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Guidance on possible civil engineering schools?

atxnickgatxnickg Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
edited November 2011 in College Search & Selection
Hey, thanks for reading! I'm interested in finding out what schools would be ideal for me if I were to go into Civil Engineering. I'm just beginning to research some schools for this and would like a good starting point if possible.

Here are my stats:

White Male in Austin, Texas

FIRST GENERATION.

Weighted GPA: 105.98 (we have a weird 100 point scale..)

Class Rank: 1 out of 535 at a Competitive High School that sends many students each year to top colleges.


Classes I have taken/will take (We get 8 blocks of classes a year):
AP World History
AP Calc. BC
AP Environmental Science
AP Chemistry
AP English 3
AP English 4
AP U.S History
AP Government
AP Economics
AP Spanish Language
AP Spanish Lit.
and all other classes are Honors Classes

SAT scores
Typically around 2250 and upwards

Extra Curricular Activities:
Freshman Class Vice President
Sophomore Class President
Junior Class Vice President
Science Competitions (plan on going to district/state level this year)
Head of School's Social Events Committee last year
Head of School's Community Service Committee this year
Class Ambassador to the Principle last 2 years.
Debate last year
Science Academic decathlon (typically make it to state, didn't last year, probably will this year)
Robotics Team in the spring
Job tutoring elementary school kids at a community center
Organizing School partnership with local special olympics
Organized school-wide coat drive for homeless people
Created and am about to Implement a student to student tutorial service
Plan on Creating a grade-level community service hour competition (it's in the works)
National Honor Society

Next Year EC's if all goes as planned.

NHS Vice President.
Student Body President
Applying to BofA Student Leaders and Summer College at either NU or Hopkins, whichever I get into I will go to, though BofA sounds awesome!


Thanks for reading! If you haven't yet noticed I'm a junior, so I still have time for improvement. Feel free to be real with me, I won't get offended. I really appreciate the time you are taking to help me out and motivate me!
Post edited by atxnickg on
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Replies to: Guidance on possible civil engineering schools?

  • atxnickgatxnickg Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    Bump 10char
  • atxnickgatxnickg Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    bumpage 10char.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,674 Senior Member
    UT Austin is an excellent school for civil engineering, and will be an admissions safety for you if you remain #1/535 and are otherwise eligible. See Automatic Admission | Be a Longhorn . (But check affordability and financial aid -- though if money is really tight and you live in Austin already, you could commute there.)

    For civil engineering ABET accreditation is important, because Professional Engineering licensing is commonly needed in civil engineering, and Professional Engineering licensing is helped by having a degree in an ABET-accredited engineering degree program.
  • anxiousmomanxiousmom Registered User Posts: 5,887 Senior Member
    My son had a wonderful 4 years at Rice university, and is now employed as a civil engineer. Great school and fantastic residential college system!
  • AlexandreAlexandre Registered User Posts: 24,693 Senior Member
    You have great stats. Check out the following:

    Cornell University
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Northwestern University
    Princeton University
    Rice University
    Stanford University
    University of California-Berkeley
    University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    University of Texas-Austin
  • atxnickgatxnickg Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    Thanks Everyone! Any stats/opinions on Job placement anywhere? Texas is definitely an option but I'm worried about recruitment at such a massive school. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to do this. And btw thanks for the self esteem boost Alexandre! haha.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,443 Super Moderator
    BTW, UCB would cost $50K/year if that's an issue.
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Registered User Posts: 10,277 Senior Member
    ^ Why single out just Berkeley? Sticker price for tuition and cost of living at most of those schools are pushing $50k/year.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,674 Senior Member
    You can put "career survey" in the schools' web site search boxes, though not all of them have very useful survey results (Berkeley, Cal Poly SLO, and Virginia Tech are among the most detailed; MIT has some information by major).

    Large size is a positive for recruiting -- if you were an employer, and you had limited visits to college career centers, would you visit a school with a lot of students in the major(s) you are recruiting, or a school with just a few students in the major(s) you are recruiting (assuming similar reputation among the schools)?
  • atxnickgatxnickg Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    Thanks for the great info ucbalumnus. That is really good to hear, because I wasn't looking forward to finding a way to pay private school tuition. Plus I can always apply for residency for OOS to lower that (if i can, I realize it's kind of bureaucratic and tough to do). Judging from the past 2 respondants' usernames you guys went to Berkeley, how was Berkeley's engineering program? Does anyone have any specific input about programs they are currently in/graduated from? Thanks guys!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,674 Senior Member
    Engineering at Berkeley is good, but out of state list price is expensive and financial aid is not very much for out of state students. Please check the "financial aid estimator" on the web site. There are some merit scholarships, but most of them are too small to really make a big dent in the out of state tuition (the exception is the Drake Scholarship, which is a full ride, but only for mechanical engineering students).

