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Got in, but is it worth the 40k for a second-tier education?

nchung6689nchung6689 . 15 replies4 threads New Member
edited March 2006 in Northeastern University
1930 SAT (690 math, 670 writing, 570 english)
2.9 cumulative gpa (2.9, 2.2, 3.6 - 1 ap, 2.9 - 3 ap's)
international experience (living in unstable conditions and moving affected my gpa, which i included in my essay), impressive work credentials

Don't get me wrong, I visited and I loved it. Absolutely gorgeous and in the heart of Boston so I definitely see myself being happy there, but the problem is my dad is financially tight. I am a VA resident and I got rejected from Virginia Tech, which my dad wanted me to go to, and consequently, I am deciding upon whether or not I should go to Northeastern and pay the 40k (haven't heard from financial aid yet, but I doubt they'll offer much), or go to George Mason University, a local public school for the same quality of education but at a much lower tuition rate.

I don't understand why Northeastern's admissions standards seem more competitive than Virginia Tech and comparable to that of NYU, but have such a poor academic reputation. What is the academic quality of Northeastern really like? Is it easy/hard to transfer from Northeastern to neighboring schools like MIT/Harvard? Do most go on to reputable graduate schools in the Boston area like MIT and Harvard as I've heard, and is the academic quality of Northeastern really underrated or is this all bias crap I'm hearing?

I want to go to Northeastern, but I couldn't imagine going at the expense of my parents' financial sacrifice. I would feel too guilty having the time of my life while my parents are busy working, trying to pay off my tuition.

I'm still waiting to hear from James Madison, Lehigh (doubt I'll get in), U Washington (out of state, won't get in), and Kettering. My dad is pushing me to go to James Madison. What do you all suggest? I can't really do anything considering that he's paying for my tuition, on top of the fact that my father is the most short-tempered, stubborn person in the world. What must I do?
edited March 2006
12 replies
Post edited by nchung6689 on
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Replies to: Got in, but is it worth the 40k for a second-tier education?

  • kellyconn1kellyconn1 . 272 replies45 threads Member
    hi I didn't realize Northeastern has a bad rep, i think its actually considerd to be an "up and coming school", I thought one who is just starting to appear on the radar, but yes you are right not as highly regarded as many who are in the same category. Is James Madison considered to be a better school? Are you from Va? i also applied there, don't know why, my aunt lives really close to the school and we know two people there and we thought it would be a safety, although who knows these days? You sound so mature with regard to your parents finanaces, would J. Madison be a much cheaper option? I know for sure George Mason is not thought of in the same light as NW. Why don't you try talking to current students at NW to see their take on the academic climate and to ask their opinoins? Also is a visit at all an option for you? We visited last summer, if you wany any info just let me know. Good luck either way~
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  • Big FBig F 78 replies28 threads Junior Member
    northeastern has been traditionally considered a "bad school"

    during the 90s when my mom went it was like that, but during recent years, they have been going up and recognized as a much better school than before. Especailly, with the coop program, the students there nowadays get a GREAT education and are ready for the real world. So, despite the reputation, it is becoming better in the eyes of outsiders and has been a great school for a while (although expensive...)
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  • wendy88wendy88 19 replies0 threads New Member
    Northeastern have never been a reputable school up until these couple of years. Their acceptance rate is going lower and lower, meaning more competitive. I guess it really depends on what you're going to major in. If your're doing business, I think it's worth it b/c the co-op program does boost your resume.

    I got accepted to Northeastern pharm program for Fall 2006 and I personally think it's not worth the 40K for me. I don't need co-op for pharm. Like many people, I fell in love with Northeastern b/c it's gorgeous and located right in Boston. I haven't received my financial package but I doubt they'll give me much. I think I rather go to a pharm school in nyc where they're offering me a full package.

