzzy on where I should pursue my Master's and PhD. Most of your replies all correspond to a conception that the "big name" schools have stupendous Graduate programs.

I'll continue to get my Master's in either physics or astronomy and then get a PhD in astrophysics, but the question still remains as to where I should go for those...
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Pit » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:11 am UTC

I'd worry about where to get your masters and PhDs when you actually get to that point in college. It's like counting your chickens before they hatch.

Yale, Princeton and Columbia all have strong astrophysics programs, if you must know. Stanford has a good undergrad and graduate program.
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby 3clipse » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:48 am UTC

Friend0rags wrote:Hmmm...all of this is breath taking. I totally understand that's it's not literally the the name of the school that defines your degree but their program...I only wasn't aware of where I should head for an outstanding education in physics. I saw that the famous Stephen Hawkings got his degree in physics at Oxford University, have any of you thought of going overseas for an education? Do you think it would be a wise decision? Monetarily and scholastically.


Princeton has an excellent physics department. MIT, CalTech, and Carnegie Mellon are also great schools for physics (but they're not Ivies, not sure if that makes a difference to you).
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Eleni » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:56 pm UTC

Princeton has a great no-loan financial aid policy, so basically they give huge grants. It's entirely need-based, though, so it all depends on your family's financial status. Other schools may have followed suit by now with the no-loan policy.

The astrophysics department at Princeton is really small as far as undergraduate students go--I remember one year there were only 3 graduating astro majors--but that's not a bad thing. The number of astrophysics faculty members is much higher, so you have a great faculty:student ratio and lots of personal attention. I never took an astrophysics course myself, but I know one of the most popular QR courses (Quantitative Reasoning, one of the distribution requirements) was an astrophysics course, so it must have been good. And of course, the physics department at Princeton is stellar.

Another fun fact about Princeton astrophysics: one of the "geek" contestants on Beauty and the Geek (I think Season 4) was an astrophysics grad student at Princeton (and he made it pretty far in the competition, too). Some might see that as a bad thing, but I think it's pretty awesome. I did know one of the rare astro majors (she was friends with my roommate), and she was pretty cool (not an awkward stereotype).

If you get to the point you're looking for more inside info on Princeton (student life, etc.), I'd be happy to answer questions. I graduated, but it wasn't long ago, so I'm still pretty current :D
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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Masily box » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

Eleni wrote:And of course, the physics department at Princeton is stellar.


i see what you did there

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Re: Ivy League Schools

Postby Eleni » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:07 am UTC

Masily box wrote:
Eleni wrote:And of course, the physics department at Princeton is stellar.


i see what you did there


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