Looking for a small college with a good CS program

I’ll look into them, as well as Rochester Institute of Technology. I’ve heard great things about both.

I ran the net price calculator on both RIT and University of Rochester. RIT was way too much money. University of Rochester came out to be $15,439, which is definitely doable.

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Look at Rice University. It has about 4000 undergrads. Rice has the Rice Investment program that meets full need. The Rice Investment | Office of Financial Aid | Rice University

Rice is definitely a possibility. Net price of $2,500. Probably won’t get in, though.

My daughter goes to Purdue. Most of her classes are small. The large freshmen courses have 25 person recitations.

Large schools don’t automatically mean large classes, and don’t assume that a smaller school automatically means small classes.


Keep working the Khan Academy test prep! Give it a shot. You can’t get in if you don’t apply. Rice is also a Questbridge partner. Have you looked into Questbridge? Questbridge matches high performing low income students with schools that give full ride scholarships. https://www.questbridge.org

When running net price calculators, first check if the college needs both divorced or separated parents’ finances for financial aid. If the college does (e.g. University of Rochester), be sure to include both of their finances in the net price calculator.

See FAQ: Divorced parents, financial aid, and net price calculators for more about financial aid with divorced parents.

However, the definition of custodial parent will change soon, to the parent providing the most financial support.

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My parents never got married. My mom provides all financial support.

Never married parents may be treated similarly to divorced parents. For example: https://enrollment.rochester.edu/financial-aid/css-profile/

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Do your parents live together? If so, information for both will have to be on FAFSA (and CSS Profile)

No. They live separately. I live with my mom.

Ok, so then your dad’s info won’t need to be on FAFSA, but will need to be included on CSS Profile at most schools (including URochester).

Can’t you make your father your legal guardian now, so that you can use his GI bill?

You’d qualify for full aid at schools that meet full fin need. I can tell you that as long as you do well at ANY school that has an adequate comp sci dep’t, you will be able to get a good job, and earn well.

I’ll discuss that with my mom. It’s an interesting idea. I’d just need to figure out a few things. The only problem I can think of is moving from one side of Indiana to the other to live with my dad.

Also, to transfer his GI Bill, he would have to commit to another 4 years of service in the national guard, which he cannot do, since he’s on dialysis.

Here’s where I got the info from:

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The two public liberal arts colleges in the Midwest Student Exchange Program, U of Minnesota Morris and Truman State in Missouri, both have CS majors - see what your net price would be with the MSEP discount https://msep.mhec.org/ and, in the case of Truman State, automatic merit. Freshman Automatic Scholarships - Truman State University

SD Mines is also an MSEP school and is known for its hands-on teaching philosophy.

Clarkson is private but fairly generous with merit.
St. Olaf has a strong math and CS department and meets full need - see what the NPC says.

RPI is right at your upper size boundary. If you can get your school to participate in the RPI Medal program (or award it to you if they already participate), that is awarded to HS juniors and gives an automatic merit award, which might get you to an acceptable cost when combined with need-based aid, even though they don’t guarantee full-need-met aid.

New College of Florida is another public honors LAC that discounts OOS tuition for all admitted students and could be affordable. It’s tiny - under 1000 students - which may or may not be what you’re looking for.


Here’s my updated list:

Dakota State University
Michigan Tech
Missouri S&T
Purdue University
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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RIT might give you more than the NPC says–that happened to some of my friends and they were pleasantly surprised. However, RIT is NOT small, especially in any sort of techy, CS-y, thing. I’m pretty sure they’re over 10k. U of R is fantastic but def competitive to get in.

All of the IU campuses, other than Bloomington, IUPUI and Fort Wayne, are under 5000 students. Some may be less of a residential experience than others, but we know students who have moved from one side of the state to the other to attend one of these and had a good, traditional residential college experience.