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OK so we now have a college list and visits

drizzitdrizzit 716 replies90 threads Member
edited July 2006 in Parents Forum
planned. Is the hard part over LOL

I have twin boys going into their senior year of HS. After some research and moaning we finally have a list of schools to visit and perhaps apply to this fall. They have 3.95/4.0, both have a 32 ACT and are in the top 5% of a graduating class of 500 here in Montana.

Reaches are

Smaller Privates (with engineering)
Seattle University
Portland Univerity
University of the Pacific

Fits/Safeties are (good engineering, mountain climbing, and great Skiing LOL)
University of Utah
University of Colorado
University of Wyoming
University of Nevada-Reno

Intriguing engineering program
Cal Poly

Case Western and USC keeping being mentioned but a list can only be so long

Thanks to the board for help on the makeup of a good list.
edited July 2006
36 replies
Post edited by drizzit on
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Replies to: OK so we now have a college list and visits

  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 34785 replies1076 threads Senior Member
    Cal Poly has one of the best mechanical engineering programs around
    nice area too
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  • SuNaSuNa 888 replies34 threads Member
    For both skiing and engineering you might also consider Dartmouth, Bucknell, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and SUNY Binghamton.
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  • deb922deb922 6402 replies202 threads Senior Member
    The University of Michigan is about 5 hours away from any good skiing. What they have for ski hills in southeastern Michigan is not what your S's would consider worth skiing.

    What about Colorado School of Mines if they are sure they want to be engineers. It would be a safety and they might receive scholarship money.

    I don't know if they have an engineering department but the University of Vermont is near skiing areas.
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  • JeepMOMJeepMOM 2468 replies31 threads Senior Member
    DRIZZET - are both of your guys interested in engineering?? If so - what type of engineering are they interested in the most. Do they have other possible interests?? And is skiing high on their list of 'must haves' or 'would be nice to have'??
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  • NewHope33NewHope33 6136 replies72 threads Senior Member
    Yeah I'm with JeepMom on this. What are the common factors that tie Caltech, UN-Reno and Seattle University together?
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  • mathmommathmom 33177 replies161 threads Senior Member
    The one that confuses me is Northwestern. No skiing or mountain climbing and I've never heard of it as a engineering mecca. And it's much further east than any of the other choices.
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  • mikemacmikemac 10580 replies154 threads Senior Member
    if you're looking at Cal-Poly or any other Cal-State schools don't forget about the out-of-state extra tuition of $226/unit
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  • drizzitdrizzit 716 replies90 threads Member
    Good Questions. Both of their parents are science teachers so I guess they were doomed to like science;) . I am a geologist and my wife is a biology major. When we go hiking or backpacking the rocks and flowers are all pointed out :)

    Both boys are interested in Computer or Electrical engineering. One son is more computer oriented and the other more mechanical/electrically inclined. The nano technology and Biomedical enginerring fields also hold some interest. Computer Science and/or Physics are also considerations. I let them have free reign on college choices with little input from me except for the reach/Safety mix ideas I took from this board. I also included some guidance as to cost and the need to avoid any serious debt coming out of college. That is why you see the UNR and UW in there as low cost safeties should financial aid packages not materialize as anticipated.

    Colorado School of Mines was a consideration but I think the lack of girls on campus hurt there ;)

    Northwestern actually has a very interesting Engineering College and there is a co-op program that drew their attention. It did seem out of region and a strange choice to me as well.
    At Northwestern, Co-op is an educational program, not a "jobs" program. It allows undergraduate students in engineering to alternate periods of academic study with periods of full-time paid work experience related to their academic and professional goals. We are pleased that you are interested in the program and we invite you to join us as we educate a new generation of engineers.

    Skiing is not a must have but is pretty high on the list. I did point out Stanford, U of Pacific, and Northwestern are not hot skiing destinations.

    They have often visited Seattle and like the area. Several of their friends are looking at Seattle University and the Engineering program comes Highly recommended by students they know who went there. My wife is from the Seattle Area.

    Cal tech is there by reputation but I doubt is makes their final list as they really don't care for LA.

