Looking for a college with a good engineering program and indie music scene?

<p>Hi, I am kind of looking a little far into the future as a sophomore in high school, but I wanted some feedback on colleges that would fit my needs. </p>

<p>I am planning on majoring in mechanical engineering, and possibly minoring or double majoring in some type of music. I would like a college that has a engineering school that is considered "good", and preferably a good music department as well (although the music is less important). The east coast is interesting me, as is michigan, but I would go other places too.</p>

<p>I would also like the college to have lot's of "indie" people, and a big music scene. I would prefer an urban environment, and an interesting city. I would probably need to have financial aid or take out a student loan, so a low tuition is nice too. </p>

<p>I test in the top percent, but I slacked in my freshman year so I have a 3.75 gpa, taking the most challenging classes available. I am guessing I will have about a 3.8 or 3.9 for all of high school, and around a 32+ on the ACT.</p>

<p>I live in Lawrence, KS, (Home of KU) but I am not sure if I want to stay here, as the city is starting to look more and more like bland suburbia. </p>

<p>What would your suggestions be?

<p>I think Rice would be a good fit for you. Good engineering and music departments, although you won't be able to minor or major in music unless you're admitted specifically into the Shepherd School. You can take classes however, and there's definitely opportunity to take lessons. </p>

<p>I wouldn't necessarily say that Rice has an indie feel overall, but there are definitely people who go that way. I have a friend who's lead guitarist in an indie band, and I know there are a few other groups on campus. Houston's also got its fair share of shows at any given time, not to mention a ton of other things to do besides.</p>

<p>Best of all, Rice has relatively low tuition and generous financial aid. It's definitely a tough school to get in to, but I think you'd fit in well if you do get in.</p>

<p>I'm not worried about getting in (I had a high enough ACT score to get into colleges when I was 12, though not prestigious ones) so much as paying for it.</p>

<p>Maybe UT-Austin (I am sure you've heard of SxSW)
NYU-poly (probably not as prestigious as the others)</p>

<p>Oberlin, perhaps? My musically inclined friend came back from it in great excitement about its indie-ness, but I don't know about its engineering.</p>

<p>If you're worried about paying for college (a good thing to consider now) you'll need to look at schools that offer good financial aid (if you're low income) and/or merit aid. Most out of state public schools (like UTA) don't offer FA to OOS students. NYU has awful FA.</p>

<p>I agree that UT Austin is the first college to come to mind. It would be worth an application, though it is true that OOS aid is limited.</p>

<p>Northwestern and USC might be good fits, as both are strong in engineering and located in cities with good music scenes (Chicago and LA, respectively). Both have fairly good financial aid, and USC is reasonably generous with merit aid for a top university. Minnesota has a very low cost of attendance for OOS students and would be worth a look; Minneapolis is something of a hotspot for indie right now. </p>

<p>Case Western and Carnegie Mellon would fit you academically. I'm not sure how their indie scenes stack up to the others, however.</p>

<p>You might want to also look at Lehigh's IDEAS program.</p>

<p>Lehigh</a> University - Academics: IDEAS Program - Home</p>

<p>I come from a low income family (around $30,000 a year). I would be willing to take a loan out if it was necessary (I read about certain 0% interest loans from the government, but they are usually only available to residents) so any information on those would be appreciated as well.<br>
I am considering KU, (almost completely because of the in state tuition and many many different scholarships I am eligible for), but I don't want to go anywhere just based on money. What do you think of KU?</p>

<p>So far the other schools that sound interesting are Rice, UTA, NYU, Northwestern.</p>

<p>Rice and UTA are my main picks right now (I used to live in Texas and have relatives there), what would my scholarship, grant, and aid look like there, assuming a 3.9 GPA with all advanced and AP classes, lots of community work, and lets say a 33 on the ACT?</p>

<p>Tufts has an Engineering School and a good music department. A number of indie rock bands (e.g. Guster) have come out of Tufts.</p>

<p>Case Western has a decent indie scene, if you know where to look. On a side note: CWRU is known for being a 'nerdy' school.</p>

<p>Check out University of Rochester. Good engineering school, access to music classes at the Conservatory, good merit aid.</p>

<p>Rice's financial aid is very generous. I think fully a third of the class gets merit aid of some kind. I know a number of people who got the Trustee Scholarship and/or Century Scholars Program award (Merit</a> Scholarships). And given your family's income, even if you don't get merit aid they will meet your EFC without loans (Financial</a> Aid).</p>

<p>University of Texas at Austin
Major Music festival:
South By Southwest
Austin City Limits</p>

<p>I am not one of the FA experts that you can find in that forum but this should be fairly close.</p>

<p>UTA would give you almost all loans. You might qualify for a PEll Grant which is limited to $5550. You might receive FSEOG funding (also a grant) but that funding is limited at each school and the amount TBD. You might also get Work Study to help fund part of the tuition.</p>

<p>Some of the loans would be Stafford which would total $5500 for a freshman. Of that amount $3500 would be subsidized (meaning the federal gov't pays the interest until after you graduate) and $2000 would be unsubsidized (meaning the interest starts immediately with school and accumulates until you start repaying). Then your parents will be offered a PLUS loan. The cost for UTA is ~$46K/year. </p>

<p>I think the best case is you could get ~$9K for grants, $2500 for work study, and the rest would be loans. How will you pay back >$138K for your schooling?</p>

<p>Wherever you decide to apply, you need to ensure that it is a school that meets 100% of need with your financial stats.</p>

<p>For example, my eldest went to Colgate University for a lower cost to us than a SUNY. The only loans included in the package were the federal direct loans, which she would have had even had she gone to a SUNY. My older S is at Stevens, and, while he did get several grants and scholarships, we are very concerned about the >$30K of debt he will be graduating with.</p>

<p>It is very good that you are starting to look around now. Really you have two questions - what school is what you want, and will that school offer you a financial aid package that you can live with. You do NOT want loans for a large portion of your package, you want GRANTS. </p>

<p>As an aside, I hear you say you are not "worried about getting in" but very smart kids don't always get into every school they apply to. It is very competitive out there. It is good that your stats are good, but ensure you have several options and a couple safeties on your list.</p>

<p>Lehigh, that I mentioned above, is on my younger S's list, and he will be applying in the fall. They state that they meet 100% of financial need, but as he is our fifth college bound child, we know that doesn't always mean what we hope it means when it comes to the bottom line. He, though, is also making sure that the schools on his list are both good engineering programs AND have strong financial aid programs.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Don't you dare quote me, but NYU-Poly might offer you as much as full tuition. You seem like a motivated, astute student.</p>

<p>Check out University of Dayton. Good engineering school, and a fairly decent music school as well, and it's got a laid back feel to it. Not too sure about a real indie scene, though. With that ACT score you could get some really great merit aid, as well as academic competitiveness grants, other scholarships and work study.</p>