hello!! 5/1 is approaching - i’m stressed
ASU w/barrett or UIUC for an electrical engineering major (and possible enviro science minor)?
the factors i’m considering are rigor, resources, research available, recruiting, and social life (i dont plan to rush)
these are comments i found online:
Prestige: UIUC is always ranked top 10 while ASU is in the top 30s. the UIUC network is incredibly strong in tech hubs
Rigor: The classes at UIUC are definitely harder. Note, that’s not to say you won’t learn as much at ASU (it prepares well for graduate school). assignments at ASU are easier. also, Barrett at ASU comes with the requirement of completing a thesis before graduation, which i imagine will be a huge addition to my grad school app.
Resources: in both places, there are labs you can use, research programs for undergrads, a place to grab coffee and a bite to eat, etc. professors at both schools are really open and willing to work with undergrads. also, pheonix is a very active tech hub.
Recruiting: The number of tech companies that recruit from ASU pales in comparison to UIUC. You will definitely see some big names at ASU (e.g., Intel, Microsoft, Google, etc.) but they are only there occasionally. At UIUC, there seems to be a recruiting event going on every week.
Social Life: Both programs are at very large universities (pro in my mind). UIUC is definitely more competitive than ASU. Champaign(UIUC) is in the middle of nowhere, but campus is absolutely HUGE to make up for it - tempe(ASU) is very lively and right next to mill ave, so there’s tons to do.
some general comparisons:
they both have amazing programs and resources, but UIUC is definitely going to be more competitive, difficult, and stressful. i imagine it will be a lot harder to get research/internships at UIUC because of the competition. but the professors, atmosphere, and prestige of UIUC is genuinely so appealing to me. the people i’ve met from there so far are also SO kind and lovely and warm. (i do expect to feel mad imposter syndrome at UIUC though, grainger is full of a bunch of geniuses from all around the world). my GPA at ASU is likely going to be higher - U of I is notorious for difficult grading & tests that don’t match the practice problems done in class at all. also, i am from SoCal (weather isn’t a deal breaker, i actually don’t like arizona weather very much and would love to go far away to experience something new lol). i am also a girl and EE has a very …large… gender gap - UIUC has such a strong women in engineering network, which i love. ASU has a strong and welcoming SWE network too, but it didnt especially stand out to me. additionally, i want to work for a few years after undergrad before going into a (hopefully) top school for my masters to pursue further research and academia.
i will be taking out about 20k worth of loans for UIUC. however, i am not too concerned about paying it back within 1-2 years after graduation given the typical starting salary of an EE with the name of UIUC. ASU will require no loans bc i got wonderful merit aid.
- 20k max, i anticipate a little less because i will move off campus, work, apply for scholarships, etc.
sorry this isnt a bullet point pro/con list!!! but with all this in mind, is UIUC worth the difficulty and the loans? my heart is set on UIUC (not going to lie, the prestige plays a role in that) but ASU is a really great option too. i know i’d be happy at both schools.