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Washington University in St. Louis vs UIUC: Which University Is Right for You?

July 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight
a man sitting at the front row and holding a pen looking at the camera

Washington University in St. Louis vs UIUC: Which University Is Right for You?

Deciding between two universities can be a daunting task. With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to determine which one is the perfect fit for you. In this article, we will take an in-depth look and compare Washington University in St. Louis vs UIUC to help you make an informed decision.

Location and Campus Facilities: How Do They Compare?

Washington University in St. Louis is located in a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood in the heart of St. Louis, Missouri. Its campus is known for its stunning Collegiate Gothic architecture and is home to world-class research facilities. UIUC, on the other hand, is located in Urbana-Champaign, a small college town in central Illinois. The campus is vast and spread out, with a mix of old and modern buildings.

Both universities have an impressive array of campus facilities, including libraries, museums, sports facilities, and student centers. Washington University’s Olin Library is renowned for its exceptional research collections and state-of-the-art technological resources. UIUC’s Grainger Engineering Library is one of the largest engineering libraries in the world, and its recreational facilities are some of the best in the nation.

However, there are some notable differences in the types of facilities offered by each university. Washington University has a strong focus on the arts, with its Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and Edison Theatre hosting a variety of performances and exhibitions throughout the year. UIUC, on the other hand, is known for its cutting-edge technology and research facilities, such as the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Academic Programs: Which University Offers More Choices?

Washington University in St. Louis offers more than 90 programs of study, including majors in business, engineering, social work, and medicine. UIUC, on the other hand, has a staggering 150+ programs of study, including majors in agriculture, journalism, and music.

The quality of both universities’ academic programs is exceptional. Both have highly qualified faculty members, innovative curricula, and state-of-the-art research facilities.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

However, there is a notable difference in the size of the universities’ academic programs. While UIUC offers more choices, it may be overwhelming for some students to navigate through the extensive list of majors and programs. On the other hand, Washington University’s smaller selection may provide a more focused and personalized academic experience for students.

Admission Requirements: Which University Has a More Selective Process?

Both universities have strict admission requirements. Both universities require applicants to submit transcripts, test scores, and essays. Washington University also requires applicants to complete an interview.

However, UIUC has a more lenient policy toward standardized test scores. While Washington University requires applicants to submit either SAT or ACT scores, UIUC allows applicants to choose which test they want to submit, or even submit both. This policy gives applicants more flexibility in showcasing their strengths.

On the other hand, Washington University places a greater emphasis on extracurricular activities and community involvement. Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume highlighting their leadership roles, volunteer work, and other activities outside of the classroom. This allows the university to evaluate applicants based on their potential to contribute to the campus community.

Student Life: What Are the Differences in Extracurricular Activities, Clubs, and Organizations?

Both universities have robust student life programs. Washington University has over 400 student organizations, including clubs for athletics, arts, theater, and music. UIUC has more than 1000 registered student organizations, including clubs for sports, service, religion, and politics.

Washington University in St. Louis is known for its strong Greek life, with over 25 fraternities and sororities on campus. UIUC has a smaller Greek system, with 38 fraternities and sororities.

Despite the difference in the size of their Greek systems, both universities offer opportunities for students to get involved in Greek life. At Washington University, Greek organizations often host philanthropic events and participate in community service projects. UIUC’s Greek system is known for its lively social scene, with events such as formals and mixers.

In addition to traditional extracurricular activities, both universities offer unique opportunities for students to get involved. Washington University has a student-run farm, where students can learn about sustainable agriculture and participate in hands-on farming activities. UIUC has a student-run radio station, where students can host their shows and gain experience in broadcasting.

Housing Options: Which University Offers More Affordable Housing Opportunities?

Both universities offer a wide range of housing options. Washington University has 14 on-campus residences, including dormitories, apartments, and residential colleges. UIUC has 15 on-campus residence halls, as well as several off-campus apartment complexes.

Overall, UIUC’s housing options tend to be more affordable than Washington University’s. However, Washington University provides merit-based scholarships to a significant number of students, which can help offset the cost of housing and other expenses.

Two students keeping their dorm room clean.

In addition to the housing options provided by the universities, both Washington University and UIUC have partnerships with off-campus housing providers. These partnerships offer students additional options for affordable housing, often with amenities such as fitness centers and study spaces.

It is important for students to carefully consider their housing options and budget when choosing a university. While UIUC may offer more affordable housing options, Washington University’s merit-based scholarships can make it a more financially feasible choice for some students.

Faculty and Staff: How Does the Quality of Teaching Compare Between Washington University in St. Louis vs UIUC?

Both universities have an exceptional faculty and staff. Washington University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1, and 98% of its faculty hold terminal degrees in their fields. UIUC has a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1, and 88% of its faculty hold terminal degrees in their fields.

Both universities have an exceptional commitment to teaching, research, and service. However, there are some differences in the approach to teaching between the two universities. Washington University places a strong emphasis on small class sizes and personalized attention to students, with many courses capped at 15 students. UIUC, on the other hand, offers a wider range of courses and larger class sizes, with some courses enrolling over 100 students.

