Hello. I am a newbie here, and not sure if I’m at the right place. My son got accepted to UIUC and Georgia Tech engineering program as a college freshman (2021 fall). We are residents of IL, so sending him to UIUC would be a lot cheaper. We are not rich by any means, but we are wondering if we should put our efforts to come up with extra money and resources to send him to GT. In other words, is it worth the money to send him to Atlanta. I know GT ranks higher and the weather is nicer in GA. I thank you in advance for any input or information.


Have you checked to see if any Out of State Tuition Waivers may apply to you at GT?

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MIT, Caltech, Stanford … yeah pay up…
All other schools… stay with UIUC
(but, to be fair, GT OOS Tuition isn’t THAT much more … 19k per yr difference)

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First - congratulations. Both are at the very top in engineering, and being accepted to both means that your kid is an exceptionally strong applicant. They are equivalent by way of reputation, education quality, and job opportunities, so, as Illinois residents, UIUC is a clear better choice. Cost is not only in tuition, but in things like travel.

The difference in rank is minimal for engineering. As for weather, it depends on whether a person prefers cold and dank to freezing during the school year. From my point of view, neither have very nice weather.

Urbana is warmer than Chicagoland, though (and nicer, IMO - I lived 7 years in Urbana and 15 in Chicagoland).


Both are top engineering programs. I can’t see value in paying ~$65,000+ more over 4 years to attend Georgia Tech over in-state tuition.

(I’d say the same for a Georgia resident, to choose GT.)


Both are top Engineering programs and you have GT which is urban (not in the best of neighborhoods), vs UIUC which is an actual college town campus. One GT isn’t really necessarily better than UIUC so not sure why anyone would go to GT over UIUC as an Illinois resident unless like my own kid, they absolutely had no interest in UIUC, the program was comparable, you’re ok with the different campus and you can afford it. If the money is a non issue, then go for it. If the money is a big consideration then it is absolutely not worth it. Don’t forget with GT you also have to factor in a lot of travel back and forth as well as hotel stays when you go visit, move in, etc.

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Would the extra money for GT require parental loans or make it difficult to save for your retirement or pay for college for any younger kids?

GT does give one free change of major within the first few semesters. At UIUC, many majors are filled to capacity, so if he wants to change major, doing so may be difficult if the new major is a “full” one (the most competitive engineering majors require a 3.75 college GPA just to enter a competitive admission process). That is probably the biggest difference that the money for GT would buy, but it may or may not matter to the specific student.

For UIUC this is really only true for a few of the Engineering majors, so depending which one this kid was accepted in, it may be a non issue. If he was only accepted into PREP at UIUC, then GT may be the better option if the goal is to transfer into CS, ME, or CE at UIUC. But if they’re a great student now, then the other majors are less impacted and most students are able to successfully transfer in. It’s just a lot of pressure to have on oneself to try to do so. The first few semesters of the Engineering curriculum at UIUC are identical no matter what major you’re in with the exception of a few courses in your specific major, so if you don’t do well there anyway, your best bet may be to transfer out of Engineering altogether.

If you’re in-state for UIUC, I would go there. There wouldn’t be any additional benefit sending him to GT for triple the tuition. Sure the weather in GA is nice…but it’s not worth THAT much!