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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.