Computer Science Colleges

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Computer Science Colleges

Postby transient » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:34 am UTC

I'm applying to college in a couple of months, and I have a list of colleges to apply to filled with quite a few of the "top" universities -- Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, etc. I've been reflecting some; do really want to go to one of these colleges for undergrad computer science? In terms of applying to grad school, I imagine it will help enormously, but what about going to a less "rigorous" college for undergrad (heck, I'm not even sure I want to go to grad school). Also, it would be really nice to get financial aid -- I think I will get more from the less prestigious programs. In terms of the less "prestigious programs," I am clueless where to apply.

Hopefully, y'all can help me figure out a) what kind of college to go to and b) good, but less prestigious colleges.

(Of course, I haven't gotten into the "prestigious programs" yet, so it might not be too hard of a decision later on :D)

Note: here is my current list of potential college applications (I generally favor smaller colleges, and location doesn't matter (well, I would like to stay in the US :))):
    Florida Institute of Technology
    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    Frank W. Olin College of Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon
    Harvey Mudd
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    UF / UCF
    Case Western
    UT Austin


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Re: Computer Science Colleges

Postby Zuwow » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:16 pm UTC

If you're applying to MIT (though this may apply to other top tiers as well) you'll need to take 2 SAT 2's so I'd get on that.

I was applying for Computer Science too and I specifically didn't apply to the most prestigious colleges and so on because I "knew" I wouldn't get in to them (looking back I wish I'd applied to at least one but it's too late now) so I guess I'll just give you the colleges I applied to.

Just for some background I had around a 3.3 or so unweighted with a 3.8-9 weighted, took a lot of AP's and beyond Boy Scouts (not Eagle) didn't do much in the way of extra curriculars and had a combined SAT of 2020.

Virginia Tech
UMCP (or UMD for apparently everyone in the world but me)
Case Western

I was accepted to all of them and will be going to RIT (given 7.5k a year but we negotiated that up to 10.5k) so I'd recommend applying there, obviously. If you want to visit sometime over the school year I'd be more than happy to talk to you and show you around though I'm not going for Computer Science anymore but for Computer Engineering.

Since it's on your list, I'd say you should definitely apply to Case Western if you're interested in going because they gave me 20k a year just academic scholarship. Didn't visit the campus though.

UMCP and UMBC are both really good schools, but I didn't want to go in-state. UMBC is a bit of a commuter school though and had I been forced to pick one without money as a factor, I'd have gone with UMCP. UMBC gave me 5k a year, UMCP none.

Virginia Tech only gives out scholarships for a year, saying you'll be re-evaluated each year to determine how much money you get for the next, I got 5k for next year. I didn't visit the campus so I can't tell you much beyond that.

RPI is a good school surrounded by, in my opinion anyways, a rather bad area. It's in Troy, NY which seemed pretty dead when I visited, though Troy is maybe 5 minutes by car to Albany. I'd recommend applying there, but visit before deciding. They gave me 10k yearly.

I hope that's helpful to you, if you have any other questions I'd be more than happy to at least try and answer them.
Indon wrote:Nonsense. Exploiting people (the poorer, the better) is extremely American, and Walmart is a shining paragon of Americanism.

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Re: Computer Science Colleges

Postby Outis » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

In my experience the "top" schools offer the best financial aid by far -- true, they don't give out merit scholarships, but in almost all cases the need-based aid more than makes up for it. So don't skip out on applying to somewhere like MIT or Stanford just because you think you can't afford it; if you get in, they'll probably offer you enough money so that you can.

Also, when I applied to colleges I pretty much had my heart set on a tech school, but after visiting all of the colleges I got in to, I decided not to go to a tech school after all. Especially if you think you might go to grad school, you don't have to specialize this early. For all you know, you might discover some other field that you love even more than CS. And even if you don't, I'm sure there are great CS programs at many non-technical colleges anyway, so it's not as if it will hold you back in life.

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Re: Computer Science Colleges

Postby Ventanator » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

Just around me (deep South), the ones I looked into where the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Southern Mississippi. The first has a really nice computer department, but I didn't really look into it a ton. I'll be attending USM in...well, like a month now. It's not exactly touted, but the computer science department is actually really good, and the scholarships and stuff are amazing. It's also a very vibrant community.

Another good one down here is Mississippi State University, if you're going to be in engineering. It's in a rather dead town though, which immediately took it off of my list.

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Re: Computer Science Colleges

Postby supermario » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:27 am UTC

I don't know about the other schools, but Stanford financial aid rocks. I also applied to UT Austin and would have had to pay about the same as Stanford, and that's with in-state prices. Don't let the sticker price scare you. The big colleges come with big endowments that help out poor undergrads. Two of my friends are going four years without any billable expenses. The rule is if your family makes less than $100K, you don't pay tuition -- less than $60K, it's basically a full ride with room and board. These colleges want you to go there if they accept you. Go ahead and apply -- worst-case scenario is you're out an application fee, whereas if you don't apply you're missing out on a potential once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Opportunity cost dictates that you should apply :D

/end college salesman talk

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