anyone with insight about various colleges

jmnk

Hall of Fame
asking for a friend. not really tennis related but since there are quite a few folks here....
Imagine one got accepted into Berkeley, Georgetown, Michigan, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, UCLA, USC. Non-athlete, humanities major (i.e. non engineering, non CS, non Business), female from a major us city. The cost is about the same in each place. What would you recommend? I'm looking for comments from folks that actually went to these universities fairly recently, or perhaps are still there.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Don't know if this is a consideration...

Even tho' the cost might appear to be the same, at some schools it might be easier to procure financial aid. I don't know if it's easier to obtains grants or scholarships -- but sometimes it's easier get a larger portion of cost of education paid by financial aid. Heard that was the case for Stanford compared to UC Berkeley.
 
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Soul

Semi-Pro
Well, don't know if this is helpful but I didn't go to a top University.

My smart nephew was recently invited by MIT to tour their campus and meet with one of their professors. He will be applying in Oct. Don't know if the invited means he is likely to be admitted to MIT or not but figure it's a positive in that direction.

The nephew has his two top choices narrowed down to MIT and the University of Illinois. I guess both Universities cost similar. He's chosen those two due to their excellent Engineering/ computer programs. His father also teaches at Illinois. Name wise, I've heard some in the family would be thrilled if he went to MIT, with the good name they have.
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
asking for a friend. not really tennis related but since there are quite a few folks here....
Imagine one got accepted into Berkeley, Georgetown, Michigan, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, UCLA, USC. Non-athlete, humanities major (i.e. non engineering, non CS, non Business), female from a major us city. The cost is about the same in each place. What would you recommend? I'm looking for comments from folks that actually went to these universities fairly recently, or perhaps are still there.
Your narrow qualifications for who you want to answer will limit you to one or two posters who may stumble upon this thread. You should also be more specific on what you want to know about; are you interested in specific courses, campus life, dorms, cities, weather? I have a lot of experience with Berkeley and UCLA, but I'm not currently a student and didn't just graduate, so I don't qualify to answer.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I assume cost is same because the non-state ones are providing some scholarship.

Rule out cold places,
Rule out any regressive state.
The choice is pretty obvious.
If you want to fine tune the weather, the choice really comes down to two.
One of them is private and more expensive.

Answer: UCLA
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
I assume cost is same because the non-state ones are providing some scholarship.

Rule out cold places,
Rule out any regressive state.
The choice is pretty obvious.
If you want to fine tune the weather, the choice really comes down to two.
One of them is private and more expensive.

Answer: UCLA
UCLA is in a far better area (and less polluted) than your other choice, USC. Any sane person would choose Berkeley.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm finishing up Graduate school at Michigan after attending Michigan State for Undergrad. Was offered four different jobs before I even completed my degree. The Michigan name on a resume really does impress prospective employers. Financial Aid didn't come into play for me as I was offered a full ride based on my resume at State.

That will come especially in handy with a humanities/liberal arts/etc degree because otherwise it's a tough field out there right now in terms of job prospects. I got my degree in Journalism to start and was not at all happy with the economic job climate affixed to it. Halfway through undergrad I decided to invest in a fifth year so I could also earn a degree in Economics. This was spurred on by already having taken a lot of my electives in some of the core courses required for the Economics degree and that I was finding it near impossible to even find a Journalism internship - so if I could not find an employer to let me work for NOTHING how was I supposed to find a job for a salary post graduation?

Ultimately would not have done Grad school if I hadn't gotten in for free, too much owed already to Michigan State. Bolstering my resume with another degree from Michigan has been a big boon for me though. I got offers I was not getting with "just" an Undergrad degree.

The campus is nice, though I preferred Michigan State's insulated campus. The professors are high quality, the facilities are high quality. The dining hall food is very solid.

