Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

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toast0
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by toast0 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:09 pm

SkierMom wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:23 pm
searching for a smaller computer science department with offerings in animation, game design, VR, entrepreneurial, business, etc.
Some other people mentioned this, but I want to reinforce it: the listed things aren't computer science. The first half is all digital arts, and the second would be in business program. If your daughter is looking for these things and gets to a CS program, she is going to be disappointed, confused, and possibly discouraged. Also, there's a pretty consistent story that working in the video game industry is a tough place to make a career; so it's important to make sure to have a backup plan.

I went through California community college about 20 years ago, and although I'm sure some things have changed, I suspect a lot of things are similar; they're still very inexpensive compared to other options, so it's a good thing to at least consider. If continuing on to a bachelors program is in the future, looking for a school with good transfer statistics is advised; I've heard of a guaranteed transfers to CSU/UC? program, that's obviously something to look into. If you're transferring to a private or out of state school, expect to spend some time fighting over transfer credits; I needed 3 more years to get a bachelors, but my wife only needed 2 more because her community college course work transferred better and matched up with her curriculum better; I think I still did OK. It's important to find out how scheduling priority is determined; at my community college it was basically just the combined number of credits; so taking a couple classes over the summer could get you a leg up in getting a good semester in the fall; and then it was usually pretty easy; but you still want to make sure to schedule your classes as soon as you're allowed to, because days with classes starting at 8 am, a huge break and then an evening class can be rough.

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Watty
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by Watty » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:24 pm

One of the prior post that mentioned health insurance reminded me of something.

That is that if your kid will still be under your health insurance and they go out of state, or even to a different part of your state, then there may be few or no in-network doctors or facilities where they are going to school at. With some health insurance plans that can be a big problem especially not non-emergency care.

Be sure to look into how that works with your plan.

zoidberg
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by zoidberg » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:42 pm

A CS degree is one of the best investments an 18-22 year old can make if they enjoy technology. Personally, I would avoid the video game industry due to lower pay and working standards when compared to the rest of the industry.

I would advise against studying CS at a community college. The immediate return on a CS degree (i.e. salary) after graduating is largely dependent on your work experience in school. Universities have better industry connections which make it easier to get that first internship.

If your looking for bang-for-your-buck, I’d suggest you check out North Carolina State University. The university is regularly cited as an excellent value for both in and out of state students. I’m a recent grad from there, so maybe I’m biased, but it really is a great department. They offer a game design concentration if interested and they have a large representation of female professors and students when compared to the averages.

texasdiver
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:14 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:24 pm
One of the prior post that mentioned health insurance reminded me of something.

That is that if your kid will still be under your health insurance and they go out of state, or even to a different part of your state, then there may be few or no in-network doctors or facilities where they are going to school at. With some health insurance plans that can be a big problem especially not non-emergency care.

Be sure to look into how that works with your plan.
This is an issue for us. Our insurance is through a west coast HMO and our daughter is at the University of Arkansas where they have no presence. We basically make do by having her do all her regularly scheduled preventative care type visits when she is home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and she also does phone consults with a dermatologist. It is workable but something of a hassle. They will cover emergency care when she is out of state at college but not generally ordinary preventative care visits.

Jablean
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by Jablean » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:00 pm

Boise State would be great for her. They've got a GIMM program on the main campus (Games etc) along with one of the first college gaming teams and the Innovation College (build your own degree). VR is a big deal in town with a user group meeting regularly and a tight Idaho Tech Council pushing hard for CS. BSU is working with the two big hospitals in town using VR for training. CS classes after freshman year have their very own location in the heart of downtown sharing the same building with CS firms and state convention center. Women in Tech/STEM groups growing by leaps and bounds. Boise State has it's own Entreprenuerial group too. CS has been a huge focus of the University and lots of women professors including the Dean of Engineering which is what CS is under. She'll have lots of ops for internships and a decent selection of scholarships geared to women and CS.

psy1
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by psy1 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:52 pm

CS is a very competitive major and hence profession. An ACT of 24 is ~74th percentile but that is in relation to the cohort of all high school students taking the test - not the typical CS college student which is higher. Even going to a school where the median ACT is 24, the median student in CS will be higher than 24. I know ACT is not everything, but if you consider it a rough barometer of academic pressure, then he/she is looking at an uphill climb. Out of state public colleges offer very little merit aid reserved for top students. Caveat emptor is all I am saying.