    I agree deb. These kids drop off the cliffs and do the triple diamonds at Jackson Wyo and Big Sky Montana. New England might offer that but not Michigan or Wisconsin.
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  • OpiefromMayberryOpiefromMayberry 1629 replies0 threads Senior Member
    Why not look down the I-5 corridor at the smaller private schools (UPS,PLU, LINFIELD, WILLAMETTE, LEWIS & CLARK, Pacific U, ETC..) Most of these schools offer a greater finanical aid package than some of the ones you mention and offer a very good educational experience.

    In our situation (two different kids NMF's both Bio/chem majors) the smaller private schools put together great packages that made the publics very expensive to consider. If you're making the trip spend some days in the greater Seattle and the greater Portland areas. You'll find some pretty good schools that may make it worhtwhile to consider.

    I have one at Linfield (senior year upcoming) and one starting at Willamette. They will both leave after four years with little to no debt. The locations of most of these schools puts you close to just about anything you might want to do.
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  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad 8506 replies67 threads Senior Member

    A couple of points -

    USC = $46K/yr X 2 = purt near $100K per year for the two of them (excepting scholarships, grants, etc.)! Other privates are similarly expensive - especially when the multiplication factor is applied.

    For engineering, some top-end privates in California - Stanford (of course), CalTech (very rigorous), Harvey Mudd.

    For engineering, if they don't mind larger state schools - UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, CalPoly SLO. Also, UC Davis, UCSC, UC Irvine (these three UCs being less selective than the other three I mentioned but still have engineering programs).

    For Skiing - UCB, Stanford and any bay area schools are about a 4 hour drive to Lake Tahoe and world-class skiing. UCLA, UCSD and any southern California school are about 2 hour drive from Big Bear for decent skiing and 5-6 hour drive from Mammoth for world-class skiing. All of these colleges have frequent skiing trips and many of the resorts make great deals on season lift tickets for students. They also have the option of skiing on one weekend and going to the beach and surfing, diving, etc. the next weekend.
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  • drizzitdrizzit 716 replies90 threads Member
    OH I understand the costs UCLA dad and that is why the safeties are well within the abilty to pay upfront.

    Both buys are National Merit mentioned so far and maybe merit finalists and USC has a rep for putting good packages together for merit finalists.

    The calif UC systems seem overcrowded and we hear stories of being unable to register for classes as they close. TA's teaching many classes, and huge classes at UC berkely for example. CAl Poly has a unique, highly rated, undergrad hands on program so it is of interest.

    I guess we are spoiled 5 - 6 hours seems like a long drive to the ski area ;)
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  • mikemacmikemac 10580 replies154 threads Senior Member
    coming from Montana, you'll pay around $40K/year at any of the UC schools so they are not a good deal for out-of-state kids.
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  • Sam LeeSam Lee 9273 replies176 threads Senior Member

    Actually Northwestern has great engineering program. The economics, journalism and communication programs there may overshadow it for ordinary people. But to those in the knows, it's engineering program is great with 4 programs in top-10 (civil/mechanical/material science/industrial engineering & management sciences). Its BME and chemE are also outstanding and ranked top-15. Like the OP already found out, it has a well-established (probably the oldest) co-op program. The school is currently one of the major research centers for nanotechnology (largely due to its top-3 material science and top-10 chemistry depts).
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  • jmmomjmmom 8916 replies168 threads Senior Member
    When you visit Stanford, consider swinging by Santa Clara U - smaller private, good Engineering, works hard to take advantage of its Silicon Valley location. Just as easy to set up ski trips from there as from Stanford. You can visit both same day if you choose.

    Icing on the cake - merit $$. This school has been known to want *males* and your kids stats could very well earn merit $$. S was offered $11K/yr with similar GPA, but lesser SAT scores.
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  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad 8506 replies67 threads Senior Member

    As NMSF, I agree USC may give some pretty good scholarships (my D was awarded one there but chose UCLA over USC) - likely so will others. The tuition could become not so relevant. This is good for them. I hope they find some good deals.

    My older D is a CS major in Jacobs Engineering at UCSD. She's had all of her classes (except the first mandatory writing course) taught by either professors or lecturers (the lecturers seem to generally be better than the professors) - not TAs. I've heard the "taught by TAs" phrase used a lot for the large state schools but this hasn't been our experience at UCSD and is contrary to what we've been told by the other UCs we've visited (but I can't vouch for them). They do have some discussion sessions led by TAs but in some cases, the TAs can actually do a better job of conveying information than some of the professors. I'll know in a year ot two how UCLA is on this point (younger D starts in the fall). My oldest D only wanted UCSD but my youngest considered CalPoly but ended up choosing UCLA (also will be CS at the engineering school) over CalPoly, UCB, UCSD, etc. Older D chose UCSD over Berkeley also but this was largely due to the feel and location of the campus.

