Rensselaer (RPI) CS vs ASU CS

Hello experts
With ASU CS admit secured, should we even look at RPI CS with a minor in Computer Systems Engineering (CSYS) for Fall 2024?

Cost-wise, RPI is 2x the cost of ASU (both out of state for us)

Then the question is

Is RPI education so much better than ASU in CS that one is compelled to give it a serious thought? What are we paying 2x for?

If we secured just these two admits, if we valued quality of education, which one should we take a serious look at?

We would appreciate some guidance.

You asked the same question about NYU and the answer is basically the same.

IF RPI is comfortably affordable for your family and IF you prefer something about RPI (ex. size of school, location, coop program etc.) then by all means apply. If the answer to either question is no then I wouldn’t bother.

As an aside, being OOS does not really matter for private schools.

Congrats on the ASU acceptance.


What about RPI excites you vs ASU? Very different from size to weather to culture to gender disparity.

They are vastly different.

I suspect you are asking will RPI give you a better career result. Maybe yes. Maybe no. There’s no way to know so that’s a gamble for maybe nothing.

But frankly I’d be more concerned with the day to day over four years you’re on campus due to the vast differences.

And affordability. No school is worth it if it strains you financially.


I agree with the posters above.

You can ask people to share their experience and views of a college, but no one else can figure out the relative value of a college to you. That’s a personal decision.

Even if comparing ASU to CMU (considered by many to be the best CS school in the country), given a $50k/year difference in cost, some might consider that perfectly acceptable and others might find it not worth the extra $200k. Neither answer is wrong. What’s important is, how much is the extra cost worth to you?


Taking cost aside, what are your stats? What particularly attracts you to CS at RPI? as a general major, there are many CS programs that are significantly stronger than RPI, would they fit your stats?

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I know several people with CS degrees from RPI. It’s a fine school for CS, but I doubt it’s worth 2x the cost of ASU.

That said, while it doesn’t matter for some, I’m a big believer in small class sizes. If that’s something you think might be an issue when it comes to the learning experience, take a look at the respective class sizes. I’d assume ASU has gigantic lectures for freshmen and sophomores, while also assuming RPI has smaller classes.

I’d also look to see whether there are any particularly interesting tracks or classes that one school offers that the other doesn’t.

I have a child at RPI (CS and Math), and I don’t know anything about ASU. I’m happy to answer questions about RPI.