Suggestions for good colleges

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livesoft
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by livesoft »

I have written this before. Our kids have graduated from college. Basically, the places to apply are pretty simple for well-qualified students:
1. State Flagship of one's state of residence.
2. Best Private University in the same state.
3. Best Regional Private University.
4. A national top 20 university not included in the above.

There is no point in applying to another state's State Flagship. There is no point in applying to top-ranked universities and less-ranked places that you have no intention of attending. There is no point in applying to smaller public universities nor out-of-state public universities

Of course, this thread can discuss all possible colleges and universities, but the state of residence will quickly eliminate most of them from consideration. And if the student is not well-qualified, then other places come into play.
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moghopper
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by moghopper »

livesoft wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:41 pm Added: Rice is a small school. It has fewer students than my high school, my spouse's high school, my daughter's high school, and my son's high school.
Rice has about 7,000 students combined grad and undergrad. That would be an obnoxiously large High School.
nigel_ht
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by nigel_ht »

jabberwockOG wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:14 pm One small school that really impressed us in terms of engineering programs, labs and facilities, and general on campus vibe was Harvey Mudd in Clairmont Ca. It is expensive but most get students some to a lot of assistance. We did not visit any Eastern schools.
Harvey Mudd is hard to get into even with 4.0 and good scores. As someone point out above you need a PhD for those fields so I would use Scripps (all women liberal arts) with a 25-30% acceptance rate as a fall back to use the consortium agreements to get a second bachelors at Harvey Mudd if that's what she wanted.

https://supertutortv.com/videos/backdoo ... asier-way/

That's our backup plan for our daughter that has good grade but average test scores looking into science.

That's a long haul though but she finds engineering and CS boring so...meh.
nigel_ht
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by nigel_ht »

Vulcan wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:36 am As far as I know, you cannot qualify for NMSF if you do not take PSAT test.
Correct. But the fact still remains that a perfect ACT puts OP's daughter into a more exclusive club than an NMSF would.
Yes and no. Or at least is used to be no as NMSF was a different bucket.
nigel_ht
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by nigel_ht »

We did ED for VT because my kid really really really wanted to go there.

Otherwise I think just doing EA is good enough and you get to see who offers the most financial aid. Unless she has an absolute must go to school I dunno that it's worth the extra nudge that ED gets.
nigel_ht
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by nigel_ht »

Watty wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:45 am One other thing to research is that she might be tempted to get a BS in Chemistry instead of an engineering degree. Be sure to research the job prospects for that since as I recall people have posted about there being limited career paths with just an undergraduate degree in Chemistry. That is apparently very different than Chemical Engineering. Not all STEM degrees are in high demand.
A BS in chemistry pretty much qualifies you for lab technician...
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Vulcan
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Vulcan »

nigel_ht wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 10:34 pm
Vulcan wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:36 am As far as I know, you cannot qualify for NMSF if you do not take PSAT test.
Correct. But the fact still remains that a perfect ACT puts OP's daughter into a more exclusive club than an NMSF would.
Yes and no. Or at least is used to be no as NMSF was a different bucket.
It is a different bucket - but a much larger one.

Either way it isn't clear to me where Klangfool was going with asking whether a perfect ACT scorer is an NMSF.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Vulcan
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Vulcan »

nigel_ht wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 10:36 pm We did ED for VT because my kid really really really wanted to go there.
Wow. I didn't know VT had ED. That's gotta be pretty uncommon for state schools. Even the very top ones that I know of off the top of my head do not do it.

ETA: I now see UVa does it too. Must be a Virginia thing.
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jackholloway
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by jackholloway »

nigel_ht wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 10:28 pm
jabberwockOG wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:14 pm One small school that really impressed us in terms of engineering programs, labs and facilities, and general on campus vibe was Harvey Mudd in Clairmont Ca. It is expensive but most get students some to a lot of assistance. We did not visit any Eastern schools.
Harvey Mudd is hard to get into even with 4.0 and good scores. As someone point out above you need a PhD for those fields so I would use Scripps (all women liberal arts) with a 25-30% acceptance rate as a fall back to use the consortium agreements to get a second bachelors at Harvey Mudd if that's what she wanted.

https://supertutortv.com/videos/backdoo ... asier-way/

That's our backup plan for our daughter that has good grade but average test scores looking into science.