This individual got into some fantastic schools, so there isn't really a wrong choice. She really ought to be visiting some of these campuses. Hands on experience is best in choices like these. There wasn't a single college in High School that I applied to that I didn't end up visiting as well.
 

krisdrum

Semi-Pro
My unsolicited take: do your undergrad where ever you want to. Especially in humanities. Choose weather, region, etc. and go from there. In today's job market, unless you are focused on a specific profession, your Bachelors degree doesn't mean much. It doesn't have the same weight and clout it used to. The importance of name recognition and program specifics kicks in when you look at post-BA degrees.

One of my biggest regrets looking back at my 18 year old self was not choosing to go to a state school for undergrad. I'm STILL paying off loans associated with that degree and it is more than 20 years in the rearview. It gave me a good foundation and experience, but I could have gotten that at any number of instituions. Carrying that debt since has had its impacts on me to this day. The cost/benefit simply isn't there.

Granted for the last 10 years I've added to that debt by completing a Masters degree, but I've also been provided far greater opportunities since receiving my Masters, which helps balance that investment out.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
My unsolicited take: do your undergrad where ever you want to. Especially in humanities. Choose weather, region, etc. and go from there. In today's job market, unless you are focused on a specific profession, your Bachelors degree doesn't mean much. It doesn't have the same weight and clout it used to. The importance of name recognition and program specifics kicks in when you look at post-BA degrees.

One of my biggest regrets looking back at my 18 year old self was not choosing to go to a state school for undergrad. I'm STILL paying off loans associated with that degree and it is more than 20 years in the rearview. It gave me a good foundation and experience, but I could have gotten that at any number of instituions. Carrying that debt since has had its impacts on me to this day. The cost/benefit simply isn't there.

Granted for the last 10 years I've added to that debt by completing a Masters degree, but I've also been provided far greater opportunities since receiving my Masters, which helps balance that investment out.
I agree with everything you just said. Well said.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
I assume cost is same because the non-state ones are providing some scholarship.

Rule out cold places,
Rule out any regressive state.
The choice is pretty obvious.
If you want to fine tune the weather, the choice really comes down to two.
One of them is private and more expensive.

Answer: UCLA
The Michigan cold kept me inside and thus glued to my textbooks and school assignments. Cold isn't all bad.
 
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Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
I didn't go to Michigan, but I was at a place that had winter. . . and the seasons. . . it's true that cold helps you study better. If you want a good time, go to Hawaii.
Finals time is/was always the most dangerous time at Michigan State/Michigan for me. Spring finally comes right at the end of the semester and you'd much rather be doing fun stuff outside than cramming for those last exams. I always aimed to have a 4.0 in the class because some professors would exempt you from the final if you had a 4.0 going in.

Ultimately I love Michigan despite the brutal and long winters. Mid-westerners just very polite and salt of the earth.

Funnily enough though I loved doing Summer courses. The accelerated speed at which the courses go and frantic pace was something I dealt very well with. And campus is always a ghost town in the summer.

Ended up only needing an additional semester after 4 yrs to pick up my 2nd undergrad degree. Didn't end up saving much money because it is all $/Credit type deal but I did save myself some time. Also found that applying in the winter/New Years cycle for jobs was a little less competitive than the summer swing, at least in my experience.
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Weather is better in UCLA or USC
The location is better. Westwood is nicer than South Central. Also, the weather is different, as UCLA is nearer to the ocean. It is also on the west side of the 405 with nice air, but USC is in the pollution zone.

You should be familiar with these dynamics in San Diego. I spend time in Del Mar when I get a chance. The air is usually damper and cooler than even a few miles inland
 

