College choice input, please!

<p>Carnegie Mellon with $60K debt or Pitt with zero debt? (undergrad)</p>

<p>For an undergrad degree - go no debt - spend your $$ on the graduate programs</p>

<p>yeah... isn't the national average debt like 16K? 60K is pretty ridiculous.</p>

<p>save that 60 K and pay for the BEST grad school</p>

<p>Yea, that was my thinking, too. Hopefully going to a state school like Pitt won't jeopardize graduate school admissions?</p>

<p>In 90% of the cases, Pitt would be the best choice. But their are a few career paths and departments that might tip you to CMU. What are your academic and career interests?</p>

<p>You can cross-list courses between Pitt and CMU can't you? If I remember correctly and that is the case, by all means go go Pitt.</p>

<p>Intended course of study is to be engineering major and music performance minor. CMU would be the better overall choice I think, but he could continue to study his music privately if he went to Pitt. On the other hand, he thinks that he may be headed to law school down the road, so in that case I think maybe Pitt would be better. Any thoughts?</p>


<p>If your S intends to be a practicing engineer, CMU is THE place. There are only a couple of schools that prepare you for working in the engineering field as well as CMU and they are MIT & Cal Tech. If he is in EE or computers, he will actually command a starting salary to make the loans worthwhile IMO. If the idea is to get a general technical degree with the intent of going to law school (where you will never actually design anything in your life), then any top 50 type school is adequate. Going to a school where you can attain higher GPA is probably a good thing.</p>

<p>A lot of the college experience has to do with your peers - like it or not they have a big influence on your own development. I never looked into Pitt, but I assume there is a big difference in the teaching and the student body. Have you seen the comments?</p>

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<p>Take them with multiple grains of salt. ;)</p>

<p>If he intends to go to grad school, then I believe the "prestige" factor is more important for the terminal degree. Let's say for instance, what looks better on a resume: BS-Yale w/ MS-Penn State, or BS-Penn State w/ MS-Yale ? The key is, will the undergraduate program be able to get you into the top grad schools?</p>

<p>I know our kids have applied to some common schools. My D is going to Case. It's much like CMU but the costs worked out better for our situation. Peer-wise, small class-wise, level of music programs-wise, cost/scholarship-wise, grad school admission-wise, etc, it all fit the bill for her.</p>

<p>lkf725: is there a Co-Op program available for engineers at CMU? That would be a way to earn money while in college.</p>

<p>lkf - I guess Case is out of the running?</p>

<p>Well, Case in still there. It is in overall in second place by parents, in 3rd place by son. He did not win the CAA, so that was a small negative. I think if he won that award, he would have gone to Case. Beyond that, I think he really is trying to stay with his music teacher here, although CIM would be great, too. I'm a little bit concerned that he would need to maintain a 3.2 (?) to keep scholarships. While Penn State Honors would be MY first choice for education without music, Case would be MY first choice for him to include music.</p>

<p>lkf - about keeping the scholarship it would be a 2.5 freshman year and a 3.0 after that (pretty sure that is what I was told). I have been reading your posts and boy I have to say you guys are really down to the wire. Glad I'm not in your shoes!</p>

<p>I know that you are really concerned about what school your son chooses, and really they are all good (not sure about Pitt tho - just not familiar with it). I am sure that he will do well wherever he goes. After all he has a mom who is really involved and obviously loves him very much:)</p>

<p>If you are referring to the Provost's at Case, it requires a 2.5 GPA in the first year and a 3.0 cummulative in subsequent years. I heard the kids get together for study groups so no one losses the scholarship. There also seems to be a lot of tutoring and academic help available in the resdiences. BTW, Case does offer Co-Ops for engineers; I thought I read they earn between $1500 and $4000 a month (better look into this yourself to be sure; it might affect the number of semesters to graduate).</p>

<p>One thing about merit money - it's offered to incoming Freshman but almost never to transfers. Another thing to consider.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>cmu would be better all other things being equal, but $60k is so much, especially if grad/law school is in the plan. i'd go pitt and spend it on law school, like the others said.</p>

<p>Speaking as a Case kid, the only way to not keep your scholarship is to be incredibly apathetic with regard to your classes/ not show up. I only know of two kids in danger of losing their scholarships right now, and neither of them does anything but play computer games all day. You reap what you sow.
As someone said, we do a lot of study groups and such including the ever-fun and infamous Thursday night physics parties! And if your grades are slipping each residential college has a Learning Assistant, who is basically an older student who helps you figure out how to stop doing badly. Very nice people.
Well anyway, good luck!</p>

<p>Sounds like he could keep his teacher or get a good one at either school, and if he is not a music major I'd leave that out of the decision.</p>

<p>If he clearly favors engineering, CMU may be worth the $60,000. If he leans toward law school, I'd pick Pitt. </p>

<p>Undecided, or truly ambivalent? . .Pitt.</p>

<p>He IS ambivilant at this point. Son pretended Pitt was his choice for the past few days to see how it would feel, and he is thinking he'd be happy with that decision. This stems mostly from the fact that he has MANY interests and does not clearly favor engineering. He does like engineering though, judging from his apprenticeships. I think Pitt would perhaps be a little more flexible than CMU, and it would certainly be cheaper if he needs an extra year and wants graduate school. He won't mail any cards yet though. I guess he's one of those kids who don't have a clear-cut perfect choice to make.</p>