right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Thoughts on West Mechanical Engineering Schools?

IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi All, my son is looking for the right Mechanical Engineering fit. We're in AZ, so ASU Poly (Barrett) is safety. GPA is 3.97 (weighted 4.4). National Merit Scholarship Qualifier (1450), awaiting SAT score (tripped up on 1st and got 1380 - hoping for high 1400s/low 1500s). He's introverted (but cleverly funny with close friends/family, so perhaps just hasn't found his place yet) so we are concerned about him 'getting lost' in a big school. He's also interested in building musical instruments from scratch (pipe organ, concertinas). Very few extracurriculars (math club, chess club, volunteering at local music school) Thoughts on best fit for him? Looking for schools within 12 hours drive; less than 35k after scholarships/grants (we will have 2 in school Fall 2020 so are hopeful for aid). On the list so far:
-Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
-UCLA
-Harvey Mudd
-CalTech (reach)
-University of San Diego
-UCSD
-UT Austin

Thanks for any guidance!!!
29 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: Thoughts on West Mechanical Engineering Schools?

  • jimbobcharliejimbobcharlie 64 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    USC Viterbi School of Engineering. If he ends up NMF, it’s automatic 1/2 tuition scholarship. It’s a small school within a huge university. My son is a freshman MechE.
    · Reply · Share
  • IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Congratulations to you and your son, and thank you so much for the advice! We'll look into this program!
    · Reply · Share
  • IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    After spending a day+ researching, learned that the following are in the 35k-ish price range, in case others are interested. NMF looks unattainable at this point.
    -ASU of course
    -Caltech
    -Cal Poly SLO
    -Harvey Mudd
    -Colorado School of Mines
    -(maybe) UT-Austin - their net price calculator is vague
    Still interested in weeding these down if there are thoughts/ideas out there...
    · Reply · Share
  • boneh3adboneh3ad 7464 replies130 threadsForum Champion Engineering Forum Champion
    Getting lost in a big school? What about the argument that a big school gives a very diverse set of people and activities to explore? There are always advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. It's best to not write a size of school off without giving yourself a chance to explore the possibilities first.

    Out of curiosity, why consider ASU but not UA since they are both in-state options?
    · Reply · Share
  • IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Great point, thank you. U of A may be an option - we'll check that out too.
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4255 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Don't rule out the big school. You can make a big school small very quick. The opportunities that they have "can", be an advantage if taken advantage of. My introverted engineering kid is introverted no more. College seemed to change him for the better. Just part of maturing also
    · Reply · Share
  • airway1airway1 726 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    USC is more of a transfer school as I think this year they rejected 4000 4.0 students? With an acceptance rate down to 11% and you want 35K after scholarships I’m not sure USC is that giving plus add the cost of living in LA and taking into account if he needs to take summer school which is an added cost

    If your not from Texas I think applying Engineering to Austin would be tough especially that they guarantee admissions to the top 6% of students in Texas (I think its 6%). From what I have read its 90% of the class intake.

    Good luck! Sent two kids to engineering and the application process was insane :)
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78279 replies691 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If he wants small, perhaps New Mexico Tech? About $38k per year for non-residents, but there are some scholarships available (listed on its web site) that may bring the price to $35k or less per year.

    But a big school may be fine for him if he has varied interests that you mentioned.
    · Reply · Share
  • SybyllaSybylla 3821 replies48 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 28
    UT Austin won't be worth the effort. Save your money. UTD would give him some merit $$. CSM will be more like 38K than your target number. CSM is a very niche school, what is his math subscore? APs? Subject tests?
    U of Utah should be WUE for you. Also USU.
    Is he happy to go local? As you are just looking at reaches (other than CSM), not matches? Once you need merit money, matches might not be affordable.
    edited August 28
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5590 replies122 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My son is a Cal Poly grad (BS/MS ME). He enjoyed the experience. It prepared him well. He was very selective on where he applied, but still had two job offers before he graduated. It's certainly worth a visit. Their main advantages are small classes, very minimal use of TAs, and LOTS of labs. There are over 80 dedicated labs in the CENG alone. The disadvantages are that there aren't big time sports if that's important to your son and there aren't the same opportunities for research. They don't offer doctoral degrees, so there isn't much cutting edge research going on. What is tends to be more practical. With the labs and robust clubs though there's plenty of opportunity to get your hands dirty.

    I second looking at Utah. It was actually high on my son's list even though it is not selective at all. They offer WUE or even better. My son for example was offered first year free followed by three at in state tuition. A few get 4 years free. The ME curriculum was revamped recently and is innovative. They have great sports. If you/he are not LDS and fearful of that, SLC is well under 50% Mormon. It's a very progressive town with lots to do and a good airport.

