What school can I go to?

<p>I am an non-traditional student. I've been to college on and off for the last 10 years. I'm currently 30. It seems that I had an epiphany two years ago. My freshman, junior and senior years of High School were done in The Bronx in probably the worst school in the city. I did my sophmore year in the Dominican Republic, in Spanish. My class rank was about 119 out of 34x students. If I remember correctly, my GPA was a 74. Every year I had night school and summer school. A lot of failures, usually not in Math classes where I did well. My freshmen year in high school when comparing it to every other student's, I notice that I was placed in Sequential Math I (I think that's comparable to intermediate algebra) While everyone else was placed in classes like fundamental math which is two years behind SM I. The requirements to graduate HS when I was in NYC at the time were three years of Math and SM I and II are required. Which was the common courses of seniors and juniors. When I told a counselor he changed it no questions asked. I was a jit so I didn't know better. My parents don't know English, and my step dad finished the 3rd grade. Recently I learned the magnitude of this mistake. I was placed in Algebra because I had 99 percentile in the citywide math tests when I was in middle school. </p>

<p>Like I said before my college career wasn't too hot either. When I moved to Miami and started working here, my bosses noticed how analytical I am. One even told me "I swear, I don't know what you are doing here. You can be somewhere else making more money with your knowledge." I sold TVs, but was technically adept since my hobby was reading engadget and similar sites. Nevertheless, I noticed what they saw in me when I took programming classes. So I worked in this place for two years, and then it kicked in. I could excel in Engineering or some type of analytical career. I then started learning how to do well in school, changed my study habits and my major. I went to tutoring labs, I studied in the library and did things I've never done before. I went from taking Trigonometry last summer to CalcIII which I'm currently enrolled on and dropped no classes, and failed no classes since. In my most important classes my grades are / will be Calc I, III, DiffEq, Phy I & II, and ChemI A's Linear algebra and Calc II B, those two B's where about 86-89ish. The only reason they are B is because an Illness in my immediate family, so I started the semester bad. In my current classes I have the highest scores. In phyics another student and myself have around 96~98 avg. The third highest avg is about 79. </p>

<p>I wrote all this for a reason. I graduated community college with a 3.4x GPA. I wish they only count the best 60 credits :), but I can't change my past. The point is "I believe" I have the ability to excel. I had to learn how to since I was never taught. </p>

<p>I would like to go to the best school I possibly can go to. I know a lot of them are X'd out because my scores are too low. Because my college doesn't have +- grades my Math Sci GPA after Calc I is 3.77. </p>

<p>I want to major in computer engineering. For graduate studies I would like to take computational finance, financial math, financial engineering if I can get into a good school for that. Otherwise I'll finish the masters in computer/electrical eng. </p>

<p>The point of all this, again is that I think I can handle it. I didn't know how to, but I've learned. So which are the "best" schools that I might have a chance of being accepted to, considering past grades, age, etc. What would be my chances? Applications fees are kind of expensive.</p>

<p>Your main limitations are going to be capital and geographical area (if you are inflexible).</p>

<p>I have no capital and I prefer warmer climates, but I'm not limiting myself. I'm willing to finance my education.</p>

<p>If you are currently in Florida, feel free to check out University of Central Florida and University of Florida. Both are big public universities and both have good engineering programs. Anecdotes say companies such as Lockheed Martin and Siemens recruit people from UCF from time to time (the fact that both companies have facilities very close to UCF might help; I'd expect UCF's career center has good relationships with said companies).</p>

<p>My recommendation is to attend an institution that will allow you to graduate with no more than $10,000 in debt.</p>

<p>I would first check your state flagship school, which should have some kind of program form for computer engineering. This is probably the cheapest four year institution that you can find since you are counted in state.</p>

<p>Look at the courses that you could possibly transfer - those that you listed will without a doubt be transfered because they are vital to Engineering - so that completes a lot of the general engineering curriculum. But there are usually random general electives and such i.e. humanities, social sciences, writing that you can get done for cheap at your community college.</p>

<p>A 3.4 GPA is pretty darn good and even more impressive that they are on an upward trend (if you got all As in the end, it will matter a WHOLE lot more than a random set of As, Bs, and occasional C's from beginning to end) and I high doubt they will even care about your high school GPA since it was so long ago and you have completed a significant amount of coursework. The only question that remains is whether or not you will take the SAT... which is required in a lot of colleges for transfers but not necessarily all of them.</p>

<p>I would try to play your nontraditional student role as much as possible your story inspires and deeply touches me even now as a simple post. Use those emotions in an incredible essay - which can change things in the application process. </p>

<p>Application fees are expensive, but you can get fee waivers to certain schools so you should look into that. I know schools like Cornell University are pretty good about financial aid, so that would be a good reach for you. Try for many other top schools that you can get app fee waivers for like University of Illinios: Urbana Campaign, University of Michigan: Ann Arbor, Purdue University, UT Austin and especially Georgia Tech, which is close to you in Georgia (assuming you are from Florida).</p>

<p>I don't know how much you already know in the above information - but please apply to schools and pay attention to the Financial Aid and weigh their benefits to amount of debt you will be taking.</p>

<p>Thanks for your replies.</p>

<p>@TheMan777
I applied to UF, and GT. Every school you've mentioned are pretty Elite engineering schools. I also thought of UT, since I think I'll end up working in Texas if I don't get into finance. I’ve in Miami for the past 3 years but I have no allegiance to this place. It will be a good riddance in fact. The majority aren’t courteous, and disregard traffic laws and the safety of others, they are lazy, glamour and glitz, and no one that is bilingual actually use Spanish. I thank you for your reply, it is really appreciated.
How would I go about getting the fee waivers? </p>

<p>I'm interested in all of those schools, but if I get accepted to GT, UIUC is out of the question. Undergraduate</a> Engineering Specialties: Computer - Best Colleges - Education - US News and World Report MIT has almost nil transfer spots, and the requirements for those two California school I can't meet. Are there any more good schools for CE/EE, which I'm eligible for?</p>

<p>College</a> Application Fee Waivers</p>

<p>That might help explain the entire fee waiver process to you.</p>

<p>I think you already have an excellent list with UF and GT. If you got into GT, I wouldn't worry about applying to any other schools because GT is probably the best public engineering school our nation has to offer (second to maybe a school like UC Berkeley). I think if you moved instate to Georgia it might help lower the tuition, so you know - play around with the system.</p>

<p>Any other suggested schools from me? I guess thats a lot of the best public schools I mentioned, besides Cornell, but maybe shoot for Rice if you are interested in Texas schools. CMU is a great EE/CE school - but its transfer rates are very very low.</p>

<p>Here an old list of US News rankings for 2008 provided here on CC: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/engineering-majors/382751-usnews-2008-engineering-ranking-compilation.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/engineering-majors/382751-usnews-2008-engineering-ranking-compilation.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>TBH, I wouldn't worry about ranking of engineering program since you already want to pursue a masters, which would matter more in which school you go to - if any really.</p>