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Need help choosing which school to attend

spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
Hi! I have been fortunate enough to have been admitted to UPenn Engineering, Brown, Cornell Engineering, and Duke. I really like a lot about Upenn, but deep down I feel like I cant give up the opportunity to make use of the Open Curriculum at Brown. I also feel like the Cornell Engineering rankings make it better for me than UPenn (I know, not everything is based off rankings, but still). I dont have a large desire to go to Duke, so it is really between Upenn Cornell and Brown. I want to study a mix of materials engineering and CS, but also have real interest in econ/finance as well. UPenn appeals to me as a good opportunity to get a world class CS and Econ education (minor probably) in a big, vibrant city. I am very much a city person. Cornell seems like a very rigorous, solid engineering education but I am not a big fan of the isolation of Ithaca. Providence felt a little quiet for me but I loved the actual Brown campus and the freedom of the Open Curriculum.

Financially, i got no aid from any of the above, but my family is not in financial strain. We will be able to afford all. Any advice from people who have attended one or more of these schools?
16 replies
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Replies to: Need help choosing which school to attend

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9813 replies110 threads Senior Member
    For engineering, Cornell is the strongest academically. It’s a big, vibrant campus with a ton going on. It never felt isolated to me.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4922 replies86 threads Senior Member
    edited March 27
    Congratulations on your acceptances.
    I want to study a mix of materials engineering and CS, but also have real interest in econ/finance as well.

    There is often limited flexibility for engineering majors and the courses they take over 4 years of undergrad. Using each school's course catalog, fully plan out your 4 years of study at each school and compare the courses....do any appeal to you more than others? How many courses outside of engineering/CS would you be able to fit in at each school?

    Even though Brown has an open curriculum, it's not a benefit if you can't take advantage of it, and Brown is relatively week in engineering.
    edited March 27
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1968 replies13 threads Senior Member
    I'd take U Penn. Cornell's location is a definitely con, but it's engineering is the best of the choices. Brown isn't stellar in Engineering ( at all). UPenn will give you the balance you seek. Although as mentioned, you'll likely have very limited class options outside of engineering. Location is an important part of the choice. Every school has a lot going on, but it's important to be in an area you enjoy. Goo luck. You have good choices.
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  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @Happytimes2001 I'm also currently leaning towards UPenn. Will UPenn still give me a good CS education in terms of job/internship placement? Will I be at a disadvantage compared to Cornell Eng grads in tech companies?
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4223 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    Penn seems to have everything you want where every other school lacks something. While Cornell may be the best for your specific major, the difference here is not crazy. Go Penn to enjoy the city!
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  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @PengsPhils Ok that makes sense, thank you! I'm excited!
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1968 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @spinCaster15 UPenn will give you everything you are looking for. Not to mention it's likely you'll want to get a grad degree or even decide not to do engineering. In either case, you'll still be fine with UPenn. No tech company is going to black list you for coming from UPenn.
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  • happy1happy1 23823 replies2384 threads Super Moderator
    Congratulations! You have amazing colleges to choose from and you can't possibly make a bad choice. It sounds like Penn is where you want to be so go for it!
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10429 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    edited March 31
    Great choices, but I disagree that Cornell’s location is a con. It’s a definite pro. It’s gorgeous. The town of Ithaca is great. Lots of shops and restaurants. Ithaca College is also there, boosting the college town vibe. There’s so much to do outdoors. Hiking, boating, skiing, are all easily accessible. I know a lot of very happy Cornell students. I would choose Cornell over the others, no question.
    edited March 31
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  • brantlybrantly 4228 replies75 threads Senior Member
    Agree with @Lindagaf .

    I LOVE Cornell's location. I never heard anyone refer to Cornell's location as a "con" until I came on College Confidential. It is an absolutely STUNNING campus, like no other. Collegetown is on the edge of the campus, and downtown Ithaca is a short walk away. The campus itself is like a self-contained small city. The surrounding area is very rural, but the City of Ithaca and Cornell itself are like oases.
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  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Ah, now I am confused. I know that Cornell is beautiful, there is no doubt about it. I think I was just looking for the full urban experience. I have lived in a very naturally beautiful place for all my life and kind of wanted a change to big city life.
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  • brantlybrantly 4228 replies75 threads Senior Member
    Ah, now I am confused. I know that Cornell is beautiful, there is no doubt about it. I think I was just looking for the full urban experience. I have lived in a very naturally beautiful place for all my life and kind of wanted a change to big city life.

    Oh, well then that settles it. If you want a full urban experience, then you have to go to Penn. Cornell is not urban. It is a college town.
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4223 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    FWIW, as a city person, Ithaca would simply be way too small for me as well :smile:

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  • Ailurophile20Ailurophile20 6 replies0 threads New Member
    I have been to Ithaca. It felt more like a large town/small city in the middle of a rural area. Philadelphia is definitely more urban.
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  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @Ailurophile20 Makes sense. Update: I chose Penn!
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  • brantlybrantly 4228 replies75 threads Senior Member
    @Ailurophile20 Makes sense. Update: I chose Penn!

    Congrats!
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