That's a long haul though but she finds engineering and CS boring so...meh.
Several stem kids my child knows did the Harvey Mudd/Scripps//Oxy troika for their applications, with the top one being where they applied ED. Mine got their top choice, and I am happy for them, but would have been happy with any of the three.

I do suggest that if you want a Mudd degree, apply there as your top choice, and similarly for the other two .
doobiedoo
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by doobiedoo »

sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm My daughter (junior in high school) currently wants to major in chemical or biochemical engineering. She is a very good student (36 ACT, high GPA, etc., but no national recognition so to speak). We think applying Early Decision (ED) can help improve her chances of admission. What would be the best colleges (good probability of admission) where she can have interaction with professors, maybe some research opportunity, good prospects after graduating etc.?

She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her. Does anyone have an opinion on chemical/biochemical engineering departments in general? Although we live in the Midwest, we are open to sending the kid most anywhere in the country

AG1’s post (viewtopic.php?t=375030) has motivated me to get this groups combined wisdom earlier before the application process.
Well, MIT checks a lot of your boxes. That has both pluses and minuses. First the pluses.

PLUSES
UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) is available to all undergrads and is the easiest/best way to interact with faculty. There are also a bunch of programs for students who want to build things. Maker Lodge, Sandbox Innovation, etc.
https://engineering.mit.edu/academics/undergraduate/

I think every MIT engineering department is great, e.g. Civil, MechE, Material Science, EE, CompSci, ChemE, Aeronautics, etc. And so are most of the sciences [math, physics, chemistry, biology]. Even the management [Sloan school], economics, and architecture departments are world class. You can freely transfer to any major. You can even create your own inter-disciplinary major.
You can cross register at Wellesley, Harvard or MassArt.

MIT's early action is not restrictive. If admitted in December, the prospective student can delay acceptance until the spring [and hence still apply to other schools].

MIT has a wide variety of living situations. The male/female ratio is nearly 50/50 [unlike the dinosaur years when I went there].

Admission is need-blind. Financial aid is need-based. All financial aid is a grant that is not repaid, i.e. no loans.

Undergraduate admissions are intended to be diverse. The result is the undergraduate students are very interesting. There are some stereotypical nerds there, but not nearly as many as you would expect.

I could go on with the pluses, but you get the idea.

MINUSES
A. MIT is expensive. Tuition is $57k and costs are $80k per year. I think it is worth it, especially if you get an engineering degree, but not everyone will agree.

B. Admission is very selective. The 4% admission rate is misleading. Very few applicants are actually unqualified, so you are only competing with the best.

C. MIT students have a saying: "Getting an education at MIT is like getting a drink of water from a fire hose." That applies to more than just academics. If you try to sample too many of the options from the pluses list, you will fail. Nobody has that much time. The flip side of the coin is if you make no effort to engage, no one will say you are making a mistake or missing opportunities [even though you are].

I am not pushing or even recommending MIT for the OP's daughter. As another poster said it is really about the right fit for the student. I agree with that. I do know MIT was the right fit for me. Instead of being the weird one in high school, going to MIT was like coming home.

My last comment, and this applies to any college and especially to non-local schools:
I think graduation rates are boosted when the student really wants to go to that college and do well.
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galving
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by galving »

sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm My daughter (junior in high school) currently wants to major in chemical or biochemical engineering. She is a very good student (36 ACT, high GPA, etc., but no national recognition so to speak). We think applying Early Decision (ED) can help improve her chances of admission. What would be the best colleges (good probability of admission) where she can have interaction with professors, maybe some research opportunity, good prospects after graduating etc.?

She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her. Does anyone have an opinion on chemical/biochemical engineering departments in general? Although we live in the Midwest, we are open to sending the kid most anywhere in the country

AG1’s post (viewtopic.php?t=375030) has motivated me to get this groups combined wisdom earlier before the application process.
East Coast has been the home for bio-tech.
Chem Engineering is a great BS that's in high demand especially if one is willing to move.
Stevens
Rensselaer
Rose-Hulman

Are schools that focus primarily on engineering. In the end I decided to a university that had a broader focus. . . Business/Arts/Science/etc. (Delaware/Penn State/Rutgers) In the end, I graduated with <25 Chem E's with whom I spent 98% of my time.

