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Michigan Tech vs. University of Michigan

Tech271Tech271 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
Hey everyone. I'm new around here and I have a question for you all if you can help me.

I was accepted into Michigan Tech a while ago and I always figured that is where I would be doing my undergrad studies. However, about a week ago I finally got my decisions back from MIT and U of M (Ann Arbor). I got rejected from MIT of course, as I figured I would, but to my surprise I was accepted by U of M. So I know have to choose between the two schools and I'm not totally sure anymore. Michigan Tech seems like it would have a better program from me (I am double majoring in Computer Engineering and Mathematics) but U of M has a better reputation and probably better connections. So, what do you guys think? I'd appreciate an outside view on this matter.


Oh, and on a different note, I was wondering if I should apply to anymore schools now. I was planning on applying to Ferris State as a "safety" school and possibly to Michigan State, but since I already have two great schools that want me I was wondering if there is any point in applying to more schools during Regular Action. If anyone has a view on this I would like to hear it too.
Post edited by Tech271 on
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Replies to: Michigan Tech vs. University of Michigan

  • AlexandreAlexandre Posts: 21,802Super Moderator Senior Member
    How is Michigan Tech better than Michigan in Computer Engineering or Mathematics? Michigan is ranked #7 in CE and #8 in Mathematics. Not many universities can legitimately claim to be better than Michigan is those two subjects.

    Assuming cost of attendance is not an issue, I think Michigan is a better option than Tech.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 37,422Registered User Senior Member
    As far as other schools go, you do not have to apply anywhere that you would not choose under any circumstances over the schools you have already been accepted to with sufficient financial aid (if needed). Assuming sufficient financial aid (if needed), UM-AA and MTU are now your safeties. If there are other schools that you may choose over these two, you may still want to apply to them, but if you have no other choices that you would prefer (and have a realistic chance of admission with sufficient financial aid), then you're done with applications.

    UM-AA appears to have a very high reputation nationally in math, computer science, and computer engineering, while MTU is unlikely to be very well known outside of Michigan.

    Although MTU is a perfectly good school, it is likely that UM-AA will provide a greater academic challenge (due to being able to assume academically stronger students, though this may be a disadvantage if your stats look to be at the low end of the freshman class) as well as a higher reputation that will attract more non-local companies to recruit at the career center.

    One more thing to consider is whether the net cost after non-loan financial aid is significantly different.
  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Posts: 8,937Registered User Senior Member
    Houghton in the winter? Ugh. It makes Ann Arbor seem like the tropics.
  • happy1happy1 Posts: 3,703Registered User Senior Member
    Given the choice, I'd go to U of Michigan hands down. It's a great school & all the people I know who go there are very happy.
  • hk0000hk0000 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    First of all congrats! Secondly, I would choose UofM if you are financially able. I'm assuming that you should get a pretty good FA deal out of them (I'm guessing your in-state because of your college choices) they guarantee to meet 100% of a family's demonstrated financial need (I would be wary of this because it could also include lots of loans, so wait for your FA package to see the actual deal).

    Overall, academically UofM pretty much crushes Michigan Tech in both of the areas you mentioned to the extent of my knowledge.

    If you feel that those are the schools you truly want to go to then there's no need to apply to more schools, however if you wanted to go to another school or wanted to try another reach school then you could try during regular action.
  • whimsywhimsy Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
    Just to be a contrarian ... you can get an excellent education at Michigan Tech. You'll have to decide where you are more likely to be successful.

    "Overall, academically UofM pretty much crushes Michigan Tech ..." Not sure what to make of this, but you do not want to be the one crushed either. This is not just academic ability, but also learning style and comfort zone and all of the other "fit" type buzzwords that get overused in some of the discussions. They are not irrelevant however.

    If you haven't visited either school, now is the time to do so, especially Michigan Tech in the winter :-). Visit some classes; talk to some profs; look at the curriculum and do a test 4 year plan. You may find that UM offers courses that MTU does not that you might be interested in taking. If the variety and opportunities are enough greater at UM, this might be the clincher. Or the smaller size and availability/nature of hands-on project type work at MTU might be sufficiently different from UM to be interesting.
  • SchmaltzSchmaltz Posts: 3,114- Senior Member
    There are many attempts by Midwesterners (like me) on college confidential to explain to our neighbors on the coasts that there are parts of the country which don't worship prestige and rankings. This thread is a good example of that phenomenon.
  • snarlatronsnarlatron Posts: 646Registered User Member
    Visit both, you'll probably get a clearer picture. For your intended field both will give you a fine education. IMHO the quality of life in A2 is 1000x that of Houghton but that only one factor and for you to decide. Congrats & good luck! BTW don't clog up the system with any more apps, no reason for that.
  • annasdadannasdad Posts: 4,825Registered User Senior Member
    Michigan is ranked #7 in CE and #8 in Mathematics.