Research Opportunities: Which University Has Stronger Research Programs and Funding?

Both universities have world-renowned research programs. Washington University is known for its strong programs in medicine and biomedical research, while UIUC is known for its strong programs in engineering and agriculture.

Washington University receives more federal research funding than UIUC, but UIUC has a larger research budget overall. Both universities have state-of-the-art research facilities and offer significant research opportunities to undergraduates.

Additionally, Washington University has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with many research centers and institutes that bring together experts from different fields to tackle complex problems. UIUC also has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research, particularly in the areas of sustainability and energy.

Career Services: Which University Provides Better Job Placement Support for Graduates?

Both universities have robust career services programs. Washington University has an extensive network of alumni who provide career guidance and mentorship to current students. UIUC has a similar program, with career fairs and networking opportunities.

Washington University has a higher job placement rate for graduates, with 96% of graduates employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. UIUC has a job placement rate of 89%.

Hand shaking in a room

Additionally, Washington University offers a unique program called the Career Center Fellows, where students can work with career advisors to develop their job search skills and gain experience in career services. UIUC, on the other hand, has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and offers resources for students interested in starting their businesses.

Alumni Network: How Do the Alumni Networks of Washington University in St. Louis vs UIUC Differ?

Both universities have strong alumni networks that provide extensive support and resources to graduates. Washington University has a highly active and engaged alumni network, with many opportunities for mentorship and career advice. UIUC also has a strong alumni network that provides networking and job placement opportunities.

However, the alumni networks of both universities differ in terms of their size and reach. Washington University’s alumni network is relatively smaller, but more tightly-knit, with a strong focus on building personal relationships and connections. On the other hand, UIUC’s alumni network is larger and more diverse, with a wider range of industries and professions represented. This makes it easier for graduates to find job opportunities in a variety of fields, but may also make it more difficult to build close relationships with fellow alumni.

Diversity and Inclusion: How Do Both Universities Promote Diversity and Inclusion on Campus?

Both universities commit to promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. Washington University has a highly diverse student body, with 25% of students being international or domestic minority students. UIUC also has a diverse student body, with 17% of students being international or domestic minority students.

Both universities have robust diversity and inclusion programs, with comprehensive resources for students of all backgrounds.

Washington University has a program called “Diversity and Inclusion Collaborative” which aims to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. The program offers various workshops, training sessions, and events to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. UIUC also has a similar program called “Diversity and Social Justice Education” which provides resources and support to students from diverse backgrounds. The program offers workshops, dialogues, and training sessions to help students understand and appreciate different cultures and perspectives.

Campus Safety: What Measures Are Taken by Each University to Ensure Student Safety?

Both universities take campus safety seriously and have comprehensive measures in place to ensure student safety. Washington University has its police department, 24/7 security patrols, and emergency response teams. UIUC also has its own police department, safety escorts, and emergency response teams.

In addition to these measures, Washington University also offers self-defense classes for students and staff, as well as a campus-wide emergency notification system that sends alerts via text, email, and phone in the event of an emergency. UIUC has implemented a safety app that allows students to quickly and easily report suspicious activity or request assistance from campus police.

Both universities also have strict policies in place regarding alcohol and drug use on campus, as well as protocols for handling incidents of sexual assault or harassment. They provide resources and support for victims and work to educate students on how to prevent these types of incidents from occurring.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition Fees, Scholarships, and Financial Aid at Washington University in St. Louis vs UIUC

Washington University in St. Louis has a higher overall cost of attendance than UIUC, with tuition and fees costing around $55,000 per year. However, Washington University offers merit- and need-based financial aid to a significant number of students. UIUC’s tuition and fees are lower, at around $33,000 per year, but the university also offers significant financial aid options to qualified students.

Scholarship form placed on s laptop in a table.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance includes more than just tuition and fees. Other factors such as room and board, textbooks, and personal expenses can also significantly impact the overall cost. At Washington University, the average cost of room and board is around $16,000 per year, while at UIUC it is around $11,000 per year. Additionally, both universities offer various scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of attendance. It is important for students and families to carefully consider all of these factors when making a decision about which university to attend.

Student Success Stories: Insights from Current Students and Recent Graduates on Their Experiences at Both Universities.

Students and graduates from both universities have reported high levels of satisfaction with their experiences. Washington University students have praised the university’s small class sizes, personalized attention from faculty, and extensive research opportunities. UIUC students have praised the university’s large and diverse student body, vibrant campus life, and strong academic programs.

Additionally, many students at Washington University have highlighted the university’s commitment to community service and social justice initiatives. The university offers numerous opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer work and advocacy efforts, both on and off campus.

Meanwhile, UIUC has a strong reputation for its engineering and technology programs, with many graduates going on to successful careers in these fields. The university also boasts a robust alumni network, with many graduates staying connected and supporting current students through mentorship and networking opportunities.

Conclusion: Which University Is the Best Choice for You?

Both Washington University in St. Louis and UIUC are excellent universities with world-class academic programs, extensive campus facilities, and robust support services for students. Choosing the best fit for you depends on your personal preferences, career goals, and budget. We hope this article has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

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