Some classmates remain in the PA/NJ region working for major pharma/food/energy firms.
I ended up significantly further south.
mecht3ach
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by mecht3ach »

LuckyGuy wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:18 am My wife and I are both retired chemical engineers. Both of our kids are engineering majors (not chemical), currently in college but close to graduating.

I recommend that you highly value a great co-op program when choosing a college. There are a large number of benefits your child will learn during their co-op. And the big plus is that the student might have a job when graduating, if they choose that path.
This is a very interesting point to raise. I have worked in engineering departments at universities both with and without co-op programs. One thing I observed is that the co-op program was a great way for a middle-third-tranche student to get a job while in college and have that job ready for them when they graduated. For the lower-third group of students, their expected post-grad job offer from their co-op company often did not materialize, and they were left scrambling at the end of their last semester and beyond (most co-op programs include some wiggly language for companies to not have to commit to an offer). For the upper-third level of student, a lot of students ended up working for their co-op company when they almost certainly could have gotten more lucrative/prestigious offers from other places - they went for the 'safe' option. It also greatly lowered the percent of students who applied to graduate school.

So, it can be an awesome option, and I think that mentioning it is very helpful to the OP, but there are semi-hidden issues/costs associated with it. Also, in many (not all) fields of engineering, internship and job placement rates are still super-high right now (ChemE is in particular is more cyclical; I would also say the same thing for AeroE). For the graduating class in my discipline this year (I'm at a non-co-op-school now), 98.6% of the class had a job or grad school offer locked in.
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sidartvader
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by sidartvader »

Thank you for all the replies. It has been helpful to hear from all of you! There are a lot of suggestions for Harvey Mudd. But it does not have chemical engineering offered at all, just an engineering degree. How is it different from Swarthmore?
slicendice
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by slicendice »

sidartvader wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 11:54 am Thank you for all the replies. It has been helpful to hear from all of you! There are a lot of suggestions for Harvey Mudd. But it does not have chemical engineering offered at all, just an engineering degree. How is it different from Swarthmore?
HarveyMudd is 100% science/engineering. Swarthmore is broad liberal arts. Both are small institutions that are not research universities. One consequence of this is that the faculty are employed by the institutions to teach undergrads as a first priority. Also Harvey Mudd is part of a larger Claremont consortium of prestigious liberal arts colleges a student can also take classes at. These colleges in some cases are literally across the street from Harvery Mudd.
FactualFran
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by FactualFran »

A smaller college with a well regarded engineering program, which has not been mentioned in previous posts, is Bucknell.
hirlaw
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by hirlaw »

Some Star Chemical Engineering Schools:
  • Stanford :moneybag
    Georgia Tech
    Cal Tech
    MIT :moneybag
    Cal Berkeley
    Univ. of Texas, Austin
MMiroir
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by MMiroir »

sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm My daughter (junior in high school) currently wants to major in chemical or biochemical engineering. She is a very good student (36 ACT, high GPA, etc., but no national recognition so to speak). We think applying Early Decision (ED) can help improve her chances of admission. What would be the best colleges (good probability of admission) where she can have interaction with professors, maybe some research opportunity, good prospects after graduating etc.?

She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her. Does anyone have an opinion on chemical/biochemical engineering departments in general? Although we live in the Midwest, we are open to sending the kid most anywhere in the country

AG1’s post (viewtopic.php?t=375030) has motivated me to get this groups combined wisdom earlier before the application process.
Congratulations on your D's success. Here are some thoughts.

1 - College Scorecard (https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/) has early career salary information by school and by major. Here are the stats for some Midwest flagships for Chemical Engineering.

UIUC - $87,314
Wisconsin - $84,023
Michigan - $81,766
Purdue - $79,174
Minnesota - $79,071
Ohio State - $78,459

ChemE salaries are relatively flat by school. If one of those is your state flagship, she will likely get some merit aid from the engineering department as they are desperate for high-stat female engineers.

2 - With a 36 ACT, she would be a strong candidate for the high end privates. Some early career salary information for ChemE majors is as follows:

Penn - $95,292
Rice - $92,763
MIT - $92,657
Columbia - $91,727
Cornell - $89,983
Notre Dame - $87,393
Vanderbilt - $86,997
Northwestern - $85,168

With some exceptions, the early career salaries are not much that higher at the privates compared to the Big 10 flagships, especially considering cost of living adjustments.

