After much thought and consideration, I have finally narrowed down my college choices to the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State and the University of Minnesota. I am going to major in chemical engineering. I know that instantly most people are going to say that I should go to University of Minnesota but I am really torn down the middle with these two.
I visited Barrett and really enjoyed my time there. You can't argue with the amazing whether all winter long, although it does get pretty hot in the summers (but I will probably be back in Alaska during that time anyways), the dorms and dining hall are amazing, there are beautiful girls all over campus, the engineering department seems like it has a lot of good things going for it, it has lively sports teams, and with such a small one mile by one mile campus accompanied by the honors living area it should be really easy to make friends. However, I am worried about how easy it will be to land a great job at graduation. When looking at what companies recruited from Arizona State a lot of them seemed to be local. I am currently working at ConocoPhillips Alaska as a high school intern and really like the corporate environment there. I ideally would like to land a high-paying job and be able to move up the corporate ladder in a successful company and become a wealthy and successful individual. I am not sure if Barrett would provide this opportunity or not so input on that would be greatly appreciated.
I hope to visit the University of Minnesota at the end of March. From what I have read about it and heard from other people that attend school there is that it is a very large and spread out campus and that many people have had a hard time making friends there. Also, the school spirit seems to be lacking towards their sports and I just feel that overall the social scene is relatively low. I do know however, that the University of Minnesota has an outstanding chemical engineering department that is ranked third in the nation right below MIT and Cal Tech, but there are also many liberal education requirements that I would be forced to take. The weather is also brutally cold in the winter, and I probably wont be there in the summer when the weather gets nice again. There are however, like fourteen Fortune 500 companies in Minneapolis that would probably be good employment opportunities that would help with my desire to become a successful and wealthy engineer.
Both of these schools cost relatively the same amount. Arizona State offered me a $13,000 scholarship and I applied for more within the school, and the University of Minnesota granted me in-state costs. I am also in the process of applying for scholarships within private organizations.
So basically, Arizona seems to have more of a social life with good opportunities within the Honors College, and the University of Minnesota seems to have little to offer socially but fantastic employment opportunities with an Ivy League level education. Should I go with Barrett Honors College at Arizona State, or the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities?