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Too little too late...?


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So dd had narrowed it down to possibly three schools, and this is how it stood till yesterday:


School A: had been her first choice.  OOS, private, after scholarships came in at EFC+$9K for us, Standard Loans for her.

  Pros: Coop program, Honors Program. Nice campus

  Cons; Cost


School B: was a safety.   Local, public, after scholarships came in at EFC < $2K, no loans for her.

  Pros: Coop program, Honors College, additional $4K Research Coop scholarship for next summer.  Strong Robotics program available.

  Cons: Ugly city campus, very close to home


School C: another safety.  OOS, public, after scholarships came in at EFC < $5K, no loans for her

   Pros:  Nice campus, Cost, (if Honors program, accelerated program and small classes, but not invited to Honors program initially - University Scholars instead)

   Cons: No coops (summer internships only),  huge classes


After deciding that School A was just a bit too expensive, she had been leaning towards C until she realized the awesome CompSci honors program was limited to only about 20 students (out of something like 700).  She had written asking why she hadn't been invited, but hadn't heard back after a couple of weeks and decided not to pursue it.  


Since then, she has been leaning more and more towards School B.  And then last week School B's robotics lab just got given a NASA robot that there is at least somewhat of a chance she could work on with that Research Coop.  She hadn't finally decided, but had started to look for a roommate at School B.


So, yesterday, she got news that School A gave her an additional $5K merit aid. I'll have to wait till they open Monday to clarify if it's for all 4 years, but if it is, that would make it still a stretch, but not completely out of reach.  She'd still have to take out the loans, though.  I have pointed out that she would likely be able to pay off most of them with any coop money she earned, but she still doesn't like the idea. 


And... this morning, the Honors Professor from School C finally responded to her email and told her she got in to the CompSci Honors after all - she'd be in quite the select group.


She knows about both of these developments, but is now feeling like it's too little, too late.  She's liking the idea of not having to take out loans, and she feels like the CompSci Honors at school C is so rarefied it's more like some weird 'in' club than an honors program, which actually turns her off.  There was definitely a very competitive vibe at that school (it's near NYC).


School B is less well-known nationally than either of the others, but is up-and-coming (got most-underrated University in USNews last year), has a strong local reputation in engineering/CompSci, and is the only one of these three that even has a Robotics Lab or minor, no less a NASA robot.  She'd be in Honors housing, and the Honors College is very active and supportive.  With the Coops, she'd graduate with money in the bank, and can probably even do one overseas.


Anyone think I should nudge her to re-look at either of the other two with this new info, or should I let sleeping dogs lie?  She had been fairly adamant until recently that School B had an ugly campus she'd be miserable at and that staying so close to home would make her feel like she'd never gone anywhere, but that had been really turning around lately and it seems like she's even getting a bit excited...

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I have no idea what she should do, but I'm interested in knowing which schools you found (or how you searched) with robotics programs, that's been harder for us to find out than I expected. I know you guys are in our part of the country.



With the caveat that we really only looked at schools in MA and NY (she didn't want to go that far, just farther than right next door...), she only found two schools that had a defined robotics program of some kind, Worcester Polytech (WPI)  and UMass Lowell.


WPI has a Robotics Engineering major, and UMass Lowell has a Robotics minor that you can complete parallel to the CompSci major. WPI was another top choice of hers; she was accepted, but it ended up really out-of-reach price-wise, so it didn't make the final list.


We didn't really to do an exhaustive search, just looked at all the techy-type schools in the area.  Rensselear (RPI) looks like it has a robotics lab, but only has a master's (no bachelor's) with a robotics concentration.  Dd didn't end up even applying to RPI, though.  We know another local girl who applied almost all the same places dd did, and also RPI - from what I hear, RPI is ending up her top choice, but she's really into the building the robot part, and I think RPI leans more that way.  Dd is actually more interested in programming robots than building them...

Edited by Matryoshka
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University of Michigan has a roborics engineering degree. Due to space and the use of industry labs, it was moved off campus to Dearborn and is therefore less expensive than cmp sci and aerospace in Ann Arbor. It is a very good program. Students in both Flint and Dearborn are in the running for the same accolades and honors as graduating in Ann Arbor. As a matter of fact, of the top five scholars graduating this year, two are from rhe Flint campus.


Lawrence Tech in Detroit has robotics engineering, but they are VERY expensive and not generous with merit aid. Detroit Mercy - Catholic University - has a roborics program too and is a bit more generous.


That is it for Michigan in terms of actual robotics degree. Mich Tech has a robotics emphasis within, if memory serves, their computer science engineering degree.


Op, I think that college B still sounds like a great fit for your dd.

Edited by FaithManor
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I'd be letting her pick if you're ok with whatever she picks.  Any of the schools sound like a good choice and if she picks she can't blame you if something were to go "wrong" once she's there... (changes her mind, nitpicks anything, etc).


The only way I might change that is if I knew her likely school choice had a poor job placement upon graduation, but we sorted those out prior to applying.

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Matryoshka - I have two that are/were in coop programs and one who is doing projects and internships. Of the coop programs, one finds coops for the students and one leaves the students to find their own coops (with a certain amount of support). Try to find out how hard the students at B have to hussle to get a good coop. Studying engineering is very unlike working as an engineer and doing coops (and internships) can provide much needed inspiration to keep plodding through the endless math problems and welcome breaks, but only if the jobs are good ones, ones in which the student gets to do something interesting and is kept busy. Otherwise, they have the opposite effect. Can you find out how good the coops/internships are? If school B helps place their students in robotics programming coops, that might mean the difference between a coop programming robots and a coop testing a new sort of screw for pinning broken bones together or programming a 3D printer to make a prototype camera lens case or something equally irrelevant. Just a thought... My three chose their schools by academic structure (which would they be likely to be able to finish), by workshop/equipment available to them, and by coop/project/internship opportunities. In hindsight, these turned out to be really good criteria.


Just in case that helps...


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