Should I stay or should I go?

Thanks for the response, Yes. I was accepted into both of these schools. As for why I bothered applying in the first place, it was before this semester started. Last year I was at home the whole year so I didn’t get much social interaction. I also listed some reasons in a previous post above, but essentially both academically and professionally I thought that these two schools would provide me with much more resources and opportunity that would give me the tools to better myself.

I originally picked uconn for mainly two things. The price and its proximity to home. While the other two schools will be more expensive, they are still well within my budget after financial aid. As for the proximity, this was mainly due to COVID and my parents wanting me to stay closer to home. I myself wanted to experience something new which the location of both of these colleges would provide.

But again, I see your point by staying where I am already comfortable I can still get to where I want to be with hard work. There is just a part of me that is afraid of passing up this great opportunity and the experiences I may miss out on.

There is a department just for transfers. Don’t wonder just make an appointment and send in your transcript then you will know.

But if your doing well and happy where you are at then stay.

FYI - it’s not like you will show up at Michigan or GT and all these great things will happen to you. Again, it’s you making it happen. I would not go into great debt.

Both schools are academically hard. How much harder? Don’t know.

If you got into them then you might be working more for the same grades your getting now but maybe not. So to me it’s more about fit. Like Big Ten sports? Both schools are highly ranked and opportunities will be the same. At Michigsn you will go to North Campos for classes. Many, many students still live on Central campus. Thousands do this yearly and still get good/great jobs… Some like my son actually like North Campus… Like seeing deer on your way to class? Not on central campus.

But if your going to get an apartment people choose their people now. But at Michigan look into Co-ops housing. It includes internet, utilities, and on North Campus at Esher it comes with a chef on site. It’s more community dorm like but you will meet people. It even has outdoor firepit, grill, hammock. Surrounded by trees. With bikes to use whenever. Game room etc etc. Mostly engineering, grad, and professional students there.

There are also 15 coop housing with lots on central campus as well. Each with own theme and culture some are into having parties etc.

Reason whey I mention it they start and end with the school year. Not subletting your place in the summer. Most leases in AnnArbor are year leases. Have to deal with it while away to your internship etc.
There is a off site housing department through Michigsn to check out and students list for roommates etc.

https://offcampus.umich.edu/

https://campusinfo.umich.edu/article/cooperative-housing-inside-scoop

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I vote UMich b/c

  1. sounds as if you are ready to spread your wings in a way that you weren’t 2 years ago- yeah for growth!

  2. you are getting far enough into your field that you are seeing specific areas of interest that your current program doesn’t cover

  3. I am a huge GaTech fan but imo UMi is the easier place to find a new home- it seems to really suit a very broad range of people.

  4. $ aren’t an issue

Bonus: there is no “wrong” answer to this question :grin:

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Oh, sorry. These are usually cheaper then finding an apartment in Ann Arbor.

So you’re in your first semester on campus and you already think you know what’s lacking and what others have that you don’t ? I think you can’t yet know UCONN and you are falling victim to a lot of hype.

I think you have a fantastic situation and you are being blinded by ‘marketing’ and not by reality. Many schools offer the same clubs etc and most have job fairs. Btw. My son found both his internships via the internet. Set up an indeed search and apply. Yes there are job fairs but it doesn’t mean jobs of interest will be there. You’ll have plenty of UCONN kids finding jobs. And you’ll see plenty of Michigan kids struggle.

Seems to me you should be giving UCONN a chance. Other than perceived pedigree you’ve offered not a single legitimate reason to leave.

It sounds like you’re happy at UConn. There’s a lot to be said for that. You have family support nearby. That’s a good thing too.

Can you take some higher level or graduate classes at UConn? Maybe next year?

Stay at UConn, do well, work for a couple of years. Figure out what CS discipline you like most. Apply to Michigan or GT for grad school with the money you saved.

