Private or public? (UW-Milwaukee vs. Cardinal Stritch)

  1. I am a student at MATC (taking my pre-reqs) and planning on transferring to either UWM or Cardinal Stritch in Fall 2014. I was taking all of my general classes with UWM curriculum in mind, but now I am learning more about private colleges (Cardinal Stritch in particular) and am thinking which school will be best for me. If I go to UWM I will graduate 1 semester earlier, plus the tuition is 4000$ per year less in UWM compared to Cardinal Stritch (they offer several scholarships and grants which will bring tuition down). On the other hand, Stritch offers immediate acceptance (no waitlist), and professor to student ratio is 1:14, which is awesome because my teachers will actually know my name, while at UWM they can have over 100 people in the same classroom. I am also volunteering at the hospital right now and when I asked nurses which school they think is the best, all of them agreed that private schools like Alverno, Stritch and Carroll will provide a higher level of education and nurses who come from these colleges are much more prepared for the job than students from UW-Milwaukee. Stritch's NCLEX passing rate is also higher - 93% compared to UWM's 89%. I want to ask your opinion if it is worth it to spend extra time and money to go to Stritch or should I just go to UWM as I planned before? If you attended either of these 2 institutions, I will appreciate your thoughts on the subject. Thanks
    P.S. I have a high GPA, so I wasn't really worried about getting into UWM clinicals. However, I believe their competition is currently 1:4 and everything can happen, so no one can guarantee the acceptance first time around.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   melizerd
    Well once you finish at MATC you will take the NCLEX and do the RN-BSN bridge for either option depending on where you work they pay for all/most of the rest of your education. Doing the RN-BSN you'll find that there are even more classes you can take at MATC that transfer and will be cheaper than doing it at other places. So as long as you do the minimum number of credits to graduate from another school that's all I'll be doing. No one will care where your BSN is from as long as it is accredited.

    Do your pre-reqs with transferring in mind, 200 level courses etc but don't worry too much about it. MATC is working with current nursing students on a new bridge program for UWM as well that wasn't implemented while I was doing my ADN. So it might be an easy choice by the time you finish pre-reqs. MATC prepares you very well for NCLEX and a job right out of school.

    I was pinned on Tues! It's been a wild ride but so worth it!
  4. by   MssNurse2b
    I am not planning on getting my ADN from MATC. At MATC I am only taking all the pre-reqs I need, so I can transfer to the university and get my BSN directly.
  5. by   melizerd
    UWM then. The price is still better than from Stritch. Even with the financial aide for transfer students it would have cost me a ton more out of pocket. It's why I needed up doing my ADN at MATC and then going on to BSN.
  6. by   MssNurse2b
    I was thinking about UWM for a long time. The problem is their waitlists and large class sizes. I believe Stritch will give me a higher level of education and will prepare me better for MSN in the future. By the way, the difference in cost between UWM and Stritch will a little over 4000$/year because they offered me a lot of scholarship money. I might also qualify for additional grants. If that will be the case, the total difference will be even smaller. I am thinking if extra 12000$ (in worse case scenario) for 3 years will be worth it.
    And actually the science professor from MATC highly recommended Stritch to me and told me that their students are more prepared to work in a clinical settings than the ones coming from UWM.
    Melizerd, if you don't mind me asking, will ADN be your first degree or do you already have bachelor's in other field? I am curious because private colleges (including Stritch) offer tons of grants and scholarships for first-degree students. You might be surprised how affordable private college can be.
  7. by   melizerd
    Well I'm done. I graduated with my ADN last week. I was accepted to uwm, stritch and matc before deciding which to go to because I was worried about being stuck on a waiting list as well. It is my first degree but I'm 31 and married with family etc. I still chose matc because of cost, time and reputation.

    Many of is have interviews and job offers before graduation was even complete. MATC RNs are very well prepared

    I'll be going on for my MSN in the next year or so and then we will see where I go. I think I'd like to teach when I'm tired of the floor.
  8. by   melizerd
    Honestly I don't think there is one answer and cost is only part of the choice It's good to really look at all options before deciding.

    I left MATC with my ADN with almost zero debt which was huge for me. My BSN or MSN will be paid for in part or full by an employer.
  9. by   MssNurse2b
    Quote from melizerd
    I'll be going on for my MSN in the next year or so and then we will see where I go. I think I'd like to teach when I'm tired of the floor.
    Don't you need to get your BSN first?

    I agree that MATC RN's are well educated. Small classes always better than 100 students in 1 auditorium.
  10. by   melizerd
    There are several MSN options that you can start without getting a BSN first, or are built to basically take you straight through etc. That's the awesome thing about nursing is there are so many options.

    I loved my classes of only 14-20 people. We graduated just 50 students this semester, 30ish were at the downtown campus and 20 of us were at the Mequon campus.
  11. by   PrettyGurlLexi
    Quote from melizerd
    Well I'm done. I graduated with my ADN last week. I was accepted to uwm, stritch and matc before deciding which to go to because I was worried about being stuck on a waiting list as well. It is my first degree but I'm 31 and married with family etc. I still chose matc because of cost, time and reputation.

    Many of is have interviews and job offers before graduation was even complete. MATC RNs are very well prepared

    I'll be going on for my MSN in the next year or so and then we will see where I go. I think I'd like to teach when I'm tired of the floor.
    Congratulations!! I will be at MATC downtown. I was also thinking about transferring to UW-Milwaukeefor my BSN. I know they focus on community care but I'm interested in community/public health.

    I sure hope when I graduate in 2016 I have a a job offer or two! lol
    Last edit by PrettyGurlLexi on Dec 21, '13 : Reason: typo
  12. by   czarnec4
    Hi there,
    I am graduating in December with my BSN from UW-Milwaukee. I would think long and hard about deciding to come here for your education. It is not a great program. Yes, it is cheaper than private but you will get what you pay for (many times, it will feel like even less). The simulation labs are so run down they are almost not functional. There are literal holes in the walls, lack of basic modern supplies. So if you want to learn how to operate irrelevant medical equipment from the 1970's, this is the place. Their accreditation is also questionable. There are always rumors circulating that they are under review or probation and might not get their accreditation renewed, which would make a degree from them useless. But these are rumors so I have no clue as to their validity and have been unable to find any concrete information on this. However, the fact that the administration never addresses these rumors is a little concerning. There is a general suspicion that they are keeping the students in the dark.

    The leadership is not great. They have this very authoritarian style. I think they are trying to "prepare students for the real world", but they are horribly misguided. This translates into telling students that missing a class due to a death in the family is "unacceptable", changing your schedule last minute and expecting you to accommodate them without question, and literally closing doors in students faces. This is especially frustrating to adult students (such as myself). Most of my classmates are returning students who have been in the working world, functioning as professionals in other fields, for years before starting this program. They actually told us that something would "go on our permanent record" like some villain in an 80s teen movie. They have this same style with the clinical instructors, so the good ones leave for other schools/positions.

    Their clinical placements are tenuous and you can end up driving up to an hour away for your site. You will have classes where you are not provided a syllabus until the class is like 6 or more weeks in. Some classes are given these strange names and then have no content, so they just assign you tons of frivolous papers to write and have "guest speakers" to fill time.

    With all that being said, I am graduating with straight A's and am glad to be done. I will be an RN after all and that was the goal. But it UWM made it a very painful process and I will still have a lot of debt. If I had a time machine, I would make a different choice.

    Good luck! I hope your BSN experience is better than mine was!

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