3 - With a 36 ACT, she would be an auto admit and get free tuition at a number of flagships in the southeast. Here are some early career salary information for ChemE.

Auburn - $83,134
Mississippi State - $82,587
South Carolina - $79,846
Tennessee - $77,746
Alabama - $76,372
Kentucky - $71,995

The starting salary information is comparable to the Big 10 flagships, and she should get at least a full tuition merit scholarship at all of these universities. Some, like South Carolina, have a limited amount of full cost of attendance scholarships that are available.

4 - Given that early career outcomes are similar at these schools, you should be concentrating on fit. When considering fit, look at cost, geography, size, housing/greek system, sports/athletics, etc. One of the advantages of the private schools is that generally they will allow students much more flexibility in terms of changing majors, so if your D decides she does not want to be a ChemE major, she will have a lot more flexibility at Northwestern than UIUC. However, that will vary from school to school, so one should think about a plan B and C course of study when considering a college.

5 - If you have not done so, this summer should be spent on college visits so she can get a feel of what kind of school appeals to her. Don't dismiss the SEC flagships. We know plenty of parents who were very dismissive about sending their kids to Auburn or Alabama, but were blown away after an on campus visit and knowing they only had to pay for room and board.
livesoft
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by livesoft »

MMiroir wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 6:52 am [...]
1 - College Scorecard (https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/) has early career salary information by school and by major. Here are the stats for some Midwest flagships for Chemical Engineering.
[...]
Early career salaries appear to be heavily influenced by cost-of-living around the location of the universities. Lower COLA places tend to have lower salaries.

My daughter is an engineer and works in the same city as where she graduated from. Same for my many of my friends.
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RoadThunder
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by RoadThunder »

sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm My daughter (junior in high school) currently wants to major in chemical or biochemical engineering. She is a very good student (36 ACT, high GPA, etc., but no national recognition so to speak). We think applying Early Decision (ED) can help improve her chances of admission. What would be the best colleges (good probability of admission) where she can have interaction with professors, maybe some research opportunity, good prospects after graduating etc.?

She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her. Does anyone have an opinion on chemical/biochemical engineering departments in general? Although we live in the Midwest, we are open to sending the kid most anywhere in the country

AG1’s post (viewtopic.php?t=375030) has motivated me to get this groups combined wisdom earlier before the application process.
Iowa State for the win - tuition is based on ACT score - +30 you receive $11,000 non-need grant money. Iowa state is no nonsense, they control and negotiate all internships on behalf of the student. Ames IA is boring so academics is priority. Furthermore, they don’t have secondary Engineering school application process- accepted to the school with declared major your in.
gerntz
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by gerntz »

So many high-quality choices mentioned above that even if I tried to add to them it would just be more confusing.

I'm a retired Chem E that worked long-term for a top-notch consumer products company in product & package development. How I got a job being from a so-so school I don't know. But was surrounded by Chem E's from the likes of WI/MN/IL/MI/Clarkson/Renselear/MIT/GT/VT/OSU/Princeton/Purdue/Washington U/TX/NJIT/Bucknell/Lehigh.

That 36 ACT will get her lots of aid & likely a full ride to a lot of schools. Best to you all.
gerntz
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by gerntz »

dp dp dp
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sidartvader
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by sidartvader »

MMiroir wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 6:52 am
sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm My daughter (junior in high school) currently wants to major in chemical or biochemical engineering. She is a very good student (36 ACT, high GPA, etc., but no national recognition so to speak). We think applying Early Decision (ED) can help improve her chances of admission. What would be the best colleges (good probability of admission) where she can have interaction with professors, maybe some research opportunity, good prospects after graduating etc.?

She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her. Does anyone have an opinion on chemical/biochemical engineering departments in general? Although we live in the Midwest, we are open to sending the kid most anywhere in the country

AG1’s post (viewtopic.php?t=375030) has motivated me to get this groups combined wisdom earlier before the application process.
Congratulations on your D's success. Here are some thoughts.

1 - College Scorecard (https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/) has early career salary information by school and by major. Here are the stats for some Midwest flagships for Chemical Engineering.

