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Looking for different perspectives: Uni of Southern California vs. Purdue University

LovesDinosaursLovesDinosaurs Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
Transfer student here. Got accepted to USC and Purdue this year and I'm highly interested in hearing how others would pick between the two.

I'm going into Computer Engineering and Computer Science/Computer Engineering as a third-year, although at USC I'll need a minimum of 3 years and 2-2.5 at Purdue. USC is about $15k more/year for me and I won't be needing loans.

I wish I could say I'm confident in my decision, especially given that I have less of a month left of summer, but I'm still not sure how I feel about deciding between the cheaper and higher-ranked option (Purdue) or having a better fit location-wise (USC). (I know ranking isn't all that important, but I don't know if fit is worth thousands, either.)

If anyone's passing through and has questions about applying/transferring to these schools I can also answer them!

Replies to: Looking for different perspectives: Uni of Southern California vs. Purdue University

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,714 Senior Member
    Do you have direct admission to the major as a transfer student at each school, or would you have to go through another admission process to get into the major after enrolling?
  • USCWolverineUSCWolverine Registered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    edited July 2018
    Purdue cs is higher ranked than USC? Really?

    Edit: Just saw that at least on one ranking, Purdue engineering was indeed ranked higher than USC. Wow. I honestly had no idea Purdue was THAT good in engineering. Go Boilers!
  • LovesDinosaursLovesDinosaurs Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus I got admitted directly into those majors. At least at USC I also have the flexibility of choosing any engineering/CS major. Picking a different one won't help me graduate faster, however.

    @USCWolverine Based off the ranking systems were research is highly valued, Purdue does seem to be stronger in engineering. It's also a more STEM-focused school than USC. I'm also in disbelief that I don't hear it mentioned much in person, maybe because it's in a modest area.
  • WISdad23WISdad23 Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    Rankings aside, completely different cultures. Of course, I exaggerate. But USC is left coast superior and Purdue is salt of the earth. USC administrative culture has "been in the news lately." Purdue works hard. Just my 2 cents. I think you are making a good choice. On the other hand, the allure of LA tends to trump Lafayette...
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 Registered User Posts: 1,028 Senior Member
    If it only takes 2 years at Purdue, the income net difference is 15k + 15k + full year cost at USC + one year salary. That is a big difference to look at the inside of a library in LA va the inside of a library in West Lafayette
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,640 Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    Go to Purdue, finish your undergrad in two years, and then spend the third year and the 30K you saved getting your CS masters at USC. You'll finish USC at the same time as if you'd gone there in the first place, but with a graduate degree.

    (Also, congrats!)
  • CheeringsectionCheeringsection Registered User Posts: 2,253 Senior Member
    Purdue grads are highly sought after and can find work all over the country once they have their degree. You can always go work in CA after graduation. I agree with @Eeyore123 that the price difference is not justified.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,198 Senior Member
    Purdue! Boiler up!
  • gandalf78gandalf78 Registered User Posts: 1,876 Senior Member
    Have you visited (or can you visit) each of the schools? That might help you make up your mind. LA and West Lafayette, Indiana are very different places.
  • LovesDinosaursLovesDinosaurs Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    I appreciate everyone that's responded, thank you!

    My thoughts on finances echo strongly with the rest of you, that's for sure. I've been wondering if doing a "five-year Master's" at USC might lessen the financial divide between the two.

    The allure of LA, or really any non-rural setting, is really strong on me, honestly. I'm coming from a decent school out in nowhere; the main non-academic reason I have for transferring is to find a place with "more". Going to Purdue would kind of defeat that, from what I can see (but of course, the best financial option would be for me to not transfer).

    @gandalf78 I won't have time to visit West Lafayette. The thing is that I only got my offer to Purdue in mid-July. I managed to get a week off an internship for USC orientation and I needed all the time I can get to finish that + take care of other housekeeping before school starts. I agree it would've been useful, though...
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,714 Senior Member
    If your current school is the best financially, what would be the reason to transfer?
  • readthetealeavesreadthetealeaves Registered User Posts: 480 Member
  • LovesDinosaursLovesDinosaurs Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus No financial reason (except maybe a bigger gain in the long run?).

    Initially it was more about opportunities/ambition. I was fortunate and got a lot of internship/research opportunities at my original school, but the school-specific ones were somewhat limited. For instance, undergraduate research is still an uncommon thing there and aside from the two I worked with all that responded were looking for graduate students. My first research project the professor and his assistant ghosted me (?) and the second was cool, but not within the EE/CS field. So I was hoping to transfer to a place where the opportunities I'm looking for are more common and established.

    But then I became interested in "community involvement" like public speaking on tech subjects, something that wasn't possible at my old school because of the rural setting and lack of interest. Purdue's setting seems familiar to that while USC seemed like the change I wanted.

    Then again, USC is a spoiled, illogical choice to make in this case. I'm sure I could get more out of USC than the other two, cost notwithstanding. But it's my most expensive option for a Bachelor's. And most of all, the family member who's financially supporting me has pushed me to make my own choice, saying I should choose what makes me happiest and all that... but the other half of the time they belittle the idea of me transferring, saying things like I don't work hard enough to succeed at a more competitive school (?) and I could buy a Mercedes if I don't transfer (ha). A lot of guilt-tripping which is really their way of showing that they're just looking out for me.

    I was just innocent and wanted to "escape" my limits before. But never mind the costs and setbacks, I just have a lot of guilt from even thinking wasn't enough, since now I'm spending more money that isn't mine and my family member is insisting I take it even while criticizing me for it (again, their way of showing that they care for me). I feel like I can't think clearly. I hope this isn't a ridiculous post.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,638 Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    You like USC more, and if you want less rural Purdue isn't it.
    Also, it sounds like you already committed to usc and attended orientation there?
  • USCWolverineUSCWolverine Registered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    I sense op likes 'SC more as well. Congrats on getting in (13% acceptance rate) and Fight On!
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