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I have a list of 23 colleges. Help me make it a list of 10 colleges!


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Hi all!

As I said, I have a list of 23 colleges that I am interested in.

23 is waaaaaaay too many to apply to, let alone visit in the last weeks of summer. I want to narrow it down, so that's why I'm asking for your help.

Visited a college on my list? Please tell me about it in this thread!

Studied at any of these colleges? What was it like? Tell me about it!

Teach here? Can you tell me about your school?

Have any information on these colleges? Let me know!

I'm going into 12th grade. I'm interested in studying Aerospace Engineering, which most of these schools have. The rest have either Mechanical Engineering or are suggested by my parents. That's all I want to tell you about myself, for now.

  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Chicago
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Bucknell University
  • Muhlenberg College
  • Binghamton University
  • University of Michigan
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Boston University
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • George Washington University
  • University of Toronto
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Virginia
  • Syracuse University
  • Virginia Tech

Please only give me info on these colleges. And try to avoid arguing with each other! I just want info, not a flame war.

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CalPoly SLO or pomona? San luis obisbo is an absolutely beautiful city and in a really nice area. I haven't visited the school though. I've also been to UC Davis but didn't really walk around it. It's campus seemed ok. That's really all I can help you with really. I applied to Slo for a transfer but I wasn't doin' too hot my first 2 years so I can understand why I didn't get in.

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Care to tell me what your SAT scores are?

This is a very good point. While all of these schools are very nice, you may not make the cut for some of them due to your SAT scores (or, on the contrary, some of them might not be capable of meeting your needs if you have very good scores. It doesn't seem like this is the case though, as all of the schools I've heard of on your list would do quite nicely).

I personally haven't looked at colleges in a good long while, but I do think I have another question or two (or three or four) to ask you.

• Are you interested in any minors? I know that I'm a big fan of engineering but I also have my liberal-artsy side. Some of the schools here are almost certainly straight scientific schools with almost no emphasis on anything else; are you willing to make the commitment to go into aerospace engineering at this point in your life, or do you want to explore more options?

• What do you want besides a good education at your college? Would you want to live in a college town? Do you enjoy partying? Would you like a college that has a suitable climate for you, politically or meteorologically? You certainly don't need to post all of this on this thread, but please do take it into consideration when you're looking at colleges.

There's a lot to consider, but at the end of the day, all of the colleges on your list are probably places where you'll meet friends, have fun, and learn a lot. Try visiting some of the colleges closest to your hometown if you have the time. And don't sweat this process too much. :)

-Upsilon

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This is a very good point. While all of these schools are very nice, you may not make the cut for some of them due to your SAT scores (or, on the contrary, some of them might not be capable of meeting your needs if you have very good scores. It doesn't seem like this is the case though, as all of the schools I've heard of on your list would do quite nicely).

Well, I think that my SATs and ACTs are good enough. The problem is my GPA. It's not as high as I would like it to be. If you want, PM me.

I personally haven't looked at colleges in a good long while, but I do think I have another question or two (or three or four) to ask you.

• Are you interested in any minors? I know that I'm a big fan of engineering but I also have my liberal-artsy side. Some of the schools here are almost certainly straight scientific schools with almost no emphasis on anything else; are you willing to make the commitment to go into aerospace engineering at this point in your life, or do you want to explore more options?

Well, I think that I am willing to go into aerospace now, but you raise a good point. I love history- especially military- but my belief (misguided or not, IDK) is that I should focus on my major, and any minors are a bonus.

• What do you want besides a good education at your college? Would you want to live in a college town? Do you enjoy partying? Would you like a college that has a suitable climate for you, politically or meteorologically? You certainly don't need to post all of this on this thread, but please do take it into consideration when you're looking at colleges.

Thanks for the tips. I will be sure to factor them in.

There's a lot to consider, but at the end of the day, all of the colleges on your list are probably places where you'll meet friends, have fun, and learn a lot. Try visiting some of the colleges closest to your hometown if you have the time. And don't sweat this process too much. :)

-Upsilon

I'll try not to. :)

Oh, and for the love of Jeb, do not pick a college because you happen to live close to it. If that turns out to be the one you like most, sure, but do not make it a factor in picking one.

It is not a factor. In fact, I can't wait to get away from my parents. :)

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I have visited Virginia Tech and Embry-Riddle.

Virginia Tech has a pretty big (and pretty nice) campus.

Virginia Tech has a highly competitive Engineering Program. (Someone that interned with me at NASA, had a 3.95 GPA and over a 1300 SAT score didn't get into the Engineering Program.)

Other than that, I can't really say anything, other than that it gets super cold in the winter.

Embry-Riddle is, as you probably know, a much smaller school.

It's pretty close to Daytona Beach, and is right next to the speedway (If you like NASCAR).

