The kid: Studious, National Merit finalist, musician - classical and folk, wants to study computer science (but parents wonder if he will like this field of work for the long haul), not much experience away from home.
School #1: Case Western
- Cost: About $38,000. We can swing that with savings, cash flow and student federal loan.
- Pros: flexible program - can take classes in any department, strong in tech, social opportunities, mid-distance away from home
- Cons: Maxes out savings, mid-distance away from home, seems like the middle of the road option
School #2: Olin College of Engineering
- Cost: About $49,000. Will be a stretch for us.
- Pros: Can take classes and socialize at Babson and Wellesley, easy to individualize engineering program to each student’s interests, nurturing environment, project based - looks like fun!, 4 hours from home, cutting edge program - an MIT study ranked Olin as one of the best engineering programs globally
- Cons: Cost, not an in depth CS program (but parents wonder if that might be a pro?) - would result in an engineering degree with a CS focus, small (400 students). Did we mention cost?
School #3: University of Texas at Dallas
- Cost: About $3,000 after National Merit scholarship
- Pros: In depth CS - he has been admitted to CS2 honors program, near Dallas tech hub, well funded school with nice facilities and dorms, that scholarship!
- Cons: A number of rigid general ed requirements, far from home, quiet social scene, guidance counselor keeps telling us it’s a bad choice (her words: “a regional public university where most students are from Texas, it’s serving a local clientele, and the academic level of the students won’t be the same as some of the more selective schools you are looking at”) - is she right? Or does she not realize the strength of the CS program?
Which would be best? Any perspectives welcome!