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Clarkson? Mines? Need feedback on Engineering schools.

G&HMomG&HMom 18 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
My daughter is looking for small-mid sized reputable programs. We've done our research, but the same schools (MIT, Stanford, etc) come up in our searches (these aren't realistic for her). Looking for feedback on Clarkson or Mines (both have come up in some of her searches) and any others! She's open to almost any location, but doesn't love the idea of being in a large city/urban area. Prefers a college town or small city.

ACT 33 Composite
4.0 UW GPA
AP classes include Physics 1 & 2, A/B and B/C Cal, Environmental Science, Comp Sci, US History, Government, Psychology
Top 10% of class

She hasn't won any national awards or recognitions. She is very personable and well rounded: School and Travel Club Athlete, NHS President, Volunteers outside school, completed a summer internship with a local company related to engineering. She'd like a place where she'll be well rounded--challenging academics but opportunities to be involved in other ways too (maybe a service/volunteer club or intramurals). Enjoys the outdoors and being active.

Thanks!
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Replies to: Clarkson? Mines? Need feedback on Engineering schools.

  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    For private engineering-oriented schools, like Clarkson, check out the Association of Independent Technological Universities: http://www.theaitu.org

    Two additional schools, Rice and Lehigh, aren't on the current AITU list, but they are former AITU members. These schools have broadened their scope and no longer consider themselves as primarily "technological universities", but they still have strong engineering programs.

    If you are considering Clarkson, then other small- to mid-sized, engineering-oriented AITU schools in the northeast would include RPI, WPI, Stevens, or Lehigh. These schools are all more selective than Clarkson, and might be better matches for your daughter's stats.

    ****

    Most public engineering programs are at large state universities. Colorado School of Mines is a notable exception, because it is relatively small by public university standards. If you are considering Mines, then there are similar small- to mid-sized schools (originally founded to serve the mining industry) in a number of other western and midwestern states, including Missouri S&T, Michigan Tech, South Dakota Mines, New Mexico Tech, and Montana Tech.

    However, Colorado Mines is the most selective of the historical "mines" schools, and might be the best match for your daughter's stats.

    ****

    Most of these schools (both public and private) are characterized by a gender gap in enrollment: there are noticeably more male students than female. This may or may not be a plus for your daughter, but it may boost her chances of admission. Two exceptions are Rice and Lehigh, which have distanced themselves somewhat from the "tech school" category, as noted above.
    edited August 2017
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  • GreymeerGreymeer 783 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    Here is a full list of "engineering schools" there are only 40.

    http://www.payscale.com/college-roi/school-type/engineering

    Lehigh, Rice and Stanford are not "engineering schools" but have great engineering departments.

    You'll notice the absence of a lot of colleges that market themselves as an "engineering school". Texas A&M, Purdue and Texas Tech for instance. These are normal universities with engineering departments.
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  • CU123CU123 3579 replies68 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    Colorado school of Mines seems to be a good match for your daughter, they have rolling admissions starting in September. They also have scholarship opportunities for women there that are fairly decent. There admit rate is around 34%.
    edited August 2017
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  • bopperbopper 14063 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Check out Case Western...it is in Cleveland but not downtown.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 930 replies22 threadsRegistered User Member
    Clarkson is really an amazing school. You should check it out. My niece is finishing up this year (mechanical engineering major) and has had so many incredible opportunities. A male friend of mine graduated there as well and only has good things to say. They are very very big on getting real world experience and have tons of internship opps, research opps, etc. My niece has presented at conferences all over the US, has had well paid internships two summers and another semester (while still graduating on time). It's stayed on dd's college list and she's not even thinking of engineering! She just loved it. Their facilities are very cool. Cons are it's cold in the winter (though there are tunnels between the buildings) and Potsdam is way up there; near Canada. Here are some stats:

    One in five alumni already leads as CEO, senior executive or owner of a company.
    Brookings Institution, a world renowned research and think tank, names Clarkson among the top 10 universities nationwide for maximizing career earnings potential.
    National Model for Entrepreneurship Education – US Association of Small Business & Entrepreneurship
    Top 21 STEM Institutions – Forbes Magazine

    Another thing to think about: due to the high percentage of male students, they tend to give very good merit to women applicants.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22948 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Colorado School of Mines is in Golden, which is a small city. It is connected to Denver by light rail, so very easy access to sports, concerts, theater, events, dining, or government offices. It is Division 2 for sports and has a nice variety of outdoor activities for its students.

