UMD College Park, Georgia Tech, UIUC or RHIT CompSci?

<p>Well, the dust settles, and I'm left with four choices for undergraduate computer science </p>

<p>University of Maryland, College Park (UMD, in-state)
Georgia Institute of Technology (GTech)
University of Illinois Urbana Chapaign (Division of General Studies)
Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. </p>

<p>So the main two players are UMD and GTech.</p>

<p>UMD is in-state. In addition to being closer to home so I could more easily spend the summer with my family while still keeping an internship, it's going to be significantly cheaper. I was accepted into their scholar's program. They're ranked at number 14 for Computer Science.</p>

<p>GTech is going to be more expensive. Atlanta, while it's not my home, doesn't sound like a bad place. The weather's a bit nicer there. I'm not likely to get much in the way of scholarships. It's also smaller, which is a big plus, though the scholar's program (which groups students into housing by area of focus) kind of balances that out. The school is ranked number 10. </p>

<p>University of Illinois is ranked higher than both of them, but I wasn't accepted into the school of Engineering, only the Division of General Studies... also Illinois can be a bit... ick. </p>

<p>RHIT, from what I hear, can't compete with any of them in terms of CompSci. Both UIUC and RHIT are way out of the way for visiting, especially since I'm not considering them too strongly.</p>

<p>So which one is the better choice?
Which has the best job opportunities after college?
Which one has the degree that will mean the most?
Which has decent grad school acceptance?
and, most importantly...</p>

<p>Where will I learn the most? I want to be a top of the line computer scientist when I'm older, though I recognize that these schools aren't on par with Berkeley, Stanford, CMU, MIT and the like, but hey, there's always grad school :)</p>

<p>Any advice? Thanks in advance!!</p>

<p>Don't worry about #10 vs. #14 vs. #1, etc.. At the macro level, they should all be fine schools for computer science or engineering.</p>

<p>Take a look at the following:</p>

<ul>
<li>Check the net cost after non-loan financial aid. Depending on the difference, this may be the biggest factor.</li>
<li>Are you in the major, or will you be able to declare the major easily, or will you need to apply to the major competing against other students due to limited space in the major?</li>
<li>Check the course catalog in CS. Check for the core CS courses (e.g. algorithms, operating systems, networks, compilers, software engineering, databases, security, computer architecture), but also check which elective CS courses they have -- some schools may have different concentrations of elective CS courses due to faculty and student interest. Check how quickly the introductory sequence goes -- a faster pace may be more suitable for those with programming experience, but may be overwhelming for those with none. Check that CS courses use a variety of programming languages so that your thinking about CS won't be limited by one programming language.</li>
</ul>

<p>UMD for me! Cause I live like down the street from this amazing school :)</p>

<p>Assuming Maryland is substantially cheaper -> Maryland.</p>

<p>We have the same decision in front of us, including scholars at UMD, but for UMD, RPI, and Georgia Tech, and still haven't decided between computer science and engineering. I think it really comes down to fit. GT has really good internship and coop programs, and of course UMD has all the federal agencies for potential internships. Money is a favor also, but for schools this close I wouldn't even worry about the ranking.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that UMD, is well known for its science and engineering majors.</p>

<p>This post illustrates a lot of what is positively evil about USNWR rankings. That someone would consider spending tens of thousands of dollars more to go to a school that's ranked a few spots higher ...</p>

<p>Fortunately, the OP asked before he signed up. I shudder to think how many kids and parents don't.</p>

<p>Sit down with your parents or whoever it is who will be helping you pay for your education, and run the numbers here: FinAid</a> | Calculators | Award Letter Comparison Tool Then talk about just exactly what else you might do with the money saved by going to UMD instead of one of the others and/or what options having a lower expense for your education would give you. </p>

<p>Some families are fine with paying whatever the bill is for their kid's dream school, and will shell out for an institution that they believe is a somewhat better fit. If you are in that situation, you are truly fortunate. Most of us, however, do have to choose the least expensive option for our children's educations. If that is the situation you find yourself in, you can be glad that your least expensive option is still an excellent one!</p>

<p>Yeah, I am pretty lucky to have UMD available to me as a state school. I just didn't know if there was a substantial difference between Tech and UMD. Given that I don't absolutely despise the campus when I go to visit, UMD might be my most valid option.</p>

<p>sirgerbil -</p>

<p>If you google around a bit, you can find out what factors go into the USNWR rankings system, and how those factors are weighted. Once you look at the formula itself, you will be able to determine whether or not what USNWR considers "important" has anything at all to do with your own college and career goals, and you will see clearly that in almost every case, a difference of less than say 50 to 100 points really is insignificant.</p>

<p>UMD for the money. Google did just fine with an UMD grad for a founder.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone :) any more advice?</p>