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Georgia Tech vs Berkeley vs Rice - Chemical Engineering

macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
I'm still in shock with all my acceptances. I have laid out what I like/dislike about each school. Please weigh in with your opinions.

Georgia Tech:
+ I live in NC, so I like that it's close to home but not too close. It is also my cheapest option at 30k (besides USC which gave me a half ride lmao). Top-ranked program (#3). It's pretty big, but not as big as many other public schools. Great industry ties. I like the campus and think Atlanta is cool.
- I can't follow my non-engineering passions very well (I'll have to drop classics). It doesn't have the same clout as other schools I was accepted into. It still has pretty big class sizes and might feel a bit impersonal.

Berkeley:
+#2 (behind MIT) in ChemE. Berkeley is a nice city. Good connections to Silicon Valley. Has decent clout behind the name.
-Huge freshmen class sizes. Funding issues. I've heard it has a bad atmosphere. I would be competing against CalTech/Stanford kids. Pretty expensive (40k). Far away.

Rice;
+amazing atmosphere. Small and personal classes. Very beautiful campus and living accommodations. Well-rounded studies/majors.
-The engineering program isn't as good as the others (#20 vs #2 and #3). I'm not a huge fan of Houston. Far away. Most expensive (50k)

I also got into UCLA, USC with a Presidential Scholarship, and NCSU
I look forward to hearing your advice. Thanks in advance!
21 replies
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Replies to: Georgia Tech vs Berkeley vs Rice - Chemical Engineering

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82819 replies738 threads Senior Member
    How much will your parents contribute?

    How much are the other three schools?
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus my parents will contribute 200k over the four years (for tuition and all other fees) and I will have to pay the rest. Tuition at UCLA is ~40k, with the scholarship USC is ~30k, and NCSU is ~10k. So I'm looking at loans between 0$ (NCSU) and ~$90,000 (Rice, including financial aid)
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82819 replies738 threads Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus my parents will contribute 200k over the four years (for tuition and all other fees) and I will have to pay the rest. Tuition at UCLA is ~40k, with the scholarship USC is ~30k, and NCSU is ~10k. So I'm looking at loans between 0$ (NCSU) and ~$90,000 (Rice, including financial aid)

    When you say "tuition", do you mean just tuition, or full cost to you including living expenses, books, and travel?

    You cannot take more than $5.5k to $7.5k per year ($27k for four years) in debt without a cosigner. Cosigned loans are usually a bad idea. So if you need $90k debt for Rice, it is far too expensive for you.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1877 replies23 threads Senior Member
    It does look like you are quoting tuition only. The full OOS COA at GTech is 50k. USC is also around $50k w/ a half tuition scholarship.
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  • firmament2xfirmament2x 642 replies5 threads Member
    @macroraptor . . . as @ucbalumnus stated, don't you have to include living expenses, etc.? Do you have relatives in both Nor and SoCal?
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited March 28
    @ucbalumnus @firmament2x I just put down tuition, not the total cost. I assume that living expenses are 15k-20k a year. I have family in SoCal, but only a (very supportive) cousin
    edited March 28
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  • firmament2xfirmament2x 642 replies5 threads Member
    @macroraptor . . . Gotcha. All the best!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82819 replies738 threads Senior Member
    edited March 28
    Berkeley is not in southern California, so if you were thinking of living with your cousin and commuting from there to Berkeley to save money, that is not a realistic idea.

    In any case, look up the total cost of attendance, minus grants and scholarships, to get an idea of how much debt you would have for each school. If larger than the federal direct loan limits without a cosigner, that is probably not a good idea.
    edited March 28
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I'll look into the money. Any insights about the atmosphere/programs/academics?
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  • racereerracereer 406 replies1 threads Member
    I wouldn't say GT has less clout than any of the others schools for engineering. Also what is classics that you would have to drop going to GT?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82819 replies738 threads Senior Member
    racereer wrote: »
    Also what is classics that you would have to drop going to GT?

    "Classics" typically refers to the study of ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. Example: https://fll.chass.ncsu.edu/classics/

    Georgia Tech does not seem to have such a department, or even departments, majors, or minors where such courses may otherwise be found: https://www.iac.gatech.edu/academics/undergraduate
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited March 29
    @racereer I studied Latin for six years, started/lead several clubs, and received many honors for it. I would be interested in continuing studies especially in the translation and interpretation of ancient Roman oratory and poetry. I'll miss it, but I'm willing to leave it behind. I might join/start a Latin club though
    edited March 29
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  • Sunny66Sunny66 331 replies14 threads Member
    edited March 29
    Given the $ constraints, I would decide between NCSU, USC, and GT. All have great engineering programs with GT being the best. Tough to pass up the $ savings at NCSU. But given your question and with your three top choices, I say GT is the best option.

    I disagree with your comment about GT that "It doesn't have the same clout as other schools I was accepted into." It's a great school that has plenty of clout and you will have no trouble getting a job with a GT engineering degree.

    If USC is cheaper than GT and also would allow you to pursue Classics, consider that too.

    Berkeley is too expensive as is Rice.
    edited March 29
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 Forum Champion Rice 1278 replies28 threads Forum Champion
    edited March 29
    If costs are not the controlling factor, Rice checks off a lot of your boxes. At Rice it is fairly easy to double major. You can choose any major (except architecture and music which require audition/portfolio) and do not have to declare until the end of sophomore year. Rice is very generous with A/P credits. It has a good classics department. Rice is located in a very nice part of Houston near the museums, parks, shopping areas etc. It is very expensive to live near Berkeley. GT is a great school and Atlanta is a great town, You have some amazing options. https://ces.rice.edu/academics/classical-studies
    edited March 29
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  • saarinensaarinen 24 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @sunny66 I agree. Given the $ constraints, I would decide between NCSU, USC, and GT. All have great engineering programs with GT being the best.

    Plus GT is close to home and you'll get a great job when you graduate. My friend just graduated from engineering @ GT and got incredible job offers from Apple, Google and Microsoft. She decided to work for Google.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2896 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Do you have an idea of what you'd like to to after college, what industry you might want to work in? If it's say oil and gas, then I would go with Rice, if it's anything else, probably Berkeley.
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @theloniusmonk I'm open to doing anything BUT petroleum/gas and defense (moral reasons). At this point, I'm strongly leaning GT.
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4225 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    Another vote for GT as the right balance of price and quality. As mentioned, it has no less engineering strength than UCB, USC, etc.
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  • WhrlingCollegesWhrlingColleges 74 replies1 threads Junior Member
    You got into some amazing schools so bask in that! My vote is for Georgia Tech hands down. It has an unbeatable combination of top notch instruction, extremely high ranked engineering program, massive clout and industry contacts, and a beautiful campus in a cool city. It also has that strange and wonderful combination of high nerd quotient and game day school spirit. No school on your list, as impressive as they all are, can match all of that. Maybe you can take a classics class or two at Emory or GSU, if you need a fix. ChemE students do great at GT. OOS cost to attend GT is 50k. It’s quite a bargain, especially considering the very high level of schooling you will receive.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2896 replies5 threads Senior Member
    " I can't follow my non-engineering passions very well (I'll have to drop classics). "

    Ok so if oil and gas is out, then it probably comes down to GT or Berkeley, and how much classics means to you. I went on GTs site and couldn't find anything on classics, unless I totally missed it. Berkeley has a world class classics program, options for three minors, the professors there went to Oxford, McGill, Harvard, Penn, Chicago, and Berkeley of course.
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