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TAMU vs Rice? (Engineering Student)

Fonzy1Fonzy1 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
edited April 2010 in Texas A&M University
I need some help Ags. My son is a high school senior and has applied to the honors program at TAMU and we're waiting to hear. He is a NMF and has all the grades/SAT scores to give him a good chance at being accepted. He met the Dec 1st deadline to be considered for scholarships, but we haven't heard.

First question...do they make a separate decision on acceptance into A&M versus acceptance into Honors? If he meets the Honors requirements, is he automatically accepted? He's in the top 1% of his high school.

Second question. He has already been accepted into Rice. A lot of people view that as a prestigious school. (They call themselves the Harvard of the South). It's about $46K/yr versus $20K at TAMU. Is it really worth it? Especially if he gets some scholarships through TAMU? He's going to major in ME.

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!
Post edited by Fonzy1 on
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Replies to: TAMU vs Rice? (Engineering Student)

  • stbsstbs Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    Yes he will be automatically accepted into all the Honors stuff simply for being a NMF.

    As a national merit finalist, he will be guaranteed about $50,000 in scholarships (National Merit | Honors Programs | Texas A&M University). So if you estimate (roughly) that TAMU is $20,000/yr, then you are looking at a total cost of $30,000 (for four years) versus a total cost of around $200,000 at a school like Rice. I had to make a similar decision last year and the choice was obvious... no way was I going to pay/expect my parents to help me pay for a college option 6-7x greater than a perfectly reasonable alternative.

    A&M has a pretty amazing honors community etc. I really like it here and don't regret my decision at all.

    This is a quick 2 a.m. reply, if you have any more questions I would be happy to answer them. (I'm a freshman NMF honors student at A&M, living in the honors dorms, etc.)
  • gxgal7gxgal7 Posts: 272Registered User Junior Member
    Texas A&M has one of the top engineering schools in the country. Your son will automatically get in to the school and honors program for tens of thousands of dollars less than Rice. Enough said! Not that I'm biased being part of a multi-generational Aggie family ;)
  • Fonzy1Fonzy1 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Thanks gxgal7...My wife and I are Aggies too, but we've got this smart kid and I'm trying hard not to pressure him. :>) I'm excited about the prospect of him attending A&M, but being honest...he gets in there automatically (top 10%). In comparison, he had to compete with thousands of other kids for Rice to "choose" him. Don't take this wrong, but I think he kinda feels like "anybody" can go to A&M because of the 10% rule, but he's "special" if he was accepted to Rice. That's probably pride more than anything...I just want to be sure that an A&M grad is viewed by prospective employers as highly as a Rice grad. If you tell someone you went to A&M, they say "cool". If you tell someone you went to Harvard, people say "Wow". Think Rice has the "Wow" factor? If not, I don't see spending the money.
  • MikeWozowskiMikeWozowski Posts: 3,240Registered User Senior Member
    given those two options and if money is a factor, i choose a&m.

