[mech engineering] Staying in UIUC vs. Transferring to Cornell

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>I'm a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering at UIUC and got an admission from Cornell Engineering.
I have to give my answer until June 1st and I'm still not sure which would be a better choice.</p>

<p>I guess I am doing quite well here; I'm getting like 3.97 gpa and have a research position at a lab.
I'm quite confident that I can keep up my work as well as I've been doing so far.
The reason I decided to give Cornell a try was that I was not really content with the ultra-population here and the lack of passion for the academia which sometimes was found not only from the students, but also from the professors.</p>

<p>Now that I've got the admission, however, I'm not really sure if I really should transfer or stay here. =(
As an international student, my chance of getting into the top graduate schools is not that great, I'd like to choose the one where I can have a better chance.
They're almost on the same tier when it comes to mechanical engineering, and I would say Cornell has a better reputation overall.</p>

<p>The merit of staying here is my good gpa, guaranteed research opportunity and cheaper tuition compared to Cornell. (can save up to $13,000/yr AT LEAST)
Cornell, on the other hand, has a better reputation as an IVY school, which would help me out more than UIUC would if I choose not to go to the graduate school, and reportedly more passionate pursuit of academia.</p>

<p>Of course, the decision is totally up to me, but I’d like to have some advices on this issue and would really welcome and appreciate you guys’ opinions.
If you were in my shoe, where would you go and why? And which would give me a slightly better chance of getting into a great graduate school?</p>

<p>You'll be saving 13 grand a year at UIUC and the school has good reputation, since your a planning on going to grad school it would be best if you saved that money.</p>

As an international student, my chance of getting into the top graduate schools is not that great


Why? If you look up the engineering PhD student profiles at MIT, Berkeley and Stanford, you will find that at least half of them are international students. I happen to know an international student going to MIT next fall after graduating from Wisconsin this year.</p>

<p>There is always a risk in transfering that things may not work out so well at the new school. That's why, IMO, transferring should be primarlty motivated by having a bad experience where you are now, or something materially suboptimal about it from your perspective. That does not seem to be the situation here.</p>

<p>If it were me, I might be inclined to stay put. Unless there's more you haven't stated.</p>

<p>I agree with monydad. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! UIUC has a top 10, arguably top 5, Engineering program on Earth. You have next to a 4.0 GPA and are involved in research. I cannot imagine a more ideal situation. Save some money, maintain that 3.97 GPA, continue the research and you will be in a great position, both for graduate school and for the work place.</p>

<p>Thanks missninx3!
You're totlly right on that 13 grand cannot be neglected... If I decide to graudate earlier I might save more!</p>

<p>Thanx for your tip GoBlue81!!
I haven't looked up the PhD profiles yet... If what you are saying is correct, I'm getting some more space to breathe.
Do you know if it's also the case for the grad students seeking their master's degree?</p>

<p>Thank you monydad!
I cannot say I'm having a 'bad' experience here, but I would say I rather got a bit disappointed by the quality of education.
Maybe I should check if being offered superior education is worth risking my stats and work here.</p>

<p>Thank you Alexandre!
Yeah it's true that the uiuc engineering program is ranked at or higher than top 10, but I've been always wondering which part of this school deserves such a high standing.
I probably should just stick in here and try to figure out why this school is known to have strong engineering program, lol.</p>

<p>Think about it a while before you make a quick decision. If you truly are not happy at UIUC, that may be a reason to transfer to Cornell. But if you are doing well and you can be satisfied with a few more years at UIUC, stay there.</p>

<p>Stay at UIUC......don't mess your GPA and give up research positions for Cornell.</p>