Q&A: Which College Should I Attend?

My name is JZ and I am a sophomore chemistry and economics major on a pre-vet track at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. I was recently accepted as a transfer student at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and now face the huge decision of whether to stay at ECU or to go UNC. I know obviously UNC is the superior school when it comes to academics and its academic reputation but I have a lot going for me at ECU. I have a long list of activities that I participate in at ECU with each one I have a significant leadership role. I’m the scholarship chair and treasurer of my fraternity, a lead economics tutor at my school’s tutoring center, a section leader in the marching band, and a member of several leadership fraternities. On the other hand though I fit in quite well at UNC and in addition to my activities at ECU I volunteer at the Duke Lemur Center, which is only ten minutes from downtown Chapel Hill. My question to you is which school will vet schools prefer; a student from a nationally known party school with tons of great extracurricular activities or a student from the top public school in the nation with not as many activities? Since my first choice vet school is Cornell I realize that I will need every single edge I can possibly get when applying. Ever since I was a little kid UNC has been my dream school but I have terrific life at ECU. Let me know what you think.

Thank you,


Date: 3/30/11


Hi JZ —

To give yourself the best chance of admittance to veterinary school I would say you should go to the best school possible based upon academic reputation. However, a school’s reputation isn’t everything – you also have to excel. Don’t be as concerned about extracurricular activities – just make sure you get involved wherever you end up – inside or outside of school.

I will warn you (in case you haven’t been warned before) about your top school choice of Cornell. Because Cornell (like most veterinary schools) takes most of their students from NY state residents, that your chances of being accepted without being a NY resident are slim. If at all possible, I would consider establishing residency in NY before applying so you can apply as a NY resident and increase your chances of acceptance. If changing residency isn’t an option and you are an NC resident, do consider NC as your best option simply because you are an in-state student and they take more students from in-state.

Good luck with everything and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions.

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