Merit scholarships for electrical engineering

Moderator’s Note: Let’s return to the original topic of the thread: Merit scholarships for EE.
Thank you

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I think we hit that good - i think the auto scholarship schools - mainly the publics in the south - is where the $$ are - from Alabama, UAH, UCF, FSU, Miss St., Arizona, etc. Colorado School of Mines is better than Colorado for scholarship…both are great but different schools. There’s SD School of Mines. Missouri S&T.

At the top schools, everyone is outstanding - so less $$

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Her first choice should be her State U. Any ABET accredited Engineering Program will prepare her.

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VT is very hard for merit - I know some impressive kids who got $0. The only one who did get merit got $3k.
Tulane is moving to more need-based, less merit.
Penn State also terrible with merit.

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Regarding your distance concern, I would like to share that we live in NJ and that our son goes to ASU/Barrett to study Civil Engineering with a significant scholarship.

The distance is not really an issue for us as there are multiple daily flights between Newark Liberty and Phoenix Sky Harbor. And between Phoenix Sky Harbor one can take the Light Rail for $2 ($1 for students).

So, dropping/picking our son only entails a short drive to Newark. The first year we ordered what he needed for his dorm room on Amazon and got it delivered a few days before so he only needed to take one suitcase, one carry-on and a small backpack with him.

For the summer ASU/Barrett offers storage via the UPS Store on site.


Regarding your comment about VT and merit. I totally agree. Our son got offered $500 (five hundred) in merit two years ago…

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We were in a similar position two years ago (in NJ, with son looking at schools offering Civil Engineering at a reasonable price).

He was offered $10K merit at Rutgers Honors College which seemed to be the standard amount for instate students at the time (but note in case you are not already aware that acceptance to Rutgers Honors College is different from acceptance to Rutgers Honors Academy/Program).

Ultimately, he picked Arizona State (ASU) which made us the strongest offer. It might not be too late to apply there and/or University of Arizona if you want to get more quotes.

About some of the Ivys being very generous, he only got in Cornell… and from experience I can tell you that Cornell is certainly not what I would consider generous. They expected about 50% of our after tax income per year.

Thanks for sharing, especially about the storage! That will definitely help with one of the Dad concerns.

The flight logistics aren’t a big issue for us either thankfully. I think it’s more the “if I need to get away for the weekend to recharge” factor.

She’s like me. Generally social, but somewhat introverted so needs quiet time alone in her own space to recharge at times. Closer would give her opportunity to occasionally come home for a weekend break during the semester.

She also mentioned it would be nice to have her car to escape to now and then and to go places. No one in our family is up for the 32 hour drive to get it there. However, after watching Nomadland, I could possibly be talked into it. :wink:

How does your son like ASU, Fulton and Barrett?

Right now, ASU does seem to moving to the front of the choices. We’re signed up for several admitted student virtual sessions over the next couple weeks.


I certainly encourage you to look at the thread that @CollegeMamb0 recommended. You can find it at Looking for advice in Merit aid for a top 1% student

Since you are in Maryland, College Park might turn out to be your best option, but if you are looking for big merit out-of-state you must look South, and especially Southwest. Arizona State (ASU) and University of Arizona should be on your list. Their Engineering programs are well ranked and somehow they are both willing to offer strong incentives to candidates like your daughter.

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So far, our son likes ASU, Fulton and Barrett. He went to visit by himself back when he was in High School when he received an invitation to do so, and came back convinced that it would work for him. He is now in second year and we pretty much only see him during the Winter and Summer breaks (last year he made plans with new Barrett friends for Spring break rather than coming home, and this year Spring break is canceled). We went to visit him once during his first year during the so-called Family weekend.

He does not have a car but one of his apartment mates (or somebody he knows in the building?) does this year. (The dorms for the second-year Honors students are apartments with individual rooms that look nicer than the apartment I lived in after I got my first job). That said, I really do not see a need for a car the first year because the Honors cafeteria is in the same complex as the first-year Honors dorms. (The second year Honors apartments are just across the street but with the pandemic it seems that second-year students enjoy spending some time cooking in their well-equipped kitchens).

