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UT vs. UCLA . Help me!

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Ok y'all.. Maybe you guys can help me out here because I am stumped. I have narrowed my choices of schools down to UT vs. UCLA.  I am planning on doing micro.I am leaning towards UT but I am going to visit UCLA this week.. here are my pros and cons. My parent's have a education fund saved up for me, so while price is definitely a factor.. it does not weigh heavily on my decision.



UT- Austin


- In state tuition

- Ranked #7 for Social Work

- In a city I am familiar with (I went to undergrad here)

- Close to current bf of 3 years in Houston (not entirely sure if I want to settle down or marry him, soo trying to not let this weigh heavily on my decision) 

- great non-profit opportunities

- support system of friends

- great research opportunities

- I have always wanted to be a longhorn

- Close to parents

- I can see myself living here long term



- Not pushing myself out of my comfort zone

- Not as exciting



- Great program

- More specializations for their micro program

- A new and exciting city to explore

- An opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and grow

- Close to my sister in San Diego

- Great placement opportunities/ non profit opportunities

- I can possibly see myself living here in the future



- Out of state tuition

- Higher cost of living

- Scary, new city.. far away from friends, family, and bf


I just want to make the right choice and not just go to Austin because it is the safe choice. Sorry this is so long. Hopefully you guys can give me some good input. I really respect everyone on this board's opinion.

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Quality problem to have to choose between UT and UCLA, two great programs.

If price is not an option then I'd suggest you go to UCLA if your visit goes well. 

I'm assuming you do not have children yet, if you do stay close to them and put them first.  

I think it's important to experience life outside your "comfort zone" so you'll know what you want and where you want to settle down later on in life.  If you've been in Texas your entire life why not experience California/Los Angeles for a few years if you hate it you can always go back.

You'll make friends quickly in the program as I'm sure we're all giving people as we are pursuing MSWs.

And I promise you're not going to hate it, Los Angeles has so much to offer...weather, beach, best music scene in the world (seriously everyone comes here), film, yes traffic sucks.


Good luck with your decision.

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While I think there is something said for expanding your horizons and trying new places, I don't think you should underestimate the amount of stress and number of challenges graduate school is going to present, and for that reason being in a place you're comfortable with and not dealing with a million life changes might also be valuable. If fear of the unknown is the ONLY reason holding you back from UCLA, go for it. But if all things are equal and you feel really good about what UT would mean academically as well as for your personal life, it seems to me like it's a natural fit. 


Additionally, even with the educational fund your parents have saved up (which is totally awesome, by the way!), the difference in cost of living should still be a consideration, especially as it pertains to the lifestyle you hope to lead. Be sure to factor in how many trips back to Texas you hope to take during the year, what kind of living situation you're hoping for, and moving costs. 


I'm probably biased in that I applied to UT and not to UCLA, and I'm sure UCLA is a great school, but most of the posts I've read about it say it's a ton of money without many more advantages. I'm sure those posts are also biased. 


I hope you're able to sort out your thoughts and feelings and choose the program that will be best for you! The advice I've been getting as I try to make my own decision is not to overcomplicate things (I'd been making an insane spreadsheet with pros/cons in various areas) and to go with my gut. Unfortunately for me, my gut feeling is hidden beneath all of the stuff I've piled on to overcomplicate the decision... so I'm still a ways out. But... if you can find it... go with your gut :) Best of luck!!

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