Overview of CMU and its financial aid?

<p>CMU has really caught my eye in my days of the college search as a second to MIT, but I don't know much about the school. How would most of you describe the school in all its aspects? How competitive are admissions to CMU (if it matters, for a CS major)?</p>

<p>My preferences aren't very strict. I don't mind the rainy and snowy weather (although I do want to know more about its frequency so I can prep ahead of time) as long as I have an umbrella and warm clothes. City life is fine for me too, but safety is a big issue for me. I tend to like to explore the city. I'm also not that into clubs/bars/frats, so I'd like to know how well off socially I'd be. </p>

<p>I'm also a big dog lover, and while I understand the workload at CMU is heavy, I'd like to dedicate myself to raising a dog when living off-campus as well. Are the apartments nearby pet-friendly? If not, then I may have to put that off.</p>

<p>I do want to strike some undergraduate research or internship opportunities at tech companies or within the university itself.</p>

<p>Lastly, and probably most importantly, I need to rely on financial aid. Generally, how is CMU's financial aid? I've read a few other threads on it here, but I'd like a more in-depth description if possible. Do they give an "allowance" for an airline fee to visit home during Christmas break, spring break, or summer vacation?</p>

<p>My stats and rankings are all decent/high (4.0 UW student with perfect scores on AP's, perfect SAT subjects, 2300s in SAT, leadership in extracurriculars both related and unrelated to CS major).</p>

<p>Thanks ahead of time! I look forward to hearing about what everyone has to say about CMU.</p>

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How competitive are admissions to CMU (if it matters, for a CS major)?

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<p>About equally as competitive as MIT's admissions. </p>

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City life is fine for me too, but safety is a big issue for me. I tend to like to explore the city. I'm also not that into clubs/bars/frats, so I'd like to know how well off socially I'd be.

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<p>Pittsburgh is about as safe as it comes for larger cities. The campus area especially is very safe, provided you have a teaspoon of common sense. Don't look for anonymous threesomes in shady roadside bars, don't chat away on your cell phone while riding a bike at midnight in a sketchy district... yes, these are real examples. </p>

<p>Socially, it's what you make of it. I haven't done clubs/bars/frats much in the last year or so, and I've had a fantastic time and met lots of great people.</p>

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Are the apartments nearby pet-friendly?

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<p>Again, it's in a city. I'm certain there are pet-friendly complexes in the area. CMU's campus-owned apartment complexes are no-pets, but there are plenty of complexes not owned by CMU.</p>

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Generally, how is CMU's financial aid? I've read a few other threads on it here, but I'd like a more in-depth description if possible. Do they give an "allowance" for an airline fee to visit home during Christmas break, spring break, or summer vacation?

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<p>Those threads are going to give you the most accurate picture. Finaid is generally ok, better if you have a bargaining chip (like URM status, being a girl, etc) or are a top student. CMU doesn't promise to meet 100% of regular decision need, only early decision, but the finaid people will usually take finaid offers from other institutions seriously and increase your aid to match those offers if they want you. </p>

<p>I have never heard of any university offering financial aid to cover travel expenses, unless you were applying for finaid for a study abroad session. I don't think that's a common practice at any university, let alone CMU.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info.</p>

<p>Do you think I should apply ED or RD? While it is one of my top choices, it's sort of in the lead alongside MIT and Stanford, one of which has un-restrictive EA and the other restrictive EA.</p>

<p>Also, is there a way to message you privately some more specific stats/essay that could help you determine the strength of my application to CMU?</p>

<p>If you think you'd prefer MIT or Stanford over CMU, apply to those first. It's all in what you feel is your top choice and the best fit for you. :) There are always ways to fix up the finaid if it's not perfect on the first offer. The important thing is that you are at an institution you are happy at.</p>

<p>You can send a PM by clicking on my username. :D</p>

<p>Thanks! Sorry for the long PM's... :D Given those three schools, I would happily enroll in any - in fact, I would have a pretty difficult time choosing between the three if I ever had the luxury of being accepted into all of them. I believe I would be happy at any of them (although happier if I could raise a dog off-campus)!</p>

<p>How would [you] describe the school in all its aspects?
Intensely amazing fantasticalness.</p>

<p>How competitive are admissions to CMU (if it matters, for a CS major)?
CS admission is extremely competitive and the quality of the applicants is extremely high. I believe admission is around 9% for CS. </p>

<p>City life is fine for me too, but safety is a big issue for me.
As long as you are not walking alone at 2 AM or doing some other equally stupid maneuver, you should be fine.</p>

<p>I'm also not that into clubs/bars/frats, so I'd like to know how well off socially I'd be.
There is definitely a large social life on campus that has nothing to do with the Greek system or the student orgs, but don't write off all the clubs and all the fraternities before you get here. Unlike high school clubs, the student organizations at CMU actually do stuff and are active and involved. (Sidenote: came to CMU completely uninterested in going Greek, ended up joining a fraternity and loved it) </p>

<p>I'm also a big dog lover, and while I understand the workload at CMU is heavy, I'd like to dedicate myself to raising a dog when living off-campus as well.
Also a dog lover myself (I raised and trained guide dogs while in high school), one of the biggest disappointments to me was that I couldn't have a dog in any of the university owned housing. I volunteer as a trainer and walker at the Animal</a> Rescue League shelter. Even if you can't own a dog, it's a great place to interact with a lot of wonderful animals. I know one student who owns a dog, but I'm fairly certain she lives in Oakland near Pitt campus.</p>

<p>I do want to strike some undergraduate research or internship opportunities at tech companies or within the university itself.
CMU is one of the best places to do research as an undergrad, especially in CS and Robotics (we have the largest robotic department in the country, about 5 times the size of MIT's). I'm currently doing research in the Institute for Software Research if you have any questions about what CS research is like.</p>

<p>I think Kate covered financial aid pretty well.</p>

<p>Oh sorry, by clubs, I mean night clubs/bars, not school clubs :) I do wonder what CS Research is like! I'm more into the programming aspect and developing software/applications.</p>

<p>I'm looking dearly to living off-campus after the required first year to try and find a pet-friendly apartment!</p>

<p>CMU is tucked away on the edge of suburbia and a bus ride away from downtown. But the closest you'll get to clubbin' are the various parties thrown by student organizations.</p>

<p>If you're asian, the asian sororities/frats often do night club events and parties. If you're not asian, they probably won't want to talk to you, though, let alone invite you to their stuff. :p</p>

<p>woot im asian!</p>