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MIT or Princeton?

qandanjqandanj Posts: 11Registered User New Member
S got accepted to these two schools, he favors computer science/engineering. should he just forget about Princeton?
Post edited by qandanj on
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Replies to: MIT or Princeton?

  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,250Super Moderator Senior Member
    I don't think Princeton should necessarily be written off immediately, although if he's pretty set on computer science, MIT's program is definitely better.

    Has he visited both schools? Does he like MIT's culture?
  • qandanjqandanj Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    he knows Princeton well since we live in NJ. he only had a half day visit of MIT last year, and he may not be able to make it to the campus event. As parents, we worry about the perceived more competitive environment of MIT. He probably fits into MIT though since we always feel that he is nerdy, the problem is that whether he would become more so in MIT. He has written off Columbia, Penn, Dartmouth and a bunch of others. It is a good problem to have, but he can only go to one school in the end.
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,250Super Moderator Senior Member
    MIT is tough, but it's not competitive -- it's a very collaborative environment where everybody works together in groups to do problem sets.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Posts: 6,566Registered User Senior Member
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Electrical-Engineering-and-Computer-Science/6-002Spring-2007/VideoLectures/index.htm

    Go to this link and watch the first 12 minutes or so of the first lecture. It is the first class in circuits, but it pretty much diagrams the educational philosophy of MIT.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Posts: 6,566Registered User Senior Member
    I will add that if you are planning to go to MIT, you should visit the campus and see if you like the campus. Don't make a decision blindly.
  • Prospective'08Prospective'08 Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    I am in the same situation. I hope it doesn't come down to financial aid, because princeton's is much better.

    Do you think I can bargain with MIT to get them to match Princeton fin aid?
  • arwen15arwen15 Posts: 804Registered User Member
    Prospective:), I just got off a heated debate at home about
    exactly this topic MIT V Princeton . In my case the best Princeton
    will be able to do is equal MIT from a fin aid perspective.

    I was quite sure it would be MIT >> Princeton in other areas
    when I started the debate with my brother and ended it feeling
    MIT ~ Princeton.

    I stayed overnight at MIT and just fell in love- the people, the atmosphere,
    the classes. I have never ever visited Princeton other than on Google Earth.
    I am a bit trepidatious about what to expect of Princeton students. I found
    that the MIT culture to some extent reflected what I gleaned from CC. The
    real thing was not all that skewed from my CC view...and I loved it....

    Quandanj can you share your perspective on the students at
    Princeton please?

    Course 20 V Integrated Science(Mol Bio) .....thats going to be a tough call as well.

    MollieB may have researched this in the past?

    :)
  • jessiehljessiehl Posts: 3,328Registered User Senior Member
    Princeton has an excellent computer science program, and they are both excellent schools. At this point, it comes down to which he would get the most out of, which one he enjoys being at the most (and financial considerations if they are relevant for your family).
    MIT is tough, but it's not competitive -- it's a very collaborative environment where everybody works together in groups to do problem sets.

    == Mollie. I don't know why people think MIT is so cutthroat; it's very much not.
    He probably fits into MIT though since we always feel that he is nerdy, the problem is that whether he would become more so in MIT.

    If he's like most people I've known, he would become more geeky (in terms of interests, participation in geek subculture, and the like), but also better-socialized. There are very few safer, better, more welcoming places for undersocialized nerds to learn social skills than a place where most people are doing exactly the same thing along with you.
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,250Super Moderator Senior Member
    Arwen, I have no perspective on Princeton -- I didn't apply there for undergrad or for graduate school.

    MIT's biology-related faculty are better than Princeton's, for sure.
  • CalAlumCalAlum Posts: 1,367Registered User Senior Member
    @quandanj:

    My daughter is a current freshman at MIT, and I'm quite pleased with her social skills. Over the break, she joined several of my colleagues and me for dinner and a show in New York City. As the only person at the table younger than 45, she held her own beautifully in the conversation. As her parent, I take credit for the fact that she knows how to navigate her way through the silverware of a six-course meal, but I can attest to the fact that MIT has certainly not contributed any extra gloss of "geekiness" to her personality. If anything, she is far more confident, and she demonstrated that she can now carry on a well-informed conversation about cutting-edge developments in machine vision with the CEO of a well-known technology firm.

    MIT is intense and rigorous, but the culture there is also extremely cooperative. All in all, I would say that at MIT, your child will learn the social skills necessary to successfully lead his or her own company one day.

    Campus Preview Week (CPW) is invaluable for both prospective students and for their parents. The culture of MIT is quite distinct from the cultures of the Ivy Leagues schools. I hope you and your son have the chance to visit and see this firsthand.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Posts: 6,566Registered User Senior Member
    "I was quite sure it would be MIT >> Princeton in other areas
    when I started the debate with my brother and ended it feeling
    MIT ~ Princeton."

    There is no "right" answer in choosing between MIT and Princeton in the absolute sense; there is only right relative to you. However, if someone has to debate you to make Princeton as appealing as MIT, then maybe Princeton isn't the school for you. Follow your gut feeling. In decisions like this, it is usually correct imo. (Actually, there were studies done about this.) If one school is more appealing to you, it is not important that you can articulate why so that you can win a debate.

    If you are actually considering turning down MIT for Princeton, you should actually visit Princeton and talk to the students.
  • sunshine_breezesunshine_breeze Posts: 372Registered User Member
    Not to try to hijack the thread, but I'm in the same exact position, trying to choose between Princeton and MIT.

    If I was dead set on engineering, I'd pick MIT, but I'm still very unsure of what I want to major in. I know it's definitely going to be either math/science/engineering though. So in terms of someone who's unsure of what to major in, is there a better choice?
  • lockelocke Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    @ arwen- i'm in the same situation. i love MIT, but i've never even been to princeton and it has some great things to offer.. i dont know if i'll be able to get out and visit princeton in just one month..
    and love those heated debates at home haha =] i know what you mean.
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,250Super Moderator Senior Member
    If you're really sure that you want to do something in math, science, or engineering, you can't go wrong at MIT. Without checking the exact rankings, I think MIT is in the top 10 (or top 5) programs in every one of the majors offered by the Schools of Science and Engineering.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Posts: 6,566Registered User Senior Member
    ^^I'm pretty sure everything is top 5.
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