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So basically I am choosing between UMass Amherst and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I am getting $17,000 from WPI (total cost is $31000) and well... the Dean Scholarship or Honors Engineering from UMass, which will cost me about $15,000. I am currently thinking about either Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
I just got rejected from Cornell and was previously rejected from BU and rejected to the programs of my choice at CMU and accepted to some out of state private schools, largely due to a disciplinary incident and a bad senior year (I have 2160+ SAT/am in top 10% of class in a competitive public HS in MA and have decent ECs).
Which option would be better for me? Could you tell me about UMass and Commonwealth College and about accessibility of professors, willingness of faculty to write recommendations, reputation of computer science or engineering departments, availability of internships and recruiters, graduate school placement, possibility for transfer to a top school, quality of teaching, quality of students, and what you think are the differences in general student life?
From what I hear, UMass provides an excellent education. However, I want to know about how difficult and/or competitive it is to get research opportunities and to connect with faculty and to get an excellent education that will prepare me for a good future? I am kind of disorganized and am not a gunner, although I would like to be one and would also like good academic advising. I would also like to get the best value for the money and have a memorable and challenging experience. Describe a typical student who is able to get great internships and place into a great job or graduate school at UMass?
What do you enjoy about UMass and what do you think are the minuses. Similarly, what do you think of WPI (I will post on the WPI forums too)?
I am admittedly a nerd and would not be put off by the nerdy environment at WPI, although I am not necessarily put off by the large state school environment.