WPI - Clarkson Honors - Aero

We are in the home stretch - can’t decide between Clarkson Honors and WPI for Aero - any help to sway the decision would be appreciated.

@debbie414, I replied to you in your other (duplicate) thread. Here is what I had to contribute to your inquiry:
Have you visited both campuses? What are your interests? I don’t know much about Clarkson. My son did not consider it because it was way too remote for us. He did want a small-medium school with focus (or at least strong) in STEM. He chose WPI because of their project based education, the ability to travel abroad for his IQP or MQP, and the availability of great music programs. He is really enjoying it there, and is really liking the 7 week terms - especially when he comes home for breaks (fall, Christmas, and spring). The breaks are scheduled in between terms, so he does not have to worry about homework, or exams and can relax. If you are not fond of a particular class, it is over in 7 weeks… and you only need to focus on 3 subjects at a time.

@GoatGirl19 might be able to give you more details as current WPI student.
@retiredfarmer is a WPI alumni and can provide you with the school’s background and great facts and stats. If you can give us a better idea of what is important to you, we might be able to better help you with your decision. May 1st is right around the corner!

P.S. please come back and let us know your daughter’s decision. I see by looking at your other threads that she has been struggling with this decision for a while now. I would love to hear what her finally decision was and the rationale behind it. The college search process is so complex. I hope you both have peace of mind once you pick a school.

As a current Clarkson Student, I can tell youre going to be better off at WPI, my friend. We are ranked 5th most depressed school for a good reason. Theres nothing to do up here other then drink or study… we have about 3 resturaunts, 5 fast food places, 2 bars and thats it. Go too far out if the town limits and youre in the very poor part of the area, my freshmen year I got lost and watched a meth bust happen. Our Greek life and clubs are great though. however, All the staff of Clarkson do not handle things accordingly, and you will not be able to understand most of your professors. The honors program on top of that is a hot mess. Great faculty within the program, but it is very limited, controlling and biased about what you learn and write reports on. I know the financial aid check that comes with clarkson is usually huge, but it is not worth it, especially if youre a male (70/30 male/female ratio). You make some great friends as it is a tight knit community, but its almost like highschool and everything travels fast.

You didn’t mention cost. Would you be paying about the same?

I have friends with students at each school and both are very happy. The Clarkson student does not report what the poster above does. He is very happy, says the people are great and loves his school. I think a big consideration at WPI is the very short terms and project based classes. That would work for some, not for others. While WPI is not remote, it is not a city some would want to live in.

Have you visited both?

My son has visited both a couple of times and likes both environments. Cost will not be a factor is his decision. Each school has something the other doesn’t and that is where the struggle lies. He really likes he Honors program at Clarkson for the freshman and feels that WPI has more flexibility with regards to majors

@Taylorwicks - are you in the Honors program - would you be able to message me a little bit more info on what you meant about it being a “hot mess”

I, for one, have loved WPI for undergrad. I don’t know much about the aero program except that they take the same engineering classes during freshman and sophomore year that the biomechanics people do. The campus is very nice, well kept. The food isn’t great, but it’s college–and there are many options for student housing that have kitchens.
The projects are the main difference between WPI and any other school. Most engineering schools have junior and senior design but these are often a semester. For us, MQP is like senior design only it lasts a whole year, in addition to a term-long design course junior year. The global studies program is well-liked, although most students enjoy the trips more than their projects/advisors for IQP. The term system has also served me well; I know some who struggle with it.
Students can also participate in research while on campus, but that program is not nearly as extensive as at some other schools because (1) MQP and (2) most students are career-bound, so having research experience is not as important as solid coursework. The career center is top-notch and really helpful for resume editing, mock interviews, and placement in programs; however, there isn’t much support for PhD-bound students.
I would encourage anyone considering WPI to think hard about projects (whether they learn better from projects or lectures) and the term system (more classes for longer or less classes for shorter–some may prefer one or the other) because if education is the main deciding factor, those are the aspects that set WPI apart.