RPI versus Full Ride at Stony Brook in Computer Science or Computer Engineering

Stony Brook full tuition ride whereas Buffalo/Binghamton partial ride in CS/CE. Also RPI/NYU/Northeastern etc. after grant/scholarships between 30-40K/yr as compared to SB/Buffalo/Bing between 10-20K after Scholarship. Finally Out of state top 10-15 CS/CE schools Urbana Champagne/Purdue/Texas/Michigan/San Diego etc. between 45-55k/yr.

Are these top 10 OOS schools worth 50K or RPI/NYU/Northeastern worth 35K compared to in-state SB at 10-15K in CS/CE?

Only you can make that decision. I can tell you RPI CS grads get to work for some amazing companies (think Apple and Google type cos) and make great starting salaries.

SB CS graduates also work for Apple and Google type cos. Average BS CS/CE salary both at SB and RPI is about 70-80K. I was wondering about quality of education- is RPI quality worth about 100K more than SB or top OOS schools such as UTA or UIUC/GT worth 150K more than SB

Just so you know when you are making your decision, the average starting salary at RPI for CS graduates was actually $94,000 last year:


Thanks- I am aware of avg RPI reported as 94K. However, if you look at the range, it is virtually identical at SB/RPI and many other schools- Actually many SB students have more than 100K (Wall street firms in addition to FB/Google/Microsoft) whereas only 1 RPI is reported above 100K. It seems to be more related to CS than school- Even UIUC/Austin report similar salary range with variations (More students get into Microsoft and Google from these schools compared to 1-2 from RPI/SB).

So I come back to same question- is it worth spending additional 100K at RPI/NYU or 175K at UIUC/UTA when you have free ride at SB CS/CE. Perhaps if you go for PhD, it will be easy to get into MIT/Ivy from UTA than SB

If money is a big concern, go to SB and if you do well you’re likely to get a good job. Whether it’s worth the extra 100K to go to RPI depends entirely on how much 100K is worth to you personally and whether studying at a smaller college like RPI is appealing to you. How you perform at SB or RPI will matter much more than which of the two you go to.

Small versus big doesnt matter much- However prestige does matter somewhat since prestigious schools have better faculty, research and top companies visit the campus. Austin is surely more prestigious (ranks 8 in CS/CE) than RPI which is more prestigious than SB- however they come with price tag- 150K more at Austin compared to 100K more at RPI, assuming SB is Zero (Actually, SB is 40K, RPi/NYU/Northeastern and similar school around 150K and Austin/Urbana/Michigan/Georgia and similar schools around 200K for 4 years).

Bottom line, is Austin prestige worth 150K more and RPI 100K more than SB- Assuming a good student will perform pretty well in all these schools (perhaps better at SB due to less competition than RPI or Austin where they may have top notch students).

If you’re paying more than 25k a year to attend RPI, it’s not worth it.

^ I love ubsubstantiated claims by hs kids. (#7)
rpi is one of the top schools for engineering in the country. If it’s affordable without loans for your parents (no co-signing) it’s a great choice. However, it’s not worth getting into debt for above the federal limit.

As to whether it’s worth more than stony Brook, and how much, only you and your parents can answer this question.

My S was accepted to RPI and SB. Personal decision, but SB just does not offer the same college experience.
Academically competitive for a SUNY, but not as much as RPI. RPI will cost more for us and if I could not afford,
he might have attended SUNY (SB or Buffalo where he got a scholarship). Whether one can afford is personal,
whether the college experience is important, is personal. Both will prepare you for work and grad school.
Personally I think kids likely to go to grad school should go for a low cost option and focus on grades.
Those less like to go to grad school, should go to best undergrad they can afford and be accepted, to maximize
employment opportunities (which RPI would no doubt offer more than SB in that regard).

Best of luck, both are very very good options.

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Myos, I’m a rising senior at RPI. This place is absolutely not worth the money. I pay 20k a year to go here, and there isn’t a day I don’t regret choosing this place over the full ride I got at Stonybrook.

The devil you know…

I live near Stonybrook and know many graduates. They all loved it or absolutely hated it,
depends what you are looking for. If you look at colleges.niche.com you will find that both schools
have posts about loving or hating it. Personal choice. I can say there are very very few schools where
you would see unanimous agreement. One of the few I did see that was universally loved,
my S turned down for RPI. Not saying RPI is perfect, nothing is.

