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Out of State for CS Worth It?

fourohfourerrorfourohfourerror 2 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
I live in TN, and the only college here I’m seriously considering is TN Tech. I’ve been looking at a ton of out of state colleges (CMU to the UCs to GA Tech, 30-ish in a spreadsheet).
Is going out of state actually worth the cost? I’ve been thinking “yes” because of better recruitment and programs, but I wanted some other input.

Regarding the common line of “CS is CS no matter where you go”:
1) I don’t want to be stuck in TN my whole life.
2) I know that some places have to do some disciplines better. I’m mostly looking at software dev, programming, or HCI.

Thanks!
17 replies
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Replies to: Out of State for CS Worth It?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77784 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Private schools could offer financial aid without regard to state residency. However, level of financial aid varies, so use each school's net price calculator to get an estimate.

    Public schools typically do not offer financial aid to out-of-state students, so you need to be aiming for high level merit scholarships if you need the money to afford them.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 9819 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 21
    Take the UC's off of your list unless you can afford $240-260K for four years . The few merit scholarships that they might offer, would not be significant enough to be worth it to you ($2K per year). You can only take out loans of: $5500 for freshman year, $6500 for sophomore, and 7500 for Jr and Sr. years. Barely makes a dent. They have their pick of any students they want.
    It really does not matter where you go. You can choose to interview anywhere and don't have to live in Tennessee.
    edited August 21
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 143 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    What are your stats?
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  • fourohfourerrorfourohfourerror 2 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    4.0 GPA (unweighted), 34 composite ACT, planning to take some SAT subject tests but haven’t.
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 143 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    What is your budget before loans? I don't think I would take on a lot of debt to go out of state.

    Have you looked at Alabama? They are very generous with merit aid, and I think you would be a full ride or close. They have been pitching an engineering degree and an MBA to my daughter that would be basically free.

    GT is a great option. Check out their co op program.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26696 replies174 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    UC's are definitely not worth it, IMO.

    Have you run the financial aid calculators at a few private schools? For example, how much aid might Vandy give you should you be accepted? Or, CMU? Or, at a minimum, UT-Knoxville?

    https://www.vanderbilt.edu/financialaid/net-price-calculator.php

    https://admission.enrollment.cmu.edu/pages/net-price-calculator

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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29606 replies173 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ask the career center at TN Tech where their CS grads get internships and jobs. And do remember that your first job might be in TN, but that your next one could be far away from there.
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  • simba9simba9 3257 replies20 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you want to go out of state because you're sick of the state you're in, that's one thing. I did the same so I can't criticize that. Otherwise, I'm one of those who generally believes it's a waste of money to pay out-of-state tuition in search of a better CS degree. The only exception would be for an out-of-state college that offers some kind of track or specialization you're interested in that's not offered in-state.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2086 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 23
    For CS, it helps to be close to a metropolitan area for internships and job prospects, but ultimately, it's not worth the out of state tuition cost. Therefore, you can consider scholarships, which are more plentiful than you might think. At TCU, you're eligible for a full tuition scholarship, and you're in the Dallas/Fort area. Check out University of AZ, And University of Utah. You can also try University of Houston as well. Alabama offers great scholarships too, it's further from a large city, but still has a strong CS program with great recruitment.

    Graduating with little or no debt is worth its weight in gold.
    edited August 23
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3984 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    First off I am laughing since our own Excell list had 38 colleges. But staying in your own backyard what about UTennesse or Vanderbilt. Your stats are great.
    You can also work anywhere in the world let alone the United States. Look at LinkedIn and Indeed etc and put in anywhere you would like to go and look up your field of study. Especially with CS degrees. My son just came back from an overseas engineering internship and would of never even thought about working internationally. But first you got to get your degree.
    If you can list what your parents can afford and other factors like size of school then the advise given will have more meaning. Otherwise you will get suggestions for just about every school on your list.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6597 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Agree with @momofsenior1. Our collegekids have had (paid) summer internships all over (including 2 international).

    Also agree with other posters who are asking what your budget it, b/c your stats are good enough that you might find affordable private schools as well.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41787 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Why not apply to UTK and Vanderbilt, the two "powerhouse" universities in your state? Your stats certainly warrant it. In particular look into the honors programs at UTK.
    What's your EFC? Whzts your parents'budget for college?
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  • ArcDadArcDad 8 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    First off, congrats on your stats. Nice work! Lot's of options come to mind. It really depends on where (location) you want to be, size of school, environment, etc. I agree with others, UCs aren't worth it OOS, but some of the Cal States aren't bad with OOS tuition. Check out Cal Poly or Cal Poly Pomona as they would be great options. You could probably get aid from Alabama as mentioned, Clemson, and South Carolina in the South. In the Northeast, Pitt would be a nice option as would WPI and RPI. In the Southwest, Rice would be a great option. The nice thing about a CS degree is that you have way more options than say Computer Engineering which limits you in most cases to good engineering schools. For CS, most any good school is fine and brings tons of recruiters and opportunities. With that said, in CS like engineering fit is the most important thing so you can be successful. Small schools are options as well if you'd rather be in a smaller env.
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  • fourohfourerrorfourohfourerror 2 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for the compliments on my stats!
    I’m working on figuring out family contribution, I want to have some ideas to present to them first.
    A lot of people are saying that CS is okay anywhere, though I’d like to point out the disciplines I’m leaning towards. Programming and Software development are easy to find, but HCI/UX not so much.
    UTK has good programming but not so great software dev and no HCI from what I’ve seen.
    I got to tour Vanderbilt over the summer and I didn’t get the feeling that there was much care for their CS program (a characteristic I love in places like CMU or GA Tech or even TTU). Their courses barely seem to include software dev, and I’m not seeing anything HCI related.

    Thanks for all of the advice!
    I think I am going to narrow down my list based on the HCI/UX factor (because it’s so rare) and then ask my parents about expected contribution and use some online calculators.
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  • TdoesCollegeTdoesCollege 118 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @fourohfourerror - One small thought as you move forward: please keep in mind that the online calculators use family income and assets to show what a financial package might look like for your situation. They do not use what you (or your parents) think you can/want to contribute towards costs.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3990 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 5
    Whoever told you that what school doesn’t matter is sadly flat out wrong and didn’t attend a a top-ranking CS school. Here’s an exercise you can do - every school offers a Data Structures course. Compare the syllabus for each of the schools on your list and then compare it to say CMU or Berkeley or Illinois or GTech, all in the top Tier of CS schools in the country. Secondly, Machine Learning is a very in-demand topic, see which of the schools on your list even offers it at the undergraduate level and for those that do, once again compare the syllabi. Berkeley’s Data Structures course is CS61B, Machine Learning is CS189, just for reference purposes.

    The big players are paying the big bucks for those who are the most ready. HackerRank has their annual survey of which universities prepare the students the best in different categories - take a look: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/09/school-rankings-top-colleges-for-it-developers.html?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app

    I’m quite familiar with Berkeley’s CS curriculum and Data Structures is a second-semester freshman course. After going thru the projects in that course you are pretty capable of going out into industry and working. At least be very successful in an internship. The same cannot be said for 95% of the other schools.

    So whether a OOS for CS is worth it or not is up to you, but the rankings for sites like CSrankings and IvyAchievement CS Top 40 rankings can give you a more accurate picture from a cost benefit standpoint.
    edited September 5
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