Wash U vs RPI

<p>My S has been accepted to both schools, among others, but these two are his main interest in Comp Sci and Math. Does anyone have any wisdom as to which one is better for this program and why? He is a nerd and enjoys math very much. We have to,however, get a better aid package. Both are lacking and Wash U's is really lacking as it wasn't even for four years. Your comments are greatly appreciated.</p>

<p>Since no one's responded yet, I'll give the little opinion that I have...
I know close to nothing about RPI.
However, if your son is more math-oriented and "nerdy," I think RPI might be better. WashU is much more laid-back and liberal-artsy than RPI is, so he might not fit in as well as he would at RPI. Also, I don't know how the math or compsci programs are at either, but I believe he'd have a stronger math/compsci community at RPI.
WashU, though, would probably be much more likely to increase your financial aid package. It's also more highly ranked (if that matters) and an excellent quality of life. Your son would definitely find people to befriend, but I think it would just be easier at RPI.
Once again, these are just my thoughts, but I don't really know enough to say anything for sure.</p>

<p>Has your son visited both schools? These two schools are very, very different. </p>

<p>RPI is one of the top "tech" schools and is very much oriented to science and math (except for the few architecture and management majors). It emphasizes the practical application of knowledge. The male:female ratio is roughly 2:1. It's in Troy, NY -- armpit of the nation (and in the middle of the snow belt). And hockey is the only "real" sport there.</p>

<p>WUSTL is a university with a strong focus on the humanities/liberal arts that has engineering and business schools too. The male:female ratio is close to 1:1 and it's in the Midwest. </p>

<p>Your son will get an excellent education at either school, but if he really is a "nerd" he will find many more soulmates at RPI. On the other hand, your son might get a more balanced education and have a more normal social life at WUSTL.</p>

<p>And if you think I'm dissing RPI, I certainly am not since I'm a graduate of the 'Tute! But having gone there myself, I know that it's not to everyone's taste. I would urge your son to carefully consider the differences. RPI and WUSTL have completely different cultures, and he is likely to find one a much better fit than the other.</p>

<p>Thanks to you both for your resposes - this has been a very long 'trip' as S has applied to 9 schools, getting in to 4. Wait listed 2. YES he has seen every school and recently to Wash U for the Engineering Days. He came home to say that he felt 'wuite the left wheel' there as no one seemed to be as nerdy as he is. </p>

<p>I am encouraging him to look over both schools and talk to current students for more information. I appreciate your discussion of what is important. If I were in his shoes, I would look at the program, as It is better at RPI. He lives and breaths math and much like his nerdy father enjoys to play with Calculus in his free time (why would you do THAT??).</p>

<p>It sounds to me like RPI might be the best choice, then. If he feels "left out" at WashU, then it might not be the place for him. Good luck on the decision!</p>

<p>Hey, there are definitely nerds at WashU; I know since I've run into quite a few of them! But I will have to admit the "nerd density" here will not compare to a top tech university like RPI, and many of the nerds here are more "balanced" nerds. For graduate school in a "nerdy" field I was considering both RPI and Wash U myself and ended up here more because of other reasons. If you are looking for a total nerd hangout, RPI is definitely more of your place to be, but I loved it here at Wash U and still do. Hey, maybe I'm not as big of a nerd as people tell me! :)</p>