    Yeah, you're spoiled :) - but 5-6 hours (about 4 hours for norCal) to a top ski resort isn't as bad as much of the country where the drive is measured in days, and Big Bear (for soCal) is only 1.5-2.5 hours away and it's not bad (but I'm sure more crowded than Montana). And don't forget the part about year-round surfing/diving and many other outdoor activities (bicycling, hiking, 4-wheeling in the desert, walking ouside in December without a coat, etc.) they can also do in California - especially southern California. Arizona has similar attributes sans the ocean and with grueling temps in the summer (I've lived there).

    Regardless of the college and what people say and what the 'ratings' are, they should do the trip and visit the colleges if they can and get a feel for the area, the colleges, the activities, etc. Visiting a large campus versus small one, large city versus small one, and the location could make an instant decision (one way or the other) in their mind.
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  • mathmommathmom 33177 replies161 threads Senior Member
    "Actually Northwestern has great engineering program. "

    Nice to know. We've been looking more at computer programming than engineering, but for some reason it hadn't crossed my radar. My Dad went there for a masters in African Studies, and I have an uncle who lives in Evanston so I actually know the area, but obviously not the school!
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  • sloparentsloparent 71 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Hi: I teach at Cal Poly (in the English department) and can vouch for the high quality of the engineering program and the engineering students, themselves. They're terrific.

    I can't speak to the engineering courses, but 100-level GEs are often taught by lecturers, many with PhDs. TAs are few and far between and if they do teach basic writing, for instance, they have been trained thoroughly (I was one of them, many moons ago).

    San Luis Obispo is a very small town (40,000 people) and is 200 miles from any sort of metropolitan area (half way between LA and SF on the coast). It's very rural--lots of ag land and open space.

    I know Lake Tahoe and Sierra Summit are popular for skiing--about 3.5 hours' drive.

    Many students who come here love the environment: peaceful and quiet, within minutes of the beach and surf, fantastic weather year-round.

    One caveat: Engineering students at Cal Poly can rarely complete a degree in 4 years, for many reasons--mostly having to do with the hefty unit requirement and inability to get classes in a timely fashion. It usually takes at least 4-1/2 to 5 years.

    It's also very competitive to get into the engineering program; all students at Cal Poly must declare a major when applying. If you're an out-of-state student, it's even tougher to get into the high-demand majors, such as engineering.

    Also of note: Cal Poly's program is hands-on; it's low on theory, high on practicality. And classes are VERY small. There are almost no large lecture-hall classes.
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  • ebeeeeeebeeeee 5017 replies182 threads Senior Member
    Identical twin here with one comment....sister and I went to different colleges and it was a great decision. College is a good time to create your own identity for anyone, twins and non twins....it was a very weird thing at first to go to college and have people not immediately know I was a twin....not like when you have grown up with someone your whole life and everyone around you automatically puts that into the equation of what they know about you....people always asked us "what's it like to be a twin?" and the answer was "duh, how would I know, I have never NOT been one" college is a time to find out the answer to that question...
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  • bmanbs2bmanbs2 1633 replies86 threads Senior Member
    You want skiing and engineering, go to Montana State. Moonlight Basin, Big Sky, and Bridger Bowl all withing an hour (Bridger Bowl within 15 min, and you can take a skiing elective class). Also a pretty good engineering program
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  • drizzitdrizzit 716 replies90 threads Member
    My sons are talking about going to school together or splitting off on their own.

    Personally I hope they go to the same college. I would recommend they not room together and choose their own paths for many of the reasons you suggest. I like the same college for selfish reasons, easier to visit , they can share rides home, and I only would have to come up with one car ;)

    AS per Montana State that is only 140 miles from here and many of their friends are going there. We ski those areas regularly but the boys seem to want another environment. They want a nanotechnolgy and biomedical engineering options and Montana State is a little short in those areas.

    They seem to think it will still feel like HS with all their friends around. I think they just want to make a break to another area and see how the other half lives if you will.
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