    In the end, money rules. I think you should wait for your package to decide.
    But if you can to a school near you for nearly the same education but at a cheaper price, why consider Northeastern?
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  • creasemonkeycreasemonkey 236 replies0 threads Junior Member
    The college guidance director at our son's prep school considers Northeastern to be a very good school and is definitely continuing to be one of the "up and coming schools. She has been in the field for almost 20 years in both college and prep admissions and has a master's from Harvard so we really respect her opinions.

    There are many great colleges out there, Northeastern being one of them. However, you get what you put into it - I graduated from UC Berkeley and I can tell you that there were definitely kids who skated their way through and did not get the quality of education that you would expect from UCB.

    I believe our son will have excellent educational opportunities as well as the benefit of a world-class work coop program at Northeastern -- provided that he takes full advantage of what Northeastern has to offer. (As far as the cost, it will definitely be a struggle and we may have to take out loans, but we did find out that you actually only pay 4 years of tuition even if you choose the 5 year program so the only additional cost would be an extra year of room and board.)

    From its actions over the past 5 years, it seems like Northeastern is committed to becoming one of the top universities in the US. The job market for Northeastern grads seems to be excellent. Employers really look for the type of quality work experience that students can get through the NEU coop program.
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  • nchung6689nchung6689 . 15 replies4 threads New Member
    I know that the admissions selectivity is comparable to NYU and other top schools but why then is its academic ranking so low? Besides the co-op program, what academic majors is Northeastern known for? Business, computer science? What about its liberal arts program? I value the practical education NEU provides but what of the traditional college education? And do students go on to top graduate schools like MIT? Thanks.
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  • creasemonkeycreasemonkey 236 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Northeastern has very good programs in the health sciences area (nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, etc.) although it doesn't have a medical school. We know people who have graduated from its law school and business school who are very successful and highly recommend those programs. We also know some engineering grads who recommend NEU. Not sure about the grad school matriculation, but you can check with this thread where a recent NEU grad has posted a lot of information about the school:
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  • bonafide20bonafide20 330 replies104 threads Member
    NE does not have a BAD rep...if anything it has an excellent rep because of it's co-op program. I wouldn't base my decsion solely on rankings. You really ahve to look at the big picture. I predict I will move up pretty soon in the rankings. I hear it's job placement record is impressive and really that's one of the more important factors.
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  • greech9greech9 6 replies2 threads New Member
    I work for a local (Boston) large high tech company and have been involved in hiring NEU Engineering Co-op's for the past 16 years. I bring in 2 co-op's per 6 month period and usually end up hiring them when they graduate. I have hired approx. 20-25 students over these 15 years and I sware by the program. I also have done internships/co-ops with other schools and hands down, NEU students are the best - at least in engineering. In addition, typically when we hire our past co-op students we offer them ~$5K more in salary because of their experience. This is just in my small engineering group. The company overall brings in about 30 co-op's each period and has hired countless co-op's and they are among our best employees and many has risen to managment positions. In fact the founder of our company is a Northeastern Engineering grad.

    My D is a senior in high school and going through the college selection process and she is looking for an engineering program due to her strength in math & science. She has enrolled at NEU and I am very proud to have her attend as I think NEU has the best balance of academic and hands on eperiential learning. Of course NEU dosn't have as good a reputation as say, MIT, but we are not all that smart!

    Anyway, after my long affiliation with NEU I would highly reccomend the school especially the Engineering program.
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  • MaxiumusMaxiumus 527 replies21 threads Member
    This may help (from another thread):

    "Northeastern is a good school. The U.S. News methodology is flawed because it assumes that all colleges are following a traditional academic curriculum (i.e. comparing apples to apples). But Northeastern does things quite differently. It is one of only a handful of schools to have a fully integrated co-op program (i.e. it is an orange). For example, the way the current methodology works, the rankings make it appear as if Northeastern has a high student/faculty ratio. But this is only because U.S. News assumes that all students are on campus taking classes at the same time. This is far from the case; nearly half of the upper-class students are off campus interning at companies (unlike most schools, Northeastern students follow rotations where they alternate semesters of academics with semester long internships related to their major). Anyone who knows Northeastern knows that class sizes are actually on the small side. The amount of money spent per student and facultly resources rank also seem low in comparison to other schools in the top 60, but again this is only because U.S. News assumes that all students are on campus at the same time using resources. Students who are on co-op should be excluded because they do not pay tuition while they’re interning. Northeastern really has more money to spend on the students who are on campus taking classes. Again, anyone who has visited Northeastern recently knows that the school has plenty of money. All the facilities are new and the professors, administrators, etc. are earning top dollar.

