Need Advice! In-state Oklahoma vs UVA vs BU for CS

Is 27k in debt worth going to UVA over OU? Again OU has given me a leadership position opening me up to more opportunities.

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I think we’re all trying to figure out a way to get you to BU or UVA…but I’m sticking with around a $5k/year shortage which isn’t impossible to overcome but you need a plan for it. And then there’s $27k in loans.

I punched in flights from Ok City to Charlottesville. I’m seeing around $300 one way. Add Uber. Multiply times 4 flights per year…and that’s not including any holidays. Probably $1400 for travel.

Books and supplies at $1k which I think is low. New computer that’s good enough for CS…$2K or another $500/year on average…laundry, clothes, cleaning supplies etc…and then there’s walking around money for a coffee with friends or Pizza and beer… the days of quarter dollar beers and 10 cent wings are long gone. Just being realistic.

You will succeed at OU if that is your choice!

As noted we are trying to point out that you might just have a choice

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Yeah this is great advice, but for one it’s just opening my eyes a bit more on how unpleasing being broke in another state sounds. Plus the starting salary of 70k at OU compared to 90k at UVA isn’t even like that different when taking into account COL.

Given a choice I would recommend a private school over a state/public school, even if the cost a little higher. The state schools have over crowded classes, not enough guidance and not so caring attitude. One is mostly on his/her own in chasing internships and other opportunities. Also depends on how much personal value one wants to attach living in a certain place for 4 years.

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Both of the colleges this student is considering are public. The outlier is BU.

UVA meets full need. BU isn’t as generous I don’t believe.

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Don’t think of it as “where will I make the most money when I graduate” but rather
1° “which experience do I want?”
Norman is very different from Boston or Charlottesville.
The environment is very different at UVA, BU, and OU.
4 years isn’t nothing - do you want to be in a familiar environment or do you want to discover a new region of the country?
2° “do I want the different jobs that I could get at UVA/BU v. at OU?” There are excellent CS jobs in OK (or anywhere). Boston and Northern Virginia happen to be Tech hubs, which Norman or OK aren’t. It means the companies that recruit there, the type of positions, the internships available… will be different. Are you interested in that?


By trying to find a way to get you to UVA or BU we convinced you to go to Oklahoma. Mission accomplished. Lol.

Last piece of advice…if OU has an honors program see if you can get in.

Good luck.


Okay, yeah that makes sense. Although going to a different state sounds fun, it also sounds scary and if I’m broke it will most likely suck lol.

Okay will do, thanks a lot!

Congrats to you - in those programs you get a lot of 1:1 advising and attention. You become a rock star.

My daughter is looking at a “lesser” program - College of Charleston but she’s an intl scholar - there are 12 which is part of the Honors College. She’s in at U Miami, American, Washington & Lee - but Charleston is cheaper and will get her personal attention - and well in our case we are going for cheaper. Your major is much more employable than ours - and you’ll be fine either way you choose.

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I’m not sure where people are getting these numbers, but take it from someone who does computers for a living. Prestige doesn’t matter! And it’s not worth taking out large loans for. After about 3 years of experience, no one asks where you went to school.

Whenever I hear “starting salary” stats, I usually laugh. Technology is based exclusively on hands-on experience. No company in their right mind pays big bucks for entry level employees that are going to seek further employment in a year or two. A bigger salary means that the company can hire an experienced professional to do the job.

Employers recruit locally and regionally because it’s cost effective. This means that you can’t compare starting salaries. $95k in CA doesn’t mean the same thing as $95k in Texas. Having a lower starting salary in TX, for instance, could buy a far more comfortable living than CA could, despite the higher salary.

My advice, pick the affordable school and don’t look back. Practice interviewing skills. You’ll find a job, I promise!


That makes sense, I’ve heard many programmers say the same thing! I’ll stick to instate most likely as I just don’t want loans and if it won’t make a difference, why even consider it.

Wise choice. I like to look at it this way. By the time you’re driving a Lexus, your student loans are going to be paid off anyway. Less debt means more money for you. Some of us even opt-out of the “Lexus” salary because of job stability and benefits. Less debt gives you that option.

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For the vast majority of jobs and companies it makes no difference where you got your degree. Skills are what matter.

However, for one small subset I firmly believe it matters. Start-ups/VC. I live in Pittsburgh. Lots of CMU start-ups over the years. There’s a pecking order. Thirty years in IT.

But OP isn’t talking CMU, MIT, or Stanford. Good luck.

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UVA does have an advantage beside prestige, though: recruitment opportunities that don’t exist in Oklahoma. And based on research that was published (and which someone posted on another thread) UVA places very well, even ranks in the Top 40 for placement* - so, the salary for the same job would likely be commensurate with the location and, once adjusted for cost of living, would be the same for the same position… but some jobs would be available in NOVA for a UVA graduate that wouldn’t be available at all in Oklahoma.
That being said, Norman is cool, Oklahoma Honors is strong, the personalized attention really helps, and CS is employable. I suppose that in addition to OK, you’d be able to look for jobs in Texas, although you’d be competing with UT, UTD, etc. Plus, Tulsa is actually paying people to relocate there and telecommute. :slight_smile:
Most importantly, I don’t hear you say you want to discover another region of the USA, or want to live away from OK, or that you want to push yourself to work in high tech jobs. Not everyone wants to create their start up or work for Amazon, Verisign, finance or government contractors.

*that surprised me but it’s not an impression from a VA poster, it’s based on actual number of graduates/CS placements overall, and ratio graduates/hi tech placements - and tied to the very high number of “high level” employers in the NOVA/MD/DC area. I’ll try and find the report’s references so you can look it up.

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I think OP made up his mind. This thread should be done.
OP - Congrats and GOOD LUCK!!!

I was offering another perspective that OP might not have considered, but totally understand. There are certainly worse things in life than attending a strong Honors college brimming with NMFs in order to study CS . :slight_smile:

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Every perspective and opinion is still appreciated, I am not 100% set so please don’t be discouraged to share what you think!

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