I am a senior at a small Catholic high school in MA, and am a prospective STEM major considering several universities in New England. My SAT I is 2240 and am ranked 1 out of 63 in my class, so I don't think admission will be a problem for the second-tier schools in my state. These are my general impressions of the schools on my list:
UMass Amherst- 30 mins from my hometown, might give me a near-full ride (I am NMSF), and has well regarded engineering and CS programs. However, I am afraid that the notorious party culture there wouldn't be right for me (I am an introverted/intellectual type). Also, I feel that the isolated environment at UMass might make it more difficult to find a job compared to the Boston schools.
Northeastern- Have not visited, but friends of mine who have say I would like it. The co-op program and the school's reputation are impressive, and they offer a decent scholarship for NMSF, but for a middle-class family such as mine, financial aid would probably be disappointing. With two younger siblings who will go to college after me, my family simply cannot afford to pay much more than $8-10 k per year for me.
BU- Have visited, seems like a university with a great deal of resources and programs. They also offer a very nice NMSF grant, but are known for not giving much financial aid.
If you guys have anything to add about these, or any recommendations for me on schools w/ good STEM programs, solid job connections, and an academically rigorous environment, please let me know. Thank you in advance!