It was by far the best bang for my buck. Pitt is a top-tier public research institution, and tuition is less than half that of many private universities for out-of-state students, and much less even for in-state students. Pitt is also relatively generous with scholarships, especially if you qualify for the honors college and/or are from out of state.
There were a bunch of factors that made me choose Pitt. 1. I visited and liked the campus. It's urban, everything is pretty convenient, and I guess I just felt that intuitive feeling that I liked the campus that I can't really describe. 2. It is a good size. It's definitely big, which I want, but it is also small enough where you see people you know pretty often, and it doesn't take an hour to walk across campus. I wanted a pretty big school because they offer more than small schools in terms of research opportunities and classes offered. Also I like the social environment where you don't know everyone, but you see people you do know a lot. 3. Academically, it is pretty solid, and it has a few departments that are good in fields I was interested in (neuroscience, philosophy, other sciences, psychology...). Also, Pitt offers a lot in terms of undergraduate research (especially through the honors college). 4. Regarding the students, I heard of them being pretty friendly and down to earth (also Pitt ranked highly in happiest students by princeton review). Also, when I visited, I felt like I fit in(intuitive feeling, hard to describe why). 5. It's pretty affordable for me to go to (I got a $10,000/year out of state scholarship).
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