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Suggest schools for my son

PunnamJPunnamJ 6 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Please suggest some schools for my son. We live in VA. He is interested in CS and his dream school is CMU but it is difficult I know(should he ED?) .
GPA: Unweighted 3.7/ Weighted 4.1
SAT:1530
ACT:35


Very social, volunteers at school events and known well to school counselor and other teachers. Expecting good recs.

Extra-curricular:
President of FBLA. Was treasurer, publicist in lower classes
Founder of automotive club at school
Ran mathclub at elementary school
Varsity Lacrosse and was JV Lacrosse
Volunteered at local library in summers
Teaches math and computer science to students for extra money
Conducted 5k run with more than 200 participants for cancer fundraiser





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Replies to: Suggest schools for my son

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5515 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    UVA and Virginia Tech are very good for CS, and very good overall.

    Students often neglect or under-appreciate their in-state options. Your in-state public schools are very good.

    CMU is of course also excellent for CS, but would be a reach. Do you know if it is affordable? Given the quality of your in-state options, and given the likely difference in price, it is hard to know why you would want to go out of state.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    CMU CS is always a reach. It gets a lot of ED apps too. But do give it a go. it's your best chance of getting accepted. You can find some excellent safety schools with your numbers.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41883 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Can you afford CMU? If so, he could try to ED, while applying before Nov 1 to both UVA and VTech.
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  • PunnamJPunnamJ 6 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you all for your responses. UVA and VTech are of course good schools but for CS aren't UIUC or Purdue better than UVA and VTech. I can afford if they are a way lot better.
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  • PunnamJPunnamJ 6 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    UVA and VTech are good schools overall but for just for CS I see UIUC, UTAustin, Purdue are better. I can afford out of state.
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  • scmom12scmom12 3112 replies21 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I suggest running net price calculator if you haven’t already so you are comparing real numbers. Some first time parents are surprised by actual cost difference. Are you talking a few thousand difference or 20-30k differences?
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  • PunnamJPunnamJ 6 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    20-30K difference per year depending on the college. Are UIUC, Purdue, Georgia Tech etc are that worthy of my extra 100K for 4 years? Also, for his profile, does he have any chance in UCLA, CMU, Cornell, Columbia, UPenn etc? He has completed Advanced CS courses in High shool like, Advance Java, Python, AI, Computer VIsion and now enrolled in Parallel computing.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    When you are talking the top 10-12 departments, I don’t see a whole lot of difference in outcome unless your kid has a very specialized interest in something that only some schools have. It’s more important to look at the school as a whole, IMO.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2203 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There's really no such thing as "better school" in the world of computers. It's an industry driven entirely on applied skill. I've been doing this for a number of years and no one ever asked me where I went to school. I've worked with Columbia graduates as well as college dropouts and haven't found a correlation with coding skill, salary or competence level. CS is a highly employable degree and he shouldn't have any problem finding a good entry level job out of college. He should be more than fine at UVA or VTech.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 116 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Some of the best techies I’ve worked with never completed college. Today you need the piece of paper. In fact, some of the best I’ve worked with that have degrees went to Va Tech.

    Your son will have good choices. I would look at fit. CMU used to be a meat grinder. Might still be. On the cutting edge but not much social life.
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  • GreymeerGreymeer 787 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    " are that worthy of my extra 100K for 4 years?"

    If your son has lots of AP credit he might start school as a sophomore... so 3yrs.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41883 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Although CS majors will have good professional placement, here's a difference in what you learn, how you learn, with whom, and what else you do. The whole learning environment and learning experience will vary depending on the university.
    You might want to look for programs with a male/female ratio as little lopsided as possible and with the greatest diversity, so that he is used to working with a great variety of people. You might want to check whether it's possible to add a minor - thinking out of the box often comes from being exposed to perspectives and content others haven't.
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  • WhrlingCollegesWhrlingColleges 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Your son could consider applying to Georgia Tech for CS. UVA is a wonderful school but STEM is not its strongest area. VT may better for that field of study but Georgia Tech is far superior to both. You'd be paying much more in out-of-state tuition, but you seem reconciled to doing just that if the education is worth it. Now, actually getting accepted into Georgia Tech (especially CS or engineering) as an out-of-state student is another animal. Not easy to do, and many applicants with stats similar to or even above your son's have been denied. Last year's OOS acceptance rate was just under 14%. I would absolutely give it a shot, though. And don't sweat it if he winds up at UVA or VT. Most people would be overjoyed to get into any of the above.
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  • PunnamJPunnamJ 6 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Should he ED to GeorgiaTech, CMU, UIUC, Purdue, Columbia etc or stick to EDing into UVA, which is accepting ED this year.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78242 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    PunnamJ wrote: »
    20-30K difference per year depending on the college. Are UIUC, Purdue, Georgia Tech etc are that worthy of my extra 100K for 4 years? Also, for his profile, does he have any chance in UCLA, CMU, Cornell, Columbia, UPenn etc? He has completed Advanced CS courses in High shool like, Advance Java, Python, AI, Computer VIsion and now enrolled in Parallel computing.

    The price difference between in-state UVA/VT versus some of the other schools on the list above is more than $20-30k per year.
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  • Techno13Techno13 179 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Also look at UMD. I agree UIUC and UTX are great in CS. VA schools are great too.
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  • NJEngineerDadNJEngineerDad 120 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 17
    @PunnamJ You wrote that you can afford out of state (let say 50K/y), but can you afford private (more like 75K/y)? In other words is your max budget 200K or 300K? In any event I think CMU CS and Cornell are high reaches (at least at CMU the bar is higher for CS candidates than for other candidates). Then you need to make the difference between Early Decision and Early Action. You typically can do only one ED but might be able to do multiple EA. Check the rules carefully.
    edited September 17
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