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I think I picked the wrong college, should I sit out for a year?

STEMboundSTEMbound 11 replies12 threads New Member
I was admitted at UT Austin, Texas A&M, UT Dallas, and some smaller schools. May 1, I had no idea what I wanted to major in, other than that it would be STEM based. I had a full scholarship (AES) plus stipend at UT Dallas and turned it down and went with a small liberal arts school so I could figure things out. I got no aid at TAMU or UT Austin despite having a low EFC and being in top 10%. I think the top 10% part could still be processed, but was only supposed to be $600.

Problem is, someone showed me the work they were doing with computer program after May 1. I have never taken a class in it and thought it seemed great. I ended up signing up for some online classes (free, don't get college credit-coursera) and loved it! I took and completed two classes over the summer. My dad actually has a degree in this but I never had an interest until now.

My liberal arts school has a very small, two man faculty, computer science department. If I sit out for a year, I can get the AES back likely. And maybe re-apply for scholarships and such at the other schools. I read that UT Dallas ranks high in computer science. It was also further suggested that during this year, I study for the AP Calculus exam again. I did not take the exam even though I took the class because TAMU recommended retaking calculus even if you have credit and I really thought I would go to TAMU. A&Ms website indicated that they meet need and such, but they did nothing at all for me, not one penny. If I go to the liberal arts college for a year first, not much that I take will transfer (they have a first year seminar, Jan term, foreign language requirement that is not at UT Dallas, and the computer science classes are Java instead of C++, so they won't transfer) and I will not get the AES scholarship back or anything like it as a transfer student.

Should I still just go to the liberal arts school and make sure I really want computer science (I am sure)? Or should I sit out a year so I can still get the AES scholarship for the next year? Also, for the record, I am female. Someone told me they thought there would be a lot of scholarships for females in computer science, but I haven't actually found much.
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Replies to: I think I picked the wrong college, should I sit out for a year?

  • smaithesmaismaithesmai 15 replies4 threads New Member
    it sounds like the AES would make a huge difference for you, so i think it's a good idea to try to get that again. however, putting off school for a year can be scary. i almost did it (i was going to live on my own in the state where my at-the-time-dream-school was located, so i could establish residency and go there with in-state tuition next year) but decided not to because i thought i might lose my motivation or choose a different path and then end up not going to college. if you don't think you'll lose anything by putting school off for a year, then i think that's the best option.

    if you want to stick with the small liberal arts school, maybe you could try to take some GE's that would transfer, instead of major classes that wouldn't transfer (it seems weird that classes wouldn't transfer just because they're taught in one language and not another, since programmers work in several languages) but i feel like the scholarship thing is a huge part of this decision, and if you can't get that kind of money as a transfer student, then...

    there are definitely lots of scholarships for women in CS! i would recommend looking at the society of women engineers website (swe.org) to start off.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79728 replies714 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    The best scholarships would be the ones offered to frosh; transfer scholarships are more limited. So it may not be a good idea to start at the school with only two CS faculty and poor course transferability to schools with good CS departments if you really want to major in CS.

    You would, however, need to find something to do during the gap year. A common activity is to work for pay to save some money for college.
    edited August 2014
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