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Schools George Mason University v. Virginia Tech

  1. Mar 11, 2009 #1
    I'm having a hard time deciding where to go. George Mason would be much cheaper since I wouldn't have to pay for room & board since it's like 10 miles away, but Virginia Tech is obviously a lot better. Is it really worth it to get private loans and be much more in debt for an education at VT rather than at GMU? Also, I was thinking about going to GMU for the first year or two, and then transferring to VT... would that be a good idea? It would also be more affordable to go to grad school if I went to GMU since I wouldn't be in so much debt.
    I am planning on majoring in engineering. If you are an engineering student at GMU or know someone who is, how is their engineering program?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2009 #2
    I don't know much about engineering programs, but I will tell you this. I know two people who decided that they wanted to have "transitional" year at a nearby university and then transfer to their preferred universities. Although they got accepted in their preferred universities when they were in high school, they didn't end up there after their first year. It's hard for people to move every year into new settings, and in the first school the GPA might not work out, there might be some other factors that prevent the transfer, or you just lose the drive to transfer. Not many people enjoy going through the transfer process. It can be painful.

    But debt is such a personal problem that differs widely, so not sure what to say about that. Some people seem ok having $100,000 debt at the end of their undergrad; some people end up not caring about the school to save a few thousand dollars.
  4. Mar 11, 2009 #3
    Yeah, but with $100,000, or even substantially less than that, wouldn't it be harder to afford grad school also?
  5. Mar 12, 2009 #4
    It's a tough choice. VT is highly ranked but I have never seen anyone with a degree from a higher ranked school get a job that someone from a lower ranked school could not. I would suggest taking all your business degree classes at your local university first and then transfer to the higher ranked school or just wait until grad school to transfer.
  6. Mar 12, 2009 #5
    What business degree classes?
  7. Apr 6, 2009 #6
    Then what's the point of going to the higher ranked college?
  8. Apr 6, 2009 #7
    The ranks are totally broken and really mean nothing
  9. Apr 7, 2009 #8
    I thought the OP was planning on doing engineering?

    Anyways, all I wanted to say was that I wish I could have lived at home during my undergrad. You might want to give that some serious consideration.
  10. Apr 7, 2009 #9
    Around here we call your first 2 years of engineering "Business School" because about 70% of incoming engineering students become business majors. Hence "business classes" are your first couple years of classes such as calc, gen eds, phys I & II, etc.

    Haven't you guys ever seen the t-shirt?

    http://images.cafepress.com/jitcrunch.aspx?bG9hZD1ibGFuayxibGFuazo3X0ZfYzIzLmpwZ3xsb2FkPUwwLGh0dHA6Ly9pbWFnZXM1LmNhZmVwcmVzcy5jb20vaW1hZ2UvMTQ0MzMzMzVfNDAweDQwMC5qcGd8fHNjYWxlPUwwLDE1MCwxNTAsV2hpdGV8Y29tcG9zZT1ibGFuayxMMCxBZGQsMTYwLDEwMnxjcD1yZXN1bHQsYmxhbmt8c2NhbGU9cmVzdWx0LDAsNDgwLFdoaXRlfGNvbXByZXNzaW9uPTk1fA== [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Apr 7, 2009 #10
    I can say I'm glad that I didn't live at home. There's something to be said for the university experience (not necessarily the "partying"... but rather taking advantage of special talks, movies, and concerts on campus, as well as the accessibility of resources like the library and the computer labs, where you can work with other students more frequently, which can be important in the engineering curriculum). Of course, you need to be smart to use these resources wisely... if you think you might be prone to partying, you might think again and decided to live at home.

    One factor that hasn't been brought up here is also that IF you go to graduate school in engineering or the sciences in a Ph.D. track, you usually are PAID (with a teaching or research stipend) and have a tuition waiver. In addition, the government tends to defer payment, and even the accumulation of interest on those loans (depending on the type of loan). So graduate school shouldn't COST you (or else you've probably picked the wrong program). All said, this is of course if you make it in the field.

    That said, I also don't really endorse taking out large amounts in loans (I took out only a very small amount, about 3k, so I could afford to move from my undergraduate location to my graduate school location as well as set up an apartment with deposit, etc.). There is something to be said for being able to pay off any loans in shorter time than anticipated by the amounts they would prefer to have you pay in their "payment schedule".
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