max

Legend
Interesting all the weather comments. Back in making my choice, I was keen on whatever academic distinction the school had, how serious it all seemed. But ymmv. I know a former IL Governor, now still in jail, who chose Pepperdine because of the climate.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
thank you for all comments. Few clarifications:
  • cost is about the same _after considering any potential aid already_.
  • Visiting colleges - yes, definitely needed, but you rarely actually get a true picture during those visits.
  • Asking for comments from recent/current students to see how stuff that it rarely discussed actually works. Like, can you get the classes you want (supposedly an issue at large state schools: Berkeley/UCLA), is it relatively easy to get a semester of study abroad, are you going to feel alienated (supposedly an issue at USC and to some degree at Northwestern due to the (large percentage of very wealthy) student body), is it safe (supposedly an issue at Berkeley), and so on.
  • Interesting comments on under vs masters degree. Does it matter these days what undergraduate school you went to when trying to get into a given Graduate degree program?
@Mike Bulgakov - if you do have some insight into UCLA/Berkeley - please do tell. Or IM me please. Interesting that you seem to say that Berkeley is a non-brainer even for humanities major....
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
@Mike Bulgakov - if you do have some insight into UCLA/Berkeley - please do tell. Or IM me please. Interesting that you seem to say that Berkeley is a non-brainer even for humanities major....
I was being somewhat facetious regarding Berkeley, as it's my school. Berkeley is not for everyone. Some areas are nice, but others may be a little dangerous. Telegraph Avenue is a mecca for teenage runaways and all sorts of activity, but is pretty safe near the campus. Ever since the 1960/1970s protest era, Berkeley has attracted all sorts of political activists that have nothing to do with the university.

Berkeley and UCLA have giant classes for many of the courses required in the first two years, usually with little contact with the professors. Students are not coddled, grades are cutthroat, and it is easy for incoming students to feel somewhat alienated. In contrast, Stanford somewhat coddles students and it is said to be easier to get good grades there. California has a budget crises and these are public schools, so this is a problem.

UCLA is in a wealthy part of Los Angeles, and generally very safe. Brentwood, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills aren't far. Westwood is really nice. USC is known as having rich kids with an attitude, and is located blocks from some very dangerous neighborhoods.
 

ak24alive

Legend
I'm finishing up Graduate school at Michigan after attending Michigan State for Undergrad. Was offered four different jobs before I even completed my degree. The Michigan name on a resume really does impress prospective employers. Financial Aid didn't come into play for me as I was offered a full ride based on my resume at State.

That will come especially in handy with a humanities/liberal arts/etc degree because otherwise it's a tough field out there right now in terms of job prospects. I got my degree in Journalism to start and was not at all happy with the economic job climate affixed to it. Halfway through undergrad I decided to invest in a fifth year so I could also earn a degree in Economics. This was spurred on by already having taken a lot of my electives in some of the core courses required for the Economics degree and that I was finding it near impossible to even find a Journalism internship - so if I could not find an employer to let me work for NOTHING how was I supposed to find a job for a salary post graduation?

Ultimately would not have done Grad school if I hadn't gotten in for free, too much owed already to Michigan State. Bolstering my resume with another degree from Michigan has been a big boon for me though. I got offers I was not getting with "just" an Undergrad degree.

The campus is nice, though I preferred Michigan State's insulated campus. The professors are high quality, the facilities are high quality. The dining hall food is very solid.

This individual got into some fantastic schools, so there isn't really a wrong choice. She really ought to be visiting some of these campuses. Hands on experience is best in choices like these. There wasn't a single college in High School that I applied to that I didn't end up visiting as well.
You were the only person I know who was doing worse than me. Now I am disappoint.
 
D

Deleted member 754093

Guest
I love Northwestern. Would have very much liked to go for grad school but the cost was too high
 
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krisdrum

Semi-Pro
thank you for all comments. Few clarifications:
  • Interesting comments on under vs masters degree. Does it matter these days what undergraduate school you went to when trying to get into a given Graduate degree program?
I don't think so or if it is a factor, it is probably lower on the list than others. I think it is mostly about the numbers: GRE and GPA. If you don't have the GPA, you better have decent GRE scores. If your GRE is low, you better have a decent GPA. At first I had neither. They told me to raise my GREs, I did and I was accepted on my second try.

My undergrad was at a decent private school. If I had been at a state school, I'm not convince it would have been a strike against me.
 

ak24alive

Legend
I'm finishing up Graduate school at Michigan after attending Michigan State for Undergrad. Was offered four different jobs before I even completed my degree. The Michigan name on a resume really does impress prospective employers. Financial Aid didn't come into play for me as I was offered a full ride based on my resume at State.

