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Importance of engineering college selection

  1. Jan 9, 2005 #1
    I just returned to junior college last semester to finish the math and physics requirements of most engineering programs and I'm trying to decide on which university to attend this fall. My choices are University of Michigan, Lawrence Technological University, and Oakland University. The main thing I am concerned with are the job prospects after graduation. How much weight do the HR people put into which college you graduated from? For myself, the schools break down like this.

    U of M
    -Good, nationally known school
    -kind of expensive, but I should be able to get enough government loans to at least cover tuition and I have a decent part time job to cover books, living expenses, and my vehicle
    -inconvenient to get to, it's at least 30 minutes from my home and 45 from my job, double that if I have to commute during rush hour.

    Lawrence Tech
    -Small, well known school (at least in my local area, not sure nationally)
    -EXPENSIVE, I'll need independent school loans to attend and I'll come out of college heavily in debt
    -very convenient, it's almost exactly half way between my home and job.

    Oakland University
    -Small, local university(not sure what kind of rep they have)
    -Least expensive of my options, I could possibly cover tuition on subsidized loans or take some extra unsubsidized loans and cut back on my work hours. This would allow me to take an extra class per semester and graduate sooner.
    -Kind of convenient, it's closer to work then it is to home, but wouldn't be near the commute nightmare that UofM would be.

    I'm more concerned with just making the middle of the interview pile then I am with being at the top. I just don't want to spend 2.5 years working my ass off for a degree and then find that my resume automatically goes to the bottom of the "if everyone else turns us down" pile or in the garbage because I didn't graduate from a well known school.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2005 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Coming from an LTU alum...do I have to say it? LTU.

    My reasoning is as follows:

    1.) Smaller class sizes
    2.) No TA's taught when I was there. As a matter of fact, there were fery few TAs period. You will not be taught by a grad student.
    3.) Every engineering prof I had came from the private sector. A majority had outside consulting businesses.

    If you do your homework in regards to financial aid, you can get quite a bit of help from them in the tuition arena.

    In regards to the resume concerns...If you plan on staying in this area, having a small, locally known college as your school will not matter one bit. All 3 schools are just as well known. If you move to a completely different part of the country, you may run into some tough spots because LTU and Oakland aren't as well known as U of M. It's nothing that can't be overcome though.

    In the end, since you probably don't have a whole lot of practical experience under your belt, the things that will set you apart are your GPA, your engineering GPA, and your senior project experience. If you can manage an intership or co-op in there as well, all the better.

    I know it's cliche, but it boils down to this:
    1.) Study hard and learn as much as possible
    2.) Get as much school experience as possible (projects, prof. orgs., etc...)
    3.) Learn what it means to be a professional.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

    Go Blue Devils!
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