Is UCONN worth it for me?

So far I’ve been accepted at the University of Rhode Island for Engineering (In state), University of Connecticut for Engineering, wait listed at RPI (not interested even if I get off the wait-list), and still waiting on Boston University (likely not interested even if admitted).

I have decent high school stats: 2010 SAT (670 Math 650 CR 690 Writing), 3.6 UW GPA 3.7 W, 4 APs and all other honors classes. I was offered 5k a year merit at University of Rhode Island, and no merit at UCONN due to the top 10% of the class requirement for scholarships.

I am looking at the UCONN MEM program which would grant me regional tuition, which is still expensive at about 33k/year. That’s being compared to URI, which would cost me approximately 20k/year after scholarships to live on campus. I really liked UCONN and would love to be out of state, but I don’t know if it’s justifiable to pay the extra money. I feel as if URI will be a continuation of high school and really not provide me the college experience.

I’m still waiting on the UCONN FAFSA, but I don’t really see that putting a dent in the cost considering URI only gave me 1k yearly that doesn’t need to be paid back. I’m not completely sure how financial aid works, but my family is not by any means wealthy, and only one of my parents has a full time job. So basically, is it worth it to take on the debt I’m anticipating UCONN will require instead of going to the cheaper alternative of URI? Any insight or advice is appreciated.

Publics will generally not offer $ to OOS students. You’ll get the ability to borrow $5500. Will your parents pay the difference? If not stay at URI. You can always take weekend trips to Connecticut and look for jobs there after graduation.

If you can’t afford the extra $20,000, stay at URI. You won’t get much, if any financial aid.

@“Erin’s Dad” were you meaning In state or OOS receiving aid at Publics? We know many people that have received money from Publics applying OOS. Including both my S who received Merit aid, this year my S received aid from Delaware (5K), UMass (10K), and UVM (15K).

@NAM1270 Tricky question. What field of Engineering are you interested in? MEM is manufacturing - is that your interest - to get a Dual Degree? You should research the departments to determine how well funded they are, are the doing innovative research, etc. ALSO - look to see if the school offers Integrated Design or Design Thinking classes as this is what major firms are doing today. From a overall ranking perspective, and I know people have various views of ranking…per USNEWS (and I know there are people that either like them or don’t but they have been doing it longer than anyone else…) UCONN is ranked 70 for overall undergrad engineering vs 108. Now is that a material difference? I don’t know, it’s a data point you should consider along with finances, and your research into the engineering programs.

As I have told people, at the end of the day in some respects it does not matter where you go - for the most part - what matters is what YOU make of the time in college and your focus, passion and commitment - that will make you successful after school.

The program combines business and engineering, and boasts a 100% job finding rate over the last decade. I think I would like to enter the program, and considering the financial aid offer I received today it’s quite possible. I received $8,300 in a grant, and up to $53,000 this year in London.

I’m not sure where you got this information, but you did scare me. I received $8,300 in a grant and $54,000 in loan opportunities for this year.

@nam1270 Yes I understand what the MEM program is and I think it is a great program, and the idea of a dual degree is something to seriously consider.

What scares your? The rankings? As mentioned in my post, the source of the Ranking is US News and World Report, they have been doing college rankings since 1986 - some people believe in rankings others find them flawed. Remember it’s just a data point - life is full of data points.

Also, note those undergraduate school engineering rankings include PUBLIC AND PRIVATE schools. The 70 ranking is for UCONN, 108 is URI. UCONN OVERALL (not engineering) is 19 for PUBLIC schools, 57 for ALL Schools. Some believe you should focus more on overall ranking vs. a particular program ranking, the source of the program ranking is mainly peer reviews from other schools.

