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Engineering Schools/Program for my B student

crossfitmamacrossfitmama 23 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
My junior son wants to go into engineering but his grades are not going to get him into any other Engineering programs the everyone has heard of. That's fine with us...He is coming into his own as a student and he wouldn't be ready for that kind of academic experience. I am helping him look for engineering schools or programs that he might be able to get into and I could use some help. He is a B student (GPA likely to be 3.0-3.2 at the end of this year), with practice ACT scores between 28-30 and he continues to work with a tutor and is hoping for a 30 or 31.

I don't know too much about engineering programs. We have found RIT, University of Rochester, Drexel, Bradley University and a few others. What I am having trouble figuring out is what the acceptance rate is for the engineering programs. For example, Purdue has an engineering program that looks fantastic. Their acceptance rate for the school as a whole is something like 54% but what is it for the engineering school. I don't think he would get in there but I would like to know.

I would love to hear from anyone who knows something about lower tier engineering schools/programs that we should look at. Bonus point for schools with a strong Jewish presence AND/OR for programs to support students with ADHD.

Thank you in advance!
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Replies to: Engineering Schools/Program for my B student

  • thumper1thumper1 74756 replies3276 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    University of Hartford.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78223 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your other posts suggest that you live in Los Angeles, California. What cost constraints do you have?

    California has a plethora of public universities with engineering majors, including UCR, UCM, and various CSUs. If cost is a big issue, some of the less selective CSUs that may be commutable include CSULA and CSUN. CPP, CSULB, and CSUFullerton are also in the area but may be somewhat more selective (note: many CSUs are less selective if the applicant is in the local area -- see web sites for the definitions of local areas). CSUC, CSUFresno, SFSU, and CSUSacramento in other areas of the state may also be worth a look. CPSLO, SJSU, and SDSU are among the more selective CSUs. HSU, CMA, and CSUB have engineering, but with specialized focus.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78223 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 5
    If considering SDSU for EE, you may want to read this thread: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/2074999-my-school-made-horrible-changes-p1.html

    Due to the rigor of engineering major programs, you may want to consider your budget with the significant possibility of extra semesters beyond eight (or extra quarters beyond twelve at quarter system colleges) for a high school B/B+ student.
    edited March 5
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78223 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    CaMom13 wrote:
    Some liberal arts programs have 3/2 programs where you get the engineering prereqs done in 3 years and then transfer to an engineering school. Or he could do community college and move into a 4 year as a transfer. Or he could consider a 4 year degree in Math and take the physics and chemistry required to get into a masters program for engineering. I would think hard about alternate paths to the end goal for him because the straightest one has the highest chance of failure.

    The CC->CSU/UC transfer route is probably the most viable of the above for those who want to start college slowly (and cheaply). For various reasons, the 3+2 route starting at LACs is rarely completed by transfer to a "2" school, and could be significantly more expensive. A BA/BS in math or science followed by an MS in engineering could also be significantly more expensive, and upper division math or science course work for a math or science major is not easy either (and then he would have to take "catch up" engineering course work to begin an engineering MS program).
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  • crossfitmamacrossfitmama 23 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We are indeed in California but he desperately wants to go out to state (as his sister has). Thank you all for your suggestions thus far. We definitely have our worries about the workload/homework/etc. and we are talking about that with him. I would love to find a 3/2 program where he could move at a slightly slower pace. We have also addressed the community college route but he is having a hard time wrapping his head around that.

    We are luckily enough to not have financial constraints but I do not want to throw money at a college that he isn't ready for. I will look more carefully at the California state schools,
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78223 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 5
    CSU Chico and UC Merced may be quite different environments from urban Los Angeles.