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Thank you everyone for all the responses everyone! Another thing I was wondering is if staying at UConn will hinder my chances of getting a job outside of new england/the northeast. I am aware that job wise, hiring managers care more about experience then school name for CS. However, looking at the outcomes for CS majors out of UConn, an overwhelming majority of them end up working in CT after graduation. After talking to many people here, I can’t imagine many of them choosing to take work in CT by choice.

Jobs hire from anywhere. My son is at Bama and just got offered an internship in upstate NY.

And no one stays anywhere today - I was moved from CA to TN - and had the chance to go to SC and Atlanta. I also had a chance to move from TN to WA.

It’s a global world. You’re looking for reasons to leave because you want to but you know on paper it doesn’t make sense.

That’s not the reason to leave…put it that way.

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Can only speak for the company I work for, but we don’t care at all where a person went to school. It’s all about what they know! All our programmers go through a very in-depth programming interview so where you learned it doesn’t mean a thing.

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Hey! I’m actually dealing with a really similar thing. I am a sophomore at UC Davis. I absolutely hated my time there during my freshman year. And now that I’m back as a sophomore, I don’t love it, but I also don’t hate it liked I used to. I applied to a lot of colleges for spring transfer and am getting the decisions back now. A few months ago I knew for certain I wanted to transfer but now as I’m getting the decisions back I don’t feel as sure anymore. I could stay at UC Davis where I kind of know what’s going to happen or I could transfer. And if I transfer it could either be the best decision and I could have a way way better experience or it could be the same/worse than UC Davis. Just wanted to share my experience bc it sounds like we’re dealing with the same thing. We’ll figure it out! Lmk what you end up deciding to do. Best of luck!!!

I think many kids struggle at college…both mine did. But over time it gets better.

Much of it is kid specific…for example, if one isn’t outgoing, willing to reach out to others or to professors, etc. they might struggle anywhere.

Having most schools locked up last year certainly didn’t help - many suffered.

Good luck either way - but at a large school, one can always find their place - you just have to work at it.

The OP was a bit different…he likes his situation…he’s just letting the “pedigree” thing create confusion…anyway, good luck to you no matter what you do.

Thank you! Yeah it’s definitely confusing! I just really like the idea of a smaller school where I can have an easier time meeting professors and feeling a sense of community. I think that as more college decisions come in I’ll find some more clarity. Thanks for the advice, really good to hear.

How much “smaller” are the schools you’re looking at - or which?

Obviously what works best for you is what you need to do and good luck. Just remember, you can make a big school small but not vice versa.

But some kids definitely excel at different size schools.

I do think you can get to know your profs anywhere - but it takes effort - like regular office hours, etc.

Anyway, whatever best works for you - good luck.

btw - editing to add this thread - i just read the first two messages (no longer) but it might give you some insights into your thoughts.

Transfer back to old university? - Transfer Students - College Confidential Forums

Working in the tech world myself, there’s no such thing as prestige. After about 2 years of experience, employers don’t even ask where you went. I promise, you’re not missing anything going to Michigan or GA Tech. UConn is a flagship school that is heavily recruited by tech companies from all over the region and the country.

Financial aid has limits, and you don’t want to be in a position of running out of financial aid before you finish your degree. It sounds like your school is a terrific fit for you. Go with what works. You’ll find a job and have a good career. I did, and I went to a school a lot less prestigious than UConn.

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I agree with most of the posters that you should stay at UConn. Once you get above a certain minimum of school quality, the incremental career benefit of transferring goes way down. UConn is well above that minimum.

As for your career opportunities, UConn is 90 minutes from Boston and about two and a half hours from NYC. Close to half the population of CT falls within the NYC metro area.

Check the link above out. New York (including CT) was #2 for venture deals funded in 2020 and Boston (including CT) was #4 for venture deals funded in 2020. I am not sure what parts of CT fits into the Boston metro for this study, but that is how Pitchbook compiles the data. The reason so many CS majors stay in CT is because there are so many job opportunities in CT for CS majors.

FWIW, Detroit and Atlanta did not make the Top 10.