    if you have the 200K to spare ... then rice. most people don't have 200k to spare.
  • Fonzy1Fonzy1 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    stbs...I do have a couple more questions. First, how do you like the honors dorm? Also, does my son need to apply for housing now? Or wait until he hears something from the honors people. We got a letter saying "thanks for your interest" type of thing, but not really "welcome to honors". I tried to call them, but they are out until Monday. I thought I read somewhere that if you are accepted into honors, then you have guaranteed housing. In short...what can you tell me about the housing process.
  • Fonzy1Fonzy1 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    You got that right Wozowski. I got two more kids to put through school too. :>0
  • bringbackplutobringbackpluto Posts: 118Registered User Junior Member
    Fonzy: My son is also a NMSF, top 1%,TAMU engineering applicant. He is an automatic admit to the honors program. It took about a month after admission before my son heard anything about scholarships. The scholarships your child will be offered thru honors (if he progresses to NMF in February) will all require him to maintain a 3.5 gpa. From what I have been told by TAMU, a 3.5 is not easy to maintain in engineering but can be done. Your son may also be offered scholarships by the university and by his department at a later date. With what your son will be offered from honors, his first year will be about 90% covered. The other 3 years will be about 75% covered. Again, he may get other departmental scholarships, etc. My son has also applied to Rice and the 47K tuition is a killer. My son knows that as an engineer he will be going to graduate school. With most of his undergrad paid for, Mom & Dad will be in a much better position to help fund graduate school, study abroad, pocket money, etc.!!!!!
  • gxgal7gxgal7 Posts: 272Registered User Junior Member
    Fonzy1, I totally understand your position. Ironically, my niece just got accepted Early Decision to Rice and is going there despite her dad being an A&M grad in chemical engineering, and her mom being a grad as well. For her, she wants to major in journalism, and Rice has a much more renowned program in that major than A&M does. However, my other niece (her sister) is planning on engineering and A&M is her top choice because of their great reputation in that. I think A&M has plenty of "Wow" factor when it comes to engineering.
  • bringbackplutobringbackpluto Posts: 118Registered User Junior Member
    Fonzy: If your son has already been accepted to Rice, that means he applied ED. ED is binding, unless the financial aid was not enough. Isn't your son obligated to attend Rice? Mine applied to Rice, but did so RD for that very reason.
  • Fonzy1Fonzy1 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    bringbackpluto: true. But Rice gave us "$0" in financial aid. From what I understand, that is a valid reason to not accept.
  • ucla011ucla011 Posts: 185Registered User Junior Member
    We have two sons in college right now. My S2 end up in TAMU because he was offered generous scholarships. The 1st year, first child is a euphoria for many parents and their children. Most likely being middle class, for many that watch their budget and spend within their means probably can afford it with some juggle. Come 2nd yr and second child, the burden getting heavier and we start to watch our expense and selling bonds. 3rd yr we develop a strategy how to stash more liquid funds around Aug, Dec and some for March. So, my advice, think long term. Or else you or your children will saddle for >$100K in debt just for undergraduate. If your child go to graduate school, you are looking at >200K. Imagine the burden on yourself and them. Undergraduate entry salary depends on the profession and locality. In general where you graduate make very little difference. We are speaking from parents who are Network Engineer and Scientist also has experience as a hiring manager. I have Stanford graduate interview for job, they sure sound smart, but I will not pay them a penny more based on their experience and the guideline of salary ranges. Please note, you cannot start someone too high, as they is such a thing in the working world where you can max out the range before one is being promoted. It is demoralized to the employee when you told them that. I can guarantee the work performance will suffer given that scenario. Be there and done that.

    A penny advice from a mother going through the process right now!
  • bandnerd91321bandnerd91321 Posts: 396Registered User Member
    Fonzy, you better check your ED agreement. Failure to get financial aid is not an easy out. Are you instate? If so, NMF scholarships pay for your way and engineering is very generous as well at Tamu. I went this route in order to save for grad school and beyond. The two schools are very different; size, location, demographics, etc. Your son must have an idea of where he would fit in better. Also, the Honors Housing is the best at TAMU, very fun and involved. A lot of REALLY smart kids that could have gone to Rice, but decided TAMU is a better fit.
  • MikeWozowskiMikeWozowski Posts: 3,240Registered User Senior Member
    i think a&m has plenty of wow factor in engineering.

    i think 0 financial aid will be enough reason to get off the ED hook.
  • bringbackplutobringbackpluto Posts: 118Registered User Junior Member
    Fonzy: Yikes....0 financial aid! You could appeal, but I am not sure what good that would do. I would say that is a valid reason to get out of your ED oblilgation. Paying full freight for Rice at apprx 200k for 4 years, is a lot to pay for undergrad. Yes, Rice is ranked #17 in the nation overall; however, according to US News 2009 Best Programs/Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate, Rice and TAMU are both tied for #17. They are ranked in engineering above such elite schools as Columbia #25, Harvard #28, U Penn also #28, Brown #38, Yale also #38, and Dartmouth #46! How much is the "WOW" factor worth? The schools are tied in your son's major.....one is 200K and the other will be almost a free-ride. If you have the $ to pay the 200k with no loans, great. However, how much would that $ earn tucked safely away in a CD for 4 years?
  • bandnerd91321bandnerd91321 Posts: 396Registered User Member
    And the size of the Aggie Job network(Aggies hiring Aggies) probably negates the "wow" factor when it comes to finding a job after graduation!
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