I received admission into UCLA’s CS school as well as UW (normal admission, not CS). I’m having trouble deciding on which school I should attend… Here are lists of the pros and cons of each school:

-Already received admission into the CS program
-Great campus

-Costs a lot more than UW (35k a year after FA)
-I don’t know anyone (not too big of a factor)

UW Pros
-A lot cheaper (7k a year after FA)
-A lot of my friends go/will be going here
-Also a great campus

UW Cons
-I would have to apply for the CS program, which is extremely competitive. If I don’t get in, I won’t be able to major in CS here

Over the course of 4 years, I would graduate at UW with no debt, while at UCLA I’d be about $40k in debt. As for my competence, I maintain a 4.0 UW GPA and got a 35 on the ACT if those mean anything. I’m willing to study a LOT at either school. I know full well that a high GPA won’t guarantee my admission into UW’s CS program however.

Please give me some opinions and insight on which school I should commit to. Thank you!

Go to UW and join the CS program. Have a backup plan in place. From a financial standpoint, UW is better. UW also offers just as good, if not better opportunities.

If I were in your shoes I would go to UW. Its unfortunate that you weren’t a direct admit into CS but they say that’s not common

What you want to do, as you’ve already said you know, is work hard at UW. And it’s probably more work than HS kids expect. Its typical for kids doing well in math/science courses to spend 5-10 hours per week outside of class on each subject; doing homework, reading the material, doing extra problems. That last one is often a surprise. There is no rule that says you can’t do more than the assigned problems, and its repeated practice that really drives the points home. For the classes UW mentioned there are problem-solver books like the “Calculus Problem Solver” that have thousands of worked problems. Use these to drill and test yourself on the material until you really know it cold.

There is a book you ought to read that was published last year about the latest research in learning. Its titled “Making it Stick” and if you read it you will understand how to use your time most effectively. They have a website set up at http://makeitstick.net/ to introduce the book.