They have a TON of hands on projects you can participate in and I know that a lot of their engineering graduates find good jobs easily.

Really, though, where you get your undergraduate from doesn't matter too much. Engineers that I have met at NASA have education ranging from Community College and the old Apprentice program to MIT.

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I have visited Virginia Tech and Embry-Riddle.

Virginia Tech has a pretty big (and pretty nice) campus.

Virginia Tech has a highly competitive Engineering Program. (Someone that interned with me at NASA, had a 3.95 GPA and over a 1300 SAT score didn't get into the Engineering Program.)

Other than that, I can't really say anything, other than that it gets super cold in the winter.

Embry-Riddle is, as you probably know, a much smaller school.

It's pretty close to Daytona Beach, and is right next to the speedway (If you like NASCAR).

They have a TON of hands on projects you can participate in and I know that a lot of their engineering graduates find good jobs easily.

Really, though, where you get your undergraduate from doesn't matter too much. Engineers that I have met at NASA have education ranging from Community College and the old Apprentice program to MIT.

It's definitely a more hands-on environment than a lot of other schools. It's also one of the few where you can also grab your pilot license along with obtaining an aeronautics engineering degree. Depending on whos word you value, US News and World Report's evaluation ranks them as the number one aeronautical engineering school in the world.

Sound familiar, Dman?

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It's definitely a more hands-on environment than a lot of other schools. It's also one of the few where you can also grab your pilot license along with obtaining an aeronautics engineering degree. Depending on whos word you value, US News and World Report's evaluation ranks them as the number one aeronautical engineering school in the world.

Sound familiar, Dman?

Hehehe, yes, it does. ;) Anybody have info on any of the other schools?

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Why isn't Purdue University on that list? :P

Because I don't know much about it. Can you help fix that?

- - - Updated - - -

Northwestern State University of Louisiana has a great pilot's program. In fact, it was listed a while back as one of the Forbes top fifteen state schools in the nation for avionics at an affordable price...

Well, I'm not looking for a pilot's program, per se, I'm looking for an Aerospace Engineering school. But thanks for the info!

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Because I don't know much about it. Can you help fix that?

Well, like I said earlier, it is #4-6 depending on review in the list of top Aerospace engineering colleges. I am trying to get in now.

It has 30,000 students, however the average student-faculty ratio is only 13:1 and the average class size is 31. It is located in Lafayette, northwest of Indianapolis Indiana.

It is a harder college to get to (everyone wants to go there) but for an aerospace school it will be very much worth it.

If you want more info, check out their website. :D

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Aerospace engineer and graduate of Embry-Riddle ('96). I'm obviously biased, but I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The engineering program there is intense. While you are like 10 minutes from the beach, you likely won't be seeing much of it. I looked forward to the weekend because it meant I could park closer to the library. :) The campus also backs up to the Daytona Beach International Airport, and you can see the race track just across the runway (the school is on the outside of turns 3 & 4).

The entire school only focuses on aviation, which is a double-edged sword. If there's one problem with ERAU, it's that if you decide aerospace isn't for you, there's nothing else. Seriously, the Aero Engineering program has something like a 85% dropout rate, partially because it's tough, but also partly because there's nothing else to really change your major to. Also, while ERAU is well-known and highly regarded within the industry, nobody outside aviation has really heard of it so you're constantly explaining it, if that matters to you. ("No, not Emory, Embry-Riddle...")

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Well, not sure if there's already really good reasons for not taking them but Laval university, RMC of C, and I think another university in Quebec all have aerospace, however I think they're more of a sub-branch of mechanical rather than their departement...

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Aerospace engineer and graduate of Embry-Riddle ('96). I'm obviously biased, but I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The engineering program there is intense. While you are like 10 minutes from the beach, you likely won't be seeing much of it. I looked forward to the weekend because it meant I could park closer to the library. :) The campus also backs up to the Daytona Beach International Airport, and you can see the race track just across the runway (the school is on the outside of turns 3 & 4).

The entire school only focuses on aviation, which is a double-edged sword. If there's one problem with ERAU, it's that if you decide aerospace isn't for you, there's nothing else. Seriously, the Aero Engineering program has something like a 85% dropout rate, partially because it's tough, but also partly because there's nothing else to really change your major to. Also, while ERAU is well-known and highly regarded within the industry, nobody outside aviation has really heard of it so you're constantly explaining it, if that matters to you. ("No, not Emory, Embry-Riddle...")

I'm looking for bias. I want the opinions of people with personal knowledge of my schools, so thanks!

"The engineering program there is intense."

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that most engineering programs are intense, especially for aerospace. I just visited Penn State, and the Aero students I talked to said the they were doing work about 7 hours/day. "It's like a full-time job" was something they said.