There are those that think NO undergraduate school is worth paying more than a state U.
All I can say is that short of severe financial need, private schools generally cost more than state U,
and you have to decide of the experience is more valuable to you.

Had the pleasure of meeting quite a few Stonybrook alum not one liked going there. It’s largely a commuter school with a high influx of foreign students (not that there’s anything wrong with that but they’re very clicquey)

Given the choice between the two RPI hands down

If this choice is the difference between borrowing 40k or more vs not, then don’t if you can at all help it.

It’s good to understand the time value of money … Suppose you could graduate and have a lump sum of 100,000 dollars … How long to turn that into 2 million at 5%?

Now suppose you graduate and are 100k in debt … figure the monthly payments and weep. Folgers over Starbucks until you’re 40. Your call, but wow.

UT Austin is way ahead of SB or RPI

I don’t know if this thread is too old but going to try and it anyway. My question (and I do not have any special interest in UT Austin) is - why is UT Austin WAY ahead of RPI in CS? How does one measure that? Do UT Austin undergraduates make twice what RPI CS undergrads make? Do UT Austin undergrads know CS twice as better as those from RPI? My D is going to school in 2017 and I struggle with this everyday. If prestige is important then a CMU, MIT, Stanford is probably way more prestigious. Buth then when you get off the “CS Ivy list” (my term for top CS schools), how does one say that a UT Austin with almost 2000 students in CS can provide way better education than RPI which has 350 CS students?

Basically anyone accepted to RPI gets offered a full ride at a state school so this is a common question and one I was faced with last year. I ultimately turned down a full ride at Stony as well as some other schools to come to RPI. The small classes and smaller program in computer engineering (or CS) is great and leaves you with many opportunities to get research positions or internship opportunities. I personally have an internship lined up for this summer with a bank in NYC doing software as well as a co-op for next spring at a different company. Another one of my friends will be working at Rolls Royce and I know quite a few that’ll be at CalTech or Google or other firms. It’s certainly not a guarantee, you need to work very hard but getting a degree from RPI will ultimately open more doors than a degree from Stony, given that you can afford it. It would be ridiculous to take out 120k in loans to attend RPI, but taking out 40k or 50k of government loans isn’t bad if you’re doing STEM or another in-demand field like economics or business. That’s only 4K or 5k a year for 10 years in repayments with interest and assuming you graduate you’ll be making plenty to afford that. Heck, you can even pay that with a dead end job living at home with your parents. Having Google, Bloomberg, General Electric, IBM, and all kinds of other giant companies/federal agencies (NSA, etc.) present hiring flocs of people at career fairs or through online apps is great and definitely a plus to attend RPI. Also the opportunities to network with important people from astronauts to Nobel prize winners to government officials who visit campus readily to give talks and speak to classes. You won’t find that as readily at Stony and it’ll definitely be more difficult, but you can still have the same opportunities if you work your brains out and apply to a bunch of different companies. It’s a personal decision at the end of the day regarding what you want. Visit the campuses and weigh your options.

@joedoe your article was exactly what I was looking for. My ds has a full tuition offer at a state tech school but was accepted at RPI. I’d love for him to attend RPI no question but we definitely can’t afford it. What other sources am I missing that you think might help. Here’s the breakdown.
RPI offered 29.5k
loan 5.5k
that’s 34k so far
I can afford to pay exactly what I have been paying so far at his highschool a little less than 10k
so that’s 44k, let’s call it 45k
RPI CoA is 70k so I’m left with 70k-45k = 25k
I’m almost there, where can I find this? Are there any hidden scholarships that you could suggest? I’d like to commit as soon as possible and finally have a little peace of mind but there’s a month of mind-racking left to do unless I get a solution soon. If my brain snaps and I go insane and borrow, what kind of loan is best etc…?

100k in debt is too much regardless of the school. Try to contact them and ask for professional judgement regarding your financial situation, highlighting any change compared to your fafsa or css or anything you weren’t able to explain.

I did, hoping for a response sometime perhaps middle of the week, hopefully.