    You also get all the advantages of being near a big city like an international airport and interstate highways that make getting to and from school easy.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41872 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    However Colorado Mines is known for its austerity so it's not for everyone.

    What about Union, Rice, Lafayette?

    Seconding Case Western.
    edited August 2017
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12807 replies167 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Colorado School of Mines is NOT known for "well rounded" students. In fact, it's often criticized for being the opposite. That said, it's close to some amazing natural places, and offers great opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and snow sports - along with the usual urban attractions you can find in the near-by Denver.
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  • nw2thisnw2this 2559 replies74 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The application for Mines is free, easy and a match for your daughter's stats. Definitely, apply.

    If you visit, also check out CSU and DU for a more rounded college experience.
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  • Much2learnMuch2learn 4610 replies168 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @corbett "Most of these schools (both public and private) are characterized by a gender gap in enrollment: there are noticeably more male students than female."

    Lehigh may be the best of both world's on this topic. They are about 55% male and 45% female. That is enough that they do have an admissions preference for females, but also small enough that if you are on the campus, it is not obvious.
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  • CU123CU123 3579 replies68 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    @MYOS1634 Not sure what you mean by "known for its austerity"??
    edited August 2017
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41872 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Another way to say this is that Mines is NOT fun and its students are proud of surviving their first year. Not for everyone.
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  • patattypatatty 142 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Look at Washington University in St. Louis. It has an absolutely beautiful campus, in a lovely area - not urban at all and well outside downtown St. Louis. My daughter sounds very similar to yours and loved this school when we visited. She also really liked Lehigh. We also visited Lafayette, but she felt that the engineering school there was too small (although she has a friend who is an engineer there now and loves it). If you want really small, look at Harvey Mudd. That was on my daughter's list too, but it was too far from home for her. Bucknell and Villanova also have engineering, but I don't know a lot about their programs, other than to note that Bucknell has a recruiting program for female engineers.

    On the topic of gender ratios, it's interesting how they vary across the different universities. Some that are really striving to achieve gender balance in engineering (and thus may have favorable admissions for females) are MIT, Columbia, Cornell and Harvey Mudd. Cornell achieved a 50/50 male/female ratio in engineering this year (although my D is there now and she says her MechE class is about 90% male, so it varies by major). Contrast this with University of Michigan, where the engineering school is only 26% female. I know that these schools sound either too big or too urban for your daughter, but the gender ratio is something to consider when visiting colleges, both from an admissions standpoint, as well as a lifestyle one.
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  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG 874 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    Consider http://miamioh.edu/ it is highly ranked for student outcomes, has lovely campus and graduates engineering students with developed leadership skills and has several ABET programs to choose from http://main.abet.org/aps/AccreditedProgramsDetails.aspx?OrganizationID=446&ProgramIDs=
    There should be some good merit aid which will make it affordable.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There's a difference between a "small engineering school" and a "small school with engineering".

    A school like Clarkson or Mines is a "small engineering school". These are small schools that specialize in engineering education; most students major in engineering or other technical fields like computer science.

    A school like Bucknell or Lafayette, on the other hand, is a "small school with engineering". These are small schools where most students major in arts & sciences, and which may be considered liberal arts colleges, but which also have (relatively small) engineering programs.

    I'm assuming that the OP wants "small engineering schools". Obviously there are more options if "small schools with engineering" are also in the mix. A school like Bucknell or Lafayette will have a more intellectually diverse student body than an engineering school (with lots of English majors, history majors, etc.), and typically a more balanced gender ratio (in fact, liberal arts colleges commonly have more women). However, there will also be fewer students with a passion for engineering, and the engineering programs will typically have fewer specialized fields of study and less technical depth than those at engineering-oriented schools.

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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38386 replies2103 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE: Please don't turn this thread into an argument. Posts should be answers to OP's question.
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  • G&HMomG&HMom 18 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 2017
    Thank you for the feedback and for sharing what you know about the schools!

    @katliamom We visited Mines, and she loved the campus/surrounding area/plethora of activities available within close proximity. However, she toured it during the summer when there were very few students on campus and couldn't get a good feel for the social dynamics and personalities. She is very studious and a hard worker; she is also fairly outgoing/happy and enjoys being involved in different things. (My point here is that she won't be happy at a school where students are so focused academically that they don't want to take a break--or can't due to volume of workload--to do an activity or be involved in a club.) She wasn't able to get a "feel" for whether or not Mines was like that.

    We have not visited Clarkson but someone mentioned that it may be worth looking into for all the reasons @taverngirl mentioned.

    @Much2learn We haven't considered the gender gap issue or male/female ratio--thanks for bringing it up. We know the trend is high % male for engineering so it may open some opportunities for her--but haven't thought of it beyond that. I don't think my daughter feels this is an issue either way from a social/community standpoint (however, perhaps once you are at the school it really is an issue and she simply doesn't realize it?)

    She visited Lehigh. I loved it, but she didn't feel like it was a good fit for her. I am not sure why?
    edited August 2017
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  • G&HMomG&HMom 18 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 2017
    @bopper Case Western has shown up in some of our research. Perhaps we overlooked it because we thought it was downtown. I will definitely take another look at it. She has a friend who is there playing on a sports team now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    edited August 2017
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    Case Western Reserve University was founded in 1967, from the merger of "Western Reserve University" and the "Case Institute of Technology". The former "Case Institute of Technology" was basically a traditional private engineering school.

    So Case Western today is sort of like Rice or Lehigh, in that it was originally a traditional engineering school that subsequently broadened its scope, in this case through a merger with an arts & sciences school. Case Western is still an AITU member, although Rice and Lehigh have dropped out.
    edited August 2017
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  • G&HMomG&HMom 18 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks, everyone, for the great info!

    @taverngirl Clarkson was on our list for all the reasons you mentioned. We haven't had a chance to visit, so thank you for your input.

    @katliamom She visited Mines, and she loved the campus/surrounding area. However, she visited it this summer and couldn't get a "feel" for the students or personalities. She is very studious and a hard worker. She is also outgoing and likes to be involved. She truly enjoys being challenged academically, but I also know she won't be happy in an environment where students are so focused that they don't (or can't because of sheer work volume) take a break from time to time to get outside/be involved in other things. We have heard that some engineering schools/programs are like this, and we have avoided those. Wasn't sure about Mines?

    @patatty She loved WashU! She isn't sure she can get in..... You mentioned that your daughter is at Cornell which was another one on our list, but once again, not sure she can get in. These may be her "reach" schools. She hasn't visited Cornell.

    @Corbett Great info. Thank you. We haven't thought too much about the gender ratio other than engineering tends to trend predominantly male. Aside from possibly working in her favor from an admissions standpoint, I don't think she considers this an issue (socially?). Perhaps it is once she is in the environment?

    She isn't interested in mining--just a strong engineering school or a school that has a strong engineering program. One of the smaller schools she considered was W&L. Beautiful campus! But after visiting and talking to a few people, she wasn't sure if the engineering program was well established (like it is at Lehigh). The school itself is reputable, but I think she was worried from an engineering standpoint and felt there may be better programs out there. (I am also paying attention to price! So applying to schools where her qualifications may help with merit or scholarship is a factor too!)

    Thanks again....any other thoughts are appreciated!
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