U mich vs. U Maryland for Engineering

<p>Trying to decide which school is the best for me. Both schools are OOS for me but the tuition at U Mich is approximately $12-14 thousand more per year. Is the extra cost worth the quality of education at U Michigan?</p>

<p>Is the $14k difference going to be debt or is it money your parents can easily afford? If the former, go for Maryland, if the latter, go for Michigan.</p>

<p>By the way, unless Maryland offer you some sort of scholarship, Michigan is $9,000 more than Maryland, not $12,000-$14,000. Still, if that's all going to be debt, $40,000 over 4 years is never worth it.</p>

<p>For the academic year 2009-2010
<a href="http://www.financialaid.umd.edu/budgets/2009.undergrad.budget.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.financialaid.umd.edu/budgets/2009.undergrad.budget.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>For the academic year 2010-2011
University</a> of Michigan Office of Financial Aid: Cost of Attendance</p>

<p>I agree, if its going to cost you 40k debt more than you definately need to further imput your consideration on Maryland because Maryland is a really good school too.</p>

<p>It's less a question of debt and more about will engineering oportunities be more readily available from Going to Michigan over Maryland. Is it worth the extra cost? I believe Michign is ranked 8 th and Maryland I think 17 th for their engineering programs.</p>

<p>Those are graduate school rankings, which are obviously not that different from undergraduate rankings. </p>

<p>For undergraduate Engineering, Michigan is #7 and Maryland is #23. </p>

<p>Either way, there is a difference in quality, but is it worth $40,000? If your folks are well off, then yes. If your folks aren't well off and you must pay for the $40,000 through loans, then no.</p>

<p>Alex,
Not that I disagree with your recommendation, but I'm curious to understand how you reached your conclusion that the quality is different. Also, what does a difference of # 7 vs # 23 mean for the average undergraduate engineering student?</p>

<p>If your family can afford it, it's definitely worth it.</p>

<p>Hawkette, a 15 spot difference in ranking when comparing universities in their totality is insignificant. But in a specific major, a 15 spot difference is noteworthy. For example, the difference between Harvard and Brown or Penn and Rice or between Dartmouth and Georgetown is insignificant. But between Wharton and Maryland (Smith) or between Ross and Krannert is significant, as is the difference between MIT and V Tech or between Cornell and Maryland in Engineering.</p>

<p>From a more technical angle, the higher ranked programs will generally have better faculty, better facilities, more resources, more research opportunities for undergrads etc...</p>

<p>I will be seeing Maryland s facilities beg April. Just visited Michigan and was very impressed by every facet of the school.I appreciate your help, it is a big decision. Maryland is a drive and Michigan is a flight. I guess I'll know when I step on campus. I've been to Maryland before though, just didn't have the chance to visit with the engineering dept.</p>

<p>Alex,
IMO, 15 ranking spots can be pretty significant. Consider some of these:</p>

<h1>10 Duke vs. # 25 USC</h1>

<h1>20 Notre Dame vs. # # 35 Georgia Tech/UCSD/Lehigh/U Rochester</h1>

<h1>31 Brandeis vs. # 46 UC Irvine</h1>

<p>IMO, it's a tier down and sometimes more. </p>

<p>As for your comments about engineering, I struggle to understand what this means in practice for the average undergraduate student. What does "better faculty" mean to the student and how is this measured? How does one decide which college has "better facilities/resources?" Can't lower ranked colleges often provide similar levels or even more opportunities for research? </p>

<p>Where I strongly disagree is with your reliance on departmental rankings as they relate to the average undergraduate student. IMO the department rankings may be helpful for those who want to pursue a career in academia as they can carry some signaling value for that career path. That's fine if that's what is important to you, but the reality of the average undergraduate student's experience is rarely correlated to this subjective measurement. </p>

<p>Far more valuable clues are 1) the student selectivity of these engineering schools and 2) where the students get placed, both in terms of job type and geography. Employers know where the best students go and that plus the geography have the largest impact on where they will go to hire. There may be overlap with high PA schools, but the next employer I meet who cares what a Peer Assessment score is will be the first.</p>

