Question for Florida Tech grads/parents of grads...

My son is a HS senior and we are strongly considering FIT. He plans to major in Aerospace Eng. and we’ve visited the school a couple of times and are aware of the faculty/opportunities they offer in AE, but I’m curious what others have seen AFTER graduation. Is the FIT name well-respected among Aerospace or even general engineering companies?

My son was also admitted to Georgia Tech but huge cost differential - full tuition offered at FIT through their Panther Distinguished Scholar award (so we’re only paying for R&B), while GT offered only a minimal scholarship with the rest in loans (30+k difference annually). The numbers clearly suggest the best path forward, but I’ve had a hard time finding anyone in the industry who knows enough about them to even offer an opinion.

Can anyone offer any insight? TIA.

Free tuition is difficult to pass up. I think I’d opt for saving $120k over a more famous school. FIT is great other than it’s not well known yet.

@loller - yes, that’s pretty much how we feel. I was connected with a VERY high-ranking person within NASA and had a lengthy conversation with him in the fall…he told me point blank how many big wigs there came from GT (not him though), and he’s heard many hiring managers talk openly about how they view the GT candidates much higher than some of the smaller-school candidates by default (very openly biased). Plus, our son literally has no material wants and hasn’t asked us for almost anything, so as parents we’d like nothing more than to help make his first choice a reality. But at these numbers it’s a no-brainer.

Florida Tech and UF are good options and we know he’ll be fine in the long run at either. I wish he liked UF more - great school and Engineering program, plus full tuition through Bright Futures and an additional 2k/year through a Research Scholarship via the Honors program, but he just feels much more comfortable (cultural fit) at FT.

If your son wants to work at NASA, a quick search on LinkedIn shows me 238 FIT grads work at NASA and 281 GT grads work at NASA.

I know two people though on LinkedIn who claim they work at NASA when they actually work for a NASA contractor. So I’m not sure how accurate those numbers are. Still given GT has 6 times as many students as FIT, it looks like FIT has pretty good representation at NASA.

My son is also considering FIT for aerospace. He would enter in the fall. He got into Texas A&M but in their PSA program, which means he would have to study on one of their affiliate campuses for one year and (if he keeps his grades to 3.25) he would be admitted to Texas A&M proper. I don’t know if that is worth it.

We went to visit Florida Tech last fall and my son really liked it there. He was offered a scholarship (but it would be about the same price for us at either place. I am thinking FL Tech might be better for him because we have family close to there (we are American but live overseas). I feel bad steering him away from Texas A&M program if it is so much better.

Just an update, my son is now very seriously considering Florida Tech. He also got into Auburn, but no scholarship, so the cost will be about the same there. But its not so much about the cost, but how much he liked the campus at FIT. He felt at home. Also, he will join a sports team (no scholarship, unfortunately) at FIT. I don’t think he could really do this at Auburn and be a valuable member. I feel like the the small atmosphere will be good for him. I do hope I’m not wrong, but the more research I do the more I feel like the quality of education will be just as good, if not better. So Hubby and I are giving him the blessing to let him pass up the “better” school. What are your thoughts now that its down almost to the wire?

@damselind - My son is all but confirmed to attend FIT. I spoke with GT and they didn’t budge on their offer, basically a “take it or leave it” situation. I really didn’t expect them to move much, if at all, but that doesn’t leave us with much to think about. We’d love to send our son to GT, but a difference of $30+k a year is just too much to swallow.

I’ve done a ton of research on the schools just within the past week and all the feedback we’ve received and information we’ve compiled has us feeling good about FIT. My son also got a good offer from Embry Riddle but he liked FIT better, and UF is still further down the list. We haven’t signed any paperwork yet…we’re giving ourselves this week to let everything sort of settle in our minds. Good luck to you all.