    Most importantly, he needs to dig a little deeper into the day in and day out experiences at every school on is list. They are VERY different. Several of the schools on the list have higher levels of depression and stress and are considered grinds. Rather than throw any of them under the bus, I'll leave that to him to sort out.

    Good luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • treschicostreschicos 227 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    NAU has mechanical and an honors college with a new building. My DD just started at New Mexico Tech and so far, so good. Also know some engineering students at Colorado State though Fort Collins may be farther away than you want. CSU is a really nice large but small university.
    · Reply · Share
  • IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Gosh, thank you all for your ideas and help! It is greatly appreciated!

    @Knowsstuff , great advice on larger schools, and I hope for the same experience you noted for your 'no longer introverted' engineer.

    @airway1 , I appreciate your thoughts. We've removed UT from the list - it's really too far away from us as well. Congrats on sending 2 into engineering! Can't wait to start the app process - LOL

    @ucbalumnus , hadn't considered NM Tech - thanks!!!

    @Sybylla , agree with you on UT. He got a perfect score in math on PSAT, and we think he left his head at home on 1st SAT (nervous test taker). Eagerly anticipating 2nd SAT score this Friday. 1 AP course - Computer Science - got a 5. He has scored in the top 10% in the state on the American Math Competition (AMC) soph/jr yrs.
    According to collegeboard and Naviance (our HS's college prep tool), both Mines and Cal Poly are matches - the rest definitely reaches . Would you let me know if you're seeing a different take on this and why? This would be really helpful in our planning process.
    He's been accepted at ASU Poly tuition-free, which has a strong program, so we figure either he goes there, or he tries for a reach school or two/three. At this point in our decision making, it feels like anything in between isn't really worth it, due to the ASU deal.

    Thanks for the U of U/USU ideas. Hadn't considered those. We lived in UT for 10 yrs and moved to AZ since the opportunities for our non-LDS family felt increasingly limited over the years there. Sure miss the skiing and hiking!

    @eyemgh , Congrats on your son's experience with Cal Poly! We're heading for a visit in Oct (and will try the deli you mentioned in another thread + sunset at the beach). My guy isn't into sports at all, and thrives on practicality, so these seem like a good fit. I will check out U of U too.

    @treschicos , we loved CSU Fort Collins when we visited. So pretty. We're planning to visit Mines and UC Boulder in early Oct.

    Thanks again everyone for your help, and hope I didn't take up too much space, but wanted to let you know how I appreciate your thoughts!
    · Reply · Share
  • SybyllaSybylla 3821 replies48 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 1
    CSM isn't a reach for admit, but it is for big money, if you need money and are hoping for Harvey scholars $$, that is a big reach. But sure, that SAT as it stands does him no favors, fingers crossed for a better score. yield numbers at CSM show lots of kids don't eventually attend. That will be about $$. Still totally worth a shot for a really easy and free application.
    Fair enough re Utah. 10 yrs is enough to have an option on that LOL.
    edited September 1
    · Reply · Share
  • IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Just got 2nd SAT scores in. 1440, with 770 in math (missed one) and 670. Thoughts on retake? Math can't get much higher. Taking ACT Saturday.
    · Reply · Share
  • SybyllaSybylla 3821 replies48 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think that means you really need to be happy with affordable match and safeties sorted out and scratch reach schools where merit money won't be a thing.
    · Reply · Share
  • IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @Sybylla , great advice, thanks for quick response! Or nail the ACT/retake SAT one more time and score in 1500s, yes?
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5590 replies122 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Before trying the ACT, you should do an online SAT/ACT diagnostic and see if it's worth your time. Also, if Cal Poly is high on your list, they super super score. They have an ACT/SAT concordance table and take the best of CR/Math from the SAT with the best of English/Math from the ACT. Good luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • IzzyJ69IzzyJ69 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    best info all day - thanks! This brings him to 720/770, so 1490. The diag test indicates ACT is not his thing, so may give the guy a break next weekend.
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5590 replies122 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    That was the same for my son. ACT is much more about speed than logic. Even on the math and science sections, if you are a fast reader with great comprehension, you will usually be able to find the answer.
    · Reply · Share
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8971 replies79 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Harvey Mudd is an excellent, intense school. But when our son was accepted in 2010, the max merit scholarship was $10K.

    Note: At most schools you cannot "stack" merit scholarship and need-based aid. If your research finds some schools that do, they could help keep the cost down during the years of multiple kids in college.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity