Hi everyone! I was accepted to Cal Poly from out of state and a few months ago it was my top choice. However, I have been offered a full tuition (plus a little more) scholarship to the University of Arizona and I have also been admitted to the engineering school at the University of Texas-Austin. I figure Cal Poly would be about $20k/yr and UT-Austin $30k/yr in just tuition. Now I am wondering if the better engineering program at Cal Poly (I want to major in civil engineering) is worth the extra money over U of A (basically would a CP grad get a better/higher paying job assuming GPA and everything is the same?)
Also, would be really hard to change majors to either physics or another engineering major?
Cal Poly is very well known for its engineering programs and a lot of places recruit from here. I don't know about how good Arizona's program is. I turned down a pretty generous scholarship and an offer to be in the honors program from the University of Arizona to attend Cal Poly. I am also an out of state student. Arizona was sort of my safety school. And while Cal Poly is somewhat isolated, the u of a is even more isolated. I did not like Tucson at all. Arizona is also a slightly larger school and there is definitely more of a party atmosphere there than at Cal Poly. And the heat of Arizona really got to me. When I visited I felt like I was going to die. Granted it was summer, but I checked once and saw that they had 100 degree weather in October. A bit too hot for me. I don't think I would have been very happy at Arizona.
From reading these boards of people who attend Cal Poly, it is very difficult to change majors there but maybe not impossible. It has an excellent reputation for engineering so you could not go wrong attending there. As far as Arizona and Texas goes, University of Texas-Austin has an excellent reputation. I think it is in the top five or top ten schools in engineering in the country. So if you are willing to spend the money, you will graduate with a well thought of degree. It is also a huge school and way bigger than Cal Poly in terms of number of students. Sort of depends on what you want. I know so many young people who are moving to Austin after they graduate college. Lots to do, affordable, lots of job opportunities, they all love living there.. I do not know anything about Arizona but coincidentally I was just talking to someone over the weekend whose daughter attends there. She loves the school, does not mind the hot weather, but absolutely hates Tucson.. Says it is like the meth capitol of the USA..
Employees don't look at your College GPA or really where you went to college and base your salary off of that. They consider hiring you if you have a relevant degree and you know what your doing/have experience, that being said I know Poly has a great engineering program and I do not know a thing about U of A
Doesn't take a rocket scientist. You need to make sure your school is an ABET certified school for Engineering...
Otherwise, Adios Cal Poly.
Do the math... CP Engineering takes 4 & 2/3rds semesters to graduate in on average. That's $107K you hare behind before even getting a job. Say your starting salary was $10K less a year than Cal Poly... no way that will continue for 11 years... the cost of your education. That differential will quickly disappear... like in 5 or 6 years.
I have to beg to differ with YouMadBro. I am in senior management in a technology multi-national corporation and I am involve with hundreds of hiring for engineering talents each year.
My firm, and myself personally, do CARE a lot about your GPA, your major and relevant professional (internships, co-ops) and school experiences (senior thesis, engineering competitions and projects).
Another good example would be Google, they hire from a selective lists of universities and they have a cut off GPA for the engineering hires.
As for OP's choice of college, I think both UT, Austin, and Cal Poly are fine engineering schools. Take your pick and you won't go wrong with either. Ultimately, pick the one that gives you the greatest sense of belonging and joy. I chose Cal Poly for my undergraduate in Electrical Engineering and Physics (I was a double major), and it was one of the best decision I have made in life, both academically, professionally, and socially. When I was there, I was just happy and I thrived as a result. It is a very personal thing, so follow your visceral (gut) feeling.
As for changing major in CP, it is much easier to change between engineering majors than to change between colleges. So as long as your grades are decent, for you to change, say between, ME to EE or whatever, is not a massive hurdle. And since college of engineering is the most competitive within CP, to change from engineering to physics will actually be a bit easier (in this unique case) because College of Math and Science is less competitive than Engineering. But the converse will not be true.
I graduated from the U of A for my undergraduate degree. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there and felt that the school was truly a world class institution. For example, as an undergrad the U of A sent me around the globe with a long stint in Japan as an exchange student. That experience changed my life forever. Also, I loved the desert and the heat was something that I learned to enjoy. There is something magical about that place.
Having said that, my son was just accepted to Cal Poly for engineering and I must admit that it is far superior to the U of A in that field. The polytechnic approach to teaching is key and I doubt that you would get as much lab time at any other school. The U of A would not be as lucrative for job prospects either. I know that the Cal Poly career services center is a top notch outfit. In any given year 400 to 600 employers recruit at Cal Poly. The U of A never had that kind of performance on the job market side.
UT has a stellar reputation, but beyond that I have no idea.