Sorry, I’ve just seen your response! We also talked to Auburn, and they were also “take it or leave it”. So, after much deliberation, my son is almost DEFINITELY going to FIT. (Again, like you the final paperwork not signed). But, the sports team coach has been in contact with him and has been very nice, coordinating the incoming freshmen. There’s even another guy on the team in Aerospace coming in! My son is super happy about all this and looking forward. We have paid the deposits so he can sign up for dorms and meal program. I’m sure our kids will meet!

Like you, I have done a lot of research on the school and what I see is that they will take a personal interest in my son and that he will be able to do more hands-on projects right away. I think that’s important for him. He’s only ever been to small private school and I feel like the campus and activities will not be overwhelming. The beach and our family is close. And from what i’ve Seen, the people that graduate from there are getting jobs right out of college (and great internships while in school). My husband is in Engineering and he thinks that after a couple of years it really doesn’t matter what school you got your degree from (unless it was MIT). He says it matters more what you have done in the field and on the job.

The things I don’t like are that the school is so small and he might miss out on a “Big Campus” lifestyle. Sports and Team spirit will not be the same. There wont be as many girls to pick from, but you know, he’s pretty handsome :smile: .

Don’t know if there is any way to contact you privately, but do let me know what you guys have decided! Now im researching the dorm options!

95% of freshmen who live on campus live in Columbia village, so ‘picking a dorm’ is not really an issue. The meal plans are either 7 days a week in Panther dining or M-F with some $$ on the card to eat weekends in other options. Honestly, I don’t think it matters much My daughter did the M-F and used the $$ for smoothies and stuff from the deli, but ate in Panther dining a lot of weekends too. The second year she did all $$$ on the card and ate in dining about half the time.

@damselind , when you have 15 posts you can private message another poster. Click on their name and then their page will come up with an envelope for you to click for a private email message. Just post 5 more times and you can do it.

@damselind we did choose FIT…paperwork signed. We actually selected Roberts Hall and Campbell Hall as his first 2 choices for dorms. We really liked Columbia Village, but we felt like if you give 4 modern teenagers their own room, all 4 are likely to be in their rooms with the doors closed all the time. We wanted the “forced socializing” that a more traditional dorm room would require for his freshman year, then he can do what he wants from there.

If he does get assigned to Columbia, don’t worry about the socialization. There is plenty of it, and they still have to eat at Panther dining. I can’t remember which of you (@AeroEngParent or @damselind) has the son who will be an athlete, but athletes have study tables until they make grades (at least first semester) so that gets them out of their room almost every night and in the library. Let me tell you, those study tables are a gift to the parents. My daughter got off to a good start. She also had lifting at 5:30 am 3 days a week in the fall, so she was at study tables from 7 to 9 and in bed by 10! Yes, I almost always knew where she was (in class, in the library, in bed)

Follow FIT on facebook. Today Steve Case, founder of AOL, was there to promote a $100k contest for invention.

Thanks twoinanddone! We just made the call! I tried to deal with Auburn, but between the fact that we are out of state there and no real scholarship to speak of AND the fact that DS REALLY wants to go to FL Tech, we are 100% decided now! Yes, he will be running cross country, and the Coach is already really in communication with him. The coach has put him in touch with the other incoming freshmen, and they are on a group chat already! My son is running right now as we speak and has been training every day to make sure he’s prepared. (He loves to run and its great to do that while he’s finishing up final exams!) So my husband and I are very happy. I think my son has made the Best choice! He is looking very forward to studying in Aerospace and is so happy to be near Cape Canaveral. He was excited to find out that they actually let students off of school for events there too. I hope he will be as successful as your DD! Go Panthers!

AeroEngParent: We also selected Roberts and Campbell. I feel same as you! Personally I lived in a dorm the first two years in college and met some of my best friends there. That would never have happened if I’d had a private or only 4 person apartment. Like you say, our kids can choose for themselves next year. Congrats! I’m so happy for my kid. Now if he can just get through these finals! :wink:

AeroEngParent: I’m off to post some things so I can PM you! I only have 12 posts, but need 15.