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Thread: virginia vs. illinois vs. ohio state vs. penn state

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    virginia vs. illinois vs. ohio state vs. penn state

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    believe it or not, i am trying to decide between all these programs. they all look good and seem to be ranked pretty equally. my areas of interest are IO and applied micro, which they all seem strong in. i have been advised by profs that virginia is the best of this bunch, but it seems like penn state has the best placements. anyone also looking at these schools and want to share any insights? any thoughts are much appreciated!

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    I'd say especially in IO...Virginia is the last...I'd put Ohio State and Illinois first followed very closely by Penn State...and I'd also say that those placements at Penn State are indeed outstanding but Im affraid those are only outliers...N Wallace is however their placement director and he's a famous guy so maybe that counts as well
    but that's only my opinion
    Admits: Southern Cal (18), UC-Davis (Waitlist for aid), Indiana(15k), Penn State (18k+2k), UNC (14k)-declined, UCLA (probably no aid), Illinois (waitlist for aid)
    Rejects: Michigan, Notre Dame (what the hell!?!?), Arizona
    Pending: OSU (what's wrong with these people?)

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    thanks for the insight! i see that you're still waiting on uiuc and osu. would you pick one of those over uva if you get in? i always had penn state below the others, but those placements are attractive. i'm not sure if they're outliers, since they seem to have one or two really good ones each year. i guess if you're not one of those top 2 students, you might be in trouble though...

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    well I don't have UVA on my list but I'd pick Ohio State and Illinois at any time over UVA....and over what I have right now (of course that will depend a little on the financial aid). But I don't have too much hope right now for any of them.
    Admits: Southern Cal (18), UC-Davis (Waitlist for aid), Indiana(15k), Penn State (18k+2k), UNC (14k)-declined, UCLA (probably no aid), Illinois (waitlist for aid)
    Rejects: Michigan, Notre Dame (what the hell!?!?), Arizona
    Pending: OSU (what's wrong with these people?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHateGRE View Post
    well I don't have UVA on my list but I'd pick Ohio State and Illinois at any time over UVA....
    Do you mean for some specific subfield? Because overall UVA is ranked higher than OSU, Illinois, and PSU (although marginally). Seems strange you would pick those schools "any time" over a higher-ranked one...and my impression is that UVA's strengths are in applied micro but I could be wrong.
    Attending: Virginia

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    kartelite, as i mentioned above, some of my profs told me that uva was the best of this bunch, so i agree with what you're saying. i also agree that uva's strength is applied micro. my concerns are just that (1) they only have 2-3 people doing IO, while the others seem to have 4-5, and (2) placements are on par with osu and uiuc, but don't seem as good as psu. have you decided between uva and duke? i'm also curious whether uva talked about its placements during its open house (which I missed)...

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    kartelite, as i mentioned above, some of my profs told me that uva was the best of this bunch, so i agree with what you're saying. i also agree that uva's strength is applied micro. my concerns are just that (1) they only have 2-3 people doing IO, while the others seem to have 4-5, and (2) placements are on par with osu and uiuc, but don't seem as good as psu. have you decided between uva and duke? i'm also curious whether uva talked about its placements during its open house (which I missed)...

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    Jester,

    What are your career interests? If you're interested in IO consulting, UVA has a very good rep within the DC area for that kind of stuff. We have multiple grads from there working at my firm (at least 2, off the top of my head, including one person who is VERY high up), but no one from the other 3 schools.

    Other than that, I have no knowledge of the subject, considering I have no interest in IO whatsoever.

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    hmmm...Im looking at the rankings on econphd.net...overall economics...OSU 23...Illinois 25...Penn State 38...UVA 53
    now maybe you are looking at different rankings and maybe UVA is ahead in those rankings...you have to realize there are two types of rankings...rankings based on publishing (like econphd) and rankings based on faculty survey (like NRC rankings). Personally I like the first ones better because they show better the trend, they show what's really going in that department not what some professor thinks of that department just because 20 yrs ago it was good or bad.
    I had a similar case with UNC...al my profs told me to go there cause its the best school from my list...then UNC was better in NRC and USnews rankings then everything else on my offers list. So is UNC that good? Well I checked the recent activity of the faculty...not so good...I talked to students in the dept...not so good...specifically they lost a lot of faculty members recently which really affects you especially as an incoming student. Suppose you go there and you realize after 2 years there are only one or two senior professors in your field and maybe only one of them is available for advising. What are you gonna do? I like having options. Maybe I'm wrong but I think you should listen to your professors advice but have in mind that they might not have the most recent information about a specific department. Do your own research on the faculty and on their research/publications and of course recent placement. When I talked to one of my profs he mentioned 3 names at UNC that I could not find on their faculty list...conclusion...profs opinions might not be so acurate and therefore NRC and USNews and all other rankings based on faculty survey might as well be biased
    Admits: Southern Cal (18), UC-Davis (Waitlist for aid), Indiana(15k), Penn State (18k+2k), UNC (14k)-declined, UCLA (probably no aid), Illinois (waitlist for aid)
    Rejects: Michigan, Notre Dame (what the hell!?!?), Arizona
    Pending: OSU (what's wrong with these people?)

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    Virginia is higher than those other 3 in both NRC and US News rankings (#24 and #27); considerably higher that the others in the NRC rankings. The problem with rankings from econphd.net is that it ONLY reflects paper output, which is IMO a pretty weak proxy for quality of the school. Sure professors' views will be a little biased, but those are the people whose views really matter on rankings, as reputation only has value as someone perceives it to.

    If you want to go to the school that produces the most papers, great...but those "rankings" will tend to reward large departments like OSU, PSU, etc. I was also told by a recent graduate of UNC who's now a professor that he wouldn't recommend going there if you have other top 30 options.

    BTW to compare, here are the NRC top 10:

    1 Harvard 4.95
    2 Chicago 4.95
    3 MIT 4.93
    4 Stanford 4.92
    5 Princeton 4.84
    6 Yale 4.70
    7 Cal Berkeley 4.55
    8 Penn 4.43
    9 Northwestern 4.39
    10 Minnesota 4.22


    And here are the econphd top 10:
    1 Harvard U USA 210.7 121 2 U Chicago USA 159.3 94 3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA 136.8 65 4 U California - Berkeley USA 134.9 93 5 Princeton U USA 118.3 52 6 Stanford U USA 114.3 92 7 Northwestern U USA 112.9 68 8 U Pennsylvania USA 110.9 78 9 Yale U USA 108.9 60 10 New York U (NYU)
    Attending: Virginia

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