UIUC - $87,314
Wisconsin - $84,023
Michigan - $81,766
Purdue - $79,174
Minnesota - $79,071
Ohio State - $78,459

ChemE salaries are relatively flat by school. If one of those is your state flagship, she will likely get some merit aid from the engineering department as they are desperate for high-stat female engineers.

2 - With a 36 ACT, she would be a strong candidate for the high end privates. Some early career salary information for ChemE majors is as follows:

Penn - $95,292
Rice - $92,763
MIT - $92,657
Columbia - $91,727
Cornell - $89,983
Notre Dame - $87,393
Vanderbilt - $86,997
Northwestern - $85,168

With some exceptions, the early career salaries are not much that higher at the privates compared to the Big 10 flagships, especially considering cost of living adjustments.

3 - With a 36 ACT, she would be an auto admit and get free tuition at a number of flagships in the southeast. Here are some early career salary information for ChemE.

Auburn - $83,134
Mississippi State - $82,587
South Carolina - $79,846
Tennessee - $77,746
Alabama - $76,372
Kentucky - $71,995

The starting salary information is comparable to the Big 10 flagships, and she should get at least a full tuition merit scholarship at all of these universities. Some, like South Carolina, have a limited amount of full cost of attendance scholarships that are available.

4 - Given that early career outcomes are similar at these schools, you should be concentrating on fit. When considering fit, look at cost, geography, size, housing/greek system, sports/athletics, etc. One of the advantages of the private schools is that generally they will allow students much more flexibility in terms of changing majors, so if your D decides she does not want to be a ChemE major, she will have a lot more flexibility at Northwestern than UIUC. However, that will vary from school to school, so one should think about a plan B and C course of study when considering a college.

5 - If you have not done so, this summer should be spent on college visits so she can get a feel of what kind of school appeals to her. Don't dismiss the SEC flagships. We know plenty of parents who were very dismissive about sending their kids to Auburn or Alabama, but were blown away after an on campus visit and knowing they only had to pay for room and board.
This is a lot of data in one posting! Thank you so much - gives us lots to think about. We will definitely try to get her to some schools this summer.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Northern Flicker »

livesoft wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 6:56 am
MMiroir wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 6:52 am [...]
1 - College Scorecard (https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/) has early career salary information by school and by major. Here are the stats for some Midwest flagships for Chemical Engineering.
[...]
Early career salaries appear to be heavily influenced by cost-of-living around the location of the universities. Lower COLA places tend to have lower salaries.
+1 A significant number of students in engineering do internships that lead to employment, often in the same area as the school. There are some fields and some employers where pedigree matters more than accomplishments and ability, but that is much less common in engineering fields.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Northern Flicker »

RoadThunder wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 12:56 pm
sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm My daughter (junior in high school) currently wants to major in chemical or biochemical engineering. She is a very good student (36 ACT, high GPA, etc., but no national recognition so to speak). We think applying Early Decision (ED) can help improve her chances of admission. What would be the best colleges (good probability of admission) where she can have interaction with professors, maybe some research opportunity, good prospects after graduating etc.?

She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her. Does anyone have an opinion on chemical/biochemical engineering departments in general? Although we live in the Midwest, we are open to sending the kid most anywhere in the country

AG1’s post (viewtopic.php?t=375030) has motivated me to get this groups combined wisdom earlier before the application process.
Iowa State for the win - tuition is based on ACT score - +30 you receive $11,000 non-need grant money. Iowa state is no nonsense, they control and negotiate all internships on behalf of the student. Ames IA is boring so academics is priority. Furthermore, they don’t have secondary Engineering school application process- accepted to the school with declared major your in.
+1 Iowa State is an excellent university and out of state tuition is comparatively moderate.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Northern Flicker »

khangaroo wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 2:59 pm My Alma Mater Oregon State University has a solid chemical and bioengineering program and I really enjoyed my time there.
You’re in good company. It also was the Alma Mater of 2-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Northern Flicker »

livesoft wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:26 pm Basically, the places to apply are pretty simple for well-qualified students:
1. State Flagship of one's state of residence.
2. Best Private University in the same state.
3. Best Regional Private University.
4. A national top 20 university not included in the above.

