Cal Poly SLO (CS) vs UIUC (ECE) vs Purdue (DS) vs Uni of Maryland College Park (CS)

Hi everyone! I am an admitted student to Cal poly SLO for CS or UIUC for ECE or Purdue for Data Science and Uni of Marland College Park for CS. I am a California resident. I am having trouble making a decision. I know Cal Poly is more hands-on and is the lowest in terms of tuition but I’d love to hear suggestions from current and former engineering students or anyone who has insight into these schools. Thanks in advance for any advice, stories, or suggestions!

If you really want CS rather than ECE or Data Science, then be aware that changing into CS at UIUC or Purdue is difficult if it is even possible.

What is your net price at each, and what is the amount available without loans?


UIUC is 62k(Just for the first year got 10k in scholarship so will be 52k first year), Purdue 47K, Cal poly SLO (33K but I have heard 3k scholarship for being NMF so 30K ) and UMD is about 46.5K too(59k tuition but 12.5 scholarship per year as presidential scholar)

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What do you think you’d get from the others that you wouldn’t get from Cal Poly? Classes are small. You’ll walk out with a ton of coding experience. Amazon has a facility, the first of its kind, affiliated with CP. The top three employers are Apple, Google and Amazon.


Does the ranking of the college matter in securing an interview? By looking at US News national university rankings, I couldn’t compare Cal Poly’s ranking as only research institutions are included in that list. What is the career placement rate at CP?

Rankings don’t matter within a certain echelon. We’re not talking South West Texas State. Cal Poly is HIGHLY regarded for CS. In CA, Harvey Mudd would fall in that category as would Pomona. Besides, rankings aren’t based on any concrete data like placement and salaries.

Placement is excellent. As I said, the top three employers are Apple, Google and Amazon. You’ll get plenty of opportunity to intern also. PM me with specific questions. My son is a ME alum, who paid to go from out of state, but he has several friends who are CS alumni.

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Echoing @ucbalumnus’s comments - how important is the CS major to you? (vs any of these three majors being equally acceptable).

If CS is what you want the choice is really only between CalPoly and UMD.
The $13.5k (or $16.5k) difference isn’t very large for a CS major (unless it is to you) so you should explore both programs more deeply. Have you visited both campuses? Spoken to students?

Don’t discount the benefits of being closer to home. All things considered, I think you’d do well at either school so it’s going to come down to your personal preferences.


Rankings don’t matter that much, except to the publication making $ on them. You could, for example, take a free ride NMF scholarship, and potentially do as well vs paying - ie a Tulsa, Alabama. Where you work will drive salary. I was looking at stats yesterday for IU in CS Interns made $45 in CA and $19 in Indiana. Average salary was $76k but well over $100k for their grads in CA.

Agreed from this list you should go to a CS school if that’s what you want to study.

UMD and CPSLO. Different but great. No wrong choice here and neither will limit you geographically or otherwise.

UIUC and Purdue are wrong. You can’t study what you want so that’s silly.

Great acceptances.

Good luck.

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