    Remember that with 3+2 programs, transfer admission to the "2" school is often competitive, so the low rate of transfer may be due to not getting admitted. The pace will not be slower, because he will need to complete a major at the "3" school plus the pre engineering courses.
    edited March 5
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78223 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Outside of California there are schools like University of Hawaii and the "Mines" schools in South Dakota and New Mexico. WUE discount may apply.
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  • HPuck35HPuck35 1999 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Not sure I would recommend a 3/2 program for him. Conventional 4 year engineering programs start the engineering classes in sophomore year and many students have a hard time completing those programs in the 4 years. Trying to do those 3 years of engineering classes in 2 is very difficult, both from an academic point of view and a scheduling point of view.

    Engineering in college is very heavy on the math. One way to view engineering is that you describe the science in mathematical terms. So you need to understand the science but also have great understanding on HOW to apply the math. So, I would consider how well your son understands the "how" and "why" of the math classes he has taken. You can't just learn it for the test and then forget about it. It has to become your tool.

    Going into the tech side of engineering may be more appropriate if the math skills aren't there to the extent needed. Some people like the hands on side better. You can still do some pretty interesting work and something that he can be proud of and still make decent money.

    You also still have some time to explore and see which way and what field of engineering he might want to pursue and get a feel for what is involved. Look at the edX website, specifically at : https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-engineering-utarlingtonx-engr2-0x-0 The course is self paced and free.

    He can also look at MIT's Open Courseware to see what different kinds of engineering are about but the actual courses could be quite intimidating for most high school students. Look at : https://ocw.mit.edu/high-school/engineering/

    As far as engineering college programs are concerned. A smaller, private college may be best for him. More attention to the student typically than a large, public school. Acceptance rates for engineering programs tend to be lower than the overall acceptance rates for colleges with engineering and non-engineering majors. I wish that I could recommend some schools but I don't really know which school would be best for him.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22957 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    3+2 programs aren't moving slower than a traditional 4 year engineering program. For the first 3 years, the student is working on another degree, usually physics.

    WUE schools have good engineering. Wyoming, Montana, Montana State, Northern Ariz.
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  • LonghaulLonghaul 2616 replies137 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My Son, who graduated HS in 2018, had this type of profile.
    His acceptances into direct Engineering were:
    Hofstra - decent merit
    Widener - good merit
    Temple - in state
    Ohio University - great merit
    University of Vermont ( EA app deferred to regular decision)

    Schools considered that I believe he would have gotten into:
    Clarkson - known for good merit
    Gannon - known for great merit
    Wilkes University
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2432 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "We are indeed in California but he desperately wants to go out to state (as his sister has)."

    Your initial set of colleges were all in the north east, is that where you're focused? The region would make a huge difference in helping narrowing the list down, outside your request to be out of CA.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3366 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Montana State
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3815 replies48 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think your outline is much more indicative of a CCC pathway if he is slow to mature and you feel need to have ADHD support. It gives him a chance to rework his academic resume while getting the support of family. Most eng majors are hard and fast with math and science and loads of work, plenty kids who have had successful high schools careers with max rigour/gpa/good test scores get spit out or at least trampled. Dropout from engineering is a real thing.
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  • hophop 977 replies2 threadsRegistered User Member
    Check out both ASU, which has solid engineering and U Arizona, which has the dedicated SALT program
    to assist with any learning differences.
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6458 replies203 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 6
    On Purdue's acceptance rate...

    You can use the ASEE online profile, and it will list engineering acceptance rate data, if it's available.


    In Purdue's case, they had 18,901 applicants, and accepted 9,773 (52% acceptance rate).

    The online profile provides a lot of info. Perhaps the most useful is a quick overview of which engineering programs/majors are offered.
    edited March 6
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7245 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Note about Purdue - the average ACT score for the college of engineering was a 33 last cycle and a 3.94 GPA (per Purdue's engineering website). Scores keep going up and acceptance rates keep trending down. It would be a reach school.
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 967 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    As @HPuck35 mentioned, an Engineering Technology program may be something to consider, particularly if your son prefers (or is likely to do better in) a more hands-on, less math/science-intense program.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5703 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I was also going to suggest ASU. University of Maine might also be worth a look. Much smaller and more personal. And definitely not CA!
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