There is no point in applying to smaller public universities nor out-of-state public universities.
Minor quibbles: not all states have a private university or college that is a good value proposition. And some states have very competitive admissions to flagship schools, so applying to a non-flagship as a backup can make sense. Lastly, some states have moderated out of state tuition, or reciprocity agreements with other states. For instance, Minnesota residents can attend public universities in Wisconsin and pay the Minnesota in-state tuition level.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
livesoft
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by livesoft »

Northern Flicker wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 6:17 pm
livesoft wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:26 pm Basically, the places to apply are pretty simple for well-qualified students:
1. State Flagship of one's state of residence.
2. Best Private University in the same state.
3. Best Regional Private University.
4. A national top 20 university not included in the above.

There is no point in applying to smaller public universities nor out-of-state public universities.
Minor quibbles: not all states have a private university or college that is a good value proposition. And some states have very competitive admissions to flagship schools, so applying to a non-flagship as a backup can make sense. Lastly, some states have moderated out of state tuition, or reciprocity agreements with other states. For instance, Minnesota residents can attend public universities in Wisconsin and pay the Minnesota in-state tuition level.
Nice quibbles. Well-qualified students will get into a very competitive state flagship or they are not well-qualified, by definition.
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gips
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by gips »

livesoft wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:26 pm I have written this before. Our kids have graduated from college. Basically, the places to apply are pretty simple for well-qualified students:
1. State Flagship of one's state of residence.
2. Best Private University in the same state.
3. Best Regional Private University.
4. A national top 20 university not included in the above.

There is no point in applying to another state's State Flagship. There is no point in applying to top-ranked universities and less-ranked places that you have no intention of attending. There is no point in applying to smaller public universities nor out-of-state public universities

Of course, this thread can discuss all possible colleges and universities, but the state of residence will quickly eliminate most of them from consideration. And if the student is not well-qualified, then other places come into play.
when you use the term "university", are you excluding LACs like williams, amherst, bowdoin etc from national top 20? if you are, why (perhaps you're answering narrowly based on engineering?) If you're not, then adding the top 10 lacs and top ten universities eliminates quite a few very good schools.

>>There is no point in applying to smaller public universities nor out-of-state public universities
someone that lives in a state without a good flagship need not apply to u mich? uva? u wisconsin, u of c berkeley? wisconsin? etc. why is that?
gips
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by gips »

op, not saying your D won't get into tippy top schools like MIT but it's unlikely from a pure probability pov. To the extent her ED school allows, I'd suggest mixing in some EAs. My oldest son was rejected ED but soon after received EA admission to a very good school. It helped cushion the rejection and saved him a bunch of time by eliminating the need to apply to safeties and targets so he spent his time honing apps for top schools.

My other two kids were admitted to their ED schools, obviously you have to visit prior to applying because the offer is binding if you can afford it and sounds like you can. It also will help her write the "why I want to attend this school" essay.

good luck!
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sidartvader
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by sidartvader »

gips wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 8:10 pm op, not saying your D won't get into tippy top schools like MIT but it's unlikely from a pure probability pov. To the extent her ED school allows, I'd suggest mixing in some EAs. My oldest son was rejected ED but soon after received EA admission to a very good school. It helped cushion the rejection and saved him a bunch of time by eliminating the need to apply to safeties and targets so he spent his time honing apps for top schools.

My other two kids were admitted to their ED schools, obviously you have to visit prior to applying because the offer is binding if you can afford it and sounds like you can. It also will help her write the "why I want to attend this school" essay.

good luck!
I agree that MIT is highly unlikely for my daughter (I am not sure about the fit too - she does not seem intense enough for it). ED + some EAs like the best way to go. Thank you!
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Northern Flicker »

livesoft wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 7:44 pm
Nice quibbles. Well-qualified students will get into a very competitive state flagship or they are not well-qualified, by definition.
Not always. Some programs are highly competitive and require admission beyond just admission to the university. There was a recent thread articulating the difficulties well qualified students sometimes have getting into the engineering or CS programs at UIUC for instance. There are students who were accepted at CalTech and were turned down by UC Berkeley.
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by livesoft »

