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Is this a bad idea? Transferring to a not so good college oos

  1. Jun 15, 2014 #1
    Hello, I am a California Community College student and I just applied to UAF (University of Alaska at Fairbanks) as a Electrical Engineering major and intend on double majoring in Math or Physics. I will be a first year transfer and starting as a sophomore. I also have a 3.0, but for a UC (university of California) I have a 3.2 transferable GPA which garuntee's me a spot at a few of the UC's which are much much better than UAF. I am interested in going to UAF because it is a huge adventure school and I should be able to get a ton of interesting research opportunities. Also, I just want to do something way different, I enjoy the cold and would really love ( I think) to go study for a few years in Alaska as undergrad.
    Any thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2014 #2


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    Just my opinion, not necessarily the best advice:
    But if you have the right kind of need for adventure and would find that adventure at UAF, then maybe that is what you should do. Other than that, ask yourself which place would give you the better education and future?
  4. Jun 15, 2014 #3
    Well, a UC would give me a much better education (ranked wise) for sure. But I am interested in a culture shock and adventure. UAF I am sure would give that. I would go to a completely new country for undergrad if I could, but I don't think I would be able to afford that unfortunately since I am poor and I think only the US would offer me financial support ( I am from the US). I am just worried that I am screwing up my chances of going to a top grad school because of this.
  5. Jun 15, 2014 #4
    Have you visited the campus before, or at least the state? Did you like it? I mean the summers and the winters.
  6. Jun 15, 2014 #5
    I have been to the state during the summer and it is absolutely beautiful. I understand the winters will be hard. No I have not had the chance to visit the campus yet.
  7. Jun 15, 2014 #6


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    Can you get information from UAF about what their engineering and physics graduates have done, like what graduate schools they've gotten into, and what sort of jobs they've ended up in? Rankings by themselves don't tell you much.
  8. Jun 15, 2014 #7
    "Some of our graduates go on to graduate school in places such as UAF, MIT, Stanford, University of Illinois, California Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, Montana State University, University of Wyoming, Purdue University, University of New Hampshire, University of Washington, Virginia Tech, and Cornell, and report that they are very well prepared in comparison with their peers."

    This is something on the EE website that they claim. I am sure it is true, but I doubt they have had many students go to those schools every year. As for employment they say that students are usually offered a few positions upon graduation and most work in Alaska as well as places like JPL, HP, Microsoft and quite a few other big name companies.

    As for their physics program, I have no idea. I will be sure to email and see what they say. Their math website says that most students that have background in statistics gets hired by the fish and game departments of Alaska.
  9. Jun 16, 2014 #8
    If you want culture shock and adventure, you could always do a semester or summer abroad. But going to a low ranked school won't keep you out of the running for top graduate schools. But you still have to prove that you are worthy. I've found that, in general, people assume the school will take them where they want to go, but it's much, much more dependent on what you make out of your education yourself.

    From my experience, I can say that the biggest difference between low ranked schools and high is the average quality of the other students in your class. There are pros and cons to both sides. If you go to school with a bunch of lazy students who had a poor high school education, it will be a lot easier to shine in the eyes of your professors. The downside is that they won't push you to be your best. If you go to a school with mostly top notch students, competition will be fiercer. But you will be pushed much harder to do your best. So in the end, what's best for you might depend mostly on your personality. Does competition motivate you? Or can you be mostly motivated by yourself?

    I don't think it's likely that the quality of instruction from your professors will vary by a huge amount between schools. There are great research mentors at unknown schools and poor mentors at highly ranked big research universities. Of course the opposite can be the case too, and it often is, but the difference is probably not what you would expect.
  10. Jun 16, 2014 #9
    In my opinion ,UAF may be a good place for adventure .But it isn't a good place for studying .i think travel in Alaska for a few months in a year would be better than living and studying there for several years
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