Which school is best for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

I’m an international students living in Saudi Arabia.
My academics:
• 1450 SAT (800 Math)
• 760 SAT Physics
• 800 SAT Math Level 2
• 3.9 GPA
• I didn’t take the TOEFL, but hopefully 100+
My Extracurriculars
• I tutor my brother and his friends.
• I’m an intern at Marj3, an online platform that has 250,000+ followers.
• I applied to Yale Young Global Scholars.
• I was a manager at a 50,000+ facebook group for 2 years.
• I read a lot.
• I workout 1 hour a day.
• I’m a participant in a scholarship in which the top 0.1% of participabts will get a Udacity Data Analyst Nanodegree for free.
I hope that you answer me soon.

If you can comment on my English level, I will be grateful.
Thanks in advance.

You are really asking the wrong question. It isn’t about the best school, you really have to look at the intersection of three questions. 1) Where can I afford? 2) Where will admit me? and 3) Where would I like to go? Fixating to one school, is a recipe for disaster. Even if everyone could come to agreement on what the top school is (impossible), you would have to understand that very few open spots even exist. Let us use MIT as an example, They graduate about 400 CS+EE students a year. About 11% of the population is international. So that implies that they are looking for about 45 international students a year for CS+EE. Do you really want put all of your eggs in that basket?

Hi DarkKnight517363,

Your stats are great, especially in the subjects that influence potential in EE, so I think you’re chances of attending a top EE program is high, but some programs require a 100+ on the TOEFL, so you’ll probably want to meet that condition (though sometimes internationals are given conditional admission that require enrollment in English classes or an increase in TOEFL by a certain time).

From what I can tell, your written English is fine, although I’m basing this off a rather short post and not an essay.

Extracurricular wise, I’d say that reading and working out are too general and won’t help much in a resume.

Applying to the Yale Global Scholars, I’m not sure what this means. I am also confused by you being participant in a scholarship in which the top 0.1% of participabts will get a Udacity Data Analyst Nanodegree for free. Did you get accepted into the Yale Global Scholars, or could you explain more? Did you get the Udacity Data Analyst Nanodegree or are the results still pending?

Based on your stats alone (GPA, SAT scores), consider Cornell, USC, UCBerkeley/UCLA/UCSD, WPI, RPI, V-tech. You can always apply to the tippy top like Stanford, MIT, CMU, Caltech, Harvard, but it’s very difficult to determine your admission chances since every applicant, especially internationals, will also be competitive. From students I know who got into MIT and Caltech for computer science, many had published papers, patents, self-developed apps, etc. in high school. Maybe you should talk to them and ask how you can improve your chances? PM me if you’d like me to introduce you to them.

You should ask which is the best school for you and you can be admitted. It may or may not be the best school. The best school also want the best students.

Below are some of the best EE departments.

Cal (Berkeley)
Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Michigan-Ann Arbor
Georgia Tech
Carnegie Mellon
Purdue-West Lafayette
Texas A&M
Virginia Tech
Penn State

Considering TOEFL, I think I will get 100+. I’m worried about the extracurriculars side. And the results are still pending I don’t know yet.

What are you looking for? If you are looking for a smaller school, Swarthmore and Harvey Mudd have impressive engineering programs for their size.

Otherwise, a lot of the top programs are public schools. UIUC has a healthy relationship with international students. In the CS group chat, there were many Asian/Middle-Eastern admittees. It can be very difficult for schools that aren’t as welcoming to a large international population.

I want schools that has good Engineering programs and significant financial aid for international students.

Frankly, with your stats and the need for significant FA, you don’t have many choices. Other than MIT, all colleges listed above are either need-aware for international applicants, which would significantly reduce your chance, or provide no FA to international students. For MIT, your stats and ECs may not be competitive.

What 1NJParent is trying to tell you is that you may have to apply to slightly lower-caliber schools to increase your chances of getting in. Target top-50 private universities/colleges, and those public schools which offer financial aid to international students based on SAT scores. You can find that information through google; there are also lists on this site but many haven’t been updated in years. (For example this one, note it uses the old SAT scoring. http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/)

Add northeastern and Case Western Reserve University as they are needs meet, although you should check to see if that is the case for international students as well.

And if anyone has advice about how to improve my extracurriculars?.

Northeastern does not give need-based aid to international students. The SAT and ACT are also not required and according to their website, will not be considered.

Case Western offers limited financial aid to international students but there are a variety of merit-based scholarships you can apply for.

The main question about the schools you’re aiming for is “How much can you afford?” If you need significant aid, then consider liberal arts colleges that meet full demonstrated need for all students. Lafayette, Union and Trinity all have specialised engineering departments; Swarthmore and Harvey Mudd offer a broad engineering degree. Asides from these, you should consider applying to other non-engineering liberal arts colleges with a Computer Science major. You could try for a Masters later if you want to or participate in the 3-2 Engineering program where possible. Limiting yourself to the best engineering schools will seriously handicap you, as most of them are the top public universities and give nothing to international students.

Your extracurriculars are yours and yours alone. They are determined by your environment, your skills, and your interests. If you are so comp sci inclined, are there hackathons in your area? Computer science summer camps? Can you take online courses? Start a club? Are you working on a project? Building something? Coding something?

Your ECs don’t have to be related to your major or it may seem a little monotonous. Just do something, do it really well, and have fun doing it. The main thing about extracurriculars is originality and creativity. Have fun doing them and you’ll be productive.

Good luck!

mind blown I found it so hard to believe that Northeastern wouldn’t consider SAT or ACT scores even if submitted that I had to check for myself. That is so odd. Why require them for domestically-educated applicants but refuse to even look at the scores for international applicants?

Really??? Because when I was applying for Northeastern and met the college representative, she told me the school would try to help with financial aid(need based, need aware of course). They didn’t say anything about not considering SAT/ACT. It must be a brand new crap policy!

I’m currently taking an introductory data analytics online course, in a scholarship, and if I was one of the top 0.1% of applicants, I will get Udacity’s Nanodegree. No, there aren’t any activities like this, I try to do my best by taking online courses.


Because Internationals (at least the ones accepted by NEU) tend to have lower test scores and NEU games the USNews ranking aggressively. This way, they can report the (highish) 75-25 percentile test scores of the Americans they accept while also taking in a ton of full-pay Internationals who may be of much lower quality while truthfully stating that the 75-25 percentile test scores are representative for those students for whom they look at test scores.

If they look at the test scores of Internationals, NEU may have to choose between taking in full-pay Internationals who will bring down NEU’s 75-25 test score percentiles or not taking them and forgoing that revenue stream or having to bring in high-scoring Internationals who they have to offer fin aid.

The USNews ranking allows only a certain percentage of the student body to be test optional or else they start docking you in their ranking formula. Well, if Internationals don’t get the choice of being test-optional (there’s no option for them; their test scores won’t be considered), then that problem is resolved.