"I looked forward to the weekend because it meant that I could park closer to the library. :)"

Well, that may be a bit much. How much time did you spend there? I like to read/study/etc., but I don't want to spend every weekend at the library.

"The entire school only focuses on aviation, which is a double-edged sword."

Good point.

"while ERAU is well-known and highly regarded within the industry"

So, that's a good thing. But are there other schools which are also highly regarded? Does an undergrad degree from ERAU make things easier to compete for, as opposed to degrees from other universities? And what is the allumni association like? I know that PSU is a HUGE alumni school. Because ERAU is small, are there less people in the field?

"'No, not Emory, Embry-Riddle...'"

Close enough. :)

Well, not sure if there's already really good reasons for not taking them but Laval university, RMC of C, and I think another university in Quebec all have aerospace, however I think they're more of a sub-branch of mechanical rather than their departement...

The problem I have with all those schools is four-fold: One, it's in Canada, and I live in PA. Two, it gets COLD up there! :) Three: I can't visit them this summer, and Four: I want to make my list smaller, not bigger.;)

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University of closest and cheapest.

For a technical degree the university will give you less than 10% of the knowledge you need to begin your career. Close/cheap means less time spent working and more time honing additional skills you need for entry level positions.

Also make sure you are choosing an engineering field that you will have a chance at getting a job unless you want to be a starving idealist, which is completely your choice. Look at the number of entry level job postings and salary levels available compared to other engineering fields. These factors will dwarf your college choice in the long run.

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Also make sure you are choosing an engineering field that you will have a chance at getting a job unless you want to be a starving idealist, which is completely your choice. Look at the number of entry level job postings and salary levels available compared to other engineering fields. These factors will dwarf your college choice in the long run.

Being happy there seems to matter. If you feel miserable the whole ride, you are likely to under-perform.

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University of closest and cheapest.

For a technical degree the university will give you less than 10% of the knowledge you need to begin your career. Close/cheap means less time spent working and more time honing additional skills you need for entry level positions.

Also make sure you are choosing an engineering field that you will have a chance at getting a job unless you want to be a starving idealist, which is completely your choice. Look at the number of entry level job postings and salary levels available compared to other engineering fields. These factors will dwarf your college choice in the long run.

So, do you have any suggestions?

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So, do you have any suggestions?

I think the guy wants you to do the legwork and keep his suggestions in mind. After all, you're trusting a bunch of strangers on an internet forum to essentially spend your money for you. Look up each of the colleges on the list and research the pros and cons, the good and the bad of them. This is a huge decision you're making, this is NO time to be lazy and get other people to do your research for you. It's one thing to have the best education, it's another to have a lot of debt. You need balance in the quality of the education and the cost; As the saying goes shop around. In fact you need balance everywhere in life. Think about what kinds of jobs you'll be able to get & look up how much they pay. Unless you have scholarships or a ton of money to play with I'd focus on something close and somewhat low-cost. After all, you have to pay for the move as well on top of the tuition.

And another thing, don't worry about the social scene. There are people made out of gold and lead everywhere, and you'll probably be too swamped with schoolwork & a job to have much of a social life anyhow. Try to find a few golden people when you get there and stay with them, don't get into the fraternity club drinking, drugging, and felonizing lifestyle that will get you bad grades and possibly a criminal record.

And don't worry, It'll all turn out.

Edited by Flymetothemun
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I would consider The University of Maryland College Park. My son is a few years younger than you and he wants to major in Engineering (although he is not certain what field as of yet).

Last year we drove him down there to see the campus and watch a basketball game. He loved the experience. I have to say that if you are afraid of going to a large school then it isn't going to be the place for you. However, if you are going for an engineering degree, College Park is right in the middle of the defense contractor industry. It is a great thing to graduate with a pedigree, but it is even more important to graduate with connections.

Good luck in making your choice.

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I think the guy wants you to do the legwork and keep his suggestions in mind. After all, you're trusting a bunch of strangers on an internet forum to essentially spend your money for you. Look up each of the colleges on the list and research the pros and cons, the good and the bad of them. This is a huge decision you're making, this is NO time to be lazy and get other people to do your research for you. It's one thing to have the best education, it's another to have a lot of debt. You need balance in the quality of the education and the cost; As the saying goes shop around. In fact you need balance everywhere in life. Think about what kinds of jobs you'll be able to get & look up how much they pay.

I wasn't hoping that people would do the research for me. In the OP, I asked that if students/alumni and teachers especially had any info to give me about their school, I'd like to hear it. I've been doing my own research (I just visited Penn State and Pitt), but there are things that the admissions department won't tell you, like that Pitt cut a lot of funding in the Humanities Department last year (I learned that in the Pitt student paper).

I certainly agree that this is a huge decision, perhaps the biggest in my life so far.

So, to recap, I want to narrow my the list down and hear from forum-goers who have experience with any of the colleges on my list.

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