Northern Flicker wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 3:18 pmThere are students who were accepted at CalTech and were turned down by UC Berkeley.
I know of such cases, but in the ones I am aware of the student pretty much telegraphed in the interview: "If I get admitted to your university, then I am not coming here. My parents made me apply here."
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MMiroir
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by MMiroir »

Northern Flicker wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 3:18 pm
livesoft wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 7:44 pm
Nice quibbles. Well-qualified students will get into a very competitive state flagship or they are not well-qualified, by definition.
Not always. Some programs are highly competitive and require admission beyond just admission to the university. There was a recent thread articulating the difficulties well qualified students sometimes have getting into the engineering or CS programs at UIUC for instance. There are students who were accepted at CalTech and were turned down by UC Berkeley.
Both Caltech and The UC system have stopped considering standardized test scores when making admissions decisions. Once you take test scores out of the equation, there will be alot more variability and uncertainty in admissions decisions.
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by NYCaviator »

sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her.
Some people want to be a small fish in a big pond while others want to be a big fish in a small pond.

One often overlooked benefit of a small college is the hands-on experience with the professors. You can't put a price on that. Having small class sizes, a professor who knows your name, and the ability to actually talk to the professor (not a TA) during office hours, can be a HUGE benefit for students. It's much harder to skip class or slack off when there are 30 people in your class vs. 300.

There is also the research aspect, which is important in the scientific fields. A lot of smaller colleges are able to get their students involved in research projects and helping write research papers. Those experiences/credentials can be a massive advantage when you go out into the world to get a job, and is not an opportunity that you necessarily get at a mega-university.

The best thing your daughter can do is visit colleges and do campus stays if they offer them. Sit in on a couple of classes, see what the atmosphere is like (are there people living on campus or is it a commuter college), see what the professors are like, etc. You can go to a brand name college all day long, but if you don't enjoy it, you won't be successful.
blastoff
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by blastoff »

If they are used to being top of the class, I'd consider if becoming middle of the pack at a really top tier school might be difficult. Some people can struggle with that transition.

The big designer name brands seem help most for non engineering careers.
Valuethinker
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Valuethinker »

gips wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 8:10 pm op, not saying your D won't get into tippy top schools like MIT but it's unlikely from a pure probability pov. To the extent her ED school allows, I'd suggest mixing in some EAs. My oldest son was rejected ED but soon after received EA admission to a very good school. It helped cushion the rejection and saved him a bunch of time by eliminating the need to apply to safeties and targets so he spent his time honing apps for top schools.

My other two kids were admitted to their ED schools, obviously you have to visit prior to applying because the offer is binding if you can afford it and sounds like you can. It also will help her write the "why I want to attend this school" essay.

good luck!
My intuition is that an average-to-below average student (in terms of their cohort at a given university) is probably better off being a better student at a less selective programme? Especially if the issue is motivation. Some people might really enjoy being in a class where they are constantly finishing in the lower half (but the level of their classmates is stimulating) but I think that it can be quite demotivating.

(I had a friend who was Valedictorian at one of the Ivy League (did engineering). He is a well-regarded academic now, but he did say "we had a lot of grade inflation". So I am aware that the top schools may skew their grades high (particularly compared to highly competitive public university programmes) and thus avoid that problem of "somebody has to be last").

The exception is if the student has some other passion: student leadership, ROTC, music, sport etc.

George McClelland was nearly top of his class at West Point. So was Robert E Lee. Ulysses S Grant was an indifferent student and peacetime leader--better w horses than w people.

One of those 3 gentlemen won the war for the Union. That's always worth reflecting on.*


* told General Grant was said to be drinking again, Lincoln reputedly said "In that case, find out what he is drinking, and send a case of it to my other generals".
In a possibly apocryphal tale, Republican politician and newspaper editor Alexander McClure reported that after he argued for Grant’s removal, Lincoln told him, “I can’t spare this man. He fights.” Real or not, the line has endured, largely because it so aptly captures why the president valued Grant.
https://www.history.com/news/abraham-li ... -civil-war

I draw analogies with General "Black Jack" Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force to France 1917-18. Like Grant, Pershing recognised that his German enemy was weakening and did not have the depths of materiel and manpower reserves that the AEF had behind it. Germany was exhausted of manpower and food & other supplies after 4 long years of war and blockade. The strategy, and the tactics, that followed were inevitable: hold the enemy close, heedless of your own losses (without squandering them), and keep attacking towards their supply bases until the enemy finally broke.
Valuethinker
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Valuethinker »

moghopper wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 9:58 pm
livesoft wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:41 pm Added: Rice is a small school. It has fewer students than my high school, my spouse's high school, my daughter's high school, and my son's high school.
Rice has about 7,000 students combined grad and undergrad. That would be an obnoxiously large High School.
It's not so much the size of the university, as the size of the classes.