You might have better luck at smaller private schools if you qualify for need based aid. Often the net cost of attendance approximates in-state public university (plus travel expenses) but privates tend to have significantly higher 4-year graduation rates which can save a lot of money.

twh
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by twh » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:55 pm

I'd say that for a score of 24 on the ACT, you need to know more. If that student busted their butt all through high school and scored a 24, then maybe a CS degree might be a struggle. If, on the other hand, they skated through high school and achieved a 24, a CS degree is fine, just know you can't skate though college.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:07 am

One more thing to add...

If the OP's daughter is not already coding, and has not already discovered that A) she enjoys it and B) she has a bit of a knack for it, then I would not recommend that she enter a CS program.

Going to get a CS degree simply because, for example, you like video games and it seems like a good career move (despite never having written a line of code before), is sort of like applying to music school because you enjoy listening to music and think being a musician would be fun (despite not actually being able to play an instrument). You need to have the sort of passion for it that has led to you already dinking around with it on your own, to at least some degree.

Same goes for trying to get into an art/design program for animation (RISD, CalArts, etc.). If you're not already making goofy little animations on your computer already, you could be setting yourself up for an expensive mistake.
Stay on target...

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:37 pm

SkierMom wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:23 pm
With University of California commanding $37,000/year all in and most California State CSU's impacted (insufficient dorm space, classes fill up & close, scheduling issues) we are looking at out of state universities for our kid. Average student, 24 ACT/3.5 GPA, searching for a smaller computer science department with offerings in animation, game design, VR, entrepreneurial, business, etc.

Looking at OOS colleges with reasonable costs: Boise State, Nebraska, U-Colorado at Colorado Springs, U-Hawaii at Manoa.

Is this too much of a niche degree? Better to go general CS?

What are some good CS degree bargains Bogleheads would recommend?
If you're looking for animation, game design, etc, I'm going to suggest University of Utah. If you're going to go with general Computer Science, I'm going to suggest UVU. And, frankly, you can get Utah residency extremely easy in order to pay the in-state tuition or, alternatively, use the Western University Exchange (https://www.wiche.edu/) in order to attend for 150% of the in-state tuition instead of paying the out-of-state rate.

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SkierMom
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by SkierMom » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:01 pm

Thank you - Some great leads. We will look at University of Utah, Arizona State and Western Washington, all WUE reduced tuition schools for California residents, and additionally look at some of the privates in the east/Midwest/South looking to geographically diversify their student body.

DD is taking AP Calculus and AP Computer Science next (Senior) year, so it will speak volumes as to her next steps. I have seen the Animation/Game Design being offered as a BS (far more programming and CS classes) as well as a BA (more media studies/graphics/communication).

Cheers!

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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by inbox788 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:45 pm

vipertom1970 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:11 pm
My old roommate graduated from Cal Poly CS major making over 200k per year.
That may be true, but did you or any other classmates also graduate from same school making same salary? [rhetorical question]

Average or median salaries are a good reality check, especially for those that enter the program with below average stats (overcoming significant challenges of getting admitted, graduating, AND a (far) above average is a long, long shot.

