Question about engineering college choice

In summary, My son is having trouble choosing his mechanical engineering college. He has been accepted by Michigan State at Ann Arbor (and offered a scholastic scholarship of $6000 + international study scholarship of $5000), Rose Hulman, and expects to be accepted by Purdue. He has also been accepted by Northern Illinois University. NIU is significantly cheaper than the other schools. The question - is the large student loan debt he would have to take on to go to the more prestigious schools really worth it? - is something that the posts above do not answer.
  • #1
bunburryist
36
2
My son (act 31) is having trouble choosing his mechanical engineering college. He has been accepted by Michigan State at Ann Arbor (and offered a scholastic scholarship of $6000 + international study scholarship of $5000), Rose Hulman, and expects to be accepted by Purdue. (He has not applied to University of Illinois as they require that you choose your specialty upfront, and it's very difficult to change from one field of engineering to another.) He has also been accepted by Northern Illinois University. NIU is significantly cheaper than the other schools. The question - is the large student loan debt he would have to take on to go to the more prestigious schools really worth it? In the long run, if he was to go to NIU and do coop/internship, would he be at a significant disadvantage considering the significant savings in tuition, etc.? He doesn't want to go deeply into debt, but at the same time he doesn't want to cheapskate himself out of a good career start. Any thoughts?
 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #2
Personally, once a student graduates, a job is a job. School prestige is only one part of the puzzle that recruiter look at. They also consider extra-curricular activities, especially if one holds an officer position (demonstrates leadership potential). Another important aspect is a co-operative (co-op) for 2 semesters (demonstrates that the major is the right choice). I recommend a school that is affordable, not one that breaks the bank (or the parents).
 
  • #3
I agree. If it's not MIT, then any other accredited 4 year engineering school will be fine. If the school has a co-op program, all the better.
 
  • #4
Michigan State is located in Lansing, University of Michigan is in Ann Arbor.

I concur with the posts above. I have worked with many engineering graduates from MSU and UofM along with Purdue. All were pretty sharp and successful except for UofM. I don't know how the hell that school gets such high rankings because its certainly not reflected in its graduates. Anyway, I would just pick a school that is located in a heavily engineer/industrial populated area. Such schools offer the most co-ops/internships and the professors that have real world engineering experience. If you want to be a professor then go to one of the bigger and fancier schools.
 
  • #5
Which schools are located in those areas (heavily engineer/industrial populated area) ?
 
  • #6
inter060708 said:
Which schools are located in those areas (heavily engineer/industrial populated area) ?

In the state of Texas, we have:

UT Austin
UT Arlington
UT Dallas
SMU
Rice
University of Houston
 
  • #7
As a former student of MSOE and finally a graduate of NIU (May 2008) I would recommend NIU hands down and not only because of the cost. But addressing the cost part, have substancial debt that is mostly from my 2 years spent going to MSOE that I will be paying off for years and have friends that graduated from MSOE who aren't making any more than I am nor have they found jobs that are any better than my own. Most everyone I graduated with from NIU did well finding a job right out of college and knowing some of the one's who didn't it definitely wasn't because of the college. I work with people from UIUC, Purdue, Penn State, Iowa State, Bradley, and the list goes on... Your son's education will be what he makes of it and he needs to be sure not to expect to learn more simply because US New and World Report says college X is better; those ratings are not worth looking at in my opinion. I am not downgrading anyone from the schools I mentioned but just saying, they are as good as they are because they wanted to be, not because of the college they went to. If you have any other questions let me know and I would be glad to help.
 

Related to Question about engineering college choice

1. What factors should I consider when choosing an engineering college?

When choosing an engineering college, it is important to consider factors such as the program's accreditation, reputation, faculty, facilities and resources, location, cost, and student support services. You should also think about your personal interests, career goals, and learning style to find a college that aligns with your individual needs.

2. How do I know if an engineering college is accredited?

An engineering college's accreditation can be verified by checking with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). You can also look for the college's accreditation status on their website or in their promotional materials. It is important to attend an accredited college to ensure that your degree will be recognized by employers and other universities.

3. What is the difference between a Bachelor's and Master's degree in engineering?

A Bachelor's degree in engineering is typically a four-year undergraduate program that provides a broad foundation in the principles and practices of engineering. A Master's degree in engineering is a more specialized program that allows students to focus on a specific area of engineering and conduct research in their chosen field. A Master's degree may also lead to higher-paying job opportunities and career advancement.

4. Can I transfer to a different engineering college?

It is possible to transfer to a different engineering college, but it may depend on the specific policies of the colleges involved. Some colleges have agreements in place with other institutions to make the transfer process smoother, while others may require you to reapply as a new student. It is important to research the transfer policies of both colleges and speak with an academic advisor to determine the best course of action.

5. Are there any opportunities for hands-on experience at an engineering college?

Many engineering colleges offer hands-on experience through internships, co-op programs, and research opportunities. It is important to inquire about these opportunities when researching potential colleges, as they can provide valuable real-world experience and help you stand out to employers after graduation.

Similar threads

Replies
5
Views
8K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
11
Views
3K
Replies
18
Views
4K
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
2
Replies
54
Views
5K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
14
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
3K
Back
Top