    And rankings are, of course, totally irrelevant to a student trying to choose between two schools.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    Have you visited each of these two schools and toured their Colleges of Engineering? If not, you should.....probably especially during this time of year.


    I was wondering if I should apply to anymore schools now. I was planning on applying to Ferris State as a "safety" school and possibly to Michigan State, but since I already have two great schools that want me I was wondering if there is any point in applying to more schools during Regular Action


    Mich Tech can be your safety IF you're certain that you have all costs covered. That school doesn't promise to meet need. UMich does promise to meet need for instate kids (others can correct me if I'm wrong.)

    Do you know if you have an affordable school? Do you know how much your parents will pay?
  • bclintonkbclintonk Posts: 6,487Registered User Senior Member
    I'm a proud Michigan alum, loved just about every minute of my four years in Ann Arbor which to my mind is one of the all-time great college towns. I think Michigan engineering is top-shelf, and the university has resources that a school like Michigan Tech could only begin to dream of. But for a Michigan resident I don't think this choice is as one-sided as some posters here make it out to be.

    I have lots of family members who went to Michigan Tech and I can't think of a single one who regrets it. Many of them could have gone to other, higher-ranked schools, but chose not to; prestige just wasn't their thing. Michigan Tech is a pretty darned good engineering school--US News has it #66 nationally in engineering, tied with schools like Clemson, RIT and Syracuse, and just one notch below WPI, Tufts, U del, and U Rochester, all schools that get a lot of love on CC. All my relatives who went there have gone on to very successful professional careers.

    Will a Michigan engineer have more and better career opportunities than a Michigan Tech engineer? Well, maybe on average and in the aggregate, but there's going to be a lot of overlap, too, with lots of graduates of both schools taking pretty similar entry-level professional jobs and then working their way up from there more on the strength of their own smarts and hard work than on the shininess of their educational credential.

    It snows a lot in Houghton. I mean, a lot. Some people can't stand the thought of it, but for others, that's a plus. If you're into winter sports, that can be a very attractive thing. Ann Arbor winters, while less snowy and not as cold, are damper and grayer, and hardly what you'd call charming, though they are just a bit shorter. On balance, I think Houghton does winter better than Ann Arbor, though others may think differently.

    Houghton's a very small town. Again, that's a negative for some people, but not for everyone. Some people don't mind, and some even prefer small town life.

    Houghton's in a very remote location. On the other hand, it's a place that some people consider a vacation paradise: gorgeous scenery (not so much in Ann Arbor), spectacular fall colors that to my eye outshine New England, a rich and colorful local history (Ann Arbor's a bit bland by comparison), ample outdoor recreational opportunities (hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing; oh, and snowmobiling, if you're into that sort of thing).

    I think the biggest negative of Michigan Tech for many male students is the gender imbalance at the school (75% male). But again, some people don't seem to mind, and other engineering schools also have their own roving packs of dateless, testosterone-poisoned engineering nerds, so nothing too out of the ordinary there, either.

    Anyway, the OP shouldn't be bullied by the prestige-conscious. He wouldn't be the first to choose Michigan Tech over Michigan if it comes to that. Personally, I'd go with Michigan, but I know plenty of people who have gone the other way, and as I said, they don't regret it.
  • pierre0913pierre0913 Posts: 7,621Registered User Senior Member
    Both schools are excellent schools! Actually looked into Michigan Tech for a while before deciding I really didn't want to go to school in the UP but it's a great engineering school! Personally, I'd pick Michigan though for engineering.
  • shimmershimmer Posts: 243Registered User Junior Member
    I would retour both and look into the program you're interested in more to be extra sure, but I'd go for UMich if finances aren't a problem.
  • slipper1234slipper1234 Posts: 9,085Registered User Senior Member
    If you're really serious about going into Computer Science and want to pursue a career in that direction then its not even close. The connections and reputation from UM are international and at the best companies, its going to literally make all the difference in the world.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 37,422Registered User Senior Member
    The connections and reputation from UM are international and at the best companies, its going to literally make all the difference in the world.

    While UM-AA will likely see more non-local recruiters in its career center, which can increase the non-local choices you have for internships and your first job after graduation, subsequent jobs are much less likely to care about whether you went to UM-AA or MTU. Hiring in CS jobs is not like investment banking or lawyer jobs, where the prestige or lack thereof of your university or law school opens and closes doors for you forever.
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