evolosophy/grad school As soon as I found a catchphrase, I placed it here.
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Dearborn v Ann Arbor
Publish: 2024-04-14 01:19:15
Categories: grad school

So I think the takeaway here is that I'm a fucking stupid dipshit who can't get out of his own way. At least I think that's the takeaway. But maybe I should tell you the story and let you decide for yourself.

So I was at the park the other day yesterday, chatting with a park-acquaintance, Kelly, and I told her that it was quite likely that I was going to University of Michigan. As soon as I said it she immediately asked, "Ann Arbor?"

"No", I replied, "Dearborn".

So as I say this I just catch the quickest flurry of something on her face. I'm not sure I can place the exact expression, but maybe I'd say it was a less-than-optimtistic surprise. On top of it, that's the 3rd time I've been asked if I'm going to Ann Arbor when I mention U of M. So I finally got to the point where I was like, "Maybe I should look into this". So I did, but before I tell you about it let me give a little more background.

I essentially have two experiences when it comes to universities with multiple campus locations:

The Annex Model

So when I was at PSU the main campus was in downtown Portland but they also had a campus out in the suburbs somewhere that was like an overflow for certain courses and also the location of certain evening courses since it's closer to all the tech work west of Portland.

At the same time, while living downtown Portland, I was aware that University of Oregon also did the same thing; while they're located in Eugene, OR they have these annexes out in Portland that you could take classes there and end up with a U of Oregon degree and it would be no different than the main-campus degree.

The Sister-Campus Model

When I lived in San Antonio there was, within the city, The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) at the same time there's UT Austin which is in, you guessed it, Austin. They are two completely different schools which have nothing to do with each other other than the fact that they're both in the state of Texas.

They have competing programs. Which is to say, you can get the same degree at both because they're separate and complete entities - unrelated to the each other.

I'm guessing you know where this is going...

So... when I was doing my research initially, and I found the Data Science program at U of M Dearborn I honestly just assumed it was the Dearborn annex (and it was the annex model). At the time it didn't even occur to me that I should consider the sister campus model. Honestly, I feel like a bit of an idiot for letting this fly below my radar.

Back to today... go home after my chat with Kelly and I'm like, "OK let me ask the internet. Are U of M And Arbor and U of M Dearborn the same thing"? So, I ask the internet.

Well the short answer is, "fuck no".

The longer answer is no "Really, really fucking no".



From what I can tell this is definitely the "sister model". They're not the same school. At all.

While Dearborn doesn't seem like a terrible school (I don't think), it's definitely not the University of Michigan that brings the "prestige" that's associated with that university name. Either way the real takeaway is that, stupidly so, I was under the impression I was applying for a top-tier school when, clearly, I was not.

I'm not sure what to say about this, other than it's frustrating as hell. You know, it's annoying as hell because it seems like throughout my adult life I've continued to make these same sort of don't-know-what-you-don't-know mistakes. I had hoped to have several top-tier universities to choose from as well as several other "flyers". With UW putting me on a waitlist, and U of Mich turning out to be the wrong one, that puts a lot of pressure on the Minnesota application.

I get that I still have options, which is great, but it seems to me like whenever I pick up any forward momentum, I always run into the same fucking hurdle: being a first generation everything who has to figure everything out myself and somehow managing to fuck it all up the first time (and usually the second time also).

So yeah... it's frustrating, but what are you gonna do, right? Like I said at the intro, when it comes down to it, the ultimate problem here is that I'm a stupid dipshit. Sadly, I have not yet found a solution for that one.

Minnesota was my #1 choice going into this, and clearly, they're the #1 choice now. Let's hope that happens. 🙂

21 👀



one day. possibly.