    The rank of 115, although still top tier (under the new ranking system), simply does not add up. Still, even with its nontraditional curriculum, Northeastern has been climbing in the rankings. This is primary because the university has made significant gains in selectivity. Northeastern should continue to rise as it becomes more nationally known. This year, the university received 6500 EA apps out of a total of 27,000 apps which is a new record. The university is also in the process of hiring 100 new star faculty. The new faculty will significantly lower the university's student/faculty ratio (this should make up for the shortfall in the rankings).

    As a side note, the university administration has been lobbying U.S. News to make some changes to their rankings methodology so that it takes into account the university’s nontraditional academic curriculum.

    **As another side note, external research funding to Northeastern increased by a whopping 40% this year. The increase can be attributed to the ambitious faculty hiring plan. All these new star profs that the university has been hiring are bringing their research grants with them."
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  • MaxiumusMaxiumus 527 replies21 threads Member
    Rankings and articles about Northeastern:

    Forbes: Northeastern Ranked 4th in Entrepreneurship


    U.S. News: Northeastern is ranked #14 in Criminology


    U.S. News: Northeastern is ranked #1 in co-ops/internships


    U.S. News: Northeastern is ranked #17 in Physician Assistant Programs


    U.S. News: Northeastern ranked in the top 50 in Computer Science


    U.S. News: Northeastern is ranked #13 in International Business


    GRE Guide: Northeastern is #56 in Electrical Engineering


    Carnegie Foundation: Northeastern is rated as “Research Extensive”


    PHD.Org.: Northeastern is ranked in the top 25 in Oceanography


    U.S. News Highlights Northeasterns co-op program:

    Princeton Review: Northeastern is ranked “Highly Competitive.”

    Computerworld: Northeastern ranked #1 for High Tech MBA


    Boston Globe highlights Northeastern's Music Industry Program


    Boston Globe highlights Northeastern’s MBA Program


    ABC News Highlights Northeastern Transformation:


    Boston Globe Highlights Northeastern's plan for new Social Science School:

    Boston Globe: Northeastern Polishes MBA:

    I would say that Northeastern is a very good school.
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  • PRAHAPRAHA 6 replies0 threads New Member
    Taking into consideration that a student will choose the 5 year co-op program, I was wondering if anybody could tell me what is the actual cost of education?

    I understand that during the co-op phase, the students do not pay tuition. If they stay on campus, they pay for housing.

    Do the students get a credit toward their degrees for the co-op experience?
    Also, if one would follow the proposed schedule, then during the sophomore and middler year, the students should take a class (??) or classes during the summer II. session. How many classes should one take during that period?

    What are the dates for Summer I. and Summer II.? Are the classes accelared? Is housing offered on campus during the summer? If so, how much does it cost? Is the charge per session or for the entire summer? Is room and board cheaper during the summer vis-a-vis regular fall or spring term?

    Obviously, the cost is a major issue. It is my understanding that based on the program one selects, the cost can fluctuate substantially.
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  • Guest6721Guest6721 15 replies0 threads New Member
    My understanding from the admissions office is that with a bachelor's degree you pay tuition for 8 academic semesters whether you take them over 4 or 5 years. The only additional cost seems to be the additional year of housing which can easily be covered by the earnings during the co-op periods.

    For longer programs like the PharmD, the cost is 10 semesters and the final year is discounted by almost half because it is clinical rotations rather than classroom work. (See the neu.com website under tuition costs for this information.)
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