    Berkeley engineering does admit by major, and changing major after enrolling does require applying to change major.
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Registered User Posts: 10,277 Senior Member
    Berkeley is fantastic and I enjoyed my time immensely. The program was challenging and rewarding.

    I will be straight with you. If you want to major in engineering, don't spend a large amount of money for a prestigious program. Employers will not compensate you to make up the investment.

    It's going to be hard to beat your instate UT-Austin. Best is to apply to out of state privates generous with financial aid. USC would be an option.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,443 Super Moderator
    UCBChem, the reason I singled UCB out is because UMich does offer some merit scholarships to OOS students. I really don't know about UIUC, UT is instate and the rest offer mostly (or solely) FA. UCB is not offering merit or FA beyond federal to OOS students. If I'm wrong please inform me so I can be correct on future posts.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,905 Forum Champion
    Why single out just Berkeley? Sticker price for tuition and cost of living at most of those schools are pushing $50k/year.


    Because OOS students generally have to pay full freight at Cal (and the other UCs). A 2250 is not going to get merit at Cal. At the other schools, FA and/or merit often bring down the price. That said, a 2250 may not get much/any merit from UMich or UIUC either.

    Cal and UCLA may be great for instate, but for a full-pay OOS, there are often more affordable options.


    You need to find out what your budget is - how much your family will pay. It sounds like you don't have actual SAT scores yet.

    Obviously, UT is an option for you if it's affordable. Instate COA is about $26k per year. UT has moved away from merit, so if you're low income, you will get some need-based aid. However, if your family has a good income, but won't pay the $26k per year, then UT may not be affordable.

    There are other schools that might give you merit or FA if you qualify ( you need to look into that as well). There are also some schools that give assured merit scholarships for stats. Those can be financial safety schools.


    I will be straight with you. If you want to major in engineering, don't spend a large amount of money for a prestigious program. Employers will not compensate you to make up the investment.


    this is sooooooooooo true, yet so many eng'g students do not realize that. Some will go into debt to attend some pricey univ, only to find that their jobs pay them the same amount of money as other grads who don't have the big debt because they went to more affordable schools. It really is annoying to be paying back debt while your peers are able to use that income towards a home purchase or whatever!



    Large size is a positive for recruiting -- if you were an employer, and you had limited visits to college career centers, would you visit a school with a lot of students in the major(s) you are recruiting, or a school with just a few students in the major(s) you are recruiting (assuming similar reputation among the schools)?



    This is so TRUE. If you want to fish for employees, you go to the place where there are lots of fish.



    Plus I can always apply for residency for OOS to lower that (if i can, I realize it's kind of bureaucratic and tough to do).


    Not likely. Your parents would have to move to that state if you're under age 24. States have made it very difficult for students to get residency for this very reason.
    So, don't even think that that is something to have in reserve...it won't work.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,674 Senior Member
    Erin's Dad wrote:
    UCB is not offering merit or FA beyond federal to OOS students. If I'm wrong please inform me so I can be correct on future posts.

    Berkeley does offer merit scholarships, including to out of state students, but most of them are not that big, with the exception of the full ride Drake Scholarship (for mechanical engineering students only).

    UT Austin is still likely the best deal in a top engineering school at a low cost (in state tuition, plus the possibility of commuting to save money if money is really tight). In-state cost of attendance for 2011-2012 is described here:
    FINANCIAL AID: 2011-2012 Undergraduate Cost of Attendance (COA)
    or $25,134 per year in engineering. However, $11,622 of that is in room and board and transportation, which offers opportunities to cut costs since the OP lives in Austin already.

    Financial aid may help reduce the costs. There is a link to a net price calculator here: https://www.cc.utexas.edu/tuition/

    Other low cost schools with ABET-accredited civil engineering degree programs include Alabama and UAB, both of which will offer full out of state tuition or greater (but not quite full ride) merit scholarships to the OP.
    http://eng.ua.edu/undergraduate/scholarships/
    https://www.uab.edu/students/undergraduate-admissions/freshman/paying-for-college-united-states-citizens/scholarships/item/570-act-gpa-based-scholarships
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