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I would leave UConn in a heartbeat and head to Georgia Tech or Michigan. UConn doesn’t come close to what the other two offer in terms of instructional quality, facilities, industry reputation, networking, intellectual vibe and quality of fellow students. GT and Michigan are top, top schools in CS. World class. UConn is mediocre at best, if even that.
Georgia Tech has the added advantage of being in a major city that also happens to be a huge tech huge that is rapidly developing into an even bigger tech hub. Yes, it’s stressful. That’s because it’s tops in its field. But there are countless campus activities, organizations and sports to follow. There’s school spirit if you want it. Unparalleled facilities. I imagine Michigan is similar in this regard. GT also has that super-smart vibe going for it.
Bottom line, while many emerge from a place like UConn and do just fine, it simply can’t open doors the way Georgia Tech or Michigan can. You will never find a top employer running an interviewing session for U Conn kids only, for instance. This happens at GT (can’t speak for Michigan on that one). Nor are many of your fellow students likely to end up leaders in their fields, as will be the case with the other two.

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I know many people on CC live and die on school rankings, but if you ask 90% of the people in this country about the difference between UConn, U of Michigan and Georgia Tech, they would tell you that UConn is good in basketball, Michigan is good in football, and Georgia Tech is bad in both. Most people don’t care that much about the differential in some college ranking between these kind of schools.

The rankings I provided on regional venture funding are a lot more relevant to a CS majors career prospects than some USN&WR survey of whoever they asked to put together their Computer Science rankings.

Technology is a very fragmented industry with a steady stream of new entrants. These companies do not hold receptions for recruits like those described in the post above. I know. Small tech companies often go to the best local university that they can drive to. New CS majors should want to be close to where the technology companies are, and for now, the top areas for new tech companies are still California, New York and Boston, and Atlanta and Detroit are not in the Top 10. I checked a map, and Connecticut is between New York and Boston, and close to both cities.

When a CS major applies for their first job, they may be competing with people from the local community college and directional state schools who worked their way through college and may already have experience. A Silicon Alley tech startup is as likely to hire someone from Stevens as Michigan if the kid from Stevens is smart. This is a field in which many CTOs still don’t have college degrees.

If we were talking about a career in banking or law, I would tell kids that the higher ranked schools could them a major leg up, although grad school is a lot more important than undergrad. For anything STEM, if they can’t get in the top 10 or so schools, then look for personal fit all the way down to 80-100. There just is not that big a difference to anyone that matters between a school ranked #38 (GTech) and #63 (UConn).

I won’t base my suggestion on rankings or anything arbitrary but instead focus on your comment above.

You mention concerns about making new friends and thriving academically in a bigger pool. Don’t doubt yourself!! You have done all the hard work, put in all the effort and have been recognized and accepted into some of the top CS programs in the world. As you mention the resources, alumni network and on campus recruiting will also offer you a much more diverse and broader set of geographic opportunities down the road.

Take your shot because if you are already pondering what if, you will surely do so later.

Good luck!

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Thanks for all the responses everyone!

As of now I am strongly leaning towards staying. After talking with family members, students at the prospective schools and people who have fared well in the professional world, I got the feeling that what I would be getting back wasn’t (substantially) worth the work I would need to put in, as well as what I would need to sacrifice in my current situation.

I would like to be on the east coast in the Boston/NYC area for my first job out of college anyways, and the internship I have lined up for this summer is for a Fortune 20 company, its Boston office.

As for peers, I do agree that being around some of the brightest minds would beneficial in my growth as a person and programmer. However, the goal of many of these people is to dive into research for grad school, work for FAANG or create a startup. As of now, none of those paths really resonate with me.

So really the question I have been asking myself is, What is the goal? Sure, I want to open up more opportunities for the future, attend cool tech talks, have access to world class facilities, and even have a shiny brand name on my diploma. But at the end of the day, I feel at the moment that by going, I could have a great time, move back to the east coast and get an awesome job. Or I could end up worse off than before. If my goal is the former, I think I’ll be able to get it done at UConn, especially when after a couple years working, I’ll be able to open up those same doors anyways.

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