Traditionally (as in before the pandemic) out-of-state first year engineering students start the school year at “E2 Camp”, and Honors engineering students also get to go to “Camp B” at cabins somewhere near Prescott so they can make friends. I am not sure it that will be possible this year but if not, I am quite sure that ASU will find another way to get out-of-state students to find friends.

By the way, I should add that the non-Honors first-year Engineering dorm (Tooker) is also very nice and closer to the Engineering buildings than the Honors dorm. You need a bicycle to quickly go from the Honors dorm to the Engineering buildings (scooters are forbidden on campus) while you can just walk across a pedestrian bridge to get there from Tooker.

Going back to Barrett, you might want to know that there is a very active Facebook group named “ASU Barrett Parent Group” that let us keep an eye on what is going on there even though we get very little information directly from our son.

Do not hesitate to ask if you have more questions.

Thanks for the info. Glad to hear he likes it.

Yes, we did the virtual Barrett tour that included dorms and Vista. Pretty much the Ritz compared to my other D’s dorm at UNC. Vista is like the fancy apartment other D leased off campus.

That’s interesting about the scooters. We visited ASU for a day in January and saw some along with skateboards and bikes, but they did point out “walk” areas that you couldn’t ride anything through.

It’s interesting that your mind went to grocery shopping. I meant girl type shopping (clothes, Ulta, etc.) :grinning: I’m sure she can figure out public transportation to get her there if needed. Really I think the car is more about access to personal space. That’s where she takes her breaks at her hectic fast food job to recharge. I’m betting she can find a “zen” spot somewhere there.

Yes, it would be nice if they could have some get to know each other functions.

I’ll check out the parent page.

Have your son’s classes been in-person, online, mix? Have they done labs in person? It seems like they are expecting a somewhat normal Fall, but helpful to know colleges’ response so far. I know from tour in Barrett they can’t eat inside for cafeteria, but didn’t get a clear sense of class experience.

How miserable is the heat in the warmer months?


To answer your question regarding in-person vs online, the expectation is indeed that things will be back to normal by the end of the Summer but for now most classes are online. A few labs are in person but my understanding is that it is not the norm. It is certainly not an ideal situation.

The school year starts a couple of weeks earlier than on the East coast and ends earlier too (roughly mid-August to early-May instead of early September to mid-May). It is still very hot in late August but from September to April it is fine. And even in August it is dry so as long as you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated it is allegedly not a problem. Out-of-staters must get into the habit of always carrying a flask with them and drinking even if they do not realize that they need to. There are numerous refill stations on campus.

Thanks! Btw - I think the timing is more a North-South thing than East-West. UNC for example is normally mid-August to early-May.

My son was accepted into Barrett, computer engineering major. Do you have any insight regarding internship opportunities provided for engineering majors? My son is deciding between ASU and Cal Poly and we feel internships are extremely important.

Both will be fine - ASU is quickly moving up. Cal Poly is great.

You can go to lesser schools - it’s engineering. You can’t go wrong.

My son is at Alabama. His friend is EE and found a summer internship (after sophomore year…last year very difficult). My son is working for a major auto manufacturer this Summer - on his team is a Ga Tech (top of the top) and U of Houston.

I think people are overstating the ranking thing. Yes, it’s awesome you get in but there are great engineers everywhere and if you are a go getter, you will find a job. Today most are from linkedin/indeed/handshake, not the school.

Yesterday, an airplane manufacturer in MN reached out for an interview…my son had accepted. The point is - choose the right fit. Both will be fine.

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Which Cal Poly…Pomona or SLO?

Cal Poly SLO


I agree with @tsbna44 that as a computer engineering major your son should be able to find internship opportunities regardless of which school he picks.

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my D is looking for internships now - in architecture. as she’s looking for places to apply, (and i’m helping her) i’m noticing a ton of engineering internships. there are so many compared to her field. My son will look next summer after his sophomore year, and i’m feeling quite optimistic about it all.

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There’s a ton of civil engineering - like state of TN that were really architecture jobs. Also, we saw some for meritage homebuilders, etc.

There’s a ton!!!

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