Today’s reader question comes from Gavin in Lebanon, Pennsylvania:
Question: I live in the the south central part of Pennsylvania and I am going to have to stay in state for college due to costs, but I really don’t want to attend many of the mostly rural state schools in my state. My heart is set on being in a big city. Can you give me a run down of Temple and Pitt and how they are similar and different?
Answer: Temple University (Temple) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) are two of the most well-known and respected public universities in Pennsylvania. Both universities offer a diverse range of academic programs and resources, but they have distinctions that set them apart from each other.
Temple is located in the heart of North Philadelphia, a city known for its rich history and cultural offerings. The university has a quite diverse student body, with over 39,000 students from all over the world. Temple is known for its strong programs in business, education, and the health sciences, and Temple offers a wide range of resources for students, including state-of-the-art facilities, research opportunities, and student organizations. With that said, North Philadelphia is not the safest neighborhood, especially these days.
Pitt, on the other hand, is located in the city of Pittsburgh and has a student body of over 28,000 students. Pittsburgh is known for its thriving tech industry, and the university has well-regarded programs in engineering, computer science, and health sciences. The university is also home to extensive research facilities, including world-class research centers in the health sciences, and has a strong tradition of providing students with hands-on research opportunities. Pitt is in a city, but one that feels and is statistically safer than Philadelphia at large and especially North Philadelphia in particular.
One of the biggest differences between Temple and Pitt is their location. Philadelphia is a large, bustling city with a rich cultural history, and Temple provides students with access to all that the city has to offer. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is a smaller, more blue-collar and intimate city with a growing tech industry and a focus on innovation. Both cities have their own unique advantages, but students who prefer a highly urban and majority-minority environment will often find Temple to be a better fit, while those who are interested in technology, somewhat more school spirit, and safety may prefer Pitt.
Remember, Temple has a strong focus on business, education, and the health sciences, while Pitt has a strong focus on engineering, computer science, and health sciences. Both universities have a wide range of academic programs, but the specific strengths of each university can influence the decision of students who are considering attending one versus the other.
Meanwhile, student life is another area where Temple and Pitt differ. Temple has a large, diverse student body, and the university is known for its vibrant student life, including Greek life, recreational opportunities, and a wide range of student organizations. Pitt, on the other hand, has a smaller student body and a more intimate feel, but still offers students a wide range of activities and organizations to get involved in on and off campus.
Finally, it sounds like the cost of attendance at each university is another important consideration for you. As both Temple and Pitt are public universities, you will get to pay in-state tuition, which out-of-state students don’t get to benefit from. Additionally, both universities offer financial aid and scholarships to help students pay for their education, but the specific options available to students can vary widely between the two institutions. Interestingly, I’ve worked with students who’ve gotten large scholarships from both universities.
Ultimately, both Temple and Pitt are fine institutions that offer a vast array of academic programs and resources. Yet, each university has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the decision of which institution to attend should come down to individual preferences and priorities. If you want more help developing a right-fit college list for you, I encourage you to work closely with your high school guidance counselor or an admissions consultant for bespoke college counseling. Good luck.