My son is down to the wire for deciding on which college to accept! We are in Boulder, CO, he’s our only child, and we’re not getting any financial aid. He wants to major in AE and has been accepted directly as first year AE at Cal Poly SLO, CU Boulder, Georgia Tech, U of Maryland. He’s been accepted into engineering (can apply for AE only in 2nd year) at Purdue and U of Washington. He’s considering a Bachelor’s/Master’s combined/accelerated program as well as great co-ops and study aboard oppty.
To narrow the list, we are prioritizing reputation/prestige, quality of education, collaborative and inclusive culture, diversity of student interests (meaning lots of different students w/ varied majors), well balanced, well rounded and healthy environment, opportunities for outdoor activities, as well as the risk of not getting into first choice AE program. His secondary choice would be ME, Comp Sci, or Physics.
Here’s my ranking:
#1 - Cal Poly SLO
Pros: Fairly even ratio of male/female, beautiful location close to outdoor activities, great weather, learn by doing model, focus on undergrad teaching, smart but fun loving student body, friendly and collaborative culture, SLO is like a mini Boulder next to the sea.
Cons: not as well known, low ethnic diversity, far from major city, small or no grad programs - will this limit opportunities (???)), difficulty in changing majors.
#2 - Purdue
Pros: global reputation, great facilities, engineering centric, diversity, friendly, collaborative
Cons: risk not getting into AE, middle of nowhere, boring town, very midwest sensibilities, Midwest weather)
#3 - CU Boulder
Pros: support system close by, logistics are easy, most affordable option (instate), lots of outdoor activities, Boulder is beautiful, sunny and very fun.
Cons: too close to home so it feels like he’s just continuing HS, less prestigious, engineering is separated from main campus and not the main draw, engineering majors (aside from AE) is as well regarded, big party school, little ethnic diversity, big univ bureaucracy.
#4 - Georgia Tech
Pros: reputation, in major city (food, culture, diversity)
Cons: high unhealthy stress, lack of balance, tough grading, prestigious level coursework without the prestigious name and recognition), focus on research rather than teaching, lack of females and diversity of interests), very nerdy student body, dorms and food rates low.
#5 - U of Washington
Cons: very competitive, unfriendly, dreary weather
#6- U of Maryland
This was a safety school and haven’t done much research.
Very curious about your thoughts. Any other factors we should consider? Agree/Disagree???