I am a senior in HS looking to major in Mechanical Engineering and about to apply to college and stuck between applying ED to my #1 safety (get additional 2k+ per year for applying ED) or pressing my odds and maybe accepting a acceptance from a more prestigious school.
I am mainly stuck between Clarkson University and Cornell or RPI.
Clarkson University has guaranteed me 15k/yr in scholarships junior year and I get another 2k/yr if I apply ED (other scholarships possible as well). I would compete on the D3 ski team (which is a rare commodity in colleges). And I am happy to go to school in rural Potsdam (which is a problem for many). My only hesitation on this school is that is a decent “safety” for me.
The other options I am weighing are additionally applying to Cornell (reach) and RPI (match) Here I would be giving up the 70k+ in scholarship and D3 skiing for higher prestige / “better” schools. Both colleges do have a club ski team so I wouldn’t have to completely give up sport though.
Anyone have any opinions on these decisions or how much prestige matters in the field of mechanical engineering?
Additionally is it worth maybe accepting an acceptance to a school like Cornell at the loss of an additional guaranteed 8k in scholarship for applying ED to Clarkson?