UCF or U of AL Huntsville? Help decide

D21 accepted to both UCF and U of AL-Huntsville, both honors college. She originally was going for Physics, but now wants to major in Electrical Engineering. She is leaning toward UCF mostly due to the weather and location, although U of AL Huntsville would be about $7500/year cheaper and created a plan using her AP/DE credits where she could graduate in 3 years. We are a little less sure about UCF, but some of her credits don’t seem to transfer as easily. We can afford both schools but also appreciate good value. It could cost @$40,000 more over 4 years to go to UCF. Both ABET accredited. OOS for both but UCF would be a direct flight and Huntsville would be connecting. With the selectivity, UCF’s Burnett Honors seems more impressive? Is it? She is interested in going to graduate school, but that could change—as far as I can tell both seem to have BS/MS programs allowing her to take grad classes in undergrad and count toward both bs and ms. Are there better opportunities at one over the other? She would prefer living in FL long term rather than AL. I feel like her head is telling her Huntsville(because of price tag) but heart is telling her Orlando. Any opinions?

An option might be to graduate in 3 years from Huntsville, then use the savings for a graduate year elsewhere.

If cost is not a consideration, then UCF is the more exciting environment. But, the male to female ratio is quite different at the two schools; Huntsville has a much larger percentage of male students while UCF is majority female.

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She has considered this option!

Anyone else have anything to add?

I’m more a fan of checking both out and seeing where she feels comfortable…the 50K student school with football, etc. or the chill 10,000 kid school with no big sports, etc.

In this case as we are not talking Harvard I would think fit is the most important thing.

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Thank you-with covid 19 and none of our family vaccinated (brother immunocompromised) we don’t feel comfortable traveling. A year ago we were set to visit Huntsville at the end of March but cancelled. We are hoping for some opinions here.

I think my opinion is my opinion and it’s not for you - i.e. i’m not you. If you want to trust me, i’d say UCF. I also say i’m a great guy!! ha ha. :slight_smile: I’ve been to UAH. It’s like a business park. It’s not going to be an entire college experience. I’ve not been to UCF but the comments on the CC are overwhelmingly positive.

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Thank you. I think we are just trying to get feedback like this to make sure we are considering things we haven’t thought about and your comments definitely add something to the conversation to consider.:grin:

Burnett is stellar. If you can afford the cost differential out of pocket (no parental loans) there’s a definite added-value in the opportunities offered through that program v. Honors at UAH and IMHO it’s worth the difference in terms of number of peers and general experience. If you can’t afford UCF Burnett without parental loans then UAH is a solid fall back.


just inputting my opinion as an Alabamian. Huntsville has way more opportunities when it comes to engineering internships and jobs compare to Orlando. NASA, Boeing, Teledyne Brown, and space force (maybe?) are some of the biggest in Huntsville and female electrical engineers are very demanding these industries. She will definitely have a head start in engineering at Huntsville.


also definitely visit Huntsville before the decision. IMO, Huntsville usually looks nicer than its photos.

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Lots to think about. The more opinions, the better. Keep the discussion going.:grin:

While UA Huntsville is in an impressive large research park that Alabamians are right to be proud of, UCF was originally founded to provide engineers/scientists to Cape Canaveral, and keeps strong links with the Kennedy space center in addition to the companies you find at Huntsville (UAH does have links to Airbus that UCF doesn’t have, and UCF has links to Disney that UAH doesn’t have). So, I think it’s a wash in that regard.

Burnett Honors >UA Honors > UAH Honors though. (You can check out the book or website “Public Honors” to learn more. )
I’m actually quite impressed with how quickly UAH has risen and on the other hand UCF is having growth pains, but UCF is still quite a bit stronger overall and most especially stronger in terms of Honors College offerings and peers in that college.


Thank you for your insight and especially the “Public Honors” website. I checked it our last night and going to look at it some more now. I think D21 really wants to go to UCF and both she and I need justification that it is the right choice even though it has a higher price tag.

Hi. My son is a sophomore at UAH, studying mechanical engineering. We are in Florida and he actually decided on UAH over UCF (turning down Bright Futures and a nice UCF scholarship to boot). He is a studious and non partying kid, and UAH is perfect for him. He’s met some really nice kids. UCF was just too large for his liking. If your daughter would enjoy a large campus and student population, UCF is a great choice. UAH definitely has the nerdier vibe. But so far we’ve had no issues with the school and my son loves Huntsville. Good advice above and don’t think you can go wrong education wise with either choice. Good luck to your daughter.

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Thank you. This is great to hear. She is a more quiet/studious person as well and doesn’t care about whether a school has a football team. I think she could see herself at either. Do you have opinions on the honors college? There seem to be a lot more offerings at UCF, although I don’t know how easy it is to get the honors classes she would want, when she wants.

He is in honors at UAH, but honestly I don’t know if he will continue it next year. It was beneficial for selecting classes earlier the first couple of years, and maybe dorm selection as well. He has taken a few honors courses, but I’m not sure how the selection compares to UCF. He just doesn’t see the point in the honors college. Most of the students there are smart kids, whether in honors or not. He was able to be on the honors floor in the dorms his second year. Next year he and his friends are looking to rent an apartment or house. He’s ready to be off campus. Hope this helps some.

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FYI-She chose UCF. Huntsville is an amazing school, though and she and I really appreciate the admissions people and staff/students at Huntsville who helped answer all her questions through the process. Huntsville was a solid second choice.


What made the difference for her?

I think she already envisioned herself at UCF-the weather, direct flight, campus and dorms, Orlando area. She thinks she may eventually want to live in FL. Huntsville definitely had the better price and a better 3 year plan. I think if Huntsville were located in FL or she needed to find the better value, she would have gone with Huntsville. Both schools seem to be good for STEM. She didn’t seem to have a preference for large or medium size university. I’m so glad that CC forums introduced us to both UCF and Huntsville. She was accepted to UCFs Burnett Honors College which helped with decision to go to the larger school.


Thank you!
Posting the reasoning behind a decision is very useful to future applicants who may be faced with similar dilemmas!
Congratulations :slight_smile: :slight_smile: