I just wanted to thank everyone who posted with info on SUNY. My kid finally made the choice to go to SUNY Buffalo, instead of choosing Penn State, Pitt, OSU and several other schools. A lot went into this decision, which was finalized during a college visit this week. Some of the factors -- 1. SUNY is a truly great value and has many really good science programs, 2. dorms looked larger and in better shape than so many of the other schools we visited. 3. the set-up witih numerous small libraries and having so many of the buildings connected with walkways and bridges makes studying easy 4. the student population is diverse and the numbers of students we saw in the libraries was encouraging; 5. While my kid sat in a class, I interviewed random kids in the student union. I heard nothing but positives. 6. Everyone we spoke to, from the guy working in the parking lot to the lady in the bookstore to the Admissions office and a few professors, were very helpful and friendly.
The only negatives in my view are that the campus seems SO quiet (so many kids are using the internal walkways that few are outside), the campus needs some trees to look more welcoming, there should be more stores and restaurants around the North Campus, the school sweats and t-shirts aren't NIKE or REEBOCK brands (which don't shrink and are better quality than the clothing brands selected by SUNY), and the school newspaper that I picked up wasn't very good compared to the ones I read at other schools. I guess a science-oriented school doesn't have as many eager English or Journalism majors to work on a school paper. Picky, picky, picky. My kid is really happy with the decision. Thanks again!