<p>Hawkette, you and I value different things. To each his own.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Where I strongly disagree is with your reliance on departmental rankings as they relate to the average undergraduate student. IMO the department rankings may be helpful for those who want to pursue a career in academia as they can carry some signaling value for that career path. That's fine if that's what is important to you, but the reality of the average undergraduate student's experience is rarely correlated to this subjective measurement.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Often times, dept. rankings are more impt. than general rankings of a school, esp. in fields such as science and engineering.</p>

<p>Markjum, as a college counselor/adviser working with many rising freshman engineers, first- Congrats on your acceptance to 2 such fine programs. </p>

<p>I tend to agree with you about the quality of UMich's engineering program. UMich's faculty, resources for research and hands on experience is matchless in a state university. And yes the program is ranked # 7 for it's undergrad program as well as the caliber of it's placement program following graduation. Better than all other public universities.</p>

<p>What type of engineering will you study? If you can afford it, UMich is a step above UMaryland. Best of luck to you.</p>

<p>Everyone on here is so damn obsessed with rankings. Both programs are great and what really will matter to employers is YOU and how hard you work. Go where feels right and the rest will fall into place.</p>

<p>

I highly recommend an overnight visit with a current student, if possible. It's impossible to see all of the inner workings of a college in just a few hours.</p>

<p>Mamalu,
Thank you very much for your response. I have always been interested in electrical engineering and circuitry. I was accepted to both schools for that program but Michigan puts all first year students in a first year engineering program allowing students to get their feet wet in any and all disciplines that they may be considering. In Maryland, if I decide that I want to change my interest or engineering field, I would have to switch to that field.When I finally declare in Michigan, I will have to meet the GPA criteria that is set for each engineering field. I suspect that there is a weed out process and this does make me a little nervous, but I would have to maintain a decent GPA anywhere I go. I am a very hard worker and a driven person. Given the current economic climate, I just would like to have the best chance for a job when I graduate. I guess I will visit Maryland again to make sure and choose the place I can best see myself in both socially and academically. I love sports and good times, I am just worried about not being able to participate in everything.</p>

<p>Maryland's forte is Aerospace Engineering, where it actually rivals Michigan. This said, in terms of finding gainful employement in Engineering, I think Maryland will be as effective as Michigan. I have not looked at statistical data for Maryland, but I would estimate that given its lofty ranking, starting salaries and employment opportunies should match those at Michigan. </p>

<p>Honnestly, I cannot see how one can justify taking on an additional $40,000 of debt to attend Michigan when Maryland is the alternative. If you were considering Cal, Caltech, MIT or Stanford, I would say go for it. But for schools like CMU, Cornell, GT, Michigan, UIUC, although slightly better than Maryland in Engineering, are not worth the extra cost unless your parents are wealthy, in which case, $40,000 is totally worth it.</p>

<p>The best thing about Maryland is that it's in the DC Metro area and there's plenty of employment opportunities with the big federal consulting and defense companies, and College Park kids do very well in the region. To be perfectly honest, Michigan Engineering is way better than Maryland, UMich is an academic powerhouse, while Maryland is just a very good public school, I'm not a prestige driven person, but having UMich Engineering on my resume has helped me a lot, my job isn't in engineering, but I have noticed how much credibility I have because people know that I graduated from a great engineering program. </p>

<p>I personally think the 40k is worth it if it's not causing too much hardship and you'd like to get out of the DC area. If you are getting an engineering degree, that's really not much debt. For what it's worth, several of my close friends in college were from MD and got or got close to full scholarship to Maryland, they all agreed that coming to Michigan was worth the extra money.</p>

<p>Hey KB 10,
Thanks for the input. I actually don't live in MD so I can't avail myself to the in state tuition for Maryland. I have not gotten notice for merit money yet either and I'm not sure it's coming. The one thing I noticed at Michigan was the academic maturity of the people who go there. I had the opportunity to ask many questions at the engineering school and the people seemed very happy. My sister attends GW and I thought it would be nice to be in that area for the year that we overlap. Even if you try to dismiss the rankings, it is hard to dismiss the # of companies that come to Michigan to look for their engineers. They have a program called Hire ME and over 1000 companies come twice a year to speak with the students. I know Maryland has similar programs but a lot of the jobs and internships are government based. Also looking for some thoughts on how the financial problems in Michigan will affect the university going forward because it is a publc university. Don't want to begin there and them have problems with the services that they offer. Maybe I should just go to Northeastern (which I threw out solely for the rankings) but they do have a great Coop program,but don't guarantee that you can get one.</p>