Making a College Decision: RPI vs. Stony Brook

In summary: EE, electrical engineering, was accepted to RPI and Stony Brook University. Carnegie Mellon and Boston University were not accepted, but they are still in consideration. The issue is that they cannot afford to pay for the entire cost of the education out of pocket, so they are considering taking out a personal loan. The cost of attendance at RPI is estimated to be $44,000, while the cost of attendance at Stony Brook is estimated to be $60,000. RPI is the best option for him, as he will likely receive a full ride and have a long time to pay it back. However, he is still considering Carnegie Mellon and Boston University.
  • #1
Hello, I got my acceptance letters back from most of the schools I applied to and most of my financial aid packages. I want to go for engineering (I haven't decided exact discipline, but I was accepted to Electrical Engineering, because that is what my interest was listed as)

So far I can afford: RPI (Rensselaer) and Stony Brook University (a NY state school)

I am waiting on Carnegie Mellon and Boston University. I can't afford Syracuse or University of Michigan.

The issue is that while I got a lot of money to RPI part of that is in gov't backed loans and my parents want to take the rest out in personal loans (they can't afford to pay out of pocket right away, so they want to let me deal with it later...). On the other hand at Stony Brook I will likely get close to a full ride (end price in the hundreds rather than thousands)...

I am still talking with my parents, but I personally want to go to RPI, but I don't want to deal with 28k in personal loans at 8% interest and 32k in government loans (luckily with no interest). They offered to pay off the interest until I got a job, but I was hoping to go to grad school...
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  • #2
stony brook ftw!
  • #3
I am a fan of going to the best school available. Even though it is a lot of money you have a long time to pay it back. Some small schools get your degree, but leave you on your own to actually find a job. The bigger schools are selling a degree and a network to be a part of after graduation. Just make sure the one you are buying into actually has a network. You should have a good internship that will lead to a job offer.

Good Luck,


1. What are the main differences between RPI and Stony Brook?

RPI, or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is a private research university located in Troy, New York. It is known for its strong programs in engineering, science, and technology. Stony Brook University, on the other hand, is a public research university located in Stony Brook, New York. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields such as business, arts and humanities, and health sciences.

2. Which school has a better reputation?

Both RPI and Stony Brook have strong reputations as reputable research universities. RPI is often ranked higher in terms of overall university rankings and is known for its rigorous academic programs. Stony Brook has a strong reputation in the fields of medicine and health sciences, and it is known for its partnerships with nearby research institutions like Brookhaven National Laboratory.

3. What is the student life like at RPI and Stony Brook?

The student life experience at RPI and Stony Brook can vary greatly. RPI has a smaller campus and a tight-knit community, which can provide a more personalized educational experience. Stony Brook, on the other hand, has a larger campus and a diverse student body, providing opportunities for a wide range of extracurricular activities and events.

4. How much does it cost to attend RPI and Stony Brook?

RPI is a private university and has a higher tuition cost compared to Stony Brook, which is a public university. According to their respective websites, the estimated cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $59,550 for RPI and $27,845 for Stony Brook (for New York residents). However, both universities offer financial aid and scholarships to help students with the cost of attendance.

5. What are the job prospects for graduates of RPI and Stony Brook?

Both RPI and Stony Brook have strong career centers and connections with various industries, providing students with opportunities for internships and job placements. According to the 2020-2021 Career Outcomes reports, RPI has an overall placement rate of 90% for undergraduate students, while Stony Brook has a placement rate of 86%. Graduates from both universities have gone on to work at top companies and pursue further education at prestigious graduate schools.

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