In the end, there is nothing to be scared of - It is up to you - any university is a tool - just use the tool wisely and you will go far…

D was in the same position - but in reverse. She was accepted to URI honors program OOS with $12,000 merit - also in engineering. Also accepted to UConn engineering - In state - with no money. In the end, finances worked out to be about the same between URI and UConn because of the $ URI gave her. We talked to a lot of people in the industry - and they said - it’s not so much what school you graduate from (because URI & UConn are pretty comparable - you’re not comparing them to MIT for instance) - it’s more about what you do in that university while you’re there. Take advantage of internships & really work on your resume while in college. She ended up choosing UConn after going back & touring both campuses again. Having said that, if one was $13,000 cheaper than the other - she would definitely have gone with the cheaper one. She knows we have X amount of money to help pay for college, the rest is on her. UConn will put you another $52,000 in debt when you get out of school ($13,000 x 4 years). If you’re in a similar situation where you have to pay some of your own college expenses, think about that additional $52,000 in four years. That’s a lot of money!

My son is a sophomore at URI engineering. He wanted to go to UCONN but did not get into the Storrs campus. URI offered a nice merit scholarship so he is there and very happy. He is now an RA as well so cost of attendance OOS is much less expensive than in state would have been for UCONN. My guess is that calculus, chem, physics, are pretty comparable from state university to state university. Both UCONN and URI are nice campuses. Best of luck in your decisions.

Trying to really understand UConn. My D got accepted to UConn Engineering. They gave her $18k a year. We are OOS. She also got accept to Penn State, Pitt, Delaware, Bucknell and Lehigh. She got into the Honors College at Pitt, Penn State and Delaware but not at UConn but she got more money from UConn. Still waiting for the financial aid from Bucknell and Lehigh. Any opinions?

From what I read, I believe to be considered for honors at Uconn you had to receive a min 1400 math and reading, and be in the top 5% of your graduating class. If your D meets those requirements, I would reach out to the school. Good luck.

@gina0603 Not sure what you mean by trying to understand? Are you referring to academic quality of Engineering Program? What area of Engineering is your D interested in? What campus environment does she like? What is your budget? Hard to form an opinion without more info…

She was accepted into their Electrical engineering program. I’m concerned with the rural setting. We live about 5 hours away. I’ve heard many students leave on the weekend. She won’t be able too. I’m also concern that she didn’t get accepted into their honors college . So far Delaware would be About $4k more than Uconn but she’ll be in the honors college and honors dorm.

@gina0603 Thanks for clarifying. I have not seen an factual evidence that the campus is deserted on the weekends.

My son is a Junior and he’s never indicated that the campus clears out. I think others have posted similar. If you visit the campus on a weekend morning, it will be quiet - any campus - they are all sleeping…:>

I have heard from good sources that Eastern Connecticut State Univ clears out on the weekends, perhaps some people are confusing campuses.

There is a campus webcam - check it out during different weekend hours - it only shows part of the bookstore/student union and only part of the campus of course. I just looked now - maybe a handful of people walking, but they are in class now…;>

My youngest S has been accepted to UCONN and UDEL too. Since UDEL is in Newark it has that College Town feeling, something that your D may prefer.

Good luck.

@gina0603 …It is rural….there is a downtown, but it is quiet…for example Dog Lane cafe closes on the early side. Once we wanted to take our daughter there for dessert and coffee…they were closed by 10. We are over 3 hours away. So my daughter has not been home for 1 single weekend. But by no means does everyone go home , nor is there nothing to do on weekends. Many girls on my daughters floor go to frat parties every weekend. The girl across the hall from my daughter is very involved in Hillel and is very busy all weekend with events. You can also go to the Uconn Student Union website…they run events all week long and on weekends, such as movies, build a bear, the dye events. Most Friday and Saturday nights that is where my daughter is. Then there are sporting events. You can also check out the field house for classes and open gym times…zumba, swimming etc. I guess it depends what your daughter is looking for.

My son is a junior at UCONN, we are 30 minutes away, he never home over the weekend.

We saw the UCONN MEM 100 percent job placement stat also. The program seems to be a good one…

@gina0603 I’m not sure of the criteria for honors college exactly but my school doesn’t rank so they didn’t use that as a factor for me. I know someone with same stats as mine with different major who received same $18000 per year but didn’t get honors college. The major may have something to do with it. Is your D computer sci?