That will come especially in handy with a humanities/liberal arts/etc degree because otherwise it's a tough field out there right now in terms of job prospects. I got my degree in Journalism to start and was not at all happy with the economic job climate affixed to it. Halfway through undergrad I decided to invest in a fifth year so I could also earn a degree in Economics. This was spurred on by already having taken a lot of my electives in some of the core courses required for the Economics degree and that I was finding it near impossible to even find a Journalism internship - so if I could not find an employer to let me work for NOTHING how was I supposed to find a job for a salary post graduation?

Ultimately would not have done Grad school if I hadn't gotten in for free, too much owed already to Michigan State. Bolstering my resume with another degree from Michigan has been a big boon for me though. I got offers I was not getting with "just" an Undergrad degree.

The campus is nice, though I preferred Michigan State's insulated campus. The professors are high quality, the facilities are high quality. The dining hall food is very solid.

This individual got into some fantastic schools, so there isn't really a wrong choice. She really ought to be visiting some of these campuses. Hands on experience is best in choices like these. There wasn't a single college in High School that I applied to that I didn't end up visiting as well.
You would have been a **** journalist anyway so happy that you took up Economics.
Now you can be a **** analyst or something.
 

atatu

Legend
I took my son for a visit to Vanderbilt and I have to say I was blown away, also Nashville is a very nice city to live in. The cost however, is an issue.
 

ak24alive

Legend
I'm finishing up Graduate school at Michigan after attending Michigan State for Undergrad. Was offered four different jobs before I even completed my degree. The Michigan name on a resume really does impress prospective employers. Financial Aid didn't come into play for me as I was offered a full ride based on my resume at State.

That will come especially in handy with a humanities/liberal arts/etc degree because otherwise it's a tough field out there right now in terms of job prospects. I got my degree in Journalism to start and was not at all happy with the economic job climate affixed to it. Halfway through undergrad I decided to invest in a fifth year so I could also earn a degree in Economics. This was spurred on by already having taken a lot of my electives in some of the core courses required for the Economics degree and that I was finding it near impossible to even find a Journalism internship - so if I could not find an employer to let me work for NOTHING how was I supposed to find a job for a salary post graduation?

Ultimately would not have done Grad school if I hadn't gotten in for free, too much owed already to Michigan State. Bolstering my resume with another degree from Michigan has been a big boon for me though. I got offers I was not getting with "just" an Undergrad degree.

The campus is nice, though I preferred Michigan State's insulated campus. The professors are high quality, the facilities are high quality. The dining hall food is very solid.

This individual got into some fantastic schools, so there isn't really a wrong choice. She really ought to be visiting some of these campuses. Hands on experience is best in choices like these. There wasn't a single college in High School that I applied to that I didn't end up visiting as well.
But really happy to read this.
I remember you being in a tough spot last year.
You accepted any offer yet?
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
You were the only person I know who was doing worse than me. Now I am disappoint.
You would have been a **** journalist anyway so happy that you took up Economics.
Now you can be a **** analyst or something.
But really happy to read this.
I remember you being in a tough spot last year.
You accepted any offer yet?
Journalism had me spending more money on work than work actually paid me. Was almost homeless (could barely afford a crappy 1 BR apartment) and basically living out of my car at one point. Last year was more dealing with a lot of non-work related stuff though. I did accept an offer yes, I've been working with them since November. Still at least a year out from finishing at Michigan. Been doing Summer semesters to make it shorter.

