Dan Edmonds, Test Prep and College Admissions Expert
First of all, congratulations. You have two great options to choose from.
It's difficult to know exactly what the best choice for you is without knowing more about what you're hoping to get out of the college experience. But I would like to talk some about the strengths of each of your two choices.
Clemson has an excellent Honor's College. This means that they most likely will be nearly as effective (or perhaps even as effective) as Tulane both for placing you into graduate programs and for career opportunities on a regional level. In addition, Honor's Colleges are usually very nurturing environments, which means you'll receive a high degree of personal attention. This may be a real benefit to you as you say you have no idea what you want to major in; I suspect Clemson's Honor's College would provide you with a lot of guidance. In addition, the core curriculum of most Honor's Colleges is designed to expose students to a wide range of disciplines, which would likely help you to figure out what you ultimately want to study.
So the pros for Clemson: - Less expensive. - Most individual attention. - Roughly comparable in terms of access to graduate programs and regional employment.
Tulane is a strong, selective national university located in a vibrant city. New Orleans is a one-of-a-kind city with rich culture, and Tulane makes being in New Orleans a significant part of your university experience. Additionally, if you are interested in contributing to your community, students at Tulane are very active in helping the city of New Orleans which is still recovering from Katrina. Additionally, I suspect Tulane would be more favorable if you wanted to work outside the southeast after graduation (though I'm not sure of that). Finally, every student at Tulane is of high enough caliber to attend a selective university, whereas only the students at the Honor's College at Clemson will be guaranteed to be of that same caliber, so at Tulane, all of your peers will be strong academic students.
So the pros of Tulane: - Vibrant city. - Great opportunities to give back to the community. - A university full of high caliber students. - Nationally recognized as a strong school.
While this isn't an exhaustive list of the pros of the two schools, I hope it gives you some tools for making the decision. Given that you're undecided on what to study and that you mention the cost, which I take to mean that money is a concern, my gut would be that Clemson Honor's, which is less expensive and will offer you more individual attention, might be the better choice, but I'd need to know a lot more details to know for sure.