https://cla.calpoly.edu/news/gradstuden ... kingsalary

As some already mentioned, UC and CSU/Poly are the bargains. Arguably, out of state, MIT, CM, RPI, Rochester are relative bargains, despite costs for their value proposition on par with the big 3 privates in CA. It's hard to argue for out of state public schools when you have Cal in your backyard, but getting into a competitive school will be quite a reach. If the major is the top criteria, a better question to ask is regardless of cost, what is a good out of state safety school that would be preferred over a public instate program? Some considerations UI Urbana/Chicago, UT Austin/Dallas, UW Madison, Purdue, UNC CH/Raleigh, etc.

epilnk
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by epilnk » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:39 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:25 pm
Unlikely your kid will be admitted to any of the heavily impacted schools (like SDSU or SLO) as a freshman. She doesn’t have the grades for that. She will need to either choose a less popular school or go to community college first. She’s also unlikely to get a merit scholarship anyplace, unless she has special skills that aren’t reflected in her grades or test scores.

Where does she want to go to school?
Agree that SDSU or SJSU are highly unlikely with those stats, and SLO is worse. However we have 23 CSUs that span a wide range of competitiveness. I don't know the reputations of the various CS departments, but there is a CSU for just about anyone. And as a bonus, one application - check the box and pay the application fee for each one that interests you.

mottooscillator
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by mottooscillator » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:56 am

Test prep, retake ACT, apply to UofI Champaign. It's a hard program but worth it.

If they can't crack it, there are plenty of easier majors.

quantAndHold
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:15 am

I’ll ask again, since it apparently was never answered.

What school does she want to go to? Since she’s the one going, that might be an important question.

I would encourage her to look at a more general purpose degree than animation or game design, unless she already has special talent as an artist or filmmaker. It’s a crowded field, and pay and working conditions are much better with a regular CS degree. Anyway, if she still wants to do game design by the time she graduates, a regular CS degree will still work for that.

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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:30 pm

epilnk wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:39 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:25 pm
Unlikely your kid will be admitted to any of the heavily impacted schools (like SDSU or SLO) as a freshman. She doesn’t have the grades for that. She will need to either choose a less popular school or go to community college first. She’s also unlikely to get a merit scholarship anyplace, unless she has special skills that aren’t reflected in her grades or test scores.

Where does she want to go to school?
Agree that SDSU or SJSU are highly unlikely with those stats, and SLO is worse. However we have 23 CSUs that span a wide range of competitiveness. I don't know the reputations of the various CS departments, but there is a CSU for just about anyone. And as a bonus, one application - check the box and pay the application fee for each one that interests you.
Very nice to know you are still posting.

SurfCityBill
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Re: Out of State Colleges - Good Computer Science Bargains?

Post by SurfCityBill » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:47 pm

dak wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:04 pm
Re: UC Cost. I have one daughter that graduated from UCLA last June and I tracked expenses pretty carefully. All in cost was $28K per year for 4 years. She was covered by my employer's insurance, was careful about book purchasing, and led a low cost lifestyle. The cost was somewhat reduced by her moving off campus for her senior year.

Her sister is now at UCLA and the cost picture looks to be much the same. She will probably move off campus earlier and help reduce some of the costs that way. The meal plan costs are just silly, so a lot of the savings comes from learning to cook. A good skill to have in any event.

IMHO, the cost estimates presented by the colleges should be taken with a grain of salt. In particular the transportation, insurance, housing, books / fees, and the "personal expenses" categories seem universally high and slanted toward purchasing everything from the university at full price. As a simple example - does your student need to purchase the health coverage through the university? Not if they are covered under your insurance - that is potentially quite a savings off the institution's cost estimate!
During my sons last 4 years at UC Riverside, health insurance was mandatory and if you could not prove you had your own insurance it would be purchased for the student through the school at $600/Qtr or $1800/year. You had to input your health insurance info into an on-line waiver form. It had to submitted during a specific window of time and you essentially had one chance to get it right. If your info was submitted incorrectly, you did not receive an insurance waiver, the charge would appear on the students statement and you were out of luck for the calendar year. I'd sweat each time I had to enter the info as it had to be done every year.

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