Well, I have a week left to decide where I will be spending the next four years of my life. I have narrowed it down to either University of Maryland College Park or University of California Berkeley.
Here are a couple stats:
--My major at both colleges would be engineering, specifically mechanical engineering.
--I live in-state for Maryland, so the total cost per year evens out to around $20,000 with a small engineering scholarship. Also, I am in the Honors Program at UMD.
--For Cal, my family and I will be paying approximately $55,000 per year.
--Two of my favorite hobbies are surfing and skiing.
--Money really isn't an issue, and my parents have told me not to base my decision off of the cost.
I visited Berkeley and returned today actually. I fell in love with the area, it supports my two hobbies almost better than any other area in the United States. I have been to Maryland three times in the past couple months, and I also really like the campus. I feel like the honors program will open up a lot more opportunities than just the college alone.
So here's the question. In the long-run, will I benefit more from graduating from the top (or #2 behind MIT) engineering school in the country: Berkeley, or will I be better off going to Maryland with honors? The areas are completely different and both have a lot to offer. Do you think there are more engineering opportunities around the Virginia/DC area or in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area?