I know all of us are pretty much busy with our final exams and probably half of us would be more nervous about the decisions around which is just around the corner. So let me keep this brief because at the end of the day brevity wins ! I very well realize that this thread is a little late one for Class of 2016'ers but at least this might help the class of 2017'ers !
First of all , let me tell you something a lot of Proffesors at United States have been telling me : " Never ever get blinded by the Ivy Tag or Prestige because at the end of the day , Engineering Department is all that matters" !
The above point is really important for engineers because one strange thing that I have noticed in the US system unlike India is that The most selective colleges are mostly ones that might not even have an Engineering department . Anyway one reason to go for Ivys might be their need blind (not all ivys though) financial aid policy for Internationals.
So let me first list the key criteria that should be your primary concern :
1) Engineering Department - You might be able to perceive it though Major based rankings or you might even try browsing through websites of corporations like Intel looking for Informations on their campus recruitment etc .
2)Engineering based Companies and Innovations from Alumni and Faculty
Now that might sound confusing but let me just help you guyz by compiling a small list that might just help you choose the university (I have given emphasis to Electronics and Computer Science) :
Overall : 1)MIT 2)UC Berkeley 3)Stanford/CalTech 4)GeorgiaTech/UIUC/UCLA 5)Princeton/Cornell 6)Carnigie Mellon University (lower rank due to low fee to payback ratio)
Based of Engineering Prestige and Value : 1)MIT 2)Georgia Tech /UC Berkeley 3)Stanford
Based on Lifestyle : 1)UIUC 2)Cornell 3)UCLA
Based on Recruitment : 1)Georgia Tech 2)MIT 3) Carnigie Mellon 4)UC Berkeley 5)UIUC