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Need help choosing college for computer science

EverythingIsBlueEverythingIsBlue 43 replies4 threads Junior Member
Which one would be best for computer science?

I got into:
The College of New Jersey
Rutgers
University of Rochester
U of Miami (FL)
Northeastern University
University of Central Florida
New York University


Also got waitlisted at Princeton but I don't have hopes for that
23 replies
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Replies to: Need help choosing college for computer science

  • moooopmoooop 2205 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Unless your family is filthy rich, the financial situation of each will come into play. Are any of them offering any sort of aid?
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  • EverythingIsBlueEverythingIsBlue 43 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @moooop

    These are the direct costs (only tuition and room/board) that I'd have to pay per year, NOT including loans or work study

    The College of New Jersey- $6108
    Rutgers - $6318
    University of Rochester- $6477
    U of Miami- $7770
    Northeastern- $8931
    Uni of Central Florida- $832
    NYU- $16958
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  • EverythingIsBlueEverythingIsBlue 43 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Just wanted to add that I am in honors in TCNJ, Rutgers, Northeastern, and UCF
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  • DunboyneDunboyne 1155 replies4 threads Senior Member
    NYU is an outlier for cost, no better than others for CS.

    --How difficult is it for your family to cover the additional $20,000+ above the cost of UCF?
    --Have you visited these schools? Which do you prefer?
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  • EverythingIsBlueEverythingIsBlue 43 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My mom says she can cover up to $15,000 so with loans and work- study I should be fine even if I went to NYU, but I won't go there if its not significantly better for CS.

    I've visited Rochester, Northeastern. Visiting TCNJ, Miami, NYU soon. I don't really have strong preferences towards campus vs sprawled over the city, or warm vs cold weather. I liked Northeastern's coop program a lot though.
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4225 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 2017
    @EverythingIsBlue

    I'm likely a bit biased as a Northeastern student, but I also looked at a good number of these schools myself. Northeastern's CS program is amazing, with a huge strength in co-op but also teaching. Here's a great essay on the program by the creator, who still is one of the professors who helps run the intro course.

    http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/matthias/Thoughts/Growing_a_Programmer.html

    The co-op program works very will for CS, and offers the highest average pay in the school currently as far ad I know too, which is a nice bonus. We have people at all the big name tech companies (Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Snapchat, etc) as well as plenty of companies who don't have the big names but will offer great work and experience as well.

    I have helped teach the intro course here, so if you have any questions about the program I'd be happy to answer :)
    edited April 2017
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  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad 6202 replies163 threads Senior Member
    Nice choices. Your costs are manageable, so I'm going to ignore money.

    These are the 3 I'd consider. They are all excellent but very different, and if you can visit you'll learn something about yourself to help you decide.

    University of Rochester- $6477 - very academic school, very good department, this will probably provide you the broadest education, especially if you like humanities and social sciences also.

    Northeastern- $8931 - Co-op gets you started in industry which can be synergistic with classes. Very good department in it's own right. Decidedly pre-professional, less academic atmosphere.

    NYU- $16958 - Excellent department. Easy access to wall st, which could net you enough to make the $7K per year really worth it. Living in Greenwich village is like no place else. Very unique vibe.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43209 replies471 threads Senior Member
    I'd pick URochester or Northeastern.
    URochester is going to be intense and intellectual.
    Northeastern is going to be more preprofessional and you should be excited about co-ops.
    Both have outstanding outcomes, great peers, great faculty.
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  • moooopmoooop 2205 replies17 threads Senior Member
    You can attend UCF for under $1000 per year? I'd go with that. UCF is huge, but well organized and compact. Friendly place in a nice area.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43209 replies471 threads Senior Member
    Ucf is having growing pains though, and I'd differ on the 'nice area'. It's hot and muggy, no beach, no history/culture, and too many alligators. :s Definitely not my cup of tea.
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4225 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 2017
    @moooop

    Yes UCF is cheap, but when the difference in price is both affordable and small, I don't see any reason not to go with the better options rather than simply the cheapest. Even in the worst case scenario of NYU, the OP will pay about 70K total over all years (adding in padding for day to day costs in NYC), and only 10K of that would be loans, if that given work study. For the rest, you're looking at closer to 30-45K with no loans. For all four years, all of these are a steal really.

    Also, coming from FL, I second @MYOS1634 strongly, lol. Good for some, not for others.

    Given that every other option means no loans, I don't think NYU should be on the table, especially given that the department is not really known for CS, and other schools will also have that Wall St. access mentioned above. In CS, they are actually some of the less competitive jobs in my experience, as many don't want to work on ancient tech or deal with the long and tiring hours when so many other jobs pay well in CS these days.

    I think narrowing down to Northeastern and URochester pretty much covers the best choices, and I'd also agree the rest comes down to fit. Given that the OP said they liked co-op a lot, it seems like the best option.
    edited April 2017
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  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad 6202 replies163 threads Senior Member
    I don't think NYU should be on the table, especially given that the department is not really known for CS

    Incorrect. False. Wrong.

    Grad school computer science rankings from US News which is mostly by faculty survey
    NYU #29
    Rochester #52
    Northeastern #61
    UCF #90

    Doesn't mean it's the best choice for an undergrad, but the statement quoted is decidedly incorrect.
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4225 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    Okay, let me revise: not known very well in industry at the undergraduate level. Maybe they all stay in NYC for work, but in places where you would expect to find them, they aren't there in my experience. Not in the northeast region, not in the valley.

    I still say it's a stretch to say that a school ranked outside the top 25 in a graduate level opinion survey is "known for CS" in academia even. Those rankings aren't just mostly ranked on faculty survey, that is the sole factor in those rankings. Northeastern, for example, is ranked in the top 15 for their programming languages specialty in that same survey. I think NYU's CS is riding the school's general reputation a bit there. They aren't known in industry like Northeastern is, or even UCF who is known for its cybersecurity strength.
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  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad 6202 replies163 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    ^^^ Don't agree.
    My D is in a PhD program in CS (somewhere else) and they (NYU) were on the short list that her industrial mentor in Cambridge, MA recommended. Courant Institute is very well known, look it up. Google New York is a few blocks away. Northeastern wasn't on that short list.

    edited April 2017
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4225 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 2017
    That info makes sense but still isn't conflicting. A shortlist for a Ph.D. student is very specific based on the type of research they want to do, even within a field. For someone looking for top programs in CS for a Ph.D., unless they are looking to specialize in PL, there's not really a good reason to look at Northeastern for your Ph.D. If they are on the mathematical theory side, then NYU makes sense given Courant, which is theory and math focused. Based on the recommendation, I am guessing your D's speciality is in theory/data science/math?

    Having a Google office near you says nearly nothing of industry opinion. There's an office in pretty much every major city in the US. I wouldn't choose Georgetown or GWU for CS simply because they are close to Google's office.
    edited April 2017
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  • 50N40W50N40W 960 replies3 threads Member
    I'd vote Northeastern, if I had a vote. Very good set of problems for the OP to have.

    At 40k less than NYU -especially when that 40k is likely to be debt - it's not really close, not for CS, IMO.
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4225 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    @50N40W It looks like NYU would only be 10K of debt total, not per year. So still a good deal if NYU makes sense for the OP. That's factoring living costs even too, not just tuition/room/board/fees. Agreed, a great set of problems to have.
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  • EverythingIsBlueEverythingIsBlue 43 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Would you guys say Rochester is significantly better academically compared to Northeastern?
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4225 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    I don't think it's "better" so much as a very different philosophy overall. Rochester is very much about a liberal arts education with flexibility, while Northeastern is more STEM focused (with some flexibility as well). If you were going to major in a humanities subject, I think everyone would tell you Rochester over Northeastern in a heartbeat. When it comes to CS academics, Northeastern has a clear upper hand in my experience. Rochester's department is very small and offers limited electives (last I checked in 2014), but will still cover what you need.

    The two schools are very different from each other in terms of fit. Oddly enough, I looked at both as well too, despite that difference. In my case, I am able to get the breadth of education just fine at Northeastern - I didn't need the requirements to make me do it. I'm getting an ethics (basically philosophy) minor in addition to sampling classes in economics and sociology. I've found the classes to have good professors and engaging. I can imagine that U of R would be better in some of these subject areas.

    It comes down to fit basically, something that really you can determine best. Not to mention other fit factors beyond academics. You've visited both - what are your impressions and thoughts on them?
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  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad 6202 replies163 threads Senior Member
    When it comes to CS academics, Northeastern has a clear upper hand in my experience. Rochester's department is very small and offers limited electives (last I checked in 2014),

    I just checked and Rochester offers plenty of electives. The real difference is co-op vs a more academic experience. I think Northeastern is more applied, while Rochester is more theoretical and academic. Applied prepares you for your first job. More theoretical prepares you for a 40 year career, for research and potentially graduate school. There are areas that Northeastern is strong in, and there are areas that Rochester is strong in.

    I think for an undergraduate, these are peer schools. I'm very familiar with both schools. However, it's for you to decide which approach works better for you.

    Take a look a possible careers from Occupational Handbook.
    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm

    If you might want to be a computer and information research scientist, go to Rochester. If other careers appeal to you more, you might be better of with Northeastern and the co-op.

    Both will prepare you fine for any directions.
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