Engineering School Suggestions needed

Hello my son is a Junior and loves Chemistry! He just took the AP exam and is awaiting his test results. He got an A both semesters. He wants to go for Chemical Engineering. Cum GPA is 3.719 weighted is 4.099. Current SAT superscore is 1300 (Math is 710). He has taken it 3 times so far and has been tutored weekly for a while. He has a difficult time with the reading section. We will keep trying. Football since 7th grade but not sure about Senior year. Budget is Penn State -instate type budget 35-40K a year. This is our list so far.
Penn State
UD-over budget do they give merit? And actually I haven’t looked at admission criteria yet.
Miami at Ohio-college guidance said they have automerit
OSU-do they give merit?
NJIT? My son mentioned this school. It is also overbudget. I haven’t heard anything about this school.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

Has your son tried the ACT? He may find the reading/English section easier than the SAT. I’d get a practice test and give it a go at home and see how he does. If he’s chasing merit, definitely worth trying to get those scores up.

OSU engineering is a tough admit and while they do give merit, it’s harder and harder to come by. You’d be slightly over the top end of your budget without merit if accepted.

What are his safety schools?


U of Akron could be a good safety - it’s particularly known for ChemE, and Polymer Science/Engineering in particular if that’s of interest.

Clarkson could be a good option, with potential for merit to match your in-state budget. Also Rose-Hulman. U of Maine has its Flagship Match program, and WVU often ends up being affordable for PA students. U of Cincinnati is particularly strong in co-op education, if that’s of interest, and has a co-op based ChemE program, and offers their National Outreach Award to PA students, which stacks with other merit.

SUNY ESF’s former Bioprocess Engineering program has recently become a BS in ChemE, emphasizing “sustainability, new materials, new products at the interface of chemistry and biology.” ESF students have access to Syracuse U resources and cross-registration, but pay an affordable OOS price.


Akron and Clarkson were my D’s two safeties ; ).

OP - My D is a chem e at Purdue with a polymer concentration. Happy to answer any questions about Purdue or the major.


Any information on the size of university, distance from home, feel of the university, etc?

I wouldn’t call Miami I’d merit automatic because they give ranges. You have to recalculate his GPA using the formula at the bottom of this page.

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Make sure your son goes to an ABET accredited school for chemical engineering and he will get a quality education in his field, whether the tuition of a school is $8k or $80k a year.

NJIT does offer merit aid and would be likely to fall within your budget after merit aid. U. of Delaware also offers merit aid, but average amounts of merit aid might put this slightly over budget. Look on the school’s website for particular amounts.

As I don’t know much about what your son is interested in, I wanted to provide some options that would likely come in under budget after merit aid that would be a very different size from most of the other options. I tried to stay within the geographic areas of the schools on your current list, or not too far from them. These are all ABET accredited in chemical engineering.

Illinois Tech: a little under 3k undergrads
U. of Dayton about 8500 undergrads
U. of Kentucky: about 21k undergrads
Kettering (MI): about 1500 undergrads
Rowan (NJ): about 15k undergrads
Widener (PA ): about 2700 undergrads
Missouri U. of Science & Technology: about 5700 undergrads (a bit further out than some of the others, but a real hidden gem from what I’ve heard)


@momofboiler1 for Engineering Pitt is test optional and I think he could go that way if he had too. I am not sure about PSU but I think he could get in there as well. His math score is a 710 and he will have excellent rec’s from his AP Chem teacher and AP Calc teachers. He just is not great at the reading SAT. His SAT tutor said the ACT would be harder for him for some reason which I am blanking on at the moment. I guess we could try it though. Good to know about OSU so we can probably cross that off.

Double post

I’m sure you are aware, but apply to Pitt early since they have rolling admission.

I would think Pitt and Penn would be matches, not necessarily reaches, but if Pitt gives an answer early, he’s all set.


Apply here.

No act /sat needed.

Read about how to qualify for scholarships. They give a good amount. Apply right when the application comes out. They are known to accept early and quickly.

Really good school for engineering and they have crazy school spirit.

Warning : don’t read this as an easy engineering school. It’s not. Very large engineering fairs.


@aquapt This is a treasure trove of information. Thank you!

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@AustenNut I would love it to be closer to home if possible (Philly) but I will settle for not the West Coast, he prefers an Urban feel (but would give up for the right program). Campus with Sober Living Housing would be great.

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@Knowsstuff Wow!!! Thank you!

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In response to UDel, they do give merit. They offered my son a healthy package two years ago and his stats were better but not by a large amount. I would definitely apply to there.


@AustenNut his guidance counselor at school mentioned Widener too. He would get large Merit aid there but I never realized they decent for Engineering. I don’t need to hear it a third time :slight_smile:

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A couple to check out that are closer to home

Manhattan College
Rowan (NJ)
WPI (Mass)

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Look at UMBC or Towson.

I don’t know if these offer substance free living (though it’s increasingly common at most colleges), but the majority of the schools I mentioned earlier might be in his preferred type of environment.

Illinois Tech (Chicago)
U. of Kentucky (Lexington)
Kettering (Flint)
U. of Louisville (Louisville…forgot to mention earlier, about 14k undergrads)

U. of Dayton (Dayton)
Rowan (Glassboro)
Widener (Chester)

Missouri Science & Technology (Rollo)