I was more on the copy editing side than beat reporting.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
thank you for all comments. Few clarifications:
  • cost is about the same _after considering any potential aid already_.
  • Visiting colleges - yes, definitely needed, but you rarely actually get a true picture during those visits.
  • Asking for comments from recent/current students to see how stuff that it rarely discussed actually works. Like, can you get the classes you want (supposedly an issue at large state schools: Berkeley/UCLA), is it relatively easy to get a semester of study abroad, are you going to feel alienated (supposedly an issue at USC and to some degree at Northwestern due to the (large percentage of very wealthy) student body), is it safe (supposedly an issue at Berkeley), and so on.
  • Interesting comments on under vs masters degree. Does it matter these days what undergraduate school you went to when trying to get into a given Graduate degree program?
@Mike Bulgakov - if you do have some insight into UCLA/Berkeley - please do tell. Or IM me please. Interesting that you seem to say that Berkeley is a non-brainer even for humanities major....
Think GPA is probably most important. Though going to a prestigious school for undergrad obviously doesn't hurt either. I finished Undergrad with a 3.95 GPA. Probably the only eye-popping thing on my resume was an internship with the Governor.

Alienation is definitely possible at U of M. There are a lot of smug, entitled children and it can be a bit of a cutthroat atmosphere. I have not been immune to hearing stories about kids sabotaging each other in various ways to improve their Law School rank, for example. Did not experience that as much at Michigan State.

The importance of visiting really is just so that you can scope out the location. See how much you like it. See how accessible/inaccessible certain amenities are.See if you like the aura/vibe of the area, etc.

Never had a problem getting any of the classes I wanted at Michigan, nor have I heard of Undergrads having any such issue.
 

ak24alive

Legend
Journalism had me spending more money on work than work actually paid me. Was almost homeless (could barely afford a crappy 1 BR apartment) and basically living out of my car at one point. Last year was more dealing with a lot of non-work related stuff though. I did accept an offer yes, I've been working with them since November. Still at least a year out from finishing at Michigan. Been doing Summer semesters to make it shorter.
Wow that's some struggle you had there. I think in some crappy ways it's good to struggle like that in your early days. It really toughens you for the rest of the life.
So what work you doing now?
I was more on the copy editing side than beat reporting.
Did you work for the Express?
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
Wow that's some struggle you had there. I think in some crappy ways it's good to struggle like that in your early days. It really toughens you for the rest of the life.
So what work you doing now?

Did you work for the Express?
It was a necessary struggle. When you're going to the store to spend your last few bucks on crappy frozen meals you develop a certain humility. I was tasked with hundreds of miles of traveling to various events and expected to cover (and expense it all) myself. I actually thought my salary when it was offered was decent but I quickly learned between bills, travel expenditures, and student loans it was indeed, not. But Journalism, not Economics, was the first job I found out of school, so I took it.

But it wasn't enough, so I started applying elsewhere. Couldn't really find much. So looked into Grad school. Wasn't going to until I got a full ride offer. About halfway through I started applying and thankfully the returns were seen pretty much immediately. Probably a mix of luck but I do think the advanced degrees so to speak earned me more clout.
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
I'm finishing up Graduate school at Michigan after attending Michigan State for Undergrad. Was offered four different jobs before I even completed my degree. The Michigan name on a resume really does impress prospective employers. Financial Aid didn't come into play for me as I was offered a full ride based on my resume at State.

That will come especially in handy with a humanities/liberal arts/etc degree because otherwise it's a tough field out there right now in terms of job prospects. I got my degree in Journalism to start and was not at all happy with the economic job climate affixed to it. Halfway through undergrad I decided to invest in a fifth year so I could also earn a degree in Economics. This was spurred on by already having taken a lot of my electives in some of the core courses required for the Economics degree and that I was finding it near impossible to even find a Journalism internship - so if I could not find an employer to let me work for NOTHING how was I supposed to find a job for a salary post graduation?

Ultimately would not have done Grad school if I hadn't gotten in for free, too much owed already to Michigan State. Bolstering my resume with another degree from Michigan has been a big boon for me though. I got offers I was not getting with "just" an Undergrad degree.

The campus is nice, though I preferred Michigan State's insulated campus. The professors are high quality, the facilities are high quality. The dining hall food is very solid.

This individual got into some fantastic schools, so there isn't really a wrong choice. She really ought to be visiting some of these campuses. Hands on experience is best in choices like these. There wasn't a single college in High School that I applied to that I didn't end up visiting as well.
Economics with Journalism?
Nice!
In what field of your profession do you work now?.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
Economics with Journalism?
Nice!
In what field of your profession do you work now?.
Yeah even minored in Advertising with my Journalism degree.

