I'm a senior in High School graduating this year and have seriously regretted not doing better during my early years in High School knowing that I was capable if I tried, nevertheless my options are limited.(I am not saying these schools are bad, I just wish I had more than two options) I am now deciding whether to go to UC Merced or CSUN for Mechanical Engineering. I was just wondering which is better if my goal is to get a masters in Mechanical Engineering?
Also Financial Aid wise, at Merced I'm practically getting a full ride and approximately 2K dollars extra which is a hug plus factor, while at CSUN I'm only getting 11K fwhich all comes from the federal Pell Grant and Cal Grant and isn't enough for Room&Board. CSUN has offered me unsubsidized loans but I would really rather not take out too much money on student loans. Another plus factor for UC Merced is that I could transfer to another UC after two years.
The Bad side of UC Merced is that since I live in LA I'm not sure if I would be happy at Merced, I want to live on a campus where student life is exciting and is full of things to do whenever you want and I'm not sure if UC Merced offers that. CSUN is really close to where I currently live and the campus is huge and I know many people that are going to CSUN which is both a good and a bad thing lol.
I just want to know what do you guys think I should do? Some people say Cal States are better if you want to find a job right away and some say that UC's are better in if you want to be promoted. One thing I would like to do is go to UC Merced for two years if I don't like it there and then transfer to UCSB or UCLA and then pursue my masters degree at CSUN. What do you guys think? And also how is the college life at Merced now that it's grown a bit and is now expanding to become double its size by 2020? Is it possible to transfer from CSUN to a UC for mechanical engineering?
One of the things that ties me to CSUN is that I have close friends and family that go there and I live in the area so I know places where I could go and also I can visit my family whenever I want (only to see my baby niece and nephew) and also because I have a job at Dominos right now and I love the people that work with me which is something that I fear I won't find at Merced. Ok I'm done babbling I just have a lot of questions since I am the first in my family to go to a 4-Year University directly after High School.
Thanks in Advance to anyone that takes the time to read and answer my questions! :)
note: I edited this just to give it some paragraph breaks to make it easier to read. All the other content is intact. - juillet