I am trying to decide where to apply ED (I realize Berkeley does not have this option) and plan on majoring in computer science in their respective engineering schools.
Berkeley is ranked higher in this field, close to Sillicon Valley, and has plenty of alumni networks, so I'll probably have no problem finding a job after graduation. But I don't want to be part of a cutthroat environment where it's sink or swim, grade deflation, and finding opportunities and classes I want will be difficult. Also, I'm from California so I want to explore somehwere else.
Northwestern has been my dream school for super long. I visited their campus, loved the vibe, and the suburban area. Although it is ranked #30 in CS, I didn't really care because it is still a well-known school. However, my mom says I shouldn't ED because any of the top UCs would be a better choice than Northwestern, as these schools are better in CS and cheaper. But again, I want to escape California, be part of a collaborative atmopshere, meet people outisde of engineering, and I believe Northwestern's prestige will open as many opportunities as Berkeley has for me. However, my mom seems to underestimate Northwestern and says Berkeley is far better.
Meanwhile, Rice has been a school I had my eyes on for a while. It's supposedly better than Northwestern for CS (according to ranking) and in a large city. Also, it's small, so I will be able to receive some attention. It's the between of Northwestern and Berkeley where I will be able to escape California, not cutthroat, but has a fairly well-known CS program. I've never visited, but I think I'll like the collaborative, tight-knit atmosphere.
Which school do you think would be the best choice for me?