I work in the Economics field now. Do occasionally pick up a freelance Journalism gig or two to keep my mind sharp on that too.

I'd say that's more my passion but the money just has not been there for me. It's difficult.
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
Yeah even minored in Advertising with my Journalism degree.

I work in the Economics field now. Do occasionally pick up a freelance Journalism gig or two to keep my mind sharp on that too.

I'd say that's more my passion but the money just has not been there for me. It's difficult.
Have you tried to see opportunities in Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Reuters?
Or does the place where you live limit you a bit to look for those job opportunities?
besides looking for vacancies in the Post or The Times.
Let me tell you that it is much easier to get a job in journalism if you have a specialty in Economics that a person works in the economic section with only a degree in journalism.
 
asking for a friend. not really tennis related but since there are quite a few folks here....
Imagine one got accepted into Berkeley, Georgetown, Michigan, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, UCLA, USC. Non-athlete, humanities major (i.e. non engineering, non CS, non Business), female from a major us city. The cost is about the same in each place. What would you recommend? I'm looking for comments from folks that actually went to these universities fairly recently, or perhaps are still there.
I’d recommend she take a year off to travel and think about a different major that will land her a job which enables her to pay off the loans she will incur.

Unless she is planning on law school or academia, there’s no reason to go to a private university to major in Humanities.

So assuming she doesn’t have a substantial scholarship, that’s the best advice your friend will get.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
I’d recommend she take a year off to travel and think about a different major that will land her a job which enables her to pay off the loans she will incur.

Unless she is planning on law school or academia, there’s no reason to go to a private university to major in Humanities.

So assuming she doesn’t have a substantial scholarship, that’s the best advice your friend will get.
For law school GPA is far more important than quality of school.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
I’d recommend she take a year off to travel and think about a different major that will land her a job which enables her to pay off the loans she will incur.

Unless she is planning on law school or academia, there’s no reason to go to a private university to major in Humanities.

So assuming she doesn’t have a substantial scholarship, that’s the best advice your friend will get.
If I may ask - why? It's not like public university is any cheaper for Out Of State students....
 
If I may ask - why? It's not like public university is any cheaper for Out Of State students....
True, but why is she only looking out of state? If she is from a major city, I’m assuming there’s a decent state school there....

I don’t think it’s prudent to go to UCLA either unless you’re a CA resident. Either way, going to an expensive private school/ out of state public school without a precise career path in mind is an incredibly risky endeavor.

I went to a private school. If I could do it all over again, I would have went to the state school that may not have been as prestigious but offered me a full scholarship.
 
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EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
I went to a private school. If I could do it all over again, I would have went to the state school that may not have been as prestigious but offered me a full scholarship
And if I have to do it again I wouldn't have taken my scholarship and would have gone to a better school.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
Maybe, for the first job or 2 out of college. After that it’s completely irrelevant and even more irrelevant if you want to go to grad school as you mentioned earlier.
I really don't agree. Career wise certain employers will be more impressed if you have a "brand name" on resume. Even if they don't look for it, it impresses them. Not to mention the networking advantages.

Also "first job" is a huge difference! If you have a higher chance of getting your foot in the door that's worth a lot of money.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
I guess it depends on your major. But what do you feel you would have gained?
Don't want to get into details but I'll just say that I ended up having to go back to grad school and I think my struggles in early career were in part because of the less impressive school I went to.
 
I really don't agree. Career wise certain employers will be more impressed if you have a "brand name" on resume. Even if they don't look for it, it impresses them. Not to mention the networking advantages.

Also "first job" is a huge difference! If you have a higher chance of getting your foot in the door that's worth a lot of money.
Sure, if your goal is to work at Goldman Sachs it matters. If you’re applying for an entry level marketing job, then not so much.

But I don’t see how it’s a good investment to spend $200,000 to go to Vassar to major in 18th Century French Literature.
 
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