My undergrad U had 55k students. But some programmes (eg Classics) were quite small and gave a lot of independent attention.

Engineering was strictly enrolment restricted and first year classes were 100-150, by final year classes could be less than 30 (depended very much on stream).

Computer Science was in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and CS enrolment was the highest it had ever been. Even 4th year classes (which had to be balloted for) were on the order of 100+ students.

A particular programme at Rice, which has a fine reputation in some fields and sounds like a "northeastern college in Texas" might well offer individual attention and engagement.
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HanSolo
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by HanSolo »

If looking for general suggestions on engineering schools, well-regarded research universities tend to be on the AAU list and other well-regarded engineering-focused schools tend to be on the AITU list. Of course, there are other good schools, especially in certain specialty areas, but these lists could be relevant starting points in this kind of search.

Also check public universities with ABET-accredited engineering programs in your home state (or other states of interest). What state are you in?
Valuethinker wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 4:13 am (there's been a lot of discussion about Cornell, pluses and minuses, on another recent thread about a computer science intended major)
If you mean the thread linked by the OP, the student in question was going for engineering and specifically not CS.
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Osprey
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by Osprey »

Another option is to go to a small nurturing liberal arts college that has a 5 year plan with a university.
Your daughter could get a scholarship to a small nurturing school to start and end with a degree from a university. One of my kids was a chem major at Stonehill College outside of Boston and had a friend do the dual degree program.

Stonehill College offers an Engineering Program in collaboration with The University of Notre Dame. Students in this 3+2 Engineering Program with the University of Notre Dame receive a B.A. in Chemistry from Stonehill College and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by tenkuky »

NYCaviator wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 3:45 pm
The best thing your daughter can do is visit colleges and do campus stays if they offer them. Sit in on a couple of classes, see what the atmosphere is like (are there people living on campus or is it a commuter college), see what the professors are like, etc. You can go to a brand name college all day long, but if you don't enjoy it, you won't be successful.
This is easier said than done and nigh impossible even this last year due to COVID restrictions.
Check all requirements posted and call if needed.
Only outdoor “tours” were entertained as recently as 2 months ago.
nigel_ht
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by nigel_ht »

tenkuky wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 6:45 am
NYCaviator wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 3:45 pm
The best thing your daughter can do is visit colleges and do campus stays if they offer them. Sit in on a couple of classes, see what the atmosphere is like (are there people living on campus or is it a commuter college), see what the professors are like, etc. You can go to a brand name college all day long, but if you don't enjoy it, you won't be successful.
This is easier said than done and nigh impossible even this last year due to COVID restrictions.
Check all requirements posted and call if needed.
Only outdoor “tours” were entertained as recently as 2 months ago.
Yah...and outdoor tours are of moderate value...we hit a lot of Cali schools and other than one campus (or the weather) being prettier than another it all started blurring together at the end. Especially since the schools were on break.
spottedtiles
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Re: Suggestions for good colleges

Post by spottedtiles »

sidartvader wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:45 pm My daughter (junior in high school) currently wants to major in chemical or biochemical engineering. She is a very good student (36 ACT, high GPA, etc., but no national recognition so to speak). We think applying Early Decision (ED) can help improve her chances of admission. What would be the best colleges (good probability of admission) where she can have interaction with professors, maybe some research opportunity, good prospects after graduating etc.?

She is a kind of student who typically needs some motivation (good teacher, interesting topics, etc.) to get going, and then tends to do very well, hence I think a smaller college maybe a better fit for her. Does anyone have an opinion on chemical/biochemical engineering departments in general? Although we live in the Midwest, we are open to sending the kid most anywhere in the country

AG1’s post (viewtopic.php?t=375030) has motivated me to get this groups combined wisdom earlier before the application process.
Sounds like your daughter will have many options. What an awesome situation. Good luck to her.
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