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undergrad engineering - public vs private

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Replies to: undergrad engineering - public vs private

  • ResearchingmomResearchingmom Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Norcalguy: you seem to know a great deal about the engineering programs. Wondered if you could pass on your thoughts about some of these West Coast engineering schools and any particular comments about their fit with more of an A minus student who works very hard, benefits from access to teachers, and might tend to do less well in large classes. Schools we are just starting to look at: Cal Poly SLO, Santa Clara, UC Davis, Loyola, Cal Poly Pomona, Oregon State, University of Portland, Gonzaga.

    Appreciate it!
    ~RM
  • pierre0913pierre0913 Registered User Posts: 7,652 Senior Member
    I'd look at Santa Clara, Gonzaga, and Loyola, smaller private schools that are good for engineering

    Cal Poly SLO is VERY good too, if you don't mind a larger school, then SLO is one of the best places to go in the US for engineering.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,581 Senior Member
    norcalguy--even at the big state schools most profs complain that very few students ever show for office hours except maybe the week before finals. Lines are only in your imgagination.

    Also larger programs can sponsor a broad array of activities that give students interesting and fun challenges while competing with other schools.

    Engineering Team Projects
  • vadennisvadennis Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Thanks for all the suggestions! Crazed, I agree on the money issues - and what if parents want to help with graduate school? What a big production this college search is!
  • crazedcrazed Registered User Posts: 1,972 Senior Member
    vadennis-

    What I've found out this year of applying is that the privates can give great merit aid. OOS, much less if at all. Depends on stats and where you fit in that.

    We are limited to schools. though applied to a lot based mostly on a good fit for our Jewish son. Did not want a school with a very low percentage though applied to a couple with 3%. It limits some great schools for us. If you don't have that issue, or any other there are great schools to apply to depending on the major.

    You can PM me if you want and I'll give you our info (acceptances and merit offers.) We do not qualify for any need-based aid. but that does not mean we willingly want to spend 40K per year or even close. Not necessary.

    Major? Stats?
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135
    From Researchingmom:
    an A minus student who works very hard, benefits from access to teachers, and might tend to do less well in large classes. Schools we are just starting to look at: Cal Poly SLO, Santa Clara, UC Davis, Loyola, Cal Poly Pomona, Oregon State, University of Portland, Gonzaga.

    To answer your specific question, here are some thoughts about the schools that my son looked at:

    Cal Poly SLO - top notch engineering school, hands-on approach, emphasis on learning by doing, great for kids who prefer practice to theory. As an A- student and OOS, your son might have a difficult time being accepted; it's extremely competitive and accepts very few OOS students. This was my son's top choice; he was accepted ED and will attend in the fall of 09.

    Santa Clara - also excellent engineering school, strong ties to Silicon Valley businesses, beautiful campus in suburban area, somewhat selective although an A- student should get in as long as test scores are strong too.

    UC Davis - like all the UCs, will involve more theory than Cal Poly and other CSUs. Not particularly known for engineering, but again, like all UCs, a top school overall. Davis is a college town, strong ag school.

    Loyola - my son didn't consider this, don't have much info

    Cal Poly Pomona - rolling admissions, my son was admitted within a month or so of applying, easier to get into than SLO. Excellent EE program, probably more affected by the CA budget cuts than SLO. Difficult to graduate in 4 years.

    Oregon State - not particularly well-respected by California kids, but has a good engineering program.

    University of Portland - similar curriculum to other engineering schools but additional religion courses required. My son decided not to apply after carefully reviewing the course list.

    Gonzaga - no information

    A couple more to consider: University of the Pacific and University of Seattle.
  • ResearchingmomResearchingmom Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Thanks pierre0913 & vballmom:

    We're in California and Cal Poly is my son's first choice so far....mechanical engineering which could be tough to get into. Wonderful for your son vballmom. What attracted your son to Cal Poly? What have you heard about the retention rate in engineering and/or what level of weeding out, if any?

    The core requirements of the Jesuit and Catholic schools (Loyola, Santa Clara, Gonzaga, U of Portland) seem like a heavy addition to the already substantial engineering load....a few of the smaller schools we've read about are less inclined toward the heavy core...thinking of Bucknell and Lafayette. We'll be visiting Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh and Villanova in a few weeks. Any insights about these programs in mechanical engineering for a West coast guy?

    Thanks!
  • pierre0913pierre0913 Registered User Posts: 7,652 Senior Member
    I think that Bucknell University has a very good mechanical engineering program. Lafayette and Villanova also do but Bucknell in my opinion is the best out of that bunch.

    Other school's you might want to look at are:

    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    Cooper Union
    Harvey Mudd College
    Kettering University
    Milwaukee School of Engineering
    Bradley University
    Rowan University

    These are schools that are just as good, if not better, as Bucknell and Cal Poly (Rose-Hulman is probably the best mechanical engineering school with small classes) and are smaller schools with smaller classes.
  • rogracerrogracer Registered User Posts: 1,205 Senior Member
    Regarding post 53, for the smaller east-coast privates, I would suggest Lehigh, as it has much more engineering research and facilities than the others on your list. National Academy of Engineering members for Lehigh numbers ten, versus zero or 1 for the others.... will give you an idea of the strength of the faculty.
  • cheezwhizcheezwhiz Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    Look at Rose Hulman also ranked no 1 for 10 years in a row by US News (schools without Phd)
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135
    What attracted your son to Cal Poly? What have you heard about the retention rate in engineering and/or what level of weeding out, if any?

    My son's a hands-on kid. He loves building things - robots, circuits, rewiring the house, infrared remote controls, computers, etc, etc. He doesn't like heavy theory in anything, doesn't have the interest or patience. We toured Cal Poly last spring, he heard the tour guide say they encouraged Early Decision applications, and the light bulb immediately went on in his head that this was what he should do. I took him to visit other smaller schools because I thought he'd do well with more personal attention, but nothing compared in his mind to Cal Poly. I think it's the perfect place for him.

    As far as weeder classes, I really can't say. Perhaps the students on the Cal Poly forum could help you out.

    I understand it's nearly impossible to graduate in 4 